Tea Mail – May 2006

Seven Cups Dear Seven Cups Tea Club Members,

I am writing from Kunming in Yunnan. I am just finishing up my trip which has been pretty spectacular in regards to tea, people, scenery, and culture. As always, I learn a tremendous amount, and am always humbled and thrilled by the experience. The harvest has been very good in most parts of China. Yunnan has not had as much rain as is usual so that has made the spring tea less and more expensive. It has been raining here for the last few days so that has been a big help. I’ve traveled to some new places, and not made to some that I had wanted to visit. We have been very busy everyday, from early in the morning until late in the evening, and we are pretty worn out but happy. Will will be adding some teas to our list, some of which are extremely rare and have never been exported before, as well as some more puer’s. I have taken more than a thousand photo’s of gardens and production techniques and have quite a few interviews that we will have on line as quickly as possible. (You know how that goes.) I am finally going to be able to do something on the website that I have been planning for for a long time, and no other tea company has done before, which is to reveal the people that are my suppliers. Tea companies keep that a big secret and I have never liked that much. I think you should know the people that put so much into producing the tea that you buy from us. We have always wanted to bring the producers and the consumers closer together. It is not easy to find these kind of producers. They are dedicated to tea culture and craft, and buyers that do manage to find them, want to keep a completive advantage buy keeping their sources secret. We want to give these folks the credit they deserve, so look for our site to change it’s format over the next coming months, and if you decide to every pay them a visit, let me know. I encourage to go and see for yourself why this tea has been so valuable for so many years, and why people dedicate their lives to the culture of tea.

Coming to China is always a very inspiring experience for me, but I will be glad to be home again with my family and friends. A month is a long time to be away. Zhuping and Keiko have prepared a good special for May, lightly oxidized oolong and loose leaf puer. If you haven’t tried these teas, check them out in May.

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 (in China for a few more days)