Food & Drink » Food News

Table scraps

Something new brewing



I am an official tea granny.

You won’t find knitted cozies on my teapot or boiling kettles in the shape of a fish on my stovetop, but I do enjoy my fine china, with each pot and cup yielding a story behind it.

All of my teacups with saucers are different. Some wear country images of yellow roses and green lace trim while others are more majestic, with black bands and gold.

Most were given to me by my Nana Wright, often at Easter, with chocolate eggs filling the cup wrapped in coloured cellophane with a bow.

Nothing matches, including my great grandma’s teapot wrapped in raspberry ribbons or my dainty blue flower garden teapot — a birthday gift made rare by having it picked out by my dad (not my mom who usually does the birthday shopping).

So each little cup, clattering on its saucer in my always-shaky hands, or teapot, whose inside is stained brown with so many pours, steeps more than just tea. It steeps tradition, family and an owner that knows how to make a proper cup of tea.

That is why I was so excited when I met Isabelle Ranger; not only could my china have an identity and a special story behind it, but my tea could as well.

Whistler now has its own tea company.

Ranger decided to close the doors on her medicinal herb shop in Creekside and open the tea pot on her own Whistler-based tea business, called Namasthe Tea Co.

She launched the new outfit at the Artisan Market at Cornucopia last month.

She produces certified organic whole leaf wellness teas. Teas such as EchinaChai bags ayurvedic spices as well as a boost of Echinacea. The Namasthe chai is a warming tea with cinnamon, cardamon and black pepper. Other teas cool the body — Mountain Mint is made with spearmint and peppermint — while others calm the mind with Savasana’s lemon and chamomile.

While more evenings than I like are reduced to large mugs of tea with Mighty Leaf tea bags sitting sloppily in a clump to the side, I broke out my blue rose tea pot with my pink freckled milk and sugar dishes for Namasthe’s Fresh Tracks Breakfast tea. The name and tea pouch illustration of a snowy Inukshuk on top of Whistler Mountain are obviously marketing choices. But when I taste the fragrant black tea, it could be a taste choice as well. For a tea granny, this is the equivalent to fresh tracks: awakening and fresh, only you get to be warm.

Further warming your heart, the tea company donates 8 per cent of its profits to global sustainability, health and wellness causes including the B.C. SPCA, WWF, The Land Conservancy, Planetair Carbon Offsets, Friends of Ayurveda, American Botanical Council and the American Herbalists Guild.

Their travel mugs are also 100 per cent biodegradable and recyclable.

Namasthe will be available at local grocery stores at roughly $10 a box as well as local restaurants, cafes, spas, yoga studios and hotels in the near future.

Until then, it’s a tea party for one with Namasthe Tea, whose whole leaf teas are as story worthy as the teapots I pour it from.