Victoria tea master helps re-invent the teacup

The Magisso TipCup was created in Victoria at Silk Road
Victoria is not only beautiful, it’s one of the best places in the world to visit if you love tea. (Courtesy Tourism Victoria)

Story Courtesy of Suzanne Morphet

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA — We’ve been sipping tea for more than 4,000 years – but it took a tea master from Victoria to come up with a brilliant way to make the experience even better.

The Magisso TipCup ($29) was co-designed by Silk Road Aromatherapy & Tea Co. tea expert Daniela Cubelic of Victoria. It’s an ingenious invention that tips one way for brewing the tea and the other way for drinking.

No more tea that’s too weak or too strong. Brewing the perfect cup is suddenly a whole lot easier and tastier. And it could only have happened in Victoria, home to one of the most important tea festivals in the world and truly the tea capital of Canada.

It’s always tea time in Victoria

The Victoria Tea Festival, which wrapped up on February 19, had its inception in 2007 with 200 people attending the one-day event. Now having completed its sixth year and experienced phenomenal growth, the Victoria Tea Festival has grown to two days and established itself as the largest public tea exhibition in North America.

More than 3,300 people and greater than 40 exhibitors were at the 2012 event, making it the largest public exhibition of its kind in North America. Naturally, Silk Road was there making a splash with its innovative cup that delighted visitors.

The Silk Road retail store and spa are located in Victoria’s Old Chinatown, and offers educational workshops, aromatherapy and tea tastings. The store’s website explains that its tea tastings are a lecture series modeled on a traditional wine tasting.

From Finland with love

It’s been a long and interesting road going from conception, to the planning stages for the teacup and then finally to the biggest tea festival in North America. A road that began, funny enough, in Finland.

Cubelic was contacted by a Finnish designer, Laura Bougdanos, who had the idea but needed someone with expertise in tea to refine it.

When she saw Bougdanos’ rough sketch, she immediately realized how revolutionary it was.

“As soon as I saw it, I was like ‘this is fantastic,’ I was just totally blown away by how simple and yet innovative the concept was,” said Cubelic, who likens it to the invention of the teapot in the 1500s and more recently the tea ball.

But the TipCup, manufactured by Finnish company Magisso, has several more features. There’s no handle; the cup is double-walled so it won’t burn your hands, and most important the tea stays hot.

The cup is also wider at the top than the bottom, allowing more of its wonderful aroma to envelope you as you sip.

That of course is the best part — you don’t have to worry or think about all the engineering that goes into making the perfect tea cup. All you have to do is sip.

Ahhhhh, now that’s a cuppa.

Tourism Victoria:  Consult the website, or telephone the call centre at 1-800-663-3883.
Victoria Tea Festival: Consult the festival website.
Silk Road Aromatherapy & Tea Co: Click here, or call 250-704-2688 (press 2). Silk Road is at 1624 Government Street, Victoria, BC (see map below).

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Vicky is the worldly publisher of Having graduated from McGill University in Montreal, she has set about building a talented team of travel experts to deliver to you words and images of the very best places to see and experience in Canada. Based in Yorkville in Toronto, Vicky regularly jet sets around Canada — be sure to catch up with her when she's in your part of the country.

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