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The Race for Oriental Beauty: Bai Hao

26 November 2014

at 15:46 by Seb

image 4

A choice few of our teas are selected from samples following the return of our four tasters annual buying trips to Asia. This is the case with Bai Hao which is typically produced once Hugo has returned.

After many visits to Hsinchu,  the region of production of these Oriental Beauties, Hugo has forged a solid network of relationships with some select producers. This has helped both diversify our range and access the intricacies of production and transformation of these highly prized teas. With the constant expansion of the domestic economies of China and Taiwan a vast increase in the demand for such luxury products has had a strong effect on the prices of these teas.  We have seen a similar effect we have seen with white tea, black tea and Pu Er teas in recent years.  Thus the elegant Bai Hao has become the victim of its own success.The artisans that make these fine teas find their crops selling so rapidly and increasingly pre-sold before their production!

imageThough it would be nice to have the time to taste the selection of carefully packaged samples that are sent to our attention, it is actually a race against the clock. Sometimes our preferred lot has already vanished to a competitor. Now more experienced, we work with several sources to give us a better range of comparison. The goal remains to find a Bai Hao that is sure to please, at a reasonable price.

This year we invite you to discover two batches of Bai Hao, a solid classic and another that ranked ‘Three Flowers Grade’ in the annual Bai Hao competition, both are from the highly skilled producer Mrs. Lin.

Competition Teas – miXtea

6 November 2014

at 9:56 by François Marchand

mixthe-officiel

Many thanks to all who supported and followed the events of ‘miXtea 2014’ either on social media or in person at the events of Québec City and Montréal.  We trust it was as rewarding for you as it was for us to receive our guest producers and tasters from Taiwan.

Our friends have now returned to Taiwan, leaving us with great memories and a few spectacular teas!  During the conferences we discussed the famous Luku Competition. For many years we have been working on accessing these classic style Dong Dong teas for the catalogue.  This year we took things to another level and managed to aquire 3 different lots from the 2014 competition among the top teas of the 5800 entered.

The Dong Ding 3 Blossom: a mention for the top 20% of the teas entered.
The Dong Ding Premium Grade from the top 2% of the entries
The Dong Ding Premium Grade Special Mention #9 Of all the teas graded the top ten will be given this special mention and numbered 10 up to 1.  We are offering the ninth in this very exclusive rank.

To better explain the methodology and classification of the competition we have drawn up this graphic (only available in french).

tableau-competition

There are two rounds of initial tasting. Those teas with an ‘A’ grading will pass to the second round of evaluation.  The teas will be re-evaluated 3 times before the judges  determine their classification.  For 14 days 35 judges will taste thousands of teas, averaging over 300 each day.

Finally we offer you the chance to taste some of these precious leaves…

In extra, here are a few pictures of the mite event…

Évelyne Rivest Savignac – WINDOW TO THE GARDEN

3 November 2014

at 4:08 by Seb

vere raku vert- copie

It was a trip to South America that motivated Evelyne Rivest Savignac to register at the Quebec school of professional arts  when aged just 17. “Three years of passionate study! ”

Her motto since the beginning: “conceiving of a piece with a unique aspect to the work”. This process, which animates the ceramicist takes time, patience and passion. For, beyond the turning and firing, there is in all her creations a mastery of detail and finishing. She sculpts, paints, overlays different glazes, plays gracefully with reliefs and metallic lustres. “My happiness is in the simple act that is necessary in order to outline the flower or leaf, to add this feature here or there to balance the final layout. ”

eve promontoir chili

Colour is also as important in the ceramic of Evelyne Rivest Savignac. The vivacity of hues and contrasts used, especially for raku pieces, distinguishes her work at first sight. The result is small pieces with delicate allure that will add brightness to your day. The ceramicist describes her pieces of this style in a very fair and poetic way: “(…) windows overlooking the garden, on a piece of branch, a corner of the imagination …”

With many years of experience, the artist understands that the way is as good as the destination: “Creating material from minerals, fire and love of beauty, it is a crazy adventure that brings many joys and also some terrible disappointments. So many parameters to arrive at the hoped for piece.  It is necessary to remain very humble. And find deep joy in the act of creation and not what the result maybe … ”

LOCAL POTTERS

Meet the Quebec artisans who are passionate about the objets and art of tea. Every four months, pieces by a different designer will be presented in this unique showcase, giving you the chance to enjoy the great quality and diversity of the work of some of our local potters.

 
 

special collection

Welcome to the Special Collection
Here you will both find Teaware and Teas created by some of Asia’s most talented craftsmen.

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