A Celebration of Taste and Tactility with Westholme Tea Company.

Spring marks the arrival of another harvest season in Cowichan. At Westholme tea farm, it is known as “first flush” – the harvest of Camellia Sinensis. Tea plants.

Westholme Tea Company is building a home for tea culture in Canada. This year, they invite the public to celebrate the spring harvest and the rare Canadian tea that is grown right here in the Valley, with experiences that are sure to inspire the mind and the senses.

An eleven-acre organic tea farm, teashop, tearoom and gallery, Westholme tea farm is the first and only commercial tea farm in Canada, producing a limited harvest, single origin, hand-processed organic terroir tea.

Husband and wife team, Victor Vesely and Margit Nellemann, also import and sell premium organic loose teas from around the world, create artful tea blends, and unite taste and tactility with original teaware. They take pride in cultivating the homegrown leaves, blending the finest organic teas from carefully-sourced farms, and hand-crafting ceramics to create a distinctive experience around each tea. Westholme is committed to building the most authentic tea culture experience in Canada.

The journey to the first Canadian tea began as an experiment in 2010, when 200 Camellia Sinensis seedlings were planted on the south-facing slopes of the farm. The young, resilient plants survived the first deep freeze of winter, and have since thrived in the local climate. Another 400 plants were added in 2014 and 200 more in 2015.

In celebration of the spring harvest and the creation of a home for Canadian tea culture, Westholme Tea Company invites the public to honour the season in four days of experiences, starting with the inaugural event, “A First on First” Teamaker’s Dinner in partnership with Hudson’s on First.

The intimate event will combine the distinctive and authentic experience of Westholme’s rare Canadian teas with award-winning, locally-sourced fine dining. The long table dinner will offer a 5-course pairing menu uniquely featuring fresh tea leaves, processed tea and culinary innovations using the Camellia Sinensis tea plant. Together, Tea Maker Victor Vesely and Executive Chef Corbin Mathany have designed a taste adventure that will exquisitely shift the perspective on tea – down to Margit Nellemann’s teaware. Each tea will be served in specially-made, handcrafted teacups, encircling the experience in tea culture.

Tickets: $125 includes taxes and gratuity. Phone 250.597.0066 for reservations. www.hudsonsonfirst.ca

A First on First is sure to be an intimately informative, entertaining and inspiring evening Thursday May 24th.

This taste exploration will extend into the weekend, when the public are invited to join in the spring harvest celebrations at Westholme Tea Company. Be the first to enjoy the new release of Tree Frog Green, Swallow Tale Oolong and White Mist teas. Guests may attend guided tours of the tea garden, taste delectable pairings in the tearoom, and explore original teaware creations in the gallery. The farm is open 10am-5pm Friday May 25th, Saturday May 26th, and Sunday May 27thwith tours each day at 10:30am and 2pm.