We are lifelong tea drinkers.
Tea has always been a constant in our wonderful journey through this one unique life we get to live. From as far back as I can remember, the smell of brewing tea is like that favourite teddy bear, those pj’s that you wore till they were thread bare and the leather wallet that just wouldn’t fall apart -no matter how ratty it looked.
It started with the Inuit in the frozen arctic where it was impossible to escape not just one, but no less than 8-10 tea rituals a day. Strong, black, sweet, and sometimes milky, tea and a few pilot biscuits were served outside on the Coleman stove anytime & anyplace, despite the fact it was -47 C without the windchill. The tin mugs doubled as excellent hand warmers.
With the opening of Steeps – The Urban Teahouse in Edmonton in 1999, my path in tea took a professional turn. It was the first tea-only café in Canada and the naysayers gave me a few months before I would pack it in. Well, much to their surprise, Steeps thrived, and we went on to open 4 more locations in the next 4 years becoming the first multi-store tea café chain in the country.
Our infamous Karakorum Chai recipe which I painstakingly watched our basecamp cook make over many cold nights in a dimly lit tent grew into what is known today as the ubiquitous Chai Company Chai.
Ideally, if this were a perfect world, we would love to have a cup of tea with each one of you before you make a purchase from us. Sitting down for a cup of steeped leaves with close companions can be a truly connective experience.
This is really the way of tea, to be shared amongst friends and loved ones. With hundreds of years of goodness flowing from the cup, we encourage you to jump in and begin your marvelous tea journey with us.
FOUNDER & TEA BLENDER
As we co-exist and try to share this little blue sphere, all of us have constants in our lives. For some it’s a cup of coffee in the morning. For others it’s the sound of your mother’s voice on the phone, calling to wish you happy birthday. My longest is tea. It’s the first taste memory I have. Milky sweet black tea – most likely bottle fed to me by one of my Inuit babysitters in the high arctic.
I was 6 months old when my dad accepted a teaching position in Salluit – a remote Inuit village at the very tip of Northern Quebec. Tea is consumed all day, every day by the Inuit. It’s almost always ‘teatime’ as I recall. It was loose leaf, came in silver foil bricks from the Hudson Bay Co, and was always strong and most definitely sweet.
All that time has instilled in me a deep sensory connection to tea, with a ‘keep me awake at night staring at the ceiling’ dedication to that ever-better cup of tea. Perfection in a cup, so to speak. Is it achievable? 55 years on and I am still loving the beverage
I hope to one day produce that cup myself.
ADMINISTRATION & CUSTOMER RELATIONS
Wendy has enjoyed careers in finance, asset/data management, workflow process and customer service. “It’s all in the details” can be heard in our office since she has joined the Denman Island Tea Co. The tea business is fairly new to Wendy, but her love of tea is deeply engrained with fond memories and the belief that a good cuppa tea & toast with honey, can fix “almost” anything. Being an islander is nothing new, Wendy was once a resident of our neighbor island to the south ~ Salt Spring Island. As a foodie and an adventurous cook, she appreciates the endless possibilities/choices that the tea world continues to offer. Assisting all our clients with exemplary customer service is Wendy’s forte.
SHIPPING & RECEIVING
Semilla is one of those lucky people who have called Denman Island home since birth.
She was our first member of the team when we relocated our warehouse from Squamish to Denman.
Bright, cheerful and extremely hard working, Semilla looks after our shipping and receiving department. She is conscientious and efficient in making sure your tea orders are processed and shipped correctly and in a timely manner.