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




Rou Gui Chocolate Mousse Tarts

If you have never taken a sip of piping hot rock wulong tea and immediately followed it with a square of good chocolate, letting it melt luxuriously on your tongue as it mingles with the rich, complex aftertaste… Well, what on Earth are you waiting for? Oh, you want both flavors in one convenient recipe?… // 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


Rasberry Lemon Tart

Raspberry Hibiscus Lemon Tart

With summer well underway, it’s a good time to break out a zesty and refreshing recipe! I had never tried hibiscus tea until I began working at the tea house, and my first taste was certainly a shock — I hadn’t anticipated such a mouth-puckeringly sour flavor from a flower. My train of thought went… // MORE



Mechanical harvesting

Field Notes: Wuyishan Wulong – Part 2

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 comments are included in italics. Wuyi Cultivar #105 … // 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


Wu Yi Shan Bush

Field Notes – Wuyishan Wulong

  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 picking standard but… // MORE


Zesty Orange Doughnuts with Black Tea Cream

Zesty Orange Doughnuts with Black Tea Cream Recipe

Doughnuts are the type of pastry that seem daunting, but are in fact fairly easy to make. They do take time, however; this is a recipe that is easiest when started the night before, because the separate components need time to rest in the refrigerator. Brioche is a buttery, slightly sweet yeast dough that yields… // 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


Ginger Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream

Matcha Recipes: Ginger Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream

Spring is officially here — Or, as most Arizonans think of it, “Summer: The Saga Begins”. It’s the time when ice creams and iced teas are coming back in vogue, and bakers are tucking away our rich, spicy, warming winter recipes and looking for something that blooms with more delicate characteristics. Swiss meringue buttercream is… // MORE


Cake made with matcha

A Foodie’s Perspective on Tea

Tea is many things to many people; a beverage, a ritual, a medicine, a comfort. Whether it’s sustaining you through a busy day, bringing family and friends together, enhancing your health and wellness, or warming your body and soul, tea is a common link between many different cultures, and the way that each culture prepares… // MORE