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FRESH DARJEELING FROM OKAYTI REGION

February 27, 2020

Brendan visits the famed Darjeeling region of India where they grow tea on over 100 acres at the estate.

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Denman Island Tea Winter 2020 – What’s Up With Us?

January 30, 2020

We hope this post finds you healthy, happy and hopeful for all the amazing opportunities that abound in 2020! For the new decade, a couple of great things have just unfolded here at Denman Tea HQ; NEW CHAI LATTE,  ISLAND STYLE Denman Island Tea’s new Chai Latte powder is an aromatic, H20 extracted, Indian black […]

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The Perfect Tea for a foggy day

October 4, 2019

Here in the Pacific Northwest it seems as though with the arrival of October the last warm breezes of summer somehow slipped away without even bothering to wave goodbye. The leaves are changing as quickly as our wardrobes and even on a sunny afternoon an iced coffee or chilled tea suddenly feel so out of […]

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3 REASONS WHY YOU’LL LOVE TEA LATTES

May 14, 2019

Are you trying to cut down on your coffee intake without hitting a wall? Or maybe you are keeping your morning cup of joe but are looking for new ways to add a nutrient boost to your favourite beverage. Well say hello to tea lattes! When you drink a tea latte instead of the traditional […]

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WHY YOU SHOULD BE SELECTIVE OF THE TEA YOU DRINK

April 6, 2017

When the CBC program Marketplace did an expose on pesticides used in the tea growing industry, all of us in the Specialty tea business were quite surprised to see the test results. Most of the top supermarket brands had up to 22 different chemicals detected on the leaves and in the brew. In some cases, […]

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SATURDAY SIPS

January 27, 2017

Organic Sun Dried Yerba Mate When I received Olivia’s request to do another tea segment for Global, I was clad only in undies, dangling a tuna carcass over the side of a boat off the shores of Key West. I had managed to attract 4 to 5 large sharks who were making coy, teeth glaring […]

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DEMYSTIFYING LOOSE LEAF TEA

June 3, 2016

We’ve all heard it. We’ve all tried to explain it. Sometimes the patron buys into your pitch about the merits of loose over bagged, but other times it can be like talking to a wall. You know what I am talking about here. You might be able to sell them on the quality and taste […]

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MOVE OVER JOE BAG, HERE COMES THE FULL-LEAF LADY

November 20, 2015

The stinging disappointment of poor tea service used to wash over me time and time again in the 90’s. I particularly remember a time many years ago when a friend and I were dining at a swanky steak house in Edmonton. I had suggested we cap off the exceptional meal with a nice pot of […]

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THE ADVENT OF BIG TEA

July 13, 2015

When the thought of tea jumps into mind, even in this day where the leaf seems to be cropping up everywhere, we think of quiet solitary times, times where you may have a slight chill penetrating your bones.  It’s now you realize that wrapping your hands around a mug of steaming tea is just about […]

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KENYA TEA PARTY: A PHOTO ESSAY BY THE TEAGUY

May 20, 2014

The team that taught the tea farmers how to make hand crafted tea. From left to right, Paul Bain, Ian Bain, Grayson Bain, Buddha Dev, Brendan Waye. The photo was taken in a small tea field, 15 minutes outside of Chavakali. One of Kenya’s numerous large scale tea gardens. In some areas, we noticed the […]

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PHOENIX MOUNTAIN SINGLE TREE OOLONG

April 25, 2014

During April in North Guangdong province at an altitude of 4,500 feet, 100-year-old Oolong trees are harvested for their young shoots, which are than oxidized to 45%, fired under medium heat, and meticulously crafted all along the way. These single-branch cultivars from Chaoan County’s infamous Phoenix Mountain grow straight up and than fan out, creating […]

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SMALL SCALE KENYAN TEA GROWERS NEED YOUR SUPPORT

October 16, 2013

As a guest, and resident tea sommelier for JusTea, I am finally heading out for my first trip to the Kenyan tea fields after a successful launch of some of the country’s finest orthodox tea, a country that is legendary mainly for its CTC black tea. But this trip is not just about inspecting tea […]

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SO YOU WANT TO BE A TEA SOMMELIER?

