The Latest Tea

Taste Without the Travel

Uncertainty is one of the greatest challenges, and occasional joys, of life and this sense of uncertainty fluctuates for all of us. However, lately, there seems to be a collective feeling of uncertainty. Whether warranted or not, the inundation of news, from home and globally, has raised overall levels of uncertainty and unease. If ever there was a time for taking a deep breath and relaxing over a cup of tea (or coffee), it is now! With many people sticking closer to home for the time being, we wanted to share some of the products we’re proud to carry from all over the world. If you’ve chosen to postpone travel plans, we invite you to “taste without the travel” and enjoy our huge selection of teas and coffees. 

We’ve organized this blog post by region, but as always, if you have specific questions, please feel free to stop by the shop or give us a call. And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the Introduction to Tea sessions we’re now hosting regularly. This post is just a taster of all you can learn when you join us for a lesson on tea. Now sit back and let us take you on a mini world tour of tea and coffee! 

Explore South America 

A virtual trip to South America wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the amazing coffee culture, quality and selection from our three favourite coffee producers. We also carry a range of accessories for brewing, storing and enjoying coffee from South America, or anywhere else in the world. Our coffee supplies fluctuate so that we can guarantee the freshest roasting so please check with us for availability. 

Colombian coffee is characterized by its mild and well-rounded flavour profile and well-known for a medium-body, rich taste and citrus-like acidity. UNESCO has declared the Coffee Cultural Landscape in Colombia as a World Heritage site. Colombian beans serve as the base for many coffee blends and this is an excellent all-round choice for many coffee lovers. 

Brazil is responsible for 1/3 of all coffee production, making it the world's largest producer. It is known for its very typical dark roast and mellow flavour and is often used for making espresso as it can handle the dark roast without turning bitter. Most Brazilian coffee is labelled Santos for the shipping port through which it is shipped worldwide. Many of our products from De Mello Palheta Coffee Roasters, based out of Toronto, are Brazilian coffees.  

Guatemalan  coffees are known for a floral acidity that is often spicy. Other tasting notes include rich chocolatey-cocoa flavour, and a toffee-like sweetness. The green coffees grown in the Atitlan and  Antigua coffee  growing regions in the country's central highlands exhibit these qualities the most strongly. Guatemalan Antigua coffee is one of the region’s most famous exports. 

Explore Islands 

Based on this list, it would appear that islands are absolute heaven for growing the world’s most amazing teas and coffees.  

When we think of high quality green tea, we think Japan. Sweet, earthy flavors, innumerable health benefits and wide ranging variation in green teas. From Genmaicha (green tea mixed with roasted popped brown rice, aka sushi restaurant tea), to Sencha (classic green tea) to matcha (finely ground powder of specially grown green tea leaves), Japan has it all. We carry the highest quality organic green teas as well as fruity and fragrant Sencha blends. Come try our newest favourite – Sakura, a gentle infusion of cherry blossoms and cherry tree leaves. We also carry Japanese lines, such as Kinto and Hario, for classic and timeless designs for brewing and enjoying your tea. 

Besides tacky aloha shirts, Kona coffee is one of the most recognizable exports from the Hawaiian Islands. Grown on the Mauna Loa in the North and South  Kona  Districts, it is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Just like champagne from the Champagne region in France, only coffee from the  Kona  Districts can be called Kona coffee. We fly in green beans from Kona and do custom roasting in-store. Custom roasting of fresh green Kona beans can be easily arranged through the store. And you can always enjoy it with some Big Island chocolate!

We cherish our tea from Sri Lanka and the tea industry would be lost without! We carry a range of teas from Sri Lanka (referred to by its former colony name of Ceylon) from distinctive tea estates, such as Kenilworth and Blackwood. Sri Lankan tea also serves as the base for a number of our blends, such as English Breakfast, Afternoon Blend, Earl Grey Blue Flower and Monk’s Blend. The central highland’s humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall provide a climate very well-suited to the production of high-quality single origin teas with its distinctive crisp and citrusy taste. 

