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
Assam is the tea-growing region that can best benefit from establishing quality standards. Known as the world’s largest tea producing region for its commodity tea, it may be hard to imagine that Assam is capable of making some of the best tea in the world.
Standards for excellence would give tea makers a goal to shoot for while giving buyers and consumers the tools to determine whether or not makers had reached that goal.
‘Specialty Tea.’ must be defined to establish value and give meaning to the term.
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
We’re honored to be included in Kevin’s quarterly box. The following press release explains it all. Tucson, Arizona (PRWEB) December 23, 2014 Kevin Rose is known as a Silicon Valley guru, venture capitalist and partner in Google Ventures. In 2009 he traveled with Seven Cups founder Austin Hodge to the rainforests of Yunnan in southwest… // MORE
Speciality Tea has never been defined nor have standards for quality ever been established. Now’s the time to do it.
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
Lu’an Gua Pian – Punk Rock Green Tea While some sources allege that Lu’an Gua Pian green tea was designed for political elite, and once a favorite of PRC premiere Zhou Enlai, I can’t help but feel there is something seriously anti-establishment about this tea – both in terms of its flavor and the processes… // MORE
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 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 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
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
Earl Grey Tea Origins Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world, and in the western hemisphere, the majority of the tea enjoyed is black tea. Perhaps the most popular and recognizable variation is Earl Grey tea, a slightly smokey blend infused with the essence of bergamot orange rind, probably in an attempt to… // MORE
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
Tea Drinking Habits of Ethnic Minorities in China A large part of launching our new website includes a brief (considering how intricate tea history is) scope through the history of Chinese tea. I’ve been lucky to be presented with the opportunity to sit down with our tea master and owner, Zhuping and receive a one… // MORE
These days, writing about tea on the internet is such highly organized enterprise that I have to admit I’m hesitant to enter the fray.
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.
The demise of Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, one of China’s most famous black teas, is filled with irony.
I have been able to travel a lot this year, and talk to a lot of people, from consumers, to producers from a number of different countries, to tea educators, to small tea business owners, to tea journalists, to corporate tea executives. It is been a log time since I have written a blog because… // MORE
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.
I am going to London in June for a meeting of the Ethical Tea Partnership to discuss tea and sustainability…
Starbucks buying Teavana will push the tea market to a tipping point causing a significant shift towards better quality tea in the market in general.
Greenpeace and the safety of Chinese tea
Transparency has been a core value for our company from it’s beginning. We remain the one of the very few companies in the world that has a completely transparent supply chain from producer to customer. It is an important value for the tea industry to adopt in the future, and provides for solutions to issues related to quality, safety, and fair trade.
Travel + Leisure Names Seven Cups One of Six Best Places to Drink Tea in America
TUCSON, AZ – Travel + Leisure’s tea fanatic Bruce Schoenfeld first tasted da hong pao, a rare Chinese oolong tea, at Seven Cups Teahouse in Tucson, where Austin Hodge serves teas he sources in remote regions of China.
When I think about tea trends, I am thinking over a ten year period and extending what I see going ten years into the future. Things have changed a lot in the past ten years from when we began our business. Twenty years ago getting any good Chinese tea was virtually impossible in the US. I had to get mine from a Chinese friend whose family was from a tea-growing region in China.
In this episode we visit Austin at the Seven Cups Warehouse to talk about choosing green puer cakes. Learn the basics for evaluating a cake in relation to the quality of the mao cha and whether it is made from an old tree. Austin shows how the color changes over time, gives tasting notes and… // MORE
Instructions for Brewing Various Loose Leaf Teas in Different Vessels What’s in This Video In this video on tea brewing basics, Zhuping reviews how to brew scented, oolong, black, and puer tea. For each of these, she discusses the ideal temperature with which to brew each of these teas and what vessels to brew them… // MORE
Cast iron for brewing tea? Zhuping talks about selecting the best teaware for brewing green, white and yellow tea.