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    postcard teas – christmas giveaway

    November 19, 2012

    Greetings people! After nearly 100 posts and approaching my 1st year blogging anniversary, today i’m having my first giveaway! Yay!

    I’ve been thinking long and hard about a suitable giveaway. I wanted it to have meaning and so in the spirit of christmas and in the spirit of giving, sharing and thinking about others, i’m going to introduce you to my favourite tea shop, where you’ll have the opportunity to win their famous postcard tea and have it send to anyone of your choice, anywhere in the world!

    But first, please indulge me to tell the story of this wonderful place and a bit further down enchant you with a special guest currently residing in the shop.

    Meet tim.

    Tim d’offay is known as one of the foremost tea experts in the world. What i love most about him is his humble nature, soft spoken voice and absolute passion for tea! I’d known of postcard teas ever since it opened 7 years ago but didn’t check it out for a while.

    I remember the first time i visited. I was blown away by tim’s sheer knowledge and passion and by the most charming tea shop, tucked away just off new bond street. A most definite destination, i knew that i still had a lot to learn about this ancient beverage and that i’d found the place to do so. I am guilty of not visiting often enough. This will now change. 

    Tim, who lived and studied in kyoto some 20 years ago proceeded working in tea and coffee. He began to visit tea growing places and 13 years ago started importing tea. The shop now sells teas from 8 countries and 40 different producers, all responsibly sourced!

    I’m going to digress slightly because it’s a real honour that takahiro yagi (taka) of kaikado is currently holding special events in the shop. Meet taka, the 6th generation handmade tea caddies craftsman from kyoto. Kaikado are the first and last to handmake tea caddies.

    Some facts for you: 140 years tradition and family run. It takes 130 steps to make 1 tea caddy. They make 10 caddies a day and 60 a week. There is taka, his dad and 5 guys making caddies. Slightly different to the usual mass market products produced in china and india, right?

    Customers bring 100 years old tea caddies for repairs when they’ve been bent or damaged . I saw a tea caddy that was 40 years old and had a rather wonderful leathery feel texture. Incredible! If you think tea caddies are purely to store tea, think again!

    Take a look at some of these beauties made out of copper, brass and tin. There are bespoke caddies made in silver but not in gold, for obvious reasons! It would be FAR TOO EXPENSIVE!

    Tim has been selling taka’s caddies for a few years and for the first time, in the 140 years history, they are taking orders for bespoke ones. I love these bespoke ones below. I’m told that there is currently a 4-months waiting list in japan for tea caddies and a 3-months waiting list for bespoke orders. What i also found out is that if anyone can get their hands on any caddies it’s tim. I’m not surprised. Except for a shop in los angeles, postcard teas was the first foreign outlet for kaikado. Loyalty pays off every single time!

    While taka is in the shop he is engraving these rather gorgeous tea scoops for customers who are purchasing a caddy. Unfortunately i didn’t take a photograph of an engraved scoop as the shop was heaving and i didn’t think it appropriate to disrupt someone’s purchase.

    See taka at work. It was truly fascinating to observe such a craftsman do his bit, effortlessly and with such poise.

    Here taka was getting rid of a dent in the caddy.

    One of the most inspiring parts was to see how the lid perfectly slid down the caddy without any assistance. It just glided down perfectly until it met with it’s counterpart.

    You know the most ridiculous thing? The caddies start at a mere £95 and go up to about £200 (not bespoke sizes). This is the retail price for a handmade, labour of love, beautifully crafted and finished tea caddy (by the way, there are coffee caddies too). I know of many mass produced, cheaply finished products that cost more than £95. Would you agree?

    I love when new generations take over family run businesses as each generation brings new ideas and processes to take the company into the next phase. For the first time kaikado has collaborated with a designer. Here they worked with thomas ykke of OeO to come up with designs for tea and coffee pots, together with trays and milk and sugar jars. See the first prototypes here below. Aren’t they stunning? These products will be for sale in about 6 months time. Keep eyes peeled!

    Well, unfortunately i cannot offer you a tea or coffee caddy as a give away because there aren’t even enough pieces for sale. I hope you enjoyed this slight diversion to the giveaway and got some inspiration on the way! You can come and see taka at postcard teas tomorrow!

    Right, back to business, postcard teas also sells teapots, tea cups and of course taka’s caddies.

    Hot off the press! These beauties will come into store within a week or two. Imported from russia, don’t they look as if they need to be hung on a christmas tree? They would make the perfect bauble!

    I HEART the copper version!!

    Ok, we’re getting there. Here are some of the wonderful teas for sale. Tim and his dad have been collecting postcards for years. They then translate these into labels and print them. Genius!

    Each tea can be bought as a 50 g refill bag alone or with a caddy. Additionally they sell most teas as POSTCARD TO SEND.

    If in the shop, you select the tea you want to send. See here below.

    You then fill out the label (by hand) as per this example (typed over by me for data protection reasons) AND…..

    post it HERE….

    Tea postcards™ have already been sent using their own red postbox from which royal mail collects every weekday to america, canada, france, belgium, spain, germany, italy, sweden, japan, korea, and many more.

    For this giveaway, if the chosen winner, select a tea and postcard free of charge of the list below, follow instructions on the website and tim and his staff will send it away for you anywhere in the world! Why not send a tea to someone you love! Maybe as a christmas present? Of course, you can also have the tea addressed to yourself. The choice is entirely yours!

    Here are the rules: leave a comment here. Tell us what tea (from our list) you would like us to send to your chosen destination. There will be 3 winners. Each one can choose 1 tea. Deadline is 30th november. I wanted to make sure that all packages will arrive in time for christmas wherever they need to get to. Good luck. Winners will be chosen by

    Tim has kindly suggested these 5 very different teas for the winners to choose from. After all he’s the expert. Take a look at the links for descriptions of them. Thank you tim for the generous giveaway!

    I will keep this post up till next monday 26th, but entries will stay open until friday 30th november at 6pm uk time. Winners will be announced that same evening! See you back next week!

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