Explore Africa 

Ethiopia has the distinction of being the birthplace of coffee and is famed for its richly pungent, fruity and winey beans. Coffee arabica, the coffee plant, originated in Ethiopia and the age-old farming and harvesting tradition continues with the country being the largest African producer of the arabica plant and best reviewed single origin premium coffee beans. We also carry an Ethiopian mocha puerh, a rich and earthy puerh with hints of mocha flavour 

Kenya has the honour of being known for both its tea and coffee exports. We currently carry two strong black teas from Kenya – Highland Milima, a bold golden tipped black tea from the highlands, and Tinderet, a full-bodied black tea from the Tinderet Estate. Kenya’s coffee is also world renowned and it is known for its full flavour from the traditional roasting process.  

Last but not least, Rooibos teas from South Africa makes up one of our largest collections. Manitoba Rooibos, our top selling tea, is a blend of Rooibos with local Manitoban ingredients. Rooibos is grown in a small mountainous area in the Western Cape province of South Africa and means red bush in Afrikaans. The tea also goes by bush tea, red tea, or red bush tea. We carry over 20 varieties of Rooibos tea, from fruity blends to dessert infusions and high quality pure Rooibos. There is naturally no caffeine in caffeine, as it is technically not a tea leaf. The Rooibos leaves are oxidised, which gives it the reddish-brown colour and earthy flavour. If the leaves are left to naturally dry, they are considered “green rooibos” which has a subtler and grassier flavour.  

We hope that whets your appetite for some “Taste without the Travel”! 

One of our favourite times of year is on its way– the Darjeeling spring harvest and first flush! The first flush, renowned and coveted for its delicacy and freshness, is harvested in spring or even late winter and has become a very welcome sign that spring must be on its way. The timing of the harvest depends on the area and tea farmer but this is generally considered the most prized harvest or “flush” of tea available. The store gets in a limited supply each year, with loyal customers awaiting its return. We also celebrate the shipments as it means spring and summer are not far behind. If you are interested in learning more about the Darjeeling first flush or pre-ordering some, please contact the shop and we’ll be happy to help. 

 

Cornelia Turns 15!

Cornelia Bean is 15 years old! For all of our new customers, and for all of our regular ones who may have forgotten, Cornelia Bean’s 15th birthday just passed and we want to share a bit of our story and what we have planned for the next 15 years.

Just like its tea, the Cornelia Bean store is steeped in rich history. Cory and Bob Krul opened the store in 2004 with the name and legacy of Cory’s grandmother behind them. Cornelia Boon (1899-1934), Cory’s grandmother and namesake, was born in Broek op Langedijk, a small town north of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and lived a short but full life until her untimely passing after battling with multiple sclerosis. 

 

Cory has carried on her legacy in Canada and follows the same principles in family, friends and fellowship with a cup of the best. Opening a tea and coffee shop is in Cory’s blood! Boon in Dutch means Bean and so it was an obvious choice to offer coffee, and then of course, tea. Seeing a gap in the Canadian market for high-quality specialty tea and coffee, Cory and Bob embarked on international travel and training to bring tea and coffee to the Winnipeg market. Travelling in India for Bob and training for Cory as a tea sommelier were the first steps towards opening the store. Since then, Cornelia Bean has become a leader in retail and wholesale tea and coffee sales with products available all over the city and North America. 

 

Cornelia Bean has also expanded its reach nationally and globally. We have always been known for our custom blending and now all of our teas are shipped around the globe, with Manitoba Rooibos becoming an international favourite. Cory and her team have scoured Canadian markets for unique coffee roasters in order to support local and Canadian and we now have a range of Canadian roasters on regular rotation in the store. We have expanded our holiday gift options to offer a new substantial gift box that would be an excellent and luxurious option for corporate gifting. We also always love crafting custom gift baskets for the holidays and other special occasions. We also have a variety of flights of teas, including our favourites and we have expanded on these for the holiday seasons with festive tea blends.

 

While Cornelia Bean has one foot firmly in its history, the store is also looking towards the future. Over the last few years, we have committed to reducing our environmental footprint. Some changes include offering customers the opportunity to bring in their own clean containers to buy bulk tea and offering porcelain cups and the Wall cup at the newly redesigned in-store coffee bar. Another example of the focus on environmental sustainability and of being a family business - the Wall cup is a zero waste option for steeping tea. Bob Krul designed the cup, which went on to win Best Innovative Product at the 2016 World Tea Expo. Bob is also the designer of the Brewt tea and coffee maker, another zero waste product ahead of its time. Boreal Wildcraft Tea Company, Bob’s latest venture, focuses on sustainably harvesting the bounty of the Boreal forest and works cooperatively with local wild crafters, hand picking and processing special herbs and berries in an ethical and sustainable manner to minimize our carbon footprint. The result is exquisite, earth-conscious, custom-blended herbal infusions with a distinctly Canadian flavour. 

