For the love of tea time
By Jenn Watt
Tea soothes. Tea invigorates. It can calm you down or wake you up. Hot or cold, day or night, it seems there is a tea for every occasion and every person – and the varieties are endless.
Which works out quite nicely for Lynda Wootton, owner of The Tea Cosy in Wilberforce. Wootton imports loose leaf tea and makes her own custom blends, which she sells online and in shops around the Haliburton Highlands.
Wootton has some 30 teas to choose from ranging from loose leaf green tea to her most popular blend, lavender lemon cream.
“It can be difficult coming up with a really good blend. I’ve been fortunate thus far to have most of them turn out quite well. It’s like creating a recipe,” she explains.
Besides the tea, Wootton also sells the accessories such as teapots, infusers and bags to make your own loose leaf concoctions on the road. Many of those are available at Abbey Gardens on Highway 118 near West Guilford, where several of her teas are also for sale.
Originally a decorator from Toronto, Wootton moved to Highlands East in 2002 and opened Cushion Cottager Gallery with the intention of one day adding a tea room.
“I heard about the Targeted Initiatives for Older Workers course at Fleming College,” she says. She enrolled in the program and at the end was given funding to pursue further education. She took marketing, social media and Quick Books, but needed to choose one more thing. On a whim she typed in “tea course” online and up popped George Brown College.
There she learned all about the tea industry including how to make a good cup of tea.
“You need to start with cold water and bring it to a boil,” she says. “For your green teas you don’t want boiling water because you can burn the leaf and it will have a burnt taste. It just depends on the type of tea. Loose leaf tea is a whole lot better than bag tea because you get less caffeine because the leaves are whole.”
Brewing time varies between teas – one to three minutes for green tea; three to five for black tea and five to eight for herbal teas.
The Tea Cosy’s specialty teas can be found at Abbey Gardens, Baked and Battered in Haliburton, J-Bean’s Cafe in Haliburton, Cafe Diem in Norland and Highland Meats in Gooderham. You can also go to theteacosy.ca for more.