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The Journey To Chinese Tea
September 15, 2020

China Tea ep. 11 – Gongfu Tea Tools – Sunday Tea Book – Sip-a-long – Aged Shou Mei (2014)

Exquisite tea enhance the tea experience

Drinking tea is pleasant, so tea accessories should be pleasing. A good rule for choosing tea accessories is that they bring you joy when you see and use them while brewing tea.

Aroma Cup (Wen Xiang Bei)


The aroma cup (wen xiang bei) is used to smell the aroma of an empty teacup. It usually pairs with the tasting cups ...

Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
September 8, 2020

China Tea ep. 10 – Gaiwan and Fair Cup – Sunday Tea Book – Sip-a-long – Huang Da Cha


The gaiwan is also known as a sancai bei (cup). Sancai means the heavens, the earth, and people. The lid on top represents the heavens, the saucer underneath represents the earth, and the cup in the middle represents people. A simple set of tea vessels does well representing the core of ancient Chinese philosophy, the indivisible connection between the heavens, ...

Sunday Tea Book
August 31, 2020

China Tea ep. 9 – Tea Table/Tray and Tea Cup – Sunday Tea Book – Sip-a-long – Qian Liang Cha 2012

Tea Tables

The tea table may not be the most remarkable part of a tea set, but is very important. Though it always plays a supporting role, it’s actually essential, providing a stage for the teapot, teacup, and serving pot to perform a play of tea culture.


Tea tables are the base for the teapot, teacup, serving pot, and tea pets. It holds the water that ...

Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
August 23, 2020

China Tea ep. 8 – Kettles and Teapots – Sunday Tea Book – Sip-a-long – Autumn Tie Gian Yin

Tea Kettle (Sui Shou Bao)

Most gongfu tea requires boiling water, but the “boiling water” from many machines is only about 80ºC which is not suitable for tea brewing. A tea kettle is the most popular and convenient water boiling tool in tea brewing.

Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
August 17, 2020

China Tea ep. 7 – Teaware – Sunday Tea Book – Sip-a-long Ming Qian Dafo Long Jing


Teaware is essential and sophisticated. It’s not an exaggeration that teaware makes up half of Chinese tea culture.


Ming Qian Dafo Long Jing


Dry ...

Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
August 11, 2020

China Tea ep. 6 – How to choose good tea – Sunday Tea Book

Skills for selecting tea

First look at the dry leaves, then the liquor, and last but not the least, the brewed leaves. These are the basics of selecting tea. However, not everybody has professional knowledge about tea, so here is an easy alternative – the single brew method, which is very helpful for choosing a tea that will suit you.

The look of the dry leaves, the ...

Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
August 2, 2020

China Tea ep. 5 – Tea Appreciation – Sunday Tea Book

Step One: choosing tea, vessels, and water

Tea has its color and aroma. Although it is the most common thing, it can elevate or be elevated, be simple or be simplified, to match your life and feelings in the moment.

Appraisal like an expert

Tea appraisal requires 3 looks, 3 smells, 3 tastes, and 3 aftertastes to obtain the full image of the tea.


Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
July 28, 2020

China Tea ep. 4 -Tea classification – Sunday Tea Book

Tea Appraisal

China is a big tea country. One of the signs of this is how many different teas there are. There’s a saying that the stars in the sky are countable but the number of teas cannot be counted. There are so many different tea names we see in stores it’s sometimes overwhelming.


Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
July 19, 2020

China Tea ep.3 – Tea Picking – Sunday Tea Book

Understanding tea

The growing environment and craftsmanship are both vital to the quality of a tea. Good material requires careful treatment. Understanding the harvesting procedures for tea is not only helpful to gain a deeper understanding of tea, but it also helps us brew a better cup.


Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
July 12, 2020

China Tea ep. 2 – Tea Growing Environment – Sunday Tea Book

Beautiful trees in the south

There are beautiful trees in the south. Tea plants grow in the south of China because they enjoy warm, humid and shaded environments. The environment has great influence on the quality of finished tea. Its taste changes depending on the soil, water, climate, and sunlight. Good quality teas usually come from a mild climate with abundant rain ...

Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
July 5, 2020

China Tea ep.1 – Intro to Chinese Tea – Sunday Tea Book


As the Chinese saying goes, there are 7 essential things we need every day, firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, and of course, tea. So common in everyday life that it is often neglected even though tea can not only quench your thirst but also help with weight loss, maintain heart health, keep you looking young and even help with hypertension, ...

Chinese Tea, Sunday Tea Book
April 29, 2020

Tea Music Collab Project

Let’s do a project to create another crazy tea song!

I’m thinking this one will be Oolong Themed and will be to the tune of Crazy Train by the great (or at least used to be) Ozzy Ozbourne.

I’m looking for folks crazy enough to join me in this endeavor!

If you play any instrument (especially guitar) and have the ability to record yourself fairly decently (you’ve probably goofed around ...

Our Voice
April 9, 2020

What water to use for tea brewing?

We have a saying in Chinese that water is the mother of tea. It emphasizes the importance of water to tea. Indeed, in different phases of tea, from growing, processing, and brewing, water plays a vital role in tea quality. This means water and tea is a big topic that we could spend hours and hours talking about, and this video won’t be able to cover it all. However, we are going to ...

Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea, Our Voice, Tea Brewing
April 6, 2020

How to store your tea properly

You may have noticed that not all the tea you purchased comes with an expiry date. Does tea expire? How long can I keep my tea? How should I store my tea? Does tea go bad? What about aged tea? These are the questions we are going to answer in this video. As usual, we share our guidelines and thoughts on the topic, but don’t hesitate to leave a comment below with your thoughts, or the ...

Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea, Our Voice
November 30, 2019

5th Anniversary Luck Bag – Off Menu Supreme Teas

Shu Pu’er 1990s

Shu Pu'er 1990s tuo

Dry Leaf: Antique paper, wood, subtle sweetness
Wet Leaf: Log cabin woodiness with hints of sweet and a tease of spiciness
Liquor Aroma: Quiet and inward, rice paper
Flavour: Leather and woodiness, lingering plummy sweetness
Mouthfeel: Thick and comfy
Gaiwan Lid: Light sweet
Bottom Cup: Tropical fruit woodiness (pineapple wood?)

Chinese Tea
November 19, 2019

Tea and Health – What affects caffeine in tea? How to lose weight with tea?

Tea is often associated with health in North America. So much so that many people begin drinking tea just for its health benefits. Indeed, if you look up “benefits of tea” online, you’ll find very exciting and promising results. Many studies have shown that tea contains antioxidants, reduces the chance of heart attack and stroke, helps with weight loss, protects your bones, boosts the ...

Chinese Tea, Health and Tea, Mysteries of Tea, Our Voice
September 29, 2019

How to Taste Tea Like A Pro

Tea tastings, tasting notes, flavor wheels… as a tea drinker who has been indulging in the world of tea, you are probably very familiar with all of these. But if you want to take your tasting skills to the next level and learn how to taste tea to discern its quality, this post is for you!

You might have heard about legendary Chinese tea farmers or producers that can sip a ...

Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea, Our Voice
September 22, 2019

Tea Processing Steps: are the charts helpful or misleading?

Once you get into the world of tea, your curiosity naturally grows and the more you dive into it the more questions seem to arise. One of the most asked questions is, how is tea made? Many people wonder about the tea processing steps and how they differ for the different tea types. Accordingly, tea processing flowcharts become handy when it comes to explaining these steps. Of course,  a ...

Chinese Tea, Our Voice, Tea Processing
September 8, 2019

How to make Gongfu Tea – A Guide to choosing and using the Gaiwan and Teapot

I still remember my first introduction to Chinese tea and the fascination that surrounded the multiple infusions, and especially the gaiwan and those super cute, tiny Yixing teapots! Fast forward a few years and it’s easy to take all that ‘hardware’ for granted, but when you’re just discovering the bold new world of tea, choosing a good vessel can be the difference between throwing in ...

Chinese Tea, Tea Brewing
July 4, 2019

Why do we rinse/wash the tea?

To rinse or not to rinse? It’s a question people often have when it comes to Gongfu brewing. Do I need to rinse every tea? How do I do the rinse? Let’s start from the beginning.

