If you haven’t seen the growth of interest in tea in Toronto, you must be living under a rock. From shops like David’s Tea to tea sommelier programs at schools like George Brown College and “designer” brands of teas, it’s definitely catching on by the mainstream.
Container of Sloane Tea’s Heavenly Cream, one of their most popular teas
Recently, I was introduced the Sloane Tea Company, a new line of teas with a very distinct, feminine feel. The brand, inspired by Sloane square in London, England and the perfumeries of France, was founded by Hoda Paripoush, who holds dual Canadian and American tea sommelier certification. There are 16 different teas in the collection, with varying tastes (the teas can be identified in six different categories: citrus, fresh, floral, spicy, sweet and creamy) and from different tea-producing regions – each tea is blended and scented based on principles of perfumery – Ms. Paripoush has been trained at the Studio des Fragrances in Grasse, France.
Ms. Paripoush actually travels and sources many of the teas herself. She has built a strong relationship with many of the top tea estates and holds exclusive North American rights to Indian teas from two of the world’s top estates, including Jungpana. I was able to try several teas at my meeting (paired with cheeses, no less!), including Jade Halo, Darjeeling 2nd Flush (this is amazing – medium bodied, and with a muscatel linger. It is the priciest in the collection at $38 and one of the teas that Ms. Paripoush has exclusive North American rights to) as well as Oolong Creme and White Jasmine, which we had iced.
The brand’s packaging is in tin, and designed to mimic china patterns. The colouring is distinctly feminine, with pale pinks, greens and purples and floral patterns are based on the tea’s origin. For example, patterns from a tea of Japanese origin may be based on a kimono while one of Indian origin might be from a sari. The tins are also vintage-looking, based on old perfume containers.
In addition to single caddies of loose leaf teas, Sloane also carries sampler collections as well as confectionery tea complements such as Sweet Violettas and Rococo Roses, which come directly from France. These sweet delights are great to to leave inside your cheek while sipping the tea or dropped into a cup for a fuller flavour. In fact, they are amazing for ice teas. Sloane Tea Company is currently available at stores including Red Letter, Sweetpea’s and Pusateri’s in Toronto, Lasting Impressions in Ottawa, Biscuiterie Oscar in Montreal as well as Crucus & Ivy in Saskatoon and The Stem & Petal Company in Fairview, Alberta. They will soon be launching curated collection at 90 Indigo stores across Canada.