 

Over the last 15 years, Cornelia Bean has remained a family affair. Cory and Bob, partners in business and love, have three children and a daughter-in-law that are either actively working at the store or have been involved in significant roles in the past. They have also felt like family members to their staff. And the next generation of Cornelia Bean employees will be arriving in a few short months…!

 

Another constant over the past 15 years has been the support of our customers and neighbourhood. We are so grateful for all of the customers who have been regulars since the beginning, those one-time visitors, and everyone else who walks through the door! We can’t wait to continue being your spot for the best tea and coffee in the world!

Skincare Tips that Fit You to a Tea

Facial steaming is a DIY skin treatment that cleanses, nourishes and feels luxurious. You can recreate the spa experience at home (while also getting multiple uses out of your steeped tea!) The ritual of facial steaming is ancient and the addition of organic teas and herbs as aromatherapy only adds to the loveliness of this easy self-care ritual.

Steaming with tea feels wonderful in all seasons. In the summer months, our delicate facial skin is exposed to strong sun, hot wind, scorching temperatures and harsh air conditioning. Summer is also such a busy time of year that we often neglect our skincare routines. Steaming your face takes no more than 10-15 minutes and you likely have the ingredients you need!

In the Prairie winters, we have to face Arctic temperatures, windchill, low humidity and recirculated indoor air. This is a harsh climate for skin so taking the time to steam your face during these cold months can help maintain a healthy glow.

Steaming your face with a tea or herb infusion can provide your skin with vital nutrients and antioxidants which can have a multitude of benefits such as: 

  • Opening up pores to soften and remove blackheads and other impurities
  • Promoting circulation through the combination of increasing perspiration and warm steam which nourishes skin by delivering oxygen. 
  • Hydrating the skin by increasing oil production which naturally moisturizes the face 
  • Allowing the skin to better absorb skincare products though the increase of skin’s permeability. 
  • Promoting collagen and elastin resulting in firmer, younger-looking skin
  • Soothing irritated or dry skin
  • Easing congestion and opening up sinus pathways

And it couldn’t be easier! Here are our two favourite methods:

  1. Over a bowl of hot water. 

Bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil over the stovetop. Once the water begins to boil, add a handful of tea and/or herbs and stir (We love a Rose Petal and Chamomile Blend). You can even reuse already-steeped tea leaves! Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Find a comfortable seated area, drape a clean towel over your head and the bowl and then hold your face six inches above the water. Remain in this position, breathe deeply and relax for 5-10 minutes.

2. With a warm towel 

Bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil over the stovetop. Once the water begins to boil, add a handful of tea and/or herbs and stir. You can even reuse already-steeped tea leaves! Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Strain the infusion and soak a face towel in it. Once it is a comfortable enough to touch, wring out the towel and place over face. Inhale deeply and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Don’t forget, this is steaming hot water so always be very careful when performing this procedure and keep away from children.

We’re also experimenting with creating our own tea toners. You can cool the tea-infusion that you used for steaming, pour in a spray bottle and have a budget-friendly and all natural toner/facial spritz. This can be very refreshing on summer days or be an added moisture glow boost in the winter at work! Rooibos is a great option for your toner base. It's loaded with powerful antioxidants and enzymes that help to keep skin looking and feeling youthful, and can also reduce inflammation.

Almost any tea and/or herbal combination is magical, but we have highlighted our favourites for maximum benefits.

 

Manitoba Rooibos: 

A blend of lavender for dry skin and rose petals for skin softening, local Labrador leaves for some extra vitamin C, not to mention the rooibos base which is packed with antioxidants! 

Detox Herbal: 

This blend of peppermint, burdock root, red clover and basil will clarify your pores and make you feel refreshed with the added aromatherapy of peppermint. Excellent for winter or when you’re feeling under the weather!

Ganesha Green: 

An organic and pure green with no added flavours or compounds. This organic high mountain Nepalese green tea will cleanse pores and give your skin a soft glow! The caffeine and antioxidants in this tea will also offer skin tightening and anti-aging benefits. 

