Blog Posts for the Tea Curious Category


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


Stored 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



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





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.


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…



Dealing with Tea Plant Myths

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




Brewing tea for hardcore tea drinkers

I was prompted to talk about brewing tea by a Twitter conversation with @michaeljcoffey and @joiedetea. I am kind of a part time lurker in the social networking world, and I’m often surprised by the level of sophistication in the discussions about tea. I think that is really great, and am thrilled to see it. That… // MORE


Da Xue Shan Sheng 2012

New Year’s Musings on Tea

Amazingly enough, I am sitting here on New Year’s Eve with all of my work done. It feels great. Everyone else has gone , their work done as well. I am drinking some remarkable puer, Da Xue Shan Sheng, a green puer that was transported for one week by mule…


A Fisherman piece beside a yixing pot with a red filter

Cold Winters, Floods, and the Price of Tea

It is just about that time of year when we start asking ourselves why we started a tea business in Tucson. The monsoons are hovering in the evening, sparing a drop or two, providing just enough humidity to stop evaporative coolers from working. Today it is raining hard and roofs all over Tucson are leaking…