What is rinsing tea?

Rinsing or washing tea is the term that is directly translated from Chinese tea term 洗茶 (xi3 -rinse/wash, cha2 – tea). It’s a step when we add the water to the tea and quickly pour it out ...

Chinese Tea, Tea Brewing
February 16, 2019

What is Bai Hao Yin Zhen and How to Brew Silver Needle White Tea

Bai Hao Yin Zhen

Bai Hao Yin Zhen, also known as Silver Needle, is a very popular white tea. The name itself describes the look of the tea, needle-shaped tea buds covered in silver-white fuzz. Indeed, Bai Hao Yin Zhen is a tea that entirely made of tea buds. When brewed, the silver fuzz, also known as trichomes, give the liquor look a cloudy appearance. This cloudiness is essential for ...

Chinese Tea, Tea Brewing
December 23, 2018

How to Brew Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess) Tea

Tie Guan Yin is a well known and well-loved tea. It is often rolled into tightly packed ‘balls’ or pellets making it easy to transport and fun to brew. The tightly rolled balls will open up as you brew them while they release their delicious orchid-like fragrance and rich creamy flavours.

How to brew Iron Goddess
How to brew Iron Goddess


Brewing Tie Guan Yin is very easy and it can ...

Chinese Tea, Tea Brewing
November 16, 2018

How to brew Long Jing green tea

Long Jing, also known as Dragon Well, is one of the most famous Chinese teas in the world. Some people are impressed by the unique flat shaped leaves, some are captivated by its exquisite flavours of beans, nuts and more. Yes, the liquor of these yellowish-green leaves will tease your taste buds with its unforgettable refreshing, brisk, yet complex taste. You can ...

Chinese Tea, Tea Brewing
March 20, 2018

Coffee & Tea NYC – 2018

Coffee & Tea NYC put on by Starfish Junction is always a great time for us! We’ve been participating since 2015 with a break in 2016 when Zhen was in China touring the tea regions with Jianli Wu (more about that here). We had another great year sharing tea with you, and I wanted to share some of my impressions and observations. As we were getting set up on Friday, one of the first ...

Festivals and Events
November 28, 2017

Tea and Music

Tea and music? I’m a big fan of tea, which is obvious, but I’m also a big fan of music and I suspect many of you are, so I thought I would start sharing more than just tea! I’m going to keep a list of all kinds of music here that I listen to when drinking tea. I only take my tea two ways, alone, and with friends. So there are playlists for each.

I have to admit, the idea isn’t original. ...

Our Voice
November 26, 2017

Our First Visit to The Tea Lounge

It’s June 2016 and Zhen and myself are sitting at the gate in the Las Vegas Airport waiting for our flight home after a great week at the World Tea Expo. Sitting with us sharing her dream of a tea room is Michelle. Fast forward to November 2017. We finally made it to the realization of her dream, just before their one year anniversary. And it was awesome!

Six Delicious Teas

Festivals and Events
November 8, 2017

RBG Tea Festival

The second annual Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) Tea Festival happened this past weekend (4 and 5 November 2017) in Burlington, Ontario and we were happy to be there, having a great time and sipping tea with everyone who was there! We met with a bunch of our friends in the tea industry and made some new one. As an online boutique, we love festivals because it gives us a ...

Festivals and Events, Uncategorized
October 11, 2017

6 Chinese Tea Types/Categories

6 tea categories

As a tea lover, you have probably heard of different types of tea, especially the popular ones like black tea or green tea. For the advanced tea enthusiasts, it seems to be quite basic to know that there are 6 tea categories: green tea, white tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, black tea, dark tea. But what do these tea categories really mean? What ...

6 tea types, Chinese tea, confusion, tea categories, tea types
Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea
June 28, 2017

Top 5 Tips for Chinese Tea Sourcing

Many tea vendors go to China to source their own tea, others get their tea from the importers. No matter how you get your tea, as long as it’s “premium” loose-leaf  Chinese tea, you need to know these 5 tips.

No.5   Get the right mindset

Are you imagining poor tea farmers in China in need of a fair trade system to help them get their share of the hard work they do? Do you feel touched ...

Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea, Our Voice
February 21, 2017

Water and Tea Brewing

One of the reasons that Chinese tea and tea culture play a major part in the world’s tea scene is that the understanding, appreciation and selectiveness of tea goes beyond the leaves. The saying goes, “water is the mother of tea and the vessel is the father of tea”. As the bearer of tea, its water affects the taste of the tea greatly.


We often say plain water, however, water is not as ...

Chinese Tea, Tea Brewing
February 15, 2017

What is Wuyi Yancha (Rock Tea)

Wuyi Yancha or rock tea is a collective name for the oolong teas that comes from the Wuyi region. Located in the north of Fujian Province, China, the Wuyi area is famous for its unique geography – The Danxia Landform. This undulating and sometimes spiky landscape makes for phenomenal scenery but what’s more, it also creates an incredible environment for tea ...

Chinese Tea
November 3, 2016

Which tea is better?

This is a little quiz I saw online couple of days ago. I found it quite interesting and shared it with the tea community through social media. The question is simple, based on the two pictures of  Wuyi Yancha  (rock tea) below same cultivar, can you tell which tea is better? And feel free to take a guess about the cultivar as well.

Tea A or Tea B?

Of course, the ...

Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea
September 18, 2016

A Living Legend of Tea – Mr. Zhang Tianfu

Today is Mr. Zhang Tianfu’s 107th birthday. It’s a name that is rarely mentioned in the western tea world, but almost every Chinese tea person knows him. Some people call him the modern tea sage and that is not an exaggeration. Every time you sip a cup of delicious oolong, you should think of this man. That cup of tea exists because of his massive contribution.

For more than 80 years, he ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea
July 6, 2016

The Ultimate Tea Processing Experience

A Game with Water

Our tea trip was not a typical sourcing trip. We don’t need to go to China to source tea. With over 20 years of experience with farmers and producers all over China and the connections of our tea consultant Jianli Wu, we know who is making good tea and we can find it and have it sent to us. We embark on tea trips to deepen our knowledge of tea processing and to share the ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea, Our Voice, Tea Processing
June 29, 2016

Tie Guan Yin – Anxi, Fujian Province

The Legendary Anxi Tie Guan Yin

The Legends

Tie Guan Yin is so popular that for many, it was their introduction to oolong teas, and it is one of the most famous Chinese teas. You might know this tea under the names such as Ti Kuan Yin (Cantonese pronunciation), Iron Goddess of Mercy (direct English translations), and other forms. Rising from a well-known local oolong tea to become a ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea
June 11, 2016

Fenghuang Dan Cong – Wudong Village, Guangdong Province

My experience with good tea, and I mean pinnacle tea – top notch stuff, usually goes one of two ways. The first and more obvious reaction is one of amazement after the first sip. The other, more subtle reaction, is that there’s ‘nothing special’ about the tea when having it. The taste is great but it doesn’t knock you off your feet… until you go back to other teas in ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea
May 28, 2016

Dan Cong From A Bio-dynamic Farm – Chaoshan, Guangdong Province

Against All Odds

Affected by the coffee culture in North America, individual farmers are often preferred by tea drinkers. However, I think big factories and companies that are guided and even driven by a true love for tea are better for the healthy development of China’s tea industry.

Fenghuang Dan Cong has been gaining its fame rapidly in recent years. However, it has traditionally ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea
May 18, 2016

The Perils of Fancy Pu’er

This post was inspired by one of the tastings we had in Menghai, Yunnan Province. A friend of ours brought over a few teas for us to try, and one of them was the very famous Laobanzhang. Laobanzhang is the name of a village deep in the Bulang mountains. The pu’er from that region is renowned for its powerful flavour – relatively more bitter and astringent. This rich content gives it ...

Chinese Tea, Our Voice
May 17, 2016

Sheng Pu’er — The Evolution Of The Process

Testing a Hypothesis

One thing we were to eager to do during this visit to Yunnan was to experiment with sheng pu’er process. We want to put some controls around the different processes and taste the differences over time.

The way to process sheng pu’er now is wither (wei diao), kill green (sha qing), rolling (rou nian), and sundry (shai gan). Our questions lie in the ...

Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea, Our Voice
May 17, 2016

The Odd Economy Of Pu’er

An Interesting Twist of Fate

The story of Yunnan Pu’er reminds me of an old Chinese saying, “Thirty years on the east coast, thirty years on the west coast.” This is a tongue in cheek way of saying how unpredictable life and peoples situations can be. The story of Pu’er demonstrates this as an ironic twist of fate lead to the proverbial grasshopper prospering the most for doing ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea, Our Voice
April 18, 2016

Ancient Pu’er Tea Garden – Hekai, Yunnan Province

Hekai, located in the Bulang Mountains, is one of the biggest ancient tea gardens planted by humans. Almost one third of the Hekai area is covered by tea trees between 200 and 400 years old.

As pu’er became a hot topic for tea lovers all over the globe, pu’er made from ancient tea trees became more highly sought out. This lead to an inundation of buzz ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea, Our Voice
April 10, 2016

Zisha Teapots – Yixing, Jiangsu Province

 Teapot Shopping

Today, we went to the other side of Guzhu Mountains – Yixing, Jiangsu province. The first thing that comes to most people’s mind when talking about Yixing is Zisha Teapots.

Zisha, directly translated means purple clay, however even an experienced Zisha teapot maker cannot predict final color of the pot from the raw color of the clay. It has to be tested through ...

2016 Tea Trip
April 9, 2016

Zi Sun & Bai Cha – Xiamu Shan

Constant Innovation in Chinese Tea

Xiamu Shan is located in the Changxing/Anji area. Strictly speaking, it’s an area for Zi Sun tea, however, the trend of Anji Bai Cha in the nation pushes the local tea farmer to increase the growing of the bai cha cultivar.

The producer we visited showed us a few new teas they have for this year besides their traditional green tea: ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea
April 8, 2016

Guzhu Zi Sun – Zhejiang Province

A Glimpse of Royal Tea Garden in Tang Dynasty

This visit was a Museum / shrine to Lu Yu and to the Emperial Tea Garden from the Tang Dynasty. The museum had a modest admission fee but the experience of seeing how tea was processed during the Tang Dynasty and the beauty and splendor of the architecture made this stop a beautiful choice.

This series of statues ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea
March 27, 2016

Bi Luo Chun – Jiangsu Province

A Beautiful Region

Bi Luo Chun is grown in an amazing beautiful part of the planet. The four seasons are clearly defined, yet there are no extremes. The tea bushes grow in a bio-diverse environment among fruit trees such as loquat, orange, peach, apricot and plum. Locals only use rabbit buttons as fertilizer because this improves the quality of loquat, which is a major source of income ...

2016 Tea Trip
March 26, 2016

Huoshan Huang Ya – Anhui Province

Morning “Brake”

Despite finishing quite late the night before, we were up around 6 am the next day. After breakfast, we got back to work ‘sifting’ the tea, a manual process where imperfect leaves are removed from the tea. This step is time consuming and hence expensive, but it’s not just to improve the appearance of the tea, it also improves the flavour. For these teas, the ...

2016 Tea Trip
March 25, 2016

Lu’an Gua Pian – Anhui Province

Up the Mountain

As you can imagine, tea making is hard work. Starting with some morning exercise climbing the mountain. This leg of the journey saw Zhen and Jianli in Dengchong village in Anhui Province, a well known locale for yellow tea. Mr. Li is our friend and guide and his dedication to the authentic process for creating Yellow Tea sets him apart. Yellow tea, you see, is ...

2016 Tea Trip
March 25, 2016

An Epic Tea Tasting


Zhen got a chance to put some of the tasting techniques from The Art of Chinese Tea: Fine Tea Tasting this week with her mom, Jianli. To say Jianli is a tea sommelier doesn’t really begin to capture the depth of her skill. She took Zhen tasting adventure as they tried over a dozen teas and it was not only delicious but very educational.

I’ll go over some of the info Zhen sent home ...

