Where is your tea? It’s on the way right now.

Newsletter Archive Oct. 8, 2021

 A handful of Bi Tan Piao Xue (Snow Drop Jasmine) spring green tea mixed with fresh jasmine flowers. 2021.
Scenting 2021’s Snow Drop Jasmine green tea with real jasmine flowers for a lasting aroma.

With a supply chain crisis in the news, it may not surprise you to find a number of your favorite teas out of stock. Fortunately, we have an optimistic forecast. For those interested in the buzz around the tea supply chain, read on. If you’re just here for the tea, raise a glass of the Mengding Ganlu (Sweet Dew) or 2021 Mengding Bi Tan Piao Xue (Snow Drop Jasmine) we’re featuring this weekend. Exactly the kind of teas we reach for on a stressful day.

It’s no secret that moving goods from China has had its challenges these last few years. Compared with just two years ago, every stage of transportation is now more expensive and takes longer, or both. Take ocean freight for example. What was formerly an inexpensive shipping option that took three weeks is now two to three times more expensive and takes three months.

Tea is no exception to these tensions. The supply chain of Tea, this humble old product, has found itself caught in the vagaries of trade war, then caught in a scramble for essential supplies, and now caught in a scramble for toys, housewares, and semiconductors. Throughout all of these challenges, we’re fortunate to have had the experience and close relationships to keep things moving on schedule and keep costs as low as possible.

Stacked cardboard shipping boxes of tea with the Seven Cups company logo on the side, lashed to a pallet. 2020.

Still, sometimes we’re in the same boat as everybody else. In this case, quite literally. Our usual Fall shipment is caught up in the unprecedented back up of ships waiting to unload their cargo in Los Angeles. If you’ve been waiting on Buddha’s Eyebrow or Rougui, for example, this is why.

The good news is that the ship with your tea on it is at the head of the line. It’s currently moored at the terminal and is being unloaded. It’s hard to promise an exact timeline given the situation is so unprecedented, but things look positive for tea to be back in stock in the next few weeks.

In the meantime we’ve received a few small deliveries of some teas by air. This weekend’s feature of the new crop of Snow Drop Jasmine is just one of these. Fortunately, air freight deliveries are moving with much less difficulty than last year, albeit still pretty expensive. Be warned, supplies are limited and we may sell out quickly. If we do, take heart that these teas will soon return with the large delivery making its way from the docks to our little corner of the desert. Keep a lookout for these and for completely new teas and teaware in the coming weeks.

Close-up of a plump fuzzy tea bud growing on the end of a stem in spring. Ready to harvest for Mengding Ganlu (Sweet Dew) green tea. 2021.
Fresh buds of Sweet Dew from spring 2021.