Tea and Travel, World Tea Expo

Anticipation! World Tea Expo 2011, June 24th – 26th

When I attended World Tea Expo in 2010, it opened a world of possibilities. I was completing my studies at Toronto’s George Brown College Tea Sommelier program and a relative newbie to the commercial universe of tea. It was exciting and exhilarating to be near the greatest “tea minds” in the world! I had a chance to hear and ask questions of author and educator Jane Pettigrew, tea guru James Norwood Pratt and tea industry professionals. It was a heady […]

Tea Cuisine, Tea Culture

Makeover: The Common Violet gets Sugared and Iced

The Common Blue Violet, Viola Papilionacea is native to Eastern North America. Hundreds of species of violet are found throughout the world. In Europe it has been valued for centuries and in Ancient Greece they were thought of as a symbol of love. Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist of the first century recommended a garland of violets around the head to prevent dizziness and headaches. The Violet as Food In Southern Ontario, Canada where I live, Common Blue Violets […]

Tea Culture, Tea Knowledge

The Top Ten: #9 Wuyi Rock Oolong

Another Oolong makes the list!   At number 9, Wuyi Rock Oolong originates in Fujian province as does Tie Guan Yin, but from the other side of the river, – that is, the Min River. It is known as a Min Bei tea or North of the Min River. Wuyi Shan: Unesco World Heritage Site There’s no point in discussing this tea without first considering the region where it is grown. Here is one of the best examples of how tangled […]

Style and Design

The Roaring Twenties

If you love the era that brought women the right to vote, a release from the corset and shorter skirts, you will want to visit  The Bata Shoe Museum’s latest Exhibit – The Roaring Twenties: Heels, Hemlines and High Spirits. Suffragettes pave the way At the turn of the twentieth century, Suffragettes fought a long battle and endured jail time in North America and England to win the vote for women. They were ridiculed for their severe and some said […]

Globe-trotting, Tea and Travel

Tea in the Rockies

I have a nostalgia for anything related to the Alberta Rockies, specifically Banff, as I spent two of my early adult years in the town. When I discovered Natur’el Teas at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto I knew that I would be fashioning a feature post around their story. A Rocky Mountain Original Jolene Brewster is a 4th generation Rocky Mountain original – the Brewsters. Her great grandfather and uncles were frontiersmen who arrived in the Kananaskis […]

Tea Cuisine, Tea Culture

Keemun-Infused Dumplings?

Much has been made lately of the culinary value of tea. I have cooked Lapsang Souchong chicken with a degree of success, Matcha shortbread was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and now I’m experimenting with Keemun, also known as Qimen. This is my favourite black tea. Honoured in the tea world as “The Burgundy of Teas”, its smokey flavour is less pronounced than Lapsang and it has a lingering malty depth that ends on a rich sweet note. It was developed in AnHui […]

Tea Culture, Tea Knowledge

The Top Ten: #10 Tie Guan Yin Oolong “Iron Goddess of Mercy”

As one of the most popular teas in China, Tie Guan Yin Oolong qualifies for ‘top ten’ of Famous Teas of China. This list varies, depending on what you read, but generally it’s based on the number of published mentions the teas receive and their popularity at the time the list was compiled. Originally the list comprised of Tribute Teas which often have a famous sacred location, water source and/or legend attached to them. Tribute teas would have been presented […]

Social History of Tea

Sipping and Spritzing with Yardley of London

Why would The Tea Stylist be attending and reporting on an event where fragrance was the focus? Because tea played a starring role! It all began when pr maven Desia Halpin Brill of Brill Communications hired The Tea Stylist to host a tea salon in honour of a transatlantic visit from Yardley of London‘s Managing Director, Quentin Higham. Yardley Honours the Royal Wedding While Yardley, which holds two Royal Warrants, reacquainted their guests with classics, Lavender and Lily of the […]

Style and Design

Inspired and Original – Teaware

The One Of A Kind Spring Show visited Toronto recently and The Tea Stylist was on a mission to find hand-crafted teaware. We walked the aisles from A to Q and found some lovely artisan ‘objets’ that I’m sure you will appreciate. Porcelaines Bousquet, Quebec First stop was Porcelaines Bousquet Spotted: a beautiful classic porcelain teapot designed by Quebecker Louise Bousquet, who has been perfecting the art of white porcelain since 1975, including a term of study with Limoges!  The […]