2016 Tea Trip, Chinese Tea
March 19, 2016

2006 Lao Cha Tou… Maybe not

2006 Shu Pu’er – Side by Side Tasting

We tasted a 2006 Lao Cha Tou from a friend alongside another 2006 pu’er from a bing. It became pretty obvious that the 2006 Lao Cha Tou was, unfortunately, a fake. It wasn’t terrible or anything, it just wasn’t what it claimed to be. It wasn’t 10 years old. Having these teas side by side really exposed the age gap. This is something we see ...

2016 Tea Trip
March 11, 2016

Ma Lian Dao – China’s Largest Tea Market

Ma Lian Dao is a tea lovers’ paradise! Think West Edmonton Mall or Mall of America meets tea! And not just tea. Teapots, tea pets and much more. We had a great time there chatting with tea vendors and sampling all sorts of teas. Click the map below to see some of the places we went.

2016 Tea Trip
March 9, 2016


There have already been a few reports of snow and freezing rain in several of the tea areas. I got this video from a friend showing snow on the tea bushes (sorry for the quality). No one is really sure how much this will affect this year’s tea, on one hand tea is fairly robust and a certain amount of stress can make magic in the right hands. On the other hand, the tea really isn’t used ...

2016 Tea Trip
March 7, 2016

2016 China Tea Trip Overview

Spring is here and I have headed off to China to meet with Jianli Wu, my mom, to find our tea selection for 2016. I’m looking forward to meeting our tea producers and some of our long time friends and of course I’m looking forward to trying a lot of new teas! Here’s a quick trip outline. Beijing – I’m meeting my mom here and we’ll be checking out the tea market at Ma Lian Dao ...

2016 Tea Trip
February 25, 2016

The Art of Chinese Tea: Fine Tea Tasting

According to a Chinese saying there are seven necessities for everyday life: firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea. There are also seven things that are considered graceful to do for those that lead a noble life: zither, chess, calligraphy, painting, poetry, wine and tea. Tea is the only thing in Chinese culture that can be as simple and common as a little component of daily ...

Chinese tea, tea leaves, tea tasting
October 1, 2015

The Mysterious and Confusing Chinese Tea Names (Part 2)

What are the naming conventions for Chinese tea?

Despite the new tea names that are given by the inventors or the brands, there are some rules about how Chinese teas are named. Generally speaking, white tea is named based on the grade – bud/leaves ratio. Green, black and dark teas usually have the region in their names, for example Anji Bai Cha (Anji is a place in Zhejiang Province), ...

Chinese tea, Chinese tea culture, tea names
Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea
September 30, 2015

The Mysterious and Confusing Chinese Tea Names (Part 1)

Before I even started my own tea business, I noticed that the western naming of Chinese teas can be fairly chaotic and really confusing, especially for someone just getting acquainted with Chinese tea. For example in one tea store, I was told the difference between Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong and Lapsang Souchong (they are two different names for the same tea). I also heard a cute little story about ...

Chinese tea, Chinese tea market, tea names
Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea
July 31, 2015

How to Brew Chinese Tea – Water Temperature

Brewing a perfect cup of tea can be quite challenging. The amount of loose tea leaves, the temperature of the brewing water, the selection of teaware, the way to pour the water, etc. Almost every aspect of the whole process affects the flavour and the taste of the liquor. Among all the aspects of brewing, tea water temperature is the easiest one – either 100°C or around 90°C, at least ...

boiling water, Brewing, Chinese tea, how to brew tea, tea, water temperature
Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea, Tea Brewing
June 28, 2015

Cool Down With Tea

What could be nicer to have on a hot summer day than some delicious ice cream? I say, hot tea! Here’s why I’m not crazy.

Summer Tea Time

If you enjoy gardening, you know that the trees and the plants can survive the harsh winter, especially in cold places like Ottawa, this is because their roots are deep in the warm ground. As the sun comes to the north in the spring, ...

health, Summer, tea
Chinese Tea, Health and Tea, Our Voice
June 10, 2015

Zhen’s Tea Chat

This post jumps in front of my blog schedule because of the little stories I have heard and experiences I have had recently. Some are disturbing, and I chose to remain silent initially, but I can no longer do so. Some are encouraging, and I want to share them. My vision for ZhenTea has always been clear, and our journey helps to confirm that vision as well as adjust our approach. I am ...

