Jennifer Wood

Episode 43 Jennifer Wood
Canton Tea

In the last 15 years, the way we drink coffee has gone through a revolution: from an instant brew in polystyrene cups to beans with known provenance, carefully selected and lovingly roasted. 

Could tea soon follow in coffee’s footsteps? Yes, if this week’s guest, Jennifer Wood, founder of Canton Tea, has anything to do with it.    

To build her business, Jennifer has travelled to remote mountainous regions like the ‘wild, wild Yunnan’, where tea bushes live to a thousand years and grow 40 feet high.  The tea producers and masters she works with take the ritual of growing, harvesting and ageing the tea as seriously as leading vineyard owners do their prize wines.  

When you hear how much hard work and knowledge goes into each cup of Canton’s artisanal tea – whether it’s black, green, oolong or the mind-blowing pu’erh –  you’ll understand why Jennifer thinks that even the most basic cuppa is worth much, much  more than 2p a bag.  Her enthusiasm is so infectious, you’ll also want a ‘Cantonista’, championing quality, loose leaf tea, in your neck of the woods.   

Bring on the tea revolution! 

Show Notes: Episode 43 – Jennifer Wood & Canton Tea

It began with a beautiful cup of tea… Worth $3,000 dollars a kilo. Jennifer Wood is truly a connoisseur of cuppas. She teaches us this week how the bog-standard English Breakfast tea is not only one of the most boring cuppas, but how it didn’t actually originate in England! You’ll also learn this week the science behind a good cup of tea… did you know that you shouldn’t actually put boiling water straight onto the leaves, but perhaps put a few ice cubes in first? Me neither.

Show Notes: Episode 41 – Steven Lamb & River Cottage

If you’re looking to learn something today, you’re in luck. Steven Lamb refers to himself as a “careers teacher’s nightmare”, as he jumped around jobs looking for his passion. Then, he found it at River Cottage. Food, drink and hospitality flow through the veins of Steven Lamb – and his extensive knowledge about all areas of his industry is outstanding. From chatting about the additives that are injected into shop-bought standard bacon, making your own cheese from one pot of yogurt to discussing just what the the government should be doing to ensure as humans we are doing the best for our bodies, animals and the planet… This weeks conversation is a journey in more ways than one.

Episode 42 Steven Lamb
River Cottage – Part Two

Welcome to the second part of my conversation with one of River Cottage’s linchpins.  He’s Steven Lamb, often fondly referred to as the ‘ham and cheese’ man, because he’s the author of the River Cottage handbooks on ‘Curing and Smoking’ as well as ‘Cheese and Dairy’.  

We’re turning back the clock now, to when Steven’s fascination for charcuterie and cured meats began… 

Episode 41 – Steven Lamb
River Cottage – Part One

If I say ‘River Cottage’ to you, what comes to mind?  Perhaps one of its campaigns: Fish Fight, or Chicken Out or War on Waste.   Or maybe you’ve got one of the River Cottage handbooks, diving deep into foodie topics, from cheese to charcuterie.  

That’s the striking thing about River Cottage and its team: the variety of what they do. What started as a docu-drama, following Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s attempts to set up his own smallholding 20 years ago, has now grown into a cookery and chefs’ school; three award-winning kitchens and the base for amazing banquet-style get-togethers.  

Steven Lamb has been part of that journey, pretty much from the beginning. He arrived as the team’s new media expert, helping to build its presence online. But nowadays he’s better known as the Cottage’s curing and smoking guru, as well as its expert on cheese and dairy.    

In this, the first part of our conversation, we’ll explore the evolution of River Cottage and Steven’s own career, leaving Big Brother behind to embrace hospitality ‘from a standing start’.