Lynda Wootton owner of The Tea Cosy in Wilberforce takes a sip of one of her special blends at her home on Clement Lake Road. Wootton's teas can be found across the Haliburton Highlands including at Baked and Battered Abbey Gardens J-Bean's and Highland Meats. JENN WATT Staff

For the love of tea time

By Jenn Watt

Tea soothes. Tea invigorates. It can calm you down or wake you up. Hotor cold day or night it seems there is a tea for every occasion andevery person –  and the varieties are endless.

Which works out quite nicely for Lynda Wootton owner of The Tea Cosy in Wilberforce. Wootton imports loose leaf tea and makes her own custom blends which she sells online and in shops around the Haliburton Highlands.

Wootton has some 30 teas to choose from ranging from loose leaf green tea to her most popular blend lavender lemon cream.

“It can be difficult coming up with a really good blend. I’ve beenfortunate thus far to have most of them turn out quite well. It’s likecreating a recipe” she explains.

Besides the tea Wootton alsosells the accessories such as teapots infusers and bags to make yourown loose leaf concoctions on the road. Many of those are available atAbbey Gardens on Highway 118 near West Guilford where several of herteas are also for sale.

Originally a decorator from Toronto Wootton moved to Highlands East in 2002 and opened Cushion Cottager Gallerywith the intention of one day adding a tea room.

“I heard about theTargeted Initiatives for Older Workers course at Fleming College” shesays. She enrolled in the program and at the end was given funding topursue further education. She took marketing social media and QuickBooks but needed to choose one more thing. On a whim she typed in “teacourse” online and up popped George Brown College.

There she learned all about the tea industry including how to make a good cup of tea.

“You need to start with cold water and bring it to a boil” she says.“For your green teas you don’t want boiling water because you can burnthe leaf and it will have a burnt taste. It just depends on the type oftea. Loose leaf tea is a whole lot better than bag tea because you getless caffeine because the leaves are whole.”

Brewing time variesbetween teas – one to three minutes for green tea; three to five forblack tea and five to eight for herbal teas.

The Tea Cosy’sspecialty teas can be found at Abbey Gardens Baked and Battered inHaliburton J-Bean’s Cafe in Haliburton Cafe Diem in Norland andHighland Meats in Gooderham. You can also go to for more.