Handcrafted – Organic – Exotic – Small Tea Growers
All the things that catch our attention – right?
How do we honor those who honor the leaves?
How do we support those who are supporting the artisans and the artistry of tea? We all say we respect the ‘little guy’ that holds steadfast to maintaining traditions – the ones who show reverence to the plant and to the earth – the ones choosing age-old, hand-crafted techniques over the modern and mechanized methods – but do we?
Do we buy their products? Do we educate others and ourselves? Do we help them get their products to North Americans, and if so, how?
I’m inquiring aloud because I’ve been asking myself the same questions. I’m sure many of you have been approached by companies from all over the globe and some of you are in a position to offer or provide help. However, with one of the companies that has asked me for help and took the time, and expense, to ship their tea samples to me, I feel at a loss.
This is from their website: “India has been known for centuries, to possess an eclectic collection of exotic and hidden flavors when it comes to tea. Our endeavor is to explore this magical land, seek out the best, most exclusive flavours from small tea growers. To bring the best of teas, to your fingertips, while enabling these artisan farmers to reach the global markets they deserve to be seen in.
These ‘master tea-men’ are not enamoured with newfangled, chemical ways of cultivation, but continue their established age-old methods of farming their land. This was an amazing bonus to us on our mission – to have access to mesmerizing flavours that are completely untainted and organic. We associate only with such artisans.”
You will find them at www.avetea.com and you will discover an exquisite website; very tastefully done – with a masterfully told story – and please do yourself a service by clicking on the photos of tea. There are only eleven teas and I’ve tasted them all, but I do not feel qualified to evaluate them properly – just keeping it real!
I will bring your attention to the BLUE EXOTICA because it is just so gorgeous to behold! As for taste – there isn’t much – as for drama and excitement – it’s loaded! Here is what they have to say about the Pea Flower: “The flowers of the Blue Pea plant have been used for centuries in Asia for its medicinal properties. Rich in essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron manganese and sodium, this brew possesses antioxidant benefits, benefits for diabetes, brain function enhancement, anti-aging qualities, anti-inflammatory, fatigue buster, pain reliever, soothes ulcers and is beneficial for women’s uterine health, too. When brewed, it offers a cup of irresistible indigo, a tantalizing delight to all the senses.” Also known as Butterfly Pea, Bluebellvine, Cordofan Pea, Darwin Pea, Asian Pigeonwings, and by its botanical name: Clitoria ternatea; you just might have to check that out on your own.
At the time I tasted the small sample, I didn’t know to add lemon to it to see it’s color change, or I’d have surely done that! It is supposed to turn into a vibrant violet color and if you add hibiscus petals, it’s said to turn bright red. How’s that for drama and excitement – and I was thrilled just by the blue!
I can say that the other teas were all skillfully handcrafted, looked extraordinary and tasted exceptional. The Smoked Exotica: a black tea tightly packed into bamboo and smoked for four years – I will share with you next time. Since I am not a big fan of smoky teas and have been waiting to share this tea with someone who is – I will take photos and share that experience with you separately. Do have a look at some of their other teas.
For the delightful men that contacted me from India, Abhishek Sircar, and Kamal Sinha, they’ve been incredibly patient and eagerly awaiting my feedback. I do not wish to disappoint them, nor do I wish to do them a disservice, so I’m reaching out to my tea community.
I don’t buy tea to sell, so therefore I feel I am limited in my ability.
For any of you that are curious, and wish to reach out to these gentlemen, you will be able to do so from their website. They sell their sample packages from their website, as well. They plan to have North American distributors in 2019. Will it be any of you?