There are many other teas that can be used for this purpose! Try this technique with any of your Cornelia Bean teas at home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steps to Improve Our Impact on the Environment. Join us!

Cornelia Bean is committed to protecting the beautiful world in which we live and reducing our footprint on the environment. The news on climate change can be overwhelming and terrifying, and it can also be intimidating to know what you can do as an individual. For us, drinking tea and coffee is a daily ritual, and so it is also an easy starting point for making simple changes. Don’t forget that everyone trying their best every day to cut down on waste can add up to major changes. Here are some easy ideas to get you started right away!

  • All of our teas are sold loosely so you can bring your own (clean and dry) container and we’d be happy to fill that up. We’re also going to look into carrying a regularly rotating bulk coffee option so you can bring in reusable containers for that too.
  • Request one of our porcelain cups if you’re sitting in for a drink or bring your own cup for take-out.
  • Bring your own bag for your purchases or purchase one of the stylish mesh carrying bags we now carry.
  • Many of our teas are delicious when re-steeped. For example, oolong teas can be brewed multiple times and still keep its rich flavour. We’d love to tell you about more teas that can be re-steeped and the best techniques for that.

Cornelia Bean also carries many products that can help you on your way to being zero-waste. The Wall cup is naturally waste free and you can then toss your used tea leaves in the compost bin. We’ve also just started carrying the Aeropress Puck Puck attachment. This attachment turns any AeroPress into a cold brew drip system without the need for additional plastic or paper. We also have the Fellow Prismo Aeropress attachment. This nifty tool creates espresso-style coffee and uses a no drip seal for a full immersion brew, all with reusable stainless steel filter. The store also always has a range of reusable cups, some of which even brew your tea and coffee with no extra steps.

These are just some examples of how you can make little changes that add up to a big difference! We’re always open to new ideas and suggestions, so if you think of anything else that we could start doing to reduce our waste, we’d love to hear from you!

Great recipes to introduce loose leaf tea into your favourite treats

Have you seen the Cornelia Bean Instagram lately?! Big things are happening over at @corneliabean, including amazing giveaways, tea features and event announcements. Give us a follow and don’t miss out on all of the exciting things happening at 417 Academy Road.

The Cornelia Bean family obviously adores tea but did you know that we also all have serious sweet tooths?! What better way to combine these two loves than to start baking with tea! And we’ve decided to use the extra chilly winter from Mother Nature as an opportunity to turn the oven on and get baking. We’ve recently tried the Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting from Big Girls Small Kitchen and the Earl Grey Sugar Cookies from the Sweet & Simple Kitchen using Cornelia Bean tea and they were major successes! 

Both recipes were made first with our loose leaf teas and then a second time with tea bags (ahhh shocking I know…). And there was NO comparison - the loose leaf tea versions were by far the winners! Loose leaf tea is fresher and gives you the whole leaf to extract flavour from, a critical step when you’re infusing foods with flavour. Baking with tea means you can also sip a cup of tea while baking, frosting, eating and serving!

For the Earl Grey sugar cookies, we used our traditional Earl Grey, but you could also use Earl Grey Blue Flower, Earl Grey Lavender, Lady Grey or Earl Grey Russian.

Same with the chai cream cheese frosting - we used our traditional Masala Chai, but we have chais in every tea variety so you could also experiment with any of our other chai varieties. 

We couldn’t ignore our coffee lovers though! And for most people who are big fans of drinking a whole cup of coffee, coffee-infused baking is always a big hit. We found these Chocolate Espresso sugar cookies from the Sweet & Simple Kitchen that are rich and light and so delicious.

The recipe calls for grocery store espresso powder. But stop right there! This dust-like powder can be easily upgraded by using a generous tablespoon of any of our espresso or dark roast coffees. I didn’t even grind it down to an espresso grind but used a coarser grind that I drink and it gave the cookies a satisfying texture and even deeper coffee flavour. 

In upcoming blog posts, when Winnipeg is out of this polar vortex with no need for turning on ovens, we will feature more recipes calling for tea and coffee that are perfect for summer BBQs and the lake. In the meantime, keep checking out our Instagram and the blog for more information on brewing tea and coffee, recipes, tea and coffee features and other exciting news!