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
Posts By: Austin Hodge
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.
I am going to London in June for a meeting of the Ethical Tea Partnership to discuss tea and sustainability…
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.
Starbucks buying Teavana will push the tea market to a tipping point causing a significant shift towards better quality tea in the market in general.
Greenpeace and the safety of Chinese tea
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.
Travel + Leisure Names Seven Cups One of Six Best Places to Drink Tea in America
TUCSON, AZ – Travel + Leisure’s tea fanatic Bruce Schoenfeld first tasted da hong pao, a rare Chinese oolong tea, at Seven Cups Teahouse in Tucson, where Austin Hodge serves teas he sources in remote regions of China.
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.
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…
I first came to Yunxian in 2005 after a trip to Dubai. I was invited to Dubai to become a member in the newly formed Dubai Tea Trading Center. Dubai wanted to become the hub of tea distribution and was providing remarkable incentives for companies to set up business there.
Last week a fellow tea entrepreneur emailed us with a question. We had never spoken before, so he wasn’t sure how to approach us about a very sensitive issue. He had been searching for a map of Shi Feng Mountain and noticed that some of our photos and content appeared to have been lifted from… // MORE
Since it has been a few years since I have attended the World Tea Expo, I was curious about any changes that the expo might have undergone, so I briefly interviewed several of the attendees that I happen to know. I know I would have been better informed if I had just gone myself, but… // MORE
I was looking at our archives, and I have been writing something on a pretty regular basis since 2003. Of course it hasn’t been all me; there have been others that have contributed. In the beginning it was just monthly emails, and the actual blog didn’t come into existence until around 2005. Still, that is… // MORE
Day 6 our Yunnan Tea Tour packed up our little bus and took off for Jinggu. The Jinggu area is the largest forested area in Yunnan, and rich with many unknown mountains peaks with older trees. I have spent a lot of time in Jinggu and it always seems like I could stay there year… // MORE
I got an email yesterday from a friend who asked me what had happened to the rest of the Yunnan Tour blog postings. Well, I have been home just for a couple of days and am just starting to get back in the swing of things after recovering from killer jet lag. Better to post now… // MORE
Our third day of our Yunnan Tour brought us the Nannuoshan one of the Six Famous Mountains of Xishuanbanna
I’m sitting in a cafe in Dali a long way from Yiwu where we were on the second day of our Yunnan tour.
I have a special love for Yunnan. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and one of the most interesting, especially if you are a tea lover, and it is filled with very friendly people who really enjoy life, and feel it is even more enjoyable if they have some guests… // MORE
Does All Tea Really Come From The Same Plant? One axiom that is typically taught to new tea students is that “all tea comes from the same plant.” If these students continue to learn about tea and study Chinese tea in any depth, they will discover that this statement is almost as wrong as the… // MORE
Seven Cups Founder Wins Award In Puer City I have been thinking about how I was going to write about this for a almost two weeks now. This award came as a complete surprise to me and I am still trying to get my mind around it. I found out about winning this award when… // MORE
This is my last post from the Green/Wulong Tea Tour for 2011. The tour is still continuing for a few more days…
The first day we were in Huangshan a good portion of the afternoon was spent at a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for Wang Fangsheng.
Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang, it was once the capital of China for a short period in the Song Dynasty, a favor place for our tea tour…
This morning headed to Moganshan to watch some yellow tea being made. It is the rarest of Chinese yellow teas. It is virtually unknown outside of Dejing country, which is about 30 minutes north of Hangzhou. In 2010 the tea had a surprising spiciness and I am hoping that will be present in this year’s… // MORE
It is the second day of our tea tour and we are in Anji County. It is a lovely spring day but it was a little chilly when we left this morning from Changxing. I hope that if you are following our posts you check out the Google links at the top of the posts.… // MORE
We started off this year’s green tea/wulong tea tour on a beautiful spring morning. Our first stop was the Lu Yu Tribute Tea Factory Museum. During the Tang Dynasty there were 20,000 people involved in the factory, and all of the tea produced was for the consumption of the court. Production only lasted for about a month.
Purchasing Tea: Gu Zhu Zi Sun This is the favorite part of my job: buying tea. Guzhu Zisun (Purple Bamboo Shoot) is a very special tea; it was the first tea to be distinguished as a tribute tea during the Tang Dynasty, and was produced under the watchful eye of Lu Yu, China’s tea saint,… // MORE
A few days ago I was in Lincang County in Yunnan taking a short trip before the first tea tour begins as well as seeing about the Dian Hong black tea harvest. The good news is that a pre-harvest rain has come, thus avoiding a repeat of last year when drought conditions left the spring… // MORE
Kunming April 2011… I am hear to get a first had version of the weather, and visit Lincang county to see the first grow and assess the coming crop. Some of the best black tea that is produced in China comes from this area, and it is one of our best selling black tea