Tea Mail – April 2006

THE FIRST TEA OF THE SEASON IS HERE!

I am just a few days from leaving for China. It looks like it is going to be a very good harvest this year. The MengDingShan teas are great this year from Sichuan. They are the first in the country to be harvested. On my trip I will be starting off in the East, in Zhejiang, and visiting 8 other provinces, covering about three thousand miles. I’m pretty excited. I will end up in Yunnan for the Puer Festival. We are figuring out how to do video cast on the Internet, and I hope to return with a lot of interviews with producers and tea masters. I am going to Hunan in search of yellow tea. I’ve never been there before and have been exchanging emails for about six months now. I’ll be seeing my old friends in WuYiShan and Tong Mu Village. I’m going to climb high into HuangShan, to see the famous MaoFeng harvest, with a side trip to Qimen to check out this years Keemun. Wow, just writing this is getting me pretty jazzed.

The most interesting thing I ran into about tea in the news had to do with Fair Trade Certification entitled Fair Prices for Farmers: Simple Idea, Complex Reality, from the New York times Business Section. Even though looking for the Fair Trade Logo, and being a socially aware consumer, we need to go a lot further to make sure that the people that are producing products like tea are being treated fairly. Please read this article if you have time. Seven Cups will continue to hand pick producers.

As I was saying, we have new MengDingShan tea. We have a new jasmine tea also. It is an Imperial grade YinHao. It is very rich in buds. I hope you enjoy it. I hope to get these teas online before I go. I am really the bottleneck for getting things done. We are having a Black and White Tea Sale in April. Whenever we get new tea, the stock for last year will go on sale. Don’t worry about the freshness. Even green tea has a shelf life of about 18 months if it is kept dry, out of the sunshine, and away from other smells. We ship our premium tea from China by air, and we turn over our inventory very regularly. If the producer does not package it up to our standards, we repackage it in China before we ship it here.

Please keep your eyes open for more video casts. You can subscribe via iTunes.

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

- Austin