Posts by andrew



A man operating an old-fashioned wooden tea kneading machine.

Where is the hardest place to source tea in China?

Newsletter Archive July 1, 2021 Where is the hardest place to source tea in China? If you ask us, it’s Anxi County, Fujian. A bundle of teas from this challenging provenance just arrived, including the much-anticipated Tieguanyin White Tea and the first Anxi Wulongs of the year, Golden Guanyin and Monkey Picked. This weekend you… // MORE


A woman standing in a traditional Chinese teahouse, smiling and holding up two glass pitchers filled with green tea side by side.

Missing our Friday tea tastings? Us too.

Newsletter Archive Jun. 25, 2021 Zhuping kept a weekly ritual for nearly 15 years. Every Friday afternoon, she hosted a tea tasting at our tea house. Her ritual not only let her taste a lot of tea, it introduced her to new friends. As an immigrant, getting to know her guests enriched her experience and… // MORE


Two people carrying large woven baskets climbing to the top of a mountain ridge dotted with tea bushes in the dawn light.

How does a whole mountain fit into a humble green tea?

Newsletter Archive Jun. 18, 2021 It’s hot. The antidote? A special micro-lot of green tea. Welcome Mountain Forest Huangshan Maofeng — a green tea born from cold spring mornings and largely untended tea bushes in a remote part of the Huangshan mountain range. You could say it took generations of tea makers to make this… // MORE


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A toast to the hard work of wulong tea.

Newsletter Archive Jun. 11, 2021 We’re taking a short pause from debuting 2021’s green, white, and yellow teas to show the darker wulongs some appreciation. According to the old Chinese agricultural calendar, now is just the right time to take a breath. We’re in the heart of Mangzhong, a solar term named for fruiting grain.… // MORE


A smiling couple standing in front of green trees.

Where would you go for love?

Newsletter Archive Jun. 4, 2021 Yang Guangqing had no idea how he was going to make a living in the backwoods of Youle Mountain. He was a city boy who had just left his home in Chongqing, the largest city in China, to the middle of the highland rainforest in Yunnan Province, and he’d done… // MORE


A tall monument of natural stone with red characters written on it. It stands on a small plinth near a fence, surrounded by the majestic low green mountains of Anji. A hand in the foreground points to the monument.

Meet the white leaf that launched Anji into the limelight.

Newsletter Archive May 26, 2021 When plant scientists came to a remote family farm to collect leaf cuttings from good tea bushes, the Gui family knew exactly where to take them. Perched on the narrow hillside of their land was a tea bush, unusually old, maybe hundreds of years old, that grew strange pale leaves… // MORE


An older woman in an apron kneading tea leaves on a woven bamboo tray while a young woman holds the tray steady for her.

Yellow tea and a micro-lot three generations in the making.

Newsletter Archive May 21, 2021 The wind-blown hills of Moganshan were once a hideout for mythic swordsmiths, gangsters, and even Mao Zedong. Today, they’re home to the Zhao family tea farm. Here, three generations of female tea makers work together: Grandmother Wang Xiangzhen, Daughter Zhao Xianqin, and Granddaughter Zhang Xiaonan. The lives (and the life… // MORE


A pile of fresh single tea leaf pluckings for Lu An Gua Pian green tea on a woven bamboo tray.

Getting weird with Tai Ping Houkui and Lu’an Gua Pian

Newsletter Archive May 14, 2021 Something odd was going on at Anhui tea farms in the late 19th century. Communities of innovative tea makers, working in distant parts of the province, gave the world two of the strangest green teas ever produced: Tai Ping Houkui and Lu’an Gua Pian. These teas were not just unique… // MORE


A smiling older woman in an apron and carrying a woven basket for Guzhu Zisun green tea leaves, standing between tea bushes and some bamboo.

Have you met Purple Bamboo and The Grandma Squad?

Newsletter Archive May 7, 2021 Every year, just in time for Mother’s Day, we feature the fresh arrival of Guzhu Zisun (Purple Bamboo Shoot), a traditional green tea made by a squad of mothers and grandmothers. It’s only appropriate we continue. As of this year, the head of the operation, Ms. Pei Hongfeng, is now… // MORE


A tea plucker in a green rain coat walks down a narrow street between white buildings. The ground is wet with rain water. The figure carries a woven basket over one shoulder.

What spring tea are you dreaming of?

Newsletter Archive Apr. 30, 2021 2021 Ming Qian Anji Baicha (Early Harvest Anji) and Bi Luo Chun are here. Earlier this year, Zhuping found herself in a foot chase with our Bi Luo Chun maker. Zhuping ran behind Mr. Lu in the rainy streets of his village on Xishan island, calling after him, “Mr. Lu!… // MORE


View looking straight down the grassy space between rows of green Junshan Yinzhen tea bushes in a small valley surrounded by forest trees.

Have you tasted the real Junshan Yinzhen? Meet the rare yellow needle tea.

Newsletter Archive Apr. 23, 2021 In China’s agricultural calendar, we’ve just entered “the grain rains.” The start of this period marks the end to the early-spring tea harvests for all but the coldest origins. For all of us, that means the earliest 2021 teas are here and just in time to see the cactus flowers… // MORE


Dry leaves of Silver Needle pouring out of a small porcelain dish onto a white surface, with a few pale pink flowers strewn around and out of focus.

