A close up of a tea tree that has gone dormant and is not growing new buds.

2019: A Bad Year for Puer Tea

Drought hits Yunnan hard! Puer tea, a 21st century phenomenon, is going to take a big hit in 2019. Climate change has had a direct impact on the quantity and quality of puer tea. 2019 has been especially bad. On May 10, 2019 the Yunnan Meteorological Observatory gave an orange level warning for drought in… // 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













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 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


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