black&white #40: Five ways to make your tea go further
5 min steep
Our high grade leaves can’t compete with supermarket prices. For one, we source teas from small-scale gardens and co-operatives where the land is respected and everyone from the farmers to the tea pickers are paid a proper wage. Two, our supply chains are short, and we usually buy direct from the garden itself or occasionally through one of our highly trusted intermediaries. Three, we’re a small, independent business that just can’t achieve the economies of scale that larger companies can – but are wholly committed to quality, sustainability and ethics.
Saying that, with the right knowhow, you can make your Canton leaves stretch much further – making your high grade habit more climate-friendly and much more affordable. Here’s how…
1. Reinfuse leaves
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Most of our tea leaves (and even some of our herbals, such as Canton Chamomile and Canton Botanical Calm) are of such a high quality that you can reinfuse them up to two or three times!
Once your tea is brewed to the desired level, strain off all the extra tea liquor into a jug so it doesn’t over-steep. Your leaves will then be ready to rebrew when you’re ready. And if you do over-steep the tea, don’t throw it away – just pour over ice and add a touch of your favourite natural sweetener (even milk if it’s black tea), and drink.
2. Buy in bulk
Because we supply some of the starriest hotels and restaurants in both the UK and further afield, we offer trade-sized packs. These are much more affordable than our smaller sizes as we’re able to save on processing and packaging costs. For example, a 1kg bag of loose leaf Canton English Breakfast comes in at 42% less than our 150g pack.
Just store in an airtight container (essential!) to keep the leaves fresh. Our Canton Caddy does just the job.
3. Switch to loose leaf
Unlike many others, our pyramid tea bags are plastic-free and made from cornstarch – which means they break down harmlessly with heat in a council food waste bin. But even so, we would be the first to say that because of the resources, energy and small amount of waste that go into producing, transporting and packing these pyramids, our loose leaf teas are still by far the greener choice.
What’s more, one cup of loose leaf Canton English Breakfast is around half the price of a cup made with a bag, so it’s much more affordable too. And yes, we know that tea bags seem more convenient, but once you’ve got the right kit there’s really not much in it. You just need a decent strainer or in-built infuser (not one of those fiddly ones on a chain) – and you’ll never look back.
4. Invest in temperature-controlled kettle
At risk of sounding like our deposed Prime Minister, if you’re a serious tea drinker, a temperature-controlled kettle can make a difference. That’s because unlike the dominant tea brands, most of our teas, herbals and blends should be brewed below boiling temperature. In the case of green teas, this drops to around 70°C.
Instead of needlessly wasting electricity boiling the kettle to 100°C everytime, a temperature-controlled kettle will allow you to heat the water only to the temperature you need. Plus, using the correct temperature water will vastly improve the quality of your brew.
5. Reuse your tea leaves
From cooking and compost to bath scents and eye masks, your old tea leaves can be reused in a variety of ways – and have been for thousands of years all over the world. Read our blog, 8 ways to reuse your old tea leaves, to get the full lowdown.