JULY 1ST :: A DAY FOR REFLECTION

JULY 1ST :: A DAY FOR REFLECTION
:: JULY 1st ::
This week, we come together nationally to celebrate the upcoming ( physically-distanced ) festivities around The Constitution Act of 1867, unofficially labeled Canada's Birthday. This is the 153rd year.

As the country lights fireworks and starts barbecues, we encourage you to pause and reflect on all aspects of our shared history. 

::

History is inseparable from the Present. 

History is inseparable from the Land on which it occurred. 

The tea plant has understood this for thousands of years. 
 

The steep of a tea can tell us so much about where it came from: the weather, the soil, the care of the plant, when it was plucked, and how. Each aspect of the environment and each human choice in its processing affects the flavour, appearance and aroma of the cup. The history is in the leaf, and as producers and importers of fine tea, this history is something we must continuously educate ourselves about. It is a process that is ancient, yet ever-evolving. 


This history applies to our own garden as well. The land on which Westholme was built, and where our garden has been rooted for over a decade, nourishes the tea plants that help sustain our souls and our business. The flavours of our Canadian teas are inseparable from the terroir on which they grow and thrive - each sip tells stories of our tea garden, the valley, the mild winters and the warm summers, the rain, and the surrounding mountains. There would be no Westholme-grown tea without the Cowichan Valley. 


We feel so lucky to be here, but our feeling of luck and comfort in this geography, as well as those of all settlers (old and new) in this country, comes at an unfathomable, continued cost to the indigenous peoples whose home this was long before our ancestors named it theirs. 

As we sip our tea this week, we will take this time for conscious moments of reflection and examination of the biases, privileges and safeties that the Canadian Constitution has allowed us, but has kept from so many in our own community, and across this nation. It will be to listen and to read and to discuss, so that we may educate ourselves on a shared history that is ancient, yet ever-evolving.
Just like tea itself.

After all, every leaf contributes to the steep. How that steep will taste, and the stories it will tell, is up to us all. 

 

With Love

- The Westholme Team -

 

TEA OF THE WEEK :: CRIMSON
An exquisite Blended Herbal Tisane made from:
Hibiscus, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Peel and Stevia Leaf
 
- Caffeine Free -
The rich, red hibiscus in this infusion makes it one of our most striking to steep. The cup is a gorgeous ruby colour. Offering deep tanginess from hibiscus and citrus, the cup finishes with a refreshingly crisp, fruity sweetness enhanced by unrefined stevia leaf. Loaded with flavour and antioxidants, Crimson is an excellent immune booster. Enjoy it hot to soothe the throat and stomach, or sip over ice on hot days to restore and revitalize.  
HOW TO ICE YOUR TEA or TISANE 
There are two ways to go about making a delicious iced tea. Each highlights different flavours, so steep your favourite tea or tisane and experiment with both methods to find your preference!

 

HOT BREW

  • Brew your tea or tisane as you normally would (80 - 95°C for oolong, white or green teas, and 100°C for black tea and herbal tisanes), but use 1.5 to 2 x the amount of tea leaves
  • Remember to check the amount of tea per cup on your tin or bag of tea, and adjust according to how much iced tea you plan to make.
  • Pour over plenty of ice right away and enjoy, or -
  • Allow to reduce to room temperature, and place in the fridge until cool
COLD BREW
  • In a large clean jar or pitcher, add 1.5 to 2 x the amount of tea leaves of your desired tea / tisane
  • Remember to check the amount of tea per cup on your tin or bag of tea, and adjust according to how much iced tea you plan to make.
  • Add cold water to the appropriate ratio, and place in the fridge (covered) for 4 - 10 hours
TIPS + TRICKS
  • Fill an ice cube tray with your favourite steeped tea and freeze - add to your iced teas to help them cool without diluting the flavour as the cubes melt
  • Enjoy your iced tea as0is, or add slices of fruits, cucumbers, citrus zest, fresh mint leaves, etc to spruce up your drink
  • Brewed Tea stored at Room Temperature should be kept no longer than 2 days
  • Brewed Tea stored in the refrigerator should be kept no longer than 3 days

CANADIAN TEA FEATURE :: MAPLE SMOKED
 
Like our tea bushes, we've had to learn to flow with the ins-and-outs of each season, no matter what they bring. Much of the shared national identity is based on a vast geography and an intense variety of weather. Whether or not each citizen particularly enjoys this process of adaptability, it seems to be a trait we've all acquired. How we frame this experience is up to the individual - we thought it would look best in one of Margit's hand-built ceramic cups.

Inspired by a particularly difficult winter on this coast, Victor made our Maple Smoked tea from the adaptive Canadian experience. After deep cold and heavy snow, the first round of this tea was made with the frost-bitten leaves and branches of our tea bushes. A felled Big Leaf Maple on the property was harvested into chips, and cold-smoked with the hand-harvested and hand-processed tea leaves and twigs, resulting in a woodsy, roasted green, that finishes with a sweet, smoky maple linger on the palate. 

We now use more mature leaves and branches to form the structure of this Japanese-style Hojicha green tea; In each sip you can truly taste the deep terroir, paired with the warm comfort of an evening fire. As with our weather, this tea can be enjoyed hot or cold.

 

We hope you enjoy!