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A cup of compassion please

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In the face of what on some days seems like a crumbling world, a planet in total chaos, we find ourselves retracting and hiding rather than confronting the fears that seem to be escalating around us.  With daily catastrophes playing out in real life and in the media, it is easy to let fear creep into our consciousness and immobilize ...
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Worried you missed the boat?

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In the 12 years since I opened my first tea lounge back on that hot, dusty day in Edmonton, I had a vision of an industry whose trajectory would replicate that of our darker cousin.  I had the sense – after less than a year in operation – that within the decade, there would be such things as “corporate teahouse ...
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Being a part of the solution

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The increased use of loose-leaf tea in cafés and restaurants has been a most pleasing evolution to us tea aficionados.  Not all cafes have dumped the stale bag for a better, fresher, more exotic offering, but the ones that have are indeed seeing an increase in the amount of tea they are selling.  Simply by adopting a loose-leaf tea program ...
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On becoming a tea farmer

In Tea by Brendan Waye1 Comment

When the idea struck me some years ago that Camellia sinensis might grow and possibly thrive on the west coast of Canada, I decided it would probably be best to keep it to myself.  It was one of those epiphanies you get when you’re scrunched down in a muddy trench, reaching for a ripe bunch of blueberries that are just ...
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2011 Organic White Peony – exquisitely fresh and fruity

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Some tea shops sell everything under the sun that is tea related – the “be it all, end all” of tea, so to speak.  Then there are other tea vendors who choose to sell only what they are passionate about, regardless of whether they have customers beating down the doors for that next, extra-fruity, aromatic candied rooibos infusion.  I am ...
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Bittersweet tea

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I arrived at the office a little later than usual Friday afternoon and the box of Japan sencha was waiting in front of the door.  I had just purchased 55 pounds of the steamed leaf for my fervent customers. The whole lot was vacuum packed in a solid brick – the size of a small engine block and almost the ...
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Seeds of hope and gratitude

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Quite a few posts back, I mentioned that I had this wild dream of starting a tea farm on Canada’s west coast.  At that time, I was searching for suitable land to plant tea, which for the most part, thrives in warm damp climates.  The west coast of Canada is definitely moist and, compared with the rest of the country, ...
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Tea latte art steps up to the cup

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Latte art has become a very cool phenomenon in the coffee house industry.  With perfectly textured milk poured into rich espresso shots and finished with a barista’s insignia, it’s no wonder people line up for a latte made to perfection. Sadly, this care does not exist in tea cafes that serve up their repertoire of lattes.  Inconsistency in preparation, weak ...
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The Canadian Coffee & Tea Show … and a breakthrough product

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I just spent the last three weeks preparing myself for our country’s biggest expo in the hot beverage industry.  It’s a show I have been involved with for the better part of eight years.  During that time, the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show has evolved into an exciting and vibrant showcase of the latest trends in our industry. This year’s show ...