From Crop To Cup with Sloane Tea

In the past couple of years, drinking tea has become a sort of art form. With so many brands and flavours, it can start to get confusing! To keep up with this ever changing aspect of our industry The McEwan Group wanted to find the perfect tea list for Bymark, One and Fabbrica.

Enter Sloane Tea! Much like the McEwan Group of restaurants, they have a high regard for quality and beautiful presentation. Everything from their pyramid satchels that meet the need of consistency and the table-side Tea Sommelier chest create an elevated level of customer experience.

China Tea Ceremony

When speaking with Hoda Paripoush, Sloane Tea’s Director, I asked the one question that is probably the hardest to answer “what should people be looking for in a tea, what’s the best type of tea to drink?” and she answered brilliantly…”drink the tea that you love the most, because you will drink more of it and reap more of the benefits that the tea has to offer”.

Sloane Teas are affectionately referred to in the industry as “crop to cup”, meaning that the teas are based on a direct trade, having the shortest amount of time possible from the tea estate, where it is grown to the end user.

As an official Tea Sommelier (the first in North American to be accredited by both the American and Canadian institutions), Hoda helped each restaurant pick the right line up of teas based on the clientele’s preferences. But when looking at their entire line I asked Hoda what she would recommend for…

Relaxation?- The Rouge Provence is a completely caffeine-free and red rooibos-based, blended with French lavender and rose petals

Energy?- Sloane’s Heavenly Cream contains caffeine, it is a black tea with a smooth and robust flavour which is perfect in the morning of the early afternoon

Her Personal Preference?- The Earl Grey Classic and Heavenly Cream!

Heavenly Cream Signature Blend Black Tea

There are many factors that set Sloane Tea apart from other brands, the “crop to cup” philosophy, ensuring that there are no distributors or brokers means that the tea arrives and is ready for use within 3 months! It is also due to people like Hoda who spends a large amount of time at each of the tea gardens and the fact that she also trained in perfumery in France. This means that the teas are created based on the principles of perfumery which takes into consideration the top, heart and base notes of the ingredients.

The next time you pop in to Bymark, One or Fabbrica, make sure to grab a warm cup of Sloane Tea and taste the difference that their precision makes.

Toronto’s Queen of Chocolate

For us, Easter means the unbridled celebration of chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but the luxury handmade kind. The kind you can’t just buy anywhere. The kind only an artist can make.

Chocolate Artist Laura Slack discovered her calling for baking (and bringing joy in general) when she was asked to make a wedding cake for her sister. Her hobby quickly turned into a passion, and she went on to train intensively at some of the world’s most prestigious pastry arts schools. An early background in science had her inspired by the meticulous challenge of being a chocolatier.

We got a sneak peak at her holiday specials and felt our eyes getting fat. For those late-night long-weekend snacks (you know, the ones you sneak when no one’s looking), there’s the Chaucer’s Heart – possibly the most ridiculously amazing piece of chocolate you’ll ever put in your mouth.

Valentine - 2013 January 15 - 00069 (1)

With a mastery of truffles, Laura made her name with her signature ‘Lion’s Paw’ (liquid salted caramel wrapped in dark chocolate). This little piece of heaven has a soft spot in her heart, not just because it propelled her business, but because the lion symbolizes her dream of creating a regal chocolate experience above all others (plus she and her husband are both Leos).

Boy BunnyFor Laura, the reward of creating luxury chocolate is getting to be part of a special moment in someone’s life. A romantic gesture; a thank you to a client; an extra special treat on Easter morning. People will often reach out to Laura to say thank you after tasting her chocolate; it’s that good.

If you’re looking to make this holiday a little more special, Laura’s got a family of Easter bunnies and a collection of hand-painted eggs unlike anything you’ll find in the regular chocolate aisle. She’s also introducing a ton of new truffle flavours including Bacon Caramel, and an entire line infused with Sloane Tea that will be ready for Mother’s Day.

Laura Slack luxury chocolates are now available at McEwan (once we got a taste, we had to have her). Come by our shop and taste for yourself. But remember – once you go Slack, you never go back. Just try her caramelized chocolate-covered almonds and you’ll know why.