Seven Cups News Category

A group of people around a table with a dozen teas set out for tasting.

Trade War, Tariffs, and Tea

Trade War With China From the beginning of American history China has been an important trading partner. One of the causes of the American Revolution was the monopoly of the East India Company that made it illegal for us to trade with China directly. Tea was the key element in that trade, helping to make… // MORE



Spring Teas Arrive In The Desert

Shi Feng Long Jing Spring teas arriving brings a lot of joy to our little warehouse in the desert. It is bittersweet this year because of the passing of Weng Shang Yi, the maker of our Shifeng Longjing. He lived to be 90 years old. He started making Longjing when he was fourteen, 1943. During… // 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


Puer tea producer's storage area.

How Are Puer Cakes Made?

Where the Indentation in a Puer Cake Comes From This brief under-two-minute educational video is packed with information. If you’ve ever wondered how puer tea cakes are made or just where that funny indentation comes from, then take a couple minutes to watch this video. The video takes off from the point where mao cha… // 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.


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.



Yunnan Black Tea and the Middle East

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.


Plagiarism and Tea Ecommerce

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


Why am I writing this blog?

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



Buying Gu Zhu Zi Sun

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


Lincang County Yunnan Black Tea

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


First stop to get to 2011 black tea crop

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


Qing Ming Long Jing 2011

Qing Ming Festival | Honoring the Ancestors

Qing Ming In Hangzhou   April  2011. Yesterday was Qing Ming Festival in Hangzhou. The day was cold and rainy but the tea harvest is well underway: it started late but, unlike last year, there wasn’t a false spring that resulted in a damaging cold snap that destroyed the new growth on the bushes. Harvesting… // MORE


Shamian Island pigeon on a plate

Late Tea Harvest Musings

Guangzhou, Late Tea Harvest, and the World Tea Expo   The spring is late in coming this year because it has been another very cold winter in China. Even here in the south it has been unseasonably cold. I have been in Guangzhou (Canton) for a few days researching changes to the Chinese export laws… // 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…


Anji Bai Cha withering

Early Spring Green Tea Arrivals

I am a green tea lover, so there is nothing that gives me more of a thrill that the arrival of the first green teas. For the last two years I have been here in Tucson waiting like everyone else for the tea to arrive…