We got to sit down with John Cheetham, a tea master making his rounds to educate and promote tea culture. Some interesting notes during the sit down:
- during training he drank up to 500 cups of tea a day
- there were over 10,000 different samples in a week during his time in Sri Lanka
Sampling and drinking tea requires more than just taste but the aroma, the visual and touching the leaves – he stressed that it was almost as important as taste. Blending teas he compared to cooking – balancing the flavours.
For PURELeaf, it is real brewed tea right in North America, produced in the US. When picking tea, they use the 2 leaves in the bud and minimally process the tea leaves. A lot can be said with tea leaves, if it’s coppery and bright, it has maintained it’s freshness. If it’s dark and dull looking, it is older and tastes old.
The process of making tea from stem to ready to serve takes less than 24 hours – starting with hot air withering, using brass plates to roll out the leaves, oxidizing, drying and sorting. For decaffeinated teas, the cleanest method to decaffeinate tea is through high pressure CO2, which is normally found on the bottle.
John also told us a bit of an origin story for Asian teas – an emperor was boiling water and some tea leaves accidentally fell in. He drank it and said it helped him focus, meditate and cleanse.
There are three flavours available in Canada: Unsweetened, Lemon and Raspberry.
The lemon is what you would typically expect from any product but the Raspberry and Unsweetened surprised me the most. I can’t say I’m a big fan of raspberry in teas – but I think I know why. For the most part, anything added to tea – especially iced – is extremely sweet and unenjoyable. However, this is a nice light flavour of raspberry that doesn’t feel like you’re drinking down a tonne of sugar.
I also really enjoyed the Unsweetened, as for the most part, I love drinking my tea unadulterated. It’s nice and refreshing because it’s cold and not too sweet. This is perfect for anyone trying to watch their sugar intake.
We got to pair the teas with delicious desserts from Ganache and also some Mink chocolates.
PURELeaf is available Canadawide in most grocery stores! Check em out next time you’re in the store!
Please note: I was invited by PURELeaf to this event and was not paid or required to write this review, all opinions are my own.