Exclusive Jane Pettigrew’s World of Tea Excerpt and Discount

Tea bushes sparkle with frost at Westholme Tea Company, North Cowichan, Vancouver Island, Canada. Photograph courtesy of Victor Vesely, Westholme Tea Farm

Tea found its way into what is today Canada with the Hudson Bay Company in the 18th century. Granted a royal charter by England’s King Charles II in 1670, the company traded fur from Hudson Bay to customers in London and Europe. As commercial operations grew, the company started selling coffee, tea, alcohol, and food through its trading posts. Canada’s first tea was planted in the mid-1950s at St. Vincent’s Tea Plantation in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. The plants did not survive, and horticulturalists have always maintained that Canada’s west coast is too cold and damp for tea. However, Van Dusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver has grown tea plants since 1983, and Canada has one established tea farm on Vancouver Island and another experimental plot on Denman Island that lies between mainland Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

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