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THE STORY OF AN “AGED” YIXING TEAPOT

19 February 2013

at 12:13 by Seb

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Seeing an Yixing teapot develop gradually over years, the residue of each infusion on the porous interior, is a great pleasure to many tea enthusiasts. Part of the charm of repeated visits to Camellia Sinensis’ Teahouses is drinking a favourite tea in an increasingly seasoned teapot.

When we opened the Teahouse in Quebec in 2004, we selected a series of Yixing teapots to serve tea. Last month, after more than eight years of service (an estimated 20,000 infusions!) a teapot reserved exclusively for Darjeeling Teas was retired from the Tearoom.

There were mixed emotions among the staff as we put the pot on the shelf to be sold. To our surprise several clients showed interest immediately. New, this teapot was listed at $40, compared to some of the prices of aged pots we have seen in Chinese auctions our sale price of $200 was fairly modest.

A few days later Marco, whom we have known as a regular client from Montréal since 2000, noticed it. He leapt at the opportunity, and bought the treasured teapot. Once the staff learned who had bought it they were comforted to know that it would be in good hands.

Marco explained his connection with the teapot as follows:

“The acquisition of this teapot represents many years of visiting Camellia Sinensis and knowing the staff who handled this teapot with such care. The passage of time has left its mark on the clay in many ways and this brings me to contemplation and inner calm.”

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We wish him many great moments with this unique object!

Jasmin Desharnais

Earl Grey, a Time Honoured Classic

16 February 2013

at 9:21 by john

Citrus bergamia or Bergamot Orange
The Citrus bergamia or Bergamot Orange is a citrus fuit the size of a small orange with a lemon coloured skin.

No tea catalogue is complete without Earl Grey. Along with the likes of Jasmine Tea, Earl Grey is a time honoured classic, a natural complicity between the Camellia sinensis flavour profile and that of another plant.
Named after a British Prime Minister of the 1830′s, the Second Earl of Grey, there are several conflicting stories on how it originated. The Grey family’s own version tells of a Chinese blender mixing bergamot with black tea to counteract the heavy lime content in the water of Howick Hall, the Grey’s family seat in Northumberland. Entertaining the high profile world of politicians and high-society in London, Lady Grey developed enough interest that Twinings of London began to market it as a brand.

Over the last few years we have been gradually improving our own blend with the help of experts in Kolkata. The base tea is a full-bodied, slightly malty black tea from Dooars (Organic Fair Trade) at the base of the Indian Himalayas. The bergamot we have been using is a high grade, organic Italian bergamot from the Calabria region in the Province of Reggio.
The last batch that arrived from Kolkata a couple of weeks ago is our best yet, the two elements of fresh tea and bright, lively bergamot are distinctly present while in balance and harmony with each other.

 
 

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