2019 Travels : Our Tea Taster's Plans

March 14, 2019
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Spring has always been an exciting time for our team and our clients, as our experts leave Quebec for a few weeks to find new gems and bring back some of the freshest tea out there. As of the end of March, Camellia Sinensis' four tea tasters will travel all across Asia as to meet our beloved producers, set up new projects and return with some world class tea.

Here's what they can each expect over the next few weeks...

Kevin Gascoyne

Kevin will begin his annual trip in India at the Tea Studio, our experimental tea factory in order to meet the project partners, help produce some tea and collaborate on the development of new products. It will also be an opportunity to enhance the educational and touristic offer, as the Tea Studio will host a group of Americans tourists visiting for a few days. Our team is very excited to develop this side of the Tea Studio over the next few months. Kevin will also take part in meetings to help formalize the creation of a community-based project in which 1% of each sale will go to improve the village's infrastructure.

Following his stay in the Nilgiris, Kevin will then head to Darjeeling to look for some new teas as well as do research. He will also meet two up and coming industry players from the industry and help improve their plantation operation.

His journey to India will end in Kolkata, where he will visit the Earl Gray factory, meet the Tea Board of India to discuss the Tea Studio. He will make a quick stop in London before returning to Quebec to give a lecture at the UK Tea Academy. Stay tuned!

This year, Kevin will be accompanied by the African producer Alexander Kay (Satemwa, Malawi) with whom he's very excited to chat about tea factory.

Jasmin Desharnais

For his yearly spring travel in Yunnan, Jasmin will be accompanied by Laurence Lambin-Gagnon, a tea advisor at our store in Quebec City. Laurence is a huge fan of Pu Er, making him the perfect companion for this trip. They will both go on the hunt for some world class Pu Er which has become increasingly rare in Yunnan.

Jasmin will then head to Guizhou, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian. On the menu: create a new celadon collection in Longquan, acquire some new knowledge about green tea processing in Jingning and Anji, and visit a compostable glass factory.

Jasmin is particularly eager to make tea with producers this year, get a good feel for the leaves and dive into the tea processing techniques.

Intrigued by China? Read our recommendations for a memorable trip!

Hugo Américi

Hugo will visit Japan between May 6th and 17th along with his son Léo as well as François Marchand. They will visit some of the core research centers in region of Saitama with Mr. Miyano, producer of our Temomicha. The majority of the trip will then take place in Shizuoka, where they will meet our dear collaborators and friends from Sencha Nagashima (a 40 farmers cooperative) and award them with the 2019 Award of Excellence. To complete the 2019 Japanese tea menu, they will partake in many other tastings and visits.

They will complete their travels in Tokoname where they will meet some potters and pick out some of the gems that we will feature on-shelf this year.

On a side note, Hugo is particularly eager to show Japan and all it has to offer to his son!

François Marchand

François' trip will be quite different this year as he will accompany Hugo throughout the country of the Rising Sun. He hopes to seize through various photos and videos the beauty of the tea gardens and also to interview producers, artisans to create content for our platforms. He'll be equipped with a drone and a camera, so he's surely to have some fun while capturing what we're sure will be images to makes us all dream. While in Japan, he will take advantage of the opportunity to report on the matcha production in the Kyoto region, with our producer of Matcha Uji.

Do you have questions or requests for our tasters? Feel free to leave a comment under this article!