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






Rou Gui Chocolate Mousse Tarts

If you have never taken a sip of piping hot rock wulong tea and immediately followed it with a square of good chocolate, letting it melt luxuriously on your tongue as it mingles with the rich, complex aftertaste… Well, what on Earth are you waiting for? Oh, you want both flavors in one convenient recipe?… // MORE


Rasberry Lemon Tart

Raspberry Hibiscus Lemon Tart

With summer well underway, it’s a good time to break out a zesty and refreshing recipe! I had never tried hibiscus tea until I began working at the tea house, and my first taste was certainly a shock — I hadn’t anticipated such a mouth-puckeringly sour flavor from a flower. My train of thought went… // MORE


A handful of Shi Feng Dragon Well

The Price of Long Jing

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


Zesty Orange Doughnuts with Black Tea Cream

Zesty Orange Doughnuts with Black Tea Cream Recipe

Doughnuts are the type of pastry that seem daunting, but are in fact fairly easy to make. They do take time, however; this is a recipe that is easiest when started the night before, because the separate components need time to rest in the refrigerator. Brioche is a buttery, slightly sweet yeast dough that yields… // MORE



Ginger Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream

Matcha Recipes: Ginger Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream

Spring is officially here — Or, as most Arizonans think of it, “Summer: The Saga Begins”. It’s the time when ice creams and iced teas are coming back in vogue, and bakers are tucking away our rich, spicy, warming winter recipes and looking for something that blooms with more delicate characteristics. Swiss meringue buttercream is… // MORE


Cake made with matcha

A Foodie’s Perspective on Tea

Tea is many things to many people; a beverage, a ritual, a medicine, a comfort. Whether it’s sustaining you through a busy day, bringing family and friends together, enhancing your health and wellness, or warming your body and soul, tea is a common link between many different cultures, and the way that each culture prepares… // 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.