October 4, 2013

Sommelier, Tea Master, Tea Tender, Tea Specialist, there are most likely a few more monikers folks can acquire in the course of their careers as professional tea purveyors. Personally, I would never call myself a tea master.  In a lifetime on this planet sipping the leaf, I would still be a novice, still growing and […]

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JUSTEA – A VANCOUVER-BASED SOCIAL JUSTICE PARTNERSHIP WITH KENYAN TEA FARMERS

June 11, 2013

A few posts ago, I talked about a tea venture I was involved with in Kenya. Things have been moving along with the project quite well, so I thought I would give you an update on current happenings. The tea venture about which I am speaking is JusTea, a non-profit partnership with small-scale Kenyan tea […]

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TEA FOR THE AILING

March 22, 2013

As the months fly by, and signs of spring slowly emerge from the warming earth, I pause for a quick glance back. What have I accomplished? Where (and how) have I spent my time? What do I have to show for my efforts? Is my life by design materializing? Or am I just wandering around, […]

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TEA AND CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE BODY AND THE SOUL

January 11, 2013

For the first time in more than four years, my body has succumbed to the seasonal flu virus. It’s really been about two decades since I have had a full-blown flu debilitate me for days on end. When others around me catch the bug and I witness how it affects them, I feel quite fortunate, […]

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BLISS IN DISCOVERY

December 14, 2012

I was strolling through Chinatown last weekend, killing some time while waiting for a client to open a nearby shop. During my stroll, I ducked into a herbal remedy store to smell and gaze at the myriad concoctions and dried stuff that filled every corner of the pungent shop. Over on one of the sidewalls, […]

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EMPOWERING KENYA’S SMALL-SCALE TEA FARMERS

November 14, 2012

When you can get good orthodox tea from Kenya, it tends to be exceptional. I have enjoyed numerous cups of Tinderet and Millima, and the odd cup of Kamba purple tea over the years and always asked myself why I do not drink more of this. As it turns out, one of the most popular […]

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THE PUSHBACK

October 12, 2012

Teaopia was a much better concept than Teavana from a customer’s perspective, although the idea for Teaopia was hatched after its founder was lured into a Teavana outlet at a Tampa megamall. With a keen eye for retail trends and a wealth of shopping-mall expertise, Teaopia’s founder took all that was good about Teavana and […]

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A TEA LIFE

September 13, 2012

As I sit here, this first Saturday of September in my back yard, trying to compose a coherent piece of tea prose, I initially (as often happens) come up empty-handed. So, I get up from the patio table and head indoors to find a cup of inspiration in my cluttered cupboard of tea samples. The […]

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WHEN LESS IS MORE

March 22, 2012

There are few consumer product sectors that, when reduced to their most basic form, offer you a significantly better experience. Imagine walking into a car dealership and telling the salesperson you want to buy new wheels with every bell and whistle available but were only prepared to pay their basic version price. You know full […]

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THOMAS LOVE

February 22, 2012

When my 7-year-old niece comes to visit, one of the things she loves to do is swim and drink tea with her uncle. Her first choice for a swim is the ocean, but up here in Canada in January, swimming in the sea is best left to polar bears and spot prawns,  not skinny little […]

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THE HUNT FOR THE PERFECT CULTIVAR

November 21, 2011

November is when the tea bush drops its hazelnut-sized seeds and withdraws into winter hibernation. It is the last hurrah of the growing season in the northern hemisphere for Camellia sinensis. As my tea plants recede into protection mode from the harsh winter temperatures, I lift my head up for a moment and restart my […]

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A CUP OF COMPASSION PLEASE

September 27, 2011

In the face of what on some days seems like a crumbling world, a planet in total chaos, we find ourselves retracting and hiding rather than confronting the fears that seem to be escalating around us. With daily catastrophes playing out in real life and in the media, it is easy to let fear creep […]

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WORRIED YOU MISSED THE BOAT?

August 23, 2011

In the 12 years since I opened my first tea lounge back on that hot, dusty day in Edmonton, I had a vision of an industry whose trajectory would replicate that of our darker cousin. I had the sense after less than a year in operation, that within the decade there would be such things […]

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BEING A PART OF THE SOLUTION

July 26, 2011

The increased use of loose-leaf tea in cafés and restaurants has been a most pleasing evolution to us tea aficionados. Not all cafés have dumped the stale bag for a better, fresher, more exotic offering, but the ones that have are indeed seeing an increase in the amount of tea they are selling. Simply by […]

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ON BECOMING A TEA FARMER

June 28, 2011

When the idea struck me some years ago that Camellia Sinensis might grow and possibly thrive on the west coast of Canada, I decided it would probably be best to keep it to myself. It was one of those epiphanies you get when you’re scrunched down in a muddy trench, reaching for a ripe bunch […]

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2011 ORGANIC WHITE PEONY ~ EXQUISITELY FRESH AND FRUITY

May 31, 2011

Some tea shops sell everything under the sun that is tea related, the be all-end all of tea, so to speak. Then there are other tea vendors who choose to sell only what they are passionate about, regardless of whether they have customers beating down the doors for that next, extra-fruity, aromatic candied rooibos infusion. […]

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BITTERSWEET TEA

March 24, 2011

I arrived at the office a little later than usual Friday afternoon and the box of Japan Sencha was waiting in front of the door. I had just purchased 55 pounds of the steamed leaf for my fervent customers. The whole lot was vacuum packed in a solid brick, the size of a small engine […]

