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! 

Episode 39 Alex Kammerling
Founder Kamm and Sons

Before we start, I wanted to let you know that we had a smidgen of a sound problem with this recording, so the audio quality is not where I usually like it to be… but I think the sheer determination of this week’s guest will see us through. 

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, for good reason: the world of food and drink would be a much duller place without the dogged perseverance and amazing palate of people like Alex Kammerling.  

For around 3 years, the flat he shared became home to countless little bottles, each filled with different flowers, roots, bark, berries and spices…all gently macerating in alcohol.  

Why? Because Alex was determined to create Britain’s first ever stand-alone aperitif, in the tradition of an Aperol or Campari, but with a unique flavour of its own.  He started with 100 different botanicals and spent months and months whittling them down… Hence lots of little bottles….  

Most of us would never go down this alchemy route: we’d just sit back and order another G&T or Pimms. So what drove Alex? And did it work out the way he wanted? 

Find out now… 

Episode 31 Kirsty Loveday
Love Drinks – incredible spirit stories

Love Drinks, has two clear strands to it: first, to share the amazing stories behind the spirits portfolio Kirsty has built up since 2007. Whether it’s an organic cachaca or a cold-brew coffee cut with wheat vodka, all the independent brands distributed by Love Drinks are created with dedication and craftsmanship – and they all feed into Kirsty’s philosophy of drinking less and better. 

The second – Love Well – goes back to when Kirsty was in her early 20s. The late nights and long hours triggered a series of panic attacks and a realisation that she had to look after herself. As you’ll hear, she’s applied the look-after-your-wellbeing principle to the whole of her team and to bartenders in general. 

No wonder Kirsty’s been given a British Empire Medal for services to the drinks industry. 

Episode 18 Simon Robinson
Hattingley Sparkling Wine

British wine use to have a reputation, but not one we wanted. Now it’s taking on the French at their own game with some of the best sparkling in the world. As chair of Wine GB Simon is the perfect guest to chat to to find out why and how.

If you’d said to Simon Robinson in 2008 that his Hattingley Valley vineyards would have the capacity – in a really good year – to produce 580,000 bottles of wine…or that his sparkling rose would be crowned a world champion, he would have said you were crackers.

And yet, in just over a decade, Hattingley  and other GB newcomers have done brilliantly in what is a very old industry…even though in the early days our efforts were written off as being poor copies of German varieties like Riesling and  Muller-Thergau.   

In this conversation you’ll discover why our sparkling wines are now doing so well and why Simon calls his sector ‘agriculture on steroids’:  it will make your eyes water when you do and you’ll wonder why on earth he gave up his partner position at a city law firm to go on such a rollercoaster…

Episode 13
Nick and Tom – Barefaced Brewing

Travel is what makes Barefaced Brewing tick:  Nick Horne and Tom Cooper have been friends since they were 3. But in their 20s they were working in bars and breweries at opposite sides of the world – Tom in Edinburgh, Nick in Sydney. When Tom sent a Facebook message saying he was really keen to set up an indie  brewery, Nick flew across the globe a few days later, rocked up in the bar where Tom was working and said, ‘Let’s do it’.

And they have. They choose their hops not only for their distinctive taste but because they conjure up the atmosphere of a particular place, from resinous and refreshing Canada to super-bold, tropical Australia.  And trust me, they know their hops: they reckon they’ve each tasted 6,000 different beers over the last decade or so. Tough research, but someone has to do it…

In this programme you’ll discover that the lads owe a lot to Tom’s super-patient mum and sussed grandfather… but (in the nicest possible way) slightly less to his dad…how they crowd-funded a mad dash to Italy and back… and how they have set up their partnership very neatly  so, should they ever fall-out (hopefully not as childhood friends) their business will survive…