Canada - < 1903

Monsoon : Indo-Ceylon Tea

A Canadian(?) One Cent Trade token for buying Monsoon Indo-Ceylon Tea which was probably issued before 1903. Associated with purchase of a single product it is closely equivalent to printed coupons used in stores today.

Value1 cent
Diameter19.1 mm
Thickness1.0 mm
Weight0.62 gms
monsoon_indo-ceylon_tea_1c_obverse monsoon_indo-ceylon_tea_1c_reverse
W. R. McColl #148

Obverse : Radient lines with Image of a box of Tea at center marked on side with name MONSOON INDO-CEYLON TEA in two lines. REG'D at bottom along the periphery.
Reverse : Large 1 with ONE CENT written across in banner. at center with the legend GOOD FOR on top and WHEN BUYING below in an arc. MONSOON TEA at bottom along the periphery.

In W. R. McColl (ANA 254) 1903 Sales catalog of Canadian Medals and Business Cards, a Monsoon tea token is listed as #148. This list is used as a standard catalog for Canadian tokens of that era.

This registered trade name "Monsoon tea" is unexpected. Tea grown on lower elevations or during the monsoon season, is lower grade and generally used for teabags.

Tea quality will vary throughout the year due to seasonal changes. In general the slower the plant grows the more flavour in the end cup of tea. This is due to the higher concentration of the key chemical elements in the younger leaves, which determine quality and composition in black tea (caffeine, theaflavins and thearubigins). During the monsoon, tea grows faster and lacks the same concentration of these elements, so flavour and strength is slightly diminished and caffeine content lower. The challenge for blenders who market single origin plantation teas is to ensure consistency of the end product by blending dry season teas with monsoonal teas to achieve the optimum quality throughout the year.

The token was scanned at 600 dpi and the images are displayed at 300 dpi. This token was obtained in the 2003 January on ebay from a seller from Toronto, Canada. I thank him for sending the images from the W. R. McColl catalog linked above.