CASA DEL TÈ
Via Collinia 84 • 6612 Ascona
+41 91 791 43 00 • casa-del-te.ch
In 2002, herbalist Peter Oppliger established a trial plot of 120 tea plants on Isola Grande, the larger of the two Brissago Islands that lie in the vast azure waters of Lake Maggiore near Ascona, southern Switzerland. Soon after, Oppliger planted 1,400 baby tea plants at Ticino on the slopes of Monte Verità to create a small Japanese tea garden, a tranquil place of peace and harmony that does not aim to produce a commercial crop each year but draws joy and pleasure from its role in teaching the values of tea and tea culture. Inside Casa del Tè, the garden’s Loreley tea house, visitors may take part in performances of the Japanese Tea Ceremony and visit the little tea museum and shop. Brissago Island is still home to its original plants, and in 2012, another 1,000 seedlings were planted at a third garden at Terreni alla Maggia in Ascona.
Contributing Editor Jane Pettigrew is an international tea expert, who has written many books on the subject. A former tearoom owner, she is a much sought-after consultant to tea businesses and hotels, a conference speaker, and an award-winning tea educator. She appears on the Queen’s New Years Honours list and is a recipient of the British Empire Medal for Services to Tea Manufacture and History.