Why are we discounting the freshest tea in North America?

Newsletter Archive Apr. 16, 2021 Fresh 2021 Baihao Yinzhen (Silver Needle) is here and for just this first weekend, we’re offering it to you at a discount. There’s something different about Baihao Yinzhen when it’s just been made. In the first few months after production, Silver Needle’s fresh hay and green fruit notes are at… // MORE


Two men standing over a wok with Longjing green tea leaves in it, one with a hand in the wok demonstrating and one learning.

Meet the tea that started it all: Longjing green tea.

Newsletter Archive Apr. 9, 2021 30 years ago, a sip of Longjing tea started a chain reaction that moved Seven Cups into existence. Austin received a gift of some curious flat-leaf tea from a friend who had just returned from his hometown in Zhejiang province, China. It was love at first brew. The only problem… // MORE



A hazy sky above bamboo forest and dark buildings with water running out the gutters, being drenched in pouring rain.

Time for a haircut? Spring rain heralds the new harvest.

Newsletter Archive Mar. 26, 2021 Way out in the Pacific, a dragon just looked up from the waves and sent rain for the spring crops. That rain found its way to the tea crops, at least. In many of China’s tea gardens this past weekend, when a warm day of sunlight finally broke through on… // MORE


A man crouches next to a red string of firecrackers on a hillside covered in green spring growth in Wuyishan, home of rock wulong tea. He is calling loudly.

Spring is waking up. Can you hear it?

Newsletter Archive Mar. 12, 2021 On a misty morning last week, tea makers, tea scholars and officials gathered in Wuyishan National Park to remind the tea bushes there that it is time to wake up. The ritual, han shan, literally “calling the mountain” reached its apex when everyone in the grove called out, “Tea, please… // MORE


A compressed round cake of white moonlight tea

The Complex Identity of Yue Guang Bai “White Moonlight”

Yue Guang Bai (White Moonlight) is one of the most beloved teas in our catalog. Yet despite its popularity, it seems to be a difficult tea to categorize.  Is it sheng puer? Its Yunnan origins and its tangy, herbaceous aromatics suggest it could be. It lacks sheng puer’s typical astringency, though. Is it white tea?… // MORE



The Tea Tour Moves Through Yunnan

This year’s tea tour marks 11 years of Seven Cups providing professional-level education on the ground in China. Every year is different, and every detail gets planned by our own Zhuping Hodge.  So, after months of planning, it’s exciting to see the trip take off. 2018’s tea tour has just passed its first leg, traveling… // MORE


The picking standard of Shui Xian Wuong tea leaves. Zhong Kai Mian and Xiao Kai Mian.

A Short and Handy Guide to Wulong Processing

Harvesting & Picking Standards If there was ever a sign of how sophisticated the western tea-drinker has become, it’s the large number of technical questions we now receive from our customers. Wulong tea is frequently the subject of these questions, and so to help our customers, we’ve written a short guide to its harvesting seasons… // MORE


Leaving Kunming

Venture Capitalist Kevin Rose Adds Seven Cups Tea to Holiday Gift Boxes

We’re honored to be included in Kevin’s quarterly box. The following press release explains it all. Tucson, Arizona (PRWEB) December 23, 2014 Kevin Rose is known as a Silicon Valley guru, venture capitalist and partner in Google Ventures. In 2009 he traveled with Seven Cups founder Austin Hodge to the rainforests of Yunnan in southwest… // MORE


A bamboo wrapped tong of puer cakes.

The “Raw” Appeal of Puer Tea

A few weeks back, Austin clunked a pint glass down on my desk. The glass was loaded to its rim with steeping leaves – thick, stemmy, Yunnan tea tree leaves. He told me it was young sheng puer and he demanded I have a sip. I had an empty stomach, but as an employee I… // MORE


The Radical Tea For the Anti-Establishment

Lu’an Gua Pian – Punk Rock Green Tea While some sources allege that Lu’an Gua Pian green tea was designed for political elite, and once a favorite of PRC premiere Zhou Enlai, I can’t help but feel there is something seriously anti-establishment about this tea – both in terms of its flavor and the processes… // MORE


Mechanical harvesting of Shui Xian

Field Notes – Wuyishan Wulong II

WuYi Cultivar #105 “Huang Guan Yin” | Shui Xian The following are excerpts taken from a collection of notes authored by Zhuping on April 22nd 2014 in Wuyishan. I picked out two sections of notes that focus on two Wuyi cultivars, one very well known and celebrated, and one widely used but rarely discussed.  My own… // MORE


Bai Ji Guan bush seen here growing

Field Notes – Wuyishan Wulong I

Bai Ji Guan   This is excerpt from a batch of Zhuping’s notes sent back from the Wuyi Mountains a few days ago. These notes are part of an effort to pair teas in our catalog with detailed pictures of their bush varieties. I thought they were an excellent explanation of not only a specific… // MORE


Jun Shan Yin Zhen close up

The Niche of Yellow Tea

Rare and Elusive Yellow Tea: Now Less Rare (But Still Elusive) Years ago I had the good luck to hear a veteran tea maker give a lecture on processing techniques that bracket one category of tea from another. His talk passed through great detail on the chemical contours a tea leaf and how manipulating them… // MORE