We do sometimes have a tendency to set forth down one of the many loopy rabbit holes here at the tea garden, whether or not we intend to. When one sips a cup of tea, the mind may wander elsewhere…
Inspired by the beloved Lewis Carroll novel, and by our own imaginations, we decided to create an exquisite black tea blend to honour the fun and festivities of the most extravagant, delicious, and topsy-turvy Mad Hatter tea party we could think of. Playing on the theme of royal(tea), we used only stately and exclusive black teas from China and Sri Lanka, making this cup fit for the Queen of Hearts. The steep is bold, but wonderfully smooth and velvety on the tongue. Subtle aromatic notes of honey and sweet golden grasses arise in the steam, accompanying the light astringent linger.
Much like the Cheshire cat, you will find the contents of your cup disappear quite mysteriously after pouring, leaving you with a happy grin.
Tasting Notes: Velvety cup with subtle aromatic notes of honey and sweet golden grasses. Delicately astringent, with a bold but very smooth, clear steep.
Pairings: Excellent on its own, or with a touch of milk and honey, several biscuits, cucumber sandwiches, a mountainous layered cake, and maybe a friend or two. Truly a perfect cup for the morning, the afternoon, the evening, or whatever time it happens to be in Wonderland at that moment.
:: BACK TO OUR ROOTS ::
The weather this summer has been mostly… damp. Fleece-lined sweaters have become the unofficial summer mascot for many, worn over t-shirts that were more optimistic about the temperature outlook for the day.
Our tea plants feel no such yearning for a hot climate. After so many dry summers, we are happy to find the precious tea buds and tender leaves of our bushes flourishing in this damper, temperate weather. The first, delicate flush of the tea plants that Victor processes into our Westholme terroir White Mist and Tree Frog Green teas has yet to change to the hotter and hardier second flush that summer usually brings. A mature tea plant requires more than 6 feet of soil depth for roots to grow and mature, soaking up nutrients and water - The plants are taking full advantage of these circumstances to replenish, root and grow.
At Westholme, we’ve recently made the difficult but exciting decision to do the same.
This Teashop, and the Westholme Tea Company business, was born as a vessel to share international tea culture, tea education, and passionate small-scale organic tea agriculture (on our own farm, and internationally) with the local community and beyond. After much deliberation, we’ve decided to shift our focus back to doing just that. While we were hesitant to make this decision, I cannot tell you how thrilled we are to push ourselves forward and continue to grow!
Due to our unique kitchen and shared retail/dining set-up, and despite intense deliberation, we haven’t found a way to safely start Tearoom service again for the next little while. When we do, it will be changed.
We are creating an experience that will still provide a delicious and familiar cup of your favourite tea, while also helping you take a step further into the enormous and beautiful world of tea; 5,000 + years of history is a lot to cover, but each sip of that history is delicious.
Westholme has decided to invest its energy into changing the layout of the teashop, making mores space for displays of our exquisite certified organic imported teas, our signature organic Westholme blends, and our beautiful home-grown organic Canadian terroir teas, as well as replenishing the gallery space with Margit’s newest ceramic designs and creations.
Many people will miss our tearoom and patio service this summer - it was an experience of comfort that we loved to provide to our patrons. But part of the education we will be providing during this change, as well as the inventory that we have in our shop, is to show you how to recreate those experiences for yourself, for your family, and for your friends with our tea and tea ware at home. Recipes, bits of history, tea customs from around the world, tea and food pairings, tea tools… the list goes on.
As always, we thank you all for staying (and sipping) with us while we try to navigate the pandemic, the economy, and the changes we are making in the face of it all.
~ The Westholme Team
:: NEWS FROM THE STUDIO ::
Drinking vessels come in many forms - while I mostly create cups and mugs with and without handles, I enjoy venturing into exciting new territory.
Throughout many South American countries Yerba Mate is the preferred choice for a hot beverage. The traditional vessel used for Yerba can be either an actual dried gourd, or can be made out of carved wood, leather or ceramic.
This round vessel lends itself to so many drinks, hot or cold. Both handled and handleless (more traditional) versions are excellent for Yerba, Herbal Tisanes, Matcha, or any tea that you choose. If you would like to try drinking your tea as one would a Yerba, put the loose leaves directly into the cup and use a bombilla / tea filter straw (available in our Teashop, and coming to our website soon) to drink the freshly steeped leaves.
My upcoming glaze firing has a great selection of Ceramic Gourds available.
The kiln will be loaded tomorrow for the glaze firing, and these brand new vessels will be ready by the weekend.
Drop by the Teashop, Check out our Website, or come to the Duncan Farmer's Market on Saturday (9am - 2pm) to see a selection of these new vessels!