View Post

Kenya tea party: a photo essay by the Teaguy

In Tea by Brendan Waye2 Comments

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 fields went on for as ...
View Post

Phoenix Mountain Single Tree Oolong

In Tea by Brendan Waye1 Comment

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 then 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 then fan out, creating an umbrella-like canopy. The tea ...
View Post

Small scale Kenyan tea growers need your support

In Uncategorized by Brendan Waye2 Comments

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 bushes and tea tasting, ...
View Post

So you want to be a tea sommelier?

In Tea by Brendan WayeLeave a Comment

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 learning about the art ...
View Post

Tea for the ailing

In Uncategorized by Brendan Waye4 Comments

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, a little lost perhaps, stuck ...
View Post

Tea and chicken soup for the body and the soul

In Tea by Brendan WayeLeave a Comment

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, thankful that I got off ...
View Post

Bliss in discovery

In Tea by Brendan WayeLeave a Comment

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, my eye caught a glimpse ...
View Post

Empowering Kenya’s small-scale tea farmers

In Uncategorized by Brendan WayeLeave a Comment

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 teas I sell is Irish ...
View Post

The pushback

In Tea by Brendan WayeLeave a Comment

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 incorporated it into a Canadian ...