Why You Should Be Selective Of The Tea You Drink
When the CBC program Marketplace did an expose on pesticides used in the tea growing industry, all of us in the Specialty tea business were quite surprised to see the test results.  Most of the top supermarket brands had up to 22 different chemicals detected on the leaves and in the brew.  In some cases, [...]
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Saturday Sips

Organic Sun Dried Yerba Mate When I received Olivia’s request to do another tea segment for Global, I was clad only in undies, dangling a tuna carcass over the side of a boat off the shores of Key West.  I had managed to attract 4 to 5  large sharks who were making coy, teeth glaring […]

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Demystifying Loose Leaf Tea
We’ve all heard it.  We’ve all tried to explain it.  Sometimes the patron buys into your pitch about the merits of loose over bagged, but other times it can be like talking to a wall. You know what I am talking about here.  You might be able to sell them on the quality and taste [...]
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Move Over Joe Bag, Here Comes the Full-Leaf Lady
The stinging disappointment of poor tea service used to wash over me time and time again in the 90’s.  I particularly remember a time many years ago when a friend and I were dining at a swanky steak house in Edmonton. I had suggested we cap off the exceptional meal with a nice pot of [...]
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The Advent of “Big Tea”
When the thought of tea jumps into mind, even in this day where the leaf seems to be cropping up everywhere, we think of quiet solitary times, times where you may have a slight chill penetrating your bones.  It’s now you realize that wrapping your hands around a mug of steaming tea is just about [...]
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Kenya tea party: a photo essay by the Teaguy
The team that taught the tea farmers how to make hand crafted tea.  From left to right, Paul Bain, Ian Bain, Grayson Bain, Buddha Dev,  Brendan Waye.  The photo was taken in a small tea field, 15 minutes outside of Chavakali. One of Kenya’s numerous large scale tea gardens.  In some areas, we noticed the [...]
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Phoenix Mountain Single Tree Oolong
During April in North Guangdong province at an altitude of 4,500 feet, 100-year-old Oolong trees are harvested for their young shoots, which are then oxidized to 45%, fired under medium heat, and meticulously crafted all along the way.  These single-branch cultivars from Chaoan County’s infamous Phoenix Mountain grow straight up and then fan out, creating [...]
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Small scale Kenyan tea growers need your support
As a guest, and resident tea sommelier for JusTea, I am finally heading out for my first trip to the Kenyan tea fields after a successful launch of some of the country’s finest orthodox tea – a country that is legendary mainly for its CTC black tea.  But this trip is not just about inspecting [...]
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So you want to be a tea sommelier?
Sommelier, Tea Master, Tea Tender, Tea Specialist – there are most likely a few more monikers folks can acquire in the course of their careers as professional tea purveyors. Personally, I would never call myself a tea master.  In a lifetime on this planet sipping the leaf, I would still be a novice, still growing [...]
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