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SHIPPING WATER AND SUGAR CROSS-CONTINENT – IT’S TIME FOR A SERIOUS RETHINK

February 23, 2011

I often find myself reflecting on the food industry, and in particular on the tea sector, as I have experienced it. I cannot help but deliberate on how we can move toward a greener industry, something that we can all do here in our own backyards, a better way of building our businesses so that […]

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SEEDS OF HOPE AND GRATITUDE

December 31, 2010

Quite a few posts back, I mentioned that I had this wild dream of starting a tea farm on Canada’s west coast. At that time, I was searching for suitable land to plant tea, which for the most part, thrives in warm damp climates. The west coast of Canada is definitely moist and, compared with […]

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TEA LATTE ART STEPS UP TO THE CUP

November 30, 2010

Latte art has become a very cool phenomenon in the coffee house industry.  With perfectly textured milk poured into rich espresso shots and finished with a barista’s insignia, it’s no wonder people line up for a latte made to perfection. Sadly, this care does not exist in tea cafes that serve up their repertoire of […]

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THE CANADIAN COFFEE & TEA SHOW AND A BREAKTHROUGH PRODUCT

October 1, 2010

I just spent the last three weeks preparing myself for our country’s biggest expo in the hot beverage industry.  Its a show I have been involved with for the better part of eight years.  During that time, the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show has evolved into an exciting and vibrant showcase of the latest trends […]

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THE POWER OF ENGAGEMENT, OR THE LACK THERE OF

September 3, 2010

The other day I stopped in at a relatively new coffeehouse downtown. I had heard pretty good things about it and they apparently served loose-leaf tea. I stepped through the door and walked into a very contemporary modern art space that was truly a gallery-slash-café. It was inviting, bright, and nicely furnished. The smell of […]

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TEA LATTE ~ A COMING-OF-AGE FOR AN AGE-OLD BEVERAGE

August 6, 2010

While traveling and enjoying the incredible weather up here in beautiful British Columbia this summer, I’ve taken notice of a growing trend percolating throughout this great province of ours. The menu boards in teahouses and cafés are now offering an incredible array of tea-based lattes. Even in some of the most off-the-beaten-track hovels, there is […]

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ZOOMING OFF TO VEGAS FOR THE FINAL STI COURSE

July 9, 2010

Rarely can you hop on a plane from Vancouver, fly directly down the coastline to LA, and encounter nothing but transparent skies. But during a recent spectacular four-hour flight, I was treated to such awe-inspiring highlights as the volcanic chain of snow-capped peaks starting at Mt. Baker in northern Washington and the majestic Mt. Rainier. […]

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ORGANIC TEA VS. QUALITY TEA

June 11, 2010

Shop owners are looking for it, customers are demanding it, and numerous gardens are working toward it. The future of organic tea production is looking very bright, yet there are still some issues to be explored. Paramount among them is whether or not we are compromising quality in switching to an organic line of loose […]

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SO LONG MY BROTHER, MY TRUSTED FRIEND

May 14, 2010

During my tenure on this planet, I’ve lost loved ones, close friends, and a few work mates. You grieve for them, you feel hollow for a time, and you experience deep sadness for sure. But when you lose your only sibling, your childhood buddy, you feel an immeasurable swath amputated from your being. My brother, […]

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GROWING TEA ON VANCOUVER ISLAND

March 17, 2010

I guess it was somewhat inevitable, my destiny so to speak. With the revelation that I possess a thoroughly green thumb and a lifelong love of the tea leaf in all its forms and manifestations, I now find myself on a land-buying quest for a dozen or so acres to attempt the cultivation of Camellia […]

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RATCHETING UP TEA QUALITY IN RESTAURANTS VIA TEA TRAINING VIDEOS

February 17, 2010

It was a chilly fall day in the 1990s in Edmonton when a group of my friends gathered to indulge our foodie nature in some wonderful eats. The restaurant was known for its succulent cuts of local Angus beef, aged to perfection and served up to your exact specification. We had duly filled ourselves and […]

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THE DECADE THAT TEA WOKE UP

January 15, 2010

May 3, 1999 Edmonton, Alberta. Steeps the Urban Teahouse opened its doors for business on a hot and dry prairie morning, 1000 square feet, 28 seats, 78 teas, 2 pies, 2 cakes, 3 kinds of cookies, date squares, and an antique sideboard where you could choose your very own tea cup to sip from. It […]

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DISCOVERING THE BEST TEA STEEPER

December 18, 2009

Over the years, I’ve read numerous reviews in various coffee trade magazines and on websites about what brewing devices make the best cup of coffee. Coffee-holics usually arrive at a similar place when they cup the strong brew in today’s conventional devices. If my memory serves me correctly, the French Press usually ends up on […]

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HOW TO DEEPEN YOUR ROOTS IN TEA

