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












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


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