Posts By: Austin Hodge










How Do the Plucking Standard and the Uniform Length of Tea Leaves Impact the Quality of a Tea?

Plucking and Leaf Uniformity as a Standard of Tea This post is part of a continuing series of writings by Seven Cups founder, Austin Hodge, for the International Specialty Tea Association. The aim of this series is to detail twelve elements that can be used to authenticate and value specialty tea. The previous post, on how the… // MORE



TieLuoHan Picking Standard

Quality Standards for Specialty Tea | Part One

The Tea Industry and its Misuse of the Term “Quality Tea” There is no definition for specialty tea. The dictionary defines specialty as “ a product of a special kind or of special excellence”. The tea industry uses the word as a descriptor for tea that has no relationship to quality. The tea industry uses… // MORE






The Price of Longjing

A Major Error In The Reporting of Longjing Prices and What the Real Prices Were in 2014 Every year there is much talk about the price of Longjing, 2014 being no exception. Most of the talk is hype, reporting the extraordinary prices that some Chinese businessman or government official has spent for Longjing. However, these… // MORE


Seven Cups Tea Blog Evolves

“Seven Cups Tea Blog Evolves” sounds like a pretty weighted title — as if to say some mutation has happened. It’s a challenge to think up a good title. There is no mutation, but rather evolution characterized by progress. Seven Cups is a lucky company in so many ways, and one of the most significant… // MORE


My Tea Blog is Ten Years Old

November 2013 was the tenth anniversary of my tea blog. When I first started the idea of blogging was relatively new. There were just a few political blogs, and many of these were focused on reporting.



Tea Trends 2013

I have been able to travel a lot this year, and talk to a lot of people, from consumers, to producers from a number of different countries, to tea educators, to small tea business owners, to tea journalists, to corporate tea executives. It is been a log time since I have written a blog because… // MORE


Lucky to be in the tea business

Since the middle of May I have been on the road, traveling in China, the US, and Europe, and for Zhuping it was three months in China. Finally we are enjoying our sanctuary in Tucson, with a lot of welcome home cooked meals.



Chinese Tea Mysteries

It has been twenty years since I first became obsessed with Chinese tea. It has not lost any of the magic pull for me throughout these years, in fact I am probably even more obsessed. Although I have had other obsessions in my life, Chinese tea is probably longest running one. I think it has to do with mysteries.Mysteries are always rooted in questions and problems to solve.




Transparency In The Tea Industry

Transparency has been a core value for our company from it’s beginning. We remain the one of the very few companies in the world that has a completely transparent supply chain from producer to customer. It is an important value for the tea industry to adopt in the future, and provides for solutions to issues related to quality, safety, and fair trade.



Chinese Tea Trends in the Market

When I think about tea trends, I am thinking over a ten year period and extending what I see going ten years into the future. Things have changed a lot in the past ten years from when we began our business. Twenty years ago getting any good Chinese tea was virtually impossible in the US. I had to get mine from a Chinese friend whose family was from a tea-growing region in China.


The Facts You May Not Know About Fair Trade Practices

Fair trade certification has always been pretty meaningless when it comes to China. With the new split between Fair Trade USA and the European FLO as reported by Dan Bolton in the World Tea News, Fair Trade USA has increased the gap between the original core values of the founders of the Fair Trade movement, and the marketing focused business that fair trade certifying has become…