Two Zhejiang teas, 20 years of memories.

Newsletter Archive Oct. 15, 2021

Five people stand together next to pinkish-red azalea bushes with green tea bushes and tall trees behind them.
Yellow tea maker Wang Xiangzhen (center), Zhao Ronglin and their son, Zhao Xuefeng with Zhuping and Andrew in Moganshan, Zhejiang Province.

People often ask us which tea is our personal favorite. Depending on the day and which one of us is talking, you’ll get one of 100 different answers. This may seem like a cop-out, but we drink it all. If we don’t like it, how could we expect you to like it?

That said, some teas hold a special place in your heart. For many of us at Seven Cups, it’s teas from China’s Zhejiang Province that have an extra sentimental pull. It was a Zhejiang green tea that got Austin interested in Chinese tea back in the 1990s. Support from tea makers and researchers in Zhejiang helped Zhuping and Austin establish Seven Cups’ early network of sources. Andrew’s first visit to a Chinese tea garden was in Zhejiang. There’s a lot of memories in this origin and the flavor of its teas. You can get to know this special origin, too, with two call-backs to this year’s early spring: Mogan Huangya yellow tea and Guzhu Zisun (Purple Bamboo Shoot) green tea. Both teas are from Zhejiang Province.

A glass pitcher of Purple Bamboo Shoot green tea with leaves floating freely on the bottom, held up next to a leafy patch of purple and green herbs in the garden on a bright morning.
Brewing up Purple Bamboo Shoot in glass.

Part of why these teas are so special to us is the exceptional circumstances behind them. Both of these teas are produced by small family-held farm operations in northern Zhejiang province, the head tea maker of both teas is the family matriarch.

There’s something exceptional about the land these teas grow on, too. On both farms, tea bushes share their soil with an abundance of diverse plants. The tea bushes that yield Purple Bamboo (fitting to its name) grow within a bamboo forest. When you visit this garden in the springtime, you’ll not only be treated to delicious tea but also succulent bamboo shoots freshly pulled from the earth and cooked by head tea maker Ms. Pei herself. For Mogan Huangya, tea bushes enjoy a canopy of pine and green apricot, and undergrowth of wild strawberry. There’s even a hedge of red azalea smack dab in the middle of Ms. Wang’s garden.

ea bushes with a bank of bright pink flowering trees in the middle and overhung by graceful cypress tree branches, all watched over by the rounded peak of Moganshan rising in the background.
Moganshan’s Hengling Gardens in spring 2021.

Like Proust and his madeleine, the flavors of these teas bring our own memories of these places and people into sharp focus. When you taste these teas, you’ll bring or make your own memories too — different, yes, but just as real and affecting. That’s the other challenge of recommending a favorite. A cup of tea easily becomes so personal and nostalgic. It’s safe to say, though: we like these teas. We think you will too.

Several tea pickers among the bushes of the lush forest tea garden, showing several of the accompanying tour members how the harvest is done.
The 2015 Seven Cups Tea Tour visiting the Purple Bamboo tea gardens during the spring harvest.