Tea Mail – January 2006

Seven Cups Dear Seven Cups Tea Club Members,

Happy New Year

We hope that this year will be a great year for you and your families. This year we wanted to extend a tradition that we have at the tea house to our internet customers. During the month of January we have decided to put ALL of our tea on sale to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is January 29th this year.  The Chinese New Year celebration in China is a little bit like our Christmas celebration. It is a time when family gets together and old friends come by to visit. This coming year is the Year of the Dog. The dog year is also characterized by strong ties with friends and family. We want to send our best wishes to you and the important people in your life. We hope that you will have the time to sit and have a cup of tea with them many times during the Year of the Dog.

We are really looking forward to 2006  and the Year of the Dog. We had a good holiday season here and hope that was true for you too. The weather has been especially nice here in Tucson this year, and the winter has been milder in China than last year.  Last winter was brutal for tea in the Eastern tea provinces. The cold winter not only caused the harvest to be late, it also affected the character of some teas. Tastes of some teas were a little less robust, colors were not as alive, and some smells were a little less dramatic, not that there weren’t some really exceptional teas, there just seemed to be some noticeable differences from other years. The teas that seemed to have been most affected were teas from the higher altitudes, like the Lapsang teas grown in the WuYi mountains in Fujian province. The harvest was diminished in quantity as well which raised the price.  This was especially true with LongJing. Demand for LongJing increased last year because it is has more name recognition than other Chinese tea. The harvest was very late in Zhejiang province.I think that our LongJing this year was especially good even still.

In the past month the health news has focused on ovarian cancer and leukemia. The overian cancer research is coming from Sweden. Dailymail Article. 60000 women were studied and the risk of ovarian cancer was reduced by the amount of tea consumed. The leukemia research is coming from the Mayo Clinic. They tested an extract of a tea polyphenal, EGCG. Reuters Article.  This research however used just a small sample, but the Mayo Clinic has done some other studies as well relating to leukemia and green tea that have been promising. I’m sure that those of you that track the research being done with tea will not be surprised by these kinds of research results. What is interesting to me, is that the FDA recently refused a request to issue a “Qualified health claim†to label packages of green tea as saying that green tea can help to prevent certain cancers. LA Times Article. So why is the FDA seeming to be out of step with all of the research that we keep seeing. ‘Inside the FDA’s brain—FDA attacks efficacy of green tea’ talks about the FDA’s process. Rock River Times Article.

This month please check out a couple of new teas we have on line now. We have added an Imperial grade Keemun to our selection of black teas, And an exceptional Shou Mei to our white tea selection. We will be adding a few poor puer cakes as the month progresses. We hope that you will take avantage of our Chinese New Year Sale to try them.

Best wishes from all of us at Sevencups/Green Dragon Enterprises, Zhuping, Keiko, Josh & Julian(our kids), Ellen,  Bob, Tim, (in America) and Lina and Leo (in China)

– Austin