The tea world’s eyes are glued to Cowichan Valley of Canada.
Four years ago Victor Vesely and Margit Nellemann planted 200 tea plants on their 11 acre farm. This year coming tea harvesting season the plants will arrive at their maturity. That means this spring will be their first harvest.
If successful, it will be Canada’s first tea.
There is a lot riding on that first sip of tea. If it tastes great Canada can expect to see exponential growth in the tea industry.
What’s the big deal?
Just by being Canada’s first tea harvest is a huge deal. But there are other intriguing things at play here.
The most intriguing thing for me is that if Vesely and Nellemann are successful, it means they have created a very hearty and unique kind of tea.
Tea growing relies greatly on terroir – how the geography, geology, and climate work together to create a unique balance optimum for plant growth and sustainability. Tea plants have been widely known for needing tropical climates with heat, humidity and rain year round.
Canada certainly doesn’t have that with their weather extremes – dry summers and snowy winters. Very similar to the South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas center of the United States in my opinion.
That doesn’t make Vesely and Nellemann’s tea growing project doomed from the start though. Extreme fluctuations in temperature and rainfall totals can be really hard on the tea plants themselves, but such severe climate changes could impact the tea’s flavor in a very positive way.
If that first sip is good, it will be a flavor that is unique only to Canada.
Should be a unique experience and blend.
I, personally, can’t wait to find out how this turns out. If successful, could that mean there is a potential for growth for tea crop in the Midwestern US? Interesting thought.
But for now, I’ll have to wait patiently to try the result of Vesely and Nellemann’s 4 years worth of hard labor. I’ll be the first to stick my hand up to volunteer to taste it…in case they were wondering. 🙂
If you’d like to learn more about what Vesely and Nellemann are doing you can read an article about this topic and their other adventures HERE.
Happy steeping everyone!