October 23, 2009

It floored me a little when I thought about it. Eleven years of all things tea and I had yet to visit an actual garden. They remained just images and visions, pictures that I have poured over for what seems like decades. Those pristine gardens of Japan where Fuji shimmers in the foreground; Darjeelings and […]

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MY JOURNEY IN TEA CONTINUES

July 8, 2009

When I was asked to move to Toronto and join Teaopia a little less then two years ago, it gave me great pause for thought. I hemmed and hawed and after several months of this and much discussion with the owner, my belongings and I left BC (British Columbia), and shared a U-Haul across several […]

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THE LIQUID VEGETABLE

May 19, 2009

I have to be completely honest and admit that I did not and could not drink Yerba Maté for the first seven years I was in the tea business. Unlike my brother, who liked it from the very first sip, I could simply not wrap my palate around that smoky, earthy bitterness. I tried my […]

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What People say about us

" I was in a pinch trying to look for a tea tasting set, they were very accommodating and helped me ship out a set right away! Received it in 2 days! Very friendly and very fast service, some lovely samples were given to me too! A+ all around, can’t wait to try out their teas! 🙂 "

Luciaa Yang

" This is the best tea I have ever had. The variety they offer is great, and once you find your favorites you will be hooked. The tea is strong and so flavorful. My extended family are now ordering from Denman Island Tea as well, we all love it! "

Sidsel Richmond

" I read about The Denman Tea folks in a blog where the author listed her top 10 Chai blends; carefully articulating all of them… I assumed all the businesses were in the USA (let alone a small Island in Canada on the opposite coast). I tried 3 of them including Denman. Denman was easily the best in my opinion. Good thing I ordered the Red Rooibos as well as it was equally impressive. Only issue was the time it took to reach me in NYC. Maybe 25 days or so. Guess I better order more now before I run out! "

Brandon Remson

" Best Iced Tea I’ve ever had” – said my daughter!!! 🙂 SO good we went back and got another on the way back from Hornby!!! 🙂 Loved the waffles too! YUM!!!! Perfect snack/treat waiting for the ferry! "

Jon Stevens

" Best tea ever! The cream earl Grey and London fog latte loose leaves are absolutely delicious. It?s always a highlight of my morning 🙂 "

Charlotte Grant

" I have been searching for a reliable tea supplier for decades and can now say with all confidence that the Denman Island Tea Company is the best! All my orders have been shipped in a timely manner and the product is always of the best quality. The owner and staff are true pros and passionate about tea. The best part of my day is when I sit down to my pot of Denman Island Tea! "

Roland Koreman

" Amazing tea. Much better than David’s tea! Ginger Fresh is my favourite. It has the right amount of burst of sweetness to balance the zest from ginger. Also, My mom loves Chamomile tea.She was amazed at the quality compared to the ones sold at the regular stores. "

Addie A.

" Great little stop for a quick bite. Really cosy place. "

Jimmy yediaz

" I’ve been ordering amazing tea from The Denman Island Tea Company for several years now. (Sorry for taking to long to finally write a review!) I’ve traveled to almost 30 countries all around the world and try Chai lattes wherever I go, but still my favourite is the Tipus Chai Latte that I buy from The Denman Island Tea Company! Their London Fog Latte Blend is my next favourite tea. Besides tasting incredibly delicious, the quality of their teas AND their service are both top-notch. With confidence I recommend this company and their amazing teas, believing that they will not disappoint! (Warning: you might get hooked though! 😉 ) "

Marilyn Ongkili

" I order online from them and always get great teas! When I worked in a local cafe, they were our first choice for high quality loose teas and matcha! Highly recommended. "

Amanda Venner

" I?ve actually never been to the physical store but have had outstanding interactions with the website and the store personnel when I had to call. Those are all good reasons to shop them but for me, it?s absolutely all about the tea: Fukamushi Pear. I?m not a big tea drinker, never been. And never even liked fruit-flavored tea, yuck! All that changed when I walked into a cafe on a rainy day in Vancouver. I was mesmerized at first sip. What is this tea? Where is it from? Since then, I?ve placed multiple orders, given bags to friends and because special brewing steps are needed, bought a kettle that allows for pre-setting temperature for myself. It?s the only tea I would drink and it?s a moment of zen whenever I take that first sip. "

Rena Lemus

" I love tea!! My favourite tea is Cream of Earl Grey from Brendan Waye (TeaGuy). I started purchasing the tea years ago when the warehouse was located in North Vancouver. The tea quality and the tea tasting experience is exceptional! "

Marilyn Miles

" Tarry Lapsang is my new favourite!! Delicious "

Wendy Massey

" Amazing tea with super fast shipping! Thank you! "

Klara McCarthy

" very cozy place! there are so many delicious teas! "

Sveta A.