New Teas Newsletter

New Teas Newsletter
NEW TEAS + NEW HOURS!
 
With the holiday festivities just around the corner, we are opening our Teashop + Gallery to the public every day until December 23rd! We're trying to give all our local customers as much time as possible for those last-minute tea needs!

We're working hard to keep everything stocked up, beautifully wrapped, and ready to go - into stockings, gift baskets, or under the tree! Come by the Teashop to purchase tea, tea accessories, books, clay and more.

We also received a long-awaited shipment of new teas that we can't wait to show you. Scroll down for more!
 
But before you do...
For buying local, for supporting your communities, and for helping us and other small businesses get through an incredibly difficult year (emotionally and financially), from the bottom of our hearts:
Thank you!
Wishing you and yours a wonderful, warm winter season, wherever you may be, and the happiest New Year!

Margit, Victor, and the Westholme Team

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QUICK STUDIO UPDATE

I am so very thankful for your amazing support this year. Keeping up with demand has most definitely kept me on my toes.
I am getting ready to do one more glaze firing this year and expect to have a fresh round of mugs and cups ready just in time for Christmas. Once the kiln has cooled down and the pieces are ready to go, I will upload them onto the website and they will also be available for purchase in the teashop.

~ Margit ~

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NEW JAPANESE GREEN TEAS

 We've been (im)patiently waiting to finally and officially launch several newly imported teas, directly from Japanese tea farmers. Each of these teas is incredibly fresh, very high-quality, 100% JAS organic certified (Japanese Agricultural Standard), and ready for steeping.

Those who appreciate the classic Umami palate and grassy green freshness of Japanese Sencha, Gyokuro and Genmaicha teas will not be disappointed. These teas are often shade-grown for weeks and quickly steamed right after harvest, capturing the chlorophyll and antioxidants in each leaf, which give the leaves a deep and vibrant green colour and vegetal flavour.

We've also brought in two new Matcha selections - both are exquisite, and they have quickly become staff favourites. Never has there been so much Matcha whisking during lunch breaks.

 We can't wait for you to try them!

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SENCHA YAMABUKI

Tea made in the Sencha style is the most popular in Japan. This sencha from the Kagoshima prefecture is made with the tender first flush leaves of the spring harvest, which are quickly steamed to preserve the beautiful green colour and grassy, savoury flavour. The processing style of many Japanese teas results in steeps that are often categorized as 'umami', one of the five basic categories of human taste. This Sencha is a perfect encapsulation of that quality. Tasting Notes: The aroma of this sencha is carried by a slightly floral nose, paired with a toasted, thick softness. The palate has a creamy texture with gentle umami notes. There is almost no perceptible astringency, and a soft, savoury nutty flavour. The tea develops a mineral sweetness - almost a copper linger, with an astringent build and fruitier notes in subsequent steepings.

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GREEN KUKICHA KARIGANE SOUKUN

This Green Kukicha is made from a combination of Bancha (or second-flush) tea leaf stems, twig and stalks, harvested in Spring 2020. Unlike Roasted Kukicha, this tea is steamed like a traditional green tea to halt the oxidation process and maintain its rich and varied green hues. While the tea was initially combined with twigs and stems for the sake of frugality during difficult times, this composition gives it a unique, almost fruity flavour and aroma that has become popular and well-loved in Japan and internationally. Tasting Notes: When traditionally prepared, this tea balances both clarity and creaminess, savouriness and acidity. The first steep smells slightly floral, with a muted green freshness which develops in the flavour as the cup sits. The texture is creamy and smooth, while having a direct astringent wash on the mid-palate with slightly sweet mineral notes and a frank grassy freshness. The second steep delivers a bright, clearer taste and texture, with notes of citrus blossom in the aroma. The umami notes linger at the back of the tongue. 

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GENMAICHA YAMABUKI 

Ingredients: 1st Flush Sencha leaves, organic Hokkaido roasted brown rice This classic Japanese tea is a world-renowned combination of green tea leaves with lightly toasted grains of brown rice. While adding toasted rice was initially done with Bancha teas (‘last tea,’ a lower grade of green tea) to bulk up the quantity and lower the price for poorer members of society, the distinct warm flavour of genmaicha is now enjoyed across Japan and the world.


 Tasting Notes: The aroma of toasted sesame and an almost salty quality meets the nose. The palate starts with flavours of fresh cooked rice and toasted sesame seeds, developing a fresh green grassy brightness and a slight nutty notes. The second steeping is a bit sweeter, with less overall umami and creamy texture - the steep feels clear and more direct. A sweet mineral linger builds under the tongue. Creates a sense of fullness. Excellent paired with a savoury meal.

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GYOKURO MIZUUMI

This beautiful green is a quintessential high-quality Japanese tea in appearance and flavour. Shade-grown for 21 days before harvesting with the tunnel shading method to preserve the chlorophyll in the tea leaves - after being mechanically harvested and quickly steamed, the leaves are a deep and vibrant green, leading to a bright green cup during steeping.

Tasting Notes: The epitome of a high-quality, classic umami. The nose is quite vegetal, with a sweet undertone. The texture of the cup is quite thick and creamy, the flavour surprisingly reminiscent of cooked legumes. When prepared with the Japanese brewing style, there is no astringency at all to the steep, which is a nearly opaque jade colour. The linger is smooth and lengthy, and the cup is filling. Excellent paired with a meal.  

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MATCHA KEIKE

Made from the premium, shade-grown Tencha tea leaves, this second harvest matcha is carefully and freshly ground through a traditional stone mill. The depth of flavour and sweet vegetal qualities make this matcha excellent for drinking (prepared traditionally in a tea bowl, or mixed in smoothies, lattés, etc) and for culinary explorations.

Tasting Notes: The aroma of the prepared matcha is a fresh, sweetly toasted rice, which develops a pleasant kelp finish. The creamy texture and savoury-sweet nutty flavour carries the palate through a complex astringent depth on the sides of the tongue. Develops a clear, mineral linger with vegetal qualities.

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MATCHA KOTOBUKI

An exquisite, incredibly fine Ceremonial-grade Matcha. Made from the first flush of tencha leaves (tea leaves that are covered and shade-grown before harvest) on the Kirishima mountain range. Once harvested, the leaves are quickly steamed to preserve their incredible colouring, flavour, and antioxidants before their stems are removed. This matcha is traditionally stone-ground to order in Japan before it is sent to us.

Tasting Notes: A sweet pine-nut aroma precedes the tea. The thick, incredibly silky texture of the prepared matcha immediately coats the palate with the smooth, creamy flavour of fresh cashews and green spring grasses. When prepared correctly, there is no perceptible astringency. The linger is a gentle, slight umami paired with clear mineral notes on the back of the tongue.

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BAMBOO MATCHA WHISK

This traditional Japanese matcha whisk, also known as a chasen, is used to mix and froth powdered matcha into water (hot or cold), breaking up the powdered tea leaves to create a smooth consistency and to release the tea’s exquisite flavour.

Used in traditional tea ceremonies to this day, this handy tool is essential for matcha consumption, and 100% Biodegradable.

If you also need a tea bowl, matcha powder, a matcha whisk and/or a matcha spoon, you can purchase them on our website separately, or all together in our Matcha Gift Set.