Westholme Tea Company celebrates 10 years

This year marks a decade since the first 200 Camellia sinensis (tea) bushes were planted on the slopes of the Westholme Tea Company property.

To commemorate the anniversary, on the 10th day, of the 10th month, of the 10th year of growing Canadian Tea (10 October 2020), Westholme Tea Company will be officially launching new creative products from both of its co-founders.

From Margit, the official and permanent re-opening of The Gallery at Westholme, plus a brand-new series of ceramic works fresh from the kiln. And from Victor, a new and extremely rare, limited-edition Westholme-grown Tea — #10 Reserve Black — a tea made from the finest, most delicate pluck of the tea bushes this year.

Co-founders Margit Nellemann and Victor Vesely took a leap of faith those ten years ago into the world and art of tea-growing and tea-making. Without anyone to consult about the specific nature of their business, as there were (and still are) no other commercial tea growers in Canada, Margit and Victor cared for the new plants while thoroughly researching, and reportedly crossed their fingers as each subsequent Canadian winter passed through the Cowichan Valley. Even after getting the plants in the ground, there was no assurance of their investment— they had to wait six years for the tea bushes to grow and mature enough for their first harvest. This did not include the time and experimentation needed to begin mastering the art of tea- making, either.

Those who know tea are aware of its slow nature.

In its growing, making, and enjoying, tea is best described as an ever-evolving process, and a meditative one— a series of thoughtful motions requiring patience, pause and attention. Westholme’s Camellia plants reportedly had to steep their roots deep into the layers of earth that make up Westholme’s terroir, acclimating to weather, pests and elevation. Their flavour is a direct expression of their home and careful handling.

As the hills were converted from a vegetable farm to tea slopes, the change spread outward. The old dairy barn on the property evolved into an expression of Margit and Victor’s collaborative and artistic selves—a place to share their passion for tea and art with each other and with the community. The main portion of the barn became The Westholme Teashop, where customers could buy organic imported pure teas and organic artisanal tea and tisane blends to take home. And finally, four years ago, they could also take home a pouch of Westholme Canadian Tea, grown in the earth merely feet from where they stood.

As a thank you from Westholme, the company states it wants to extend an invitation to its community to celebrate this milestone with them, virtually or in-person. To comply with physical distancing guidelines and to avoid a crowd, Westholme is holding a staggered event from 10-20 October with new products being made available each day of this event in its Online Store and in its Teashop. Westholme is also holding a daily giveaway over the ten days.

For more information, visit: www.westholmetea.com.

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