CELEBRATE WITH US

CELEBRATE WITH US

10 YEARS OF GROWTH

*This section is about our history - for details about our Event and Giveaways, please skip to the next section*

This year marks a decade since the first 200 Camellia sinensis (tea) bushes were planted on the slopes of the Westholme Tea Company property. To commemorate this achievement - where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going - it is time to spill the tea about some very exciting news!
 
On the 10th day, of the 10th month, of the 10th year of growing Canadian Tea (10/10/2020), Westholme Tea Company will be officially launching new creative products from both of our
co-founders.
 
From Margit, the official and permanent re-opening of The Gallery at Westholme, plus a brand-new series of gorgeous ceramic works fresh from the kiln. And from Victor, a new and extremely rare, limited-edition Westholme-grown Tea—#10 Reserve Black—a tea made from the finest, most delicate pluck of the tea bushes this year.

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Co-founders Margit Nellemann and Victor Vesely took a leap of faith those ten years ago (or more accurately, a series of tremendously time-consuming, expensive, risky, and passionate hurdles) into the world and art of tea-growing and tea-making. Without anyone to consult about the specific nature of their business, as there were (and still are) no other commercial tea growers in Canada, Margit and Victor cared for the new plants while thoroughly researching, and crossed their fingers as each subsequent Canadian winter passed through the Cowichan Valley. Even after getting the plants in the ground, there was no assurance of their investment— they had to wait six years for the tea bushes to grow and mature enough for their first harvest. This did not include the time and experimentation needed to begin mastering the art of tea-making, either. 
 
Those who know tea are aware of its slow nature.
 
In its growing, making, and enjoying, tea is best described as an ever-evolving process, and a meditative one—a series of thoughtful motions requiring patience, pause and attention. The leaves slowly unfurl, their colour and flavour spreading outward to a perfect steep. The Camellia plants, too, had to steep their roots deep into the layers of earth that make up Westholme's terroir, acclimating to weather, pests and elevation. Their flavour is a direct expression of their home and their careful handling.
 
As the hills were converted from a vegetable farm to tea slopes, the change spread outward. The old dairy barn on the property evolved into an expression of Margit and Victor's collaborative and artistic selves—a place to share their passion for tea and art with each other and with the community. The main portion of the barn became The Westholme Teashop, where customers could buy organic imported pure teas and organic artisanal tea and tisane blends to take home. And finally, four years ago, they could also take home a pouch of Westholme Canadian Tea, grown in the earth merely feet from where they stood.
 
Westholme is the teapot in which all is steeped before it is poured outward, to fill the cups of friends and neighbours, from here and elsewhere. And what a journey it has been!

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As a thank you from us at Westholme, we want to extend an invitation to our community near and far to celebrate this milestone with us, virtually or in-person. To comply with physical distancing guidelines and to avoid a crowd, we are holding a staggered event from October 10th - 20th, with new products being made available each day of this event in our Online Store and in our Teashop - we are also holding a daily giveaway over the ten days on our social media platforms and in-store. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or visit the Teashop, for ongoing details.
 
For all these years of love and support - especially during this particularly difficult period — a huge, warm, and humble THANK YOU to all who helped make our dream, and this place, possible.


Lots of love, and happy steeping,
The Westholme Team
..........
THE 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT

How it will work...

To avoid crowds, and to make sure all of our supporters can participate near and far, the event has both VIRTUAL and PHYSICAL elements, and takes place over several days.


A reminder that there is still No Tea Service!

 

Every day for 10 days (October 10 - 20) there will be...

  • A new, limited selection of ceramics released Online + In-Store
  • A new, limited supply of #10 Reserve Black Tea released Online + In-Store
  • A new Social Media Giveaway and In-Store Raffle
  • A final grand prize on October 20th


If you can't make it...

Don't worry!

  • Our Gallery is being permanently re-opened, with fresh clay works, teas and accessories coming out in time for the Holidays, both Online and In-Store!
  • Our other Canadian Teas are still available!
  • We will be launching Holiday Gift Sets soon!

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CANADIAN TEA FEATURE
#10 RESERVE BLACK

An exquisite Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe from the Westholme Tea Garden

* This rare, limited Canadian-grown tea will be available for sale in LIMITED QUANTITIES during our 10 Year Canadian Tea Anniversary Event *

10.10.2020 - 20.10.2020

Style: Black

Origin: Westholme BC, Canada

Made from the finest new buds and leaves of our Camellia plants, this incredibly rare Westholme-grown tea is a superior pluck, a Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe SFTGFOP. Each leaf and bud has been carefully handled, resulting in thin, long and beautifully rolled black leaves with near-uniform oxidation. With very limited quantities, Victor, Westholme’s co-founder and tea maker, put this tea aside as a special Anniversary release for the end of our 10th tea-growing season. 


The first steep is a rich autumnal orange, slightly opaque. A warm, toasted nuttiness blends with a floral and cinnamon sweetness on the nose. This complex sweetness translates to the cup, which builds in high malt notes and light caramel flavour - the mouth is wet, and the tea has a slightly creamy texture on the palate. The linger sits at the back of the tongue with notes of cocoa. Subsequent steeps are more fruit-forward in their aroma, with a natural sweetness to the palate. A dry linger, reminiscent of the fine fruity acidity of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans, pairs with a smooth texture on the tongue.

We would love you to try it.

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UPDATE FROM THE STUDIO

In 2010, when we started our journey into planting our Camellia sinensis bushes, we also started a monumental renovation project that October. We turned what was once a dairy parlour in our 1950's barn into a gallery space to display my ceramics. All of the previous parlour construction was made of heavy duty concrete, with multilevel sections - a trough, milk storage, a tack room, and a storage tower for feed. When we started the transition from parlour to gallery, we soon realized that we wanted to maintain its funky feel and make it part of the space. 

With the help of friends, our gallery was completed a few months later. It has since hosted various gallery exhibits featuring the works of several local and international artists. Mostly, though, it has been a home to all my ceramic creations over 10 years.

When Covid-19 hit and we had to shut down in March, we closed the gallery and turned it into a temporary office space. Now, with our Teashop doors open and the gallery painted and refreshed, it is time for the next phase of our transition.

This weekend, we are excited to be re-opening this little gallery space, to mark our 10 Year Canadian Tea Anniversary Event with a series of new clay works. During the 10 days of celebration I will be adding new pieces to the gallery in batches, with new firings happening every other day.

I have created cups in honour of the 10 years. This limited series will be available for sale in our Teashop and Online starting Saturday, October 10. Be sure to check in for each new addition.

All non-teaware related ceramic works will be available in the Gallery only - please follow me on instagram @margitnellemann for new vases, lanterns, etc and message or e-mail me if interested in a specific piece.

See you soon,

~ Margit Nellemann
margit@westholmetea.com

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