Chinese tea, correct information, Feng Huang Dan Cong, Huo Shan Huang Ya, Tai Ping Hou Kui, Tea Love, Yellow Tea
Our Voice
June 8, 2015

Jin Jun Mei

The story of Jin Jun Mei began with an interesting talk between Mr. Jiang Yuan Xun and two tea businessmen from Beijing. They all realized that, unlike all other tea types, there was not a single high end black tea in the market. All the black teas are made with mature leaves. What would it taste like if the black tea is made with buds only? Inspired to produce a top grade black tea, Mr. ...

Black Tea, Chinese tea, Fujian Province, Jin Jun Mei, Wuyi Mountains
Chinese Tea
April 27, 2015

Xi Hu Long Jing (Dragon Well)

Xi Hu Long Jing, also known as Dragon Well, is one of the most famous Chinese teas in the world. Emperor Qianlong visited Jiangnan area six times during his reign, and four of those visits he managed to find time to spend in Hangzhou to enjoy this tea. He also planted 18 royal Long Jing trees in front of Hugong Temple. This simple act by the emperor pulled Xi Hu Long Jing into the ...

Chinese tea, green tea, Hangzhou, Long Jing, Shi Feng Long Jing, tea, Xihu, Zhengjiang Province
Chinese Tea
April 19, 2015

Bai Nian Song Pin – Experiencing a Pinnacle Antique Pu’er

Before breing

Having just returned from Coffee and Tea Festival NYC, we celebrated our debut in America with an extremely rare Pu’er – Bai Nian Song Pin. Before rushing to show the pictures and tasting notes, let me introduce Song Pin properly. To do that I’ll cover the tea producer’s history and ultimate demise, which resulted in much counterfeiting and mimicry and finally ...

aged pu'er, antique, history of tea, pu'er, sheng pu'er, Song Pin Hao, tasting, Yunnan
Chinese Tea
April 5, 2015

Qing Ming – A Magical Day for Chinese Green Tea?

If you are a Chinese green tea lover, you are probably very familiar with the word “Mingqian”, which refers to a tea picked before Qing Ming. And in the tea world this is nearly synonymous with a better quality green tea, but is this a steadfast truth? It is helpful to understand what Qing Ming is in order to answer this question.

Qing Ming, one of 24 Chinese solar terms, is also a ...

Chinese Tea, Mysteries of Tea
March 15, 2015

Chinese Tea 101

It seems a little overdone to talk about the basics of Chinese tea, the origin of tea, the six types of tea and so on, but when I hear people talking about Anji Bai Cha as if it were a white tea, I realize that it’s actually not a bad idea at all. There is still a lot of confusion out there. In fact, my original draft for this blog post was much longer and still felt it needed a lot ...

category, Chinese tea, culture, health, history
Chinese Tea
March 6, 2015

Jing Zhe – 惊蛰

Another special day has arrived on the Chinese calendar – Jing Zhe 惊蛰. The character 惊 (jing) means to surprise, or more accurately, to startle, while 蛰 (zhe) refers to insects that live underground. What startles insects in the ground? Thunder. From today on, thunder will becomes more common with accompanying rains, while during late fall and winter, it’s rarely ever heard. ...

Chinese, Jing Zhe, solar term, spring, TCM
Health and Tea
February 21, 2015

Organic Certification? Not now.

Despite how much we love the concept of organic, we disagree with the over-simplified impression that “organic guarantees safety” which seems to be so prevalent in the consumer market lately. That’s why we do not label our eligible tea certified organic, at least for now.


When asked “do you have organic teas”, my answer is always simple and firm – we do have organic ...

Chinese tea, health, heavy metals, organic, organic certification, pollution
Health and Tea, Our Voice
February 19, 2015

Yu Shui – 雨水

Happy Chinese New Year! It is really exciting when New Year land on one of the solar terms and this year, Yu Shui did just that. Yu Shui literally translates as ‘the rains’, which is indicative of the characteristic climate of this period, at least in some places. The temperature begins to rise, the snow starts to melt, and rainfall starts to increase.  In old ...

Chinese, health, nature, Solar terms, spring, TCM
Health and Tea
February 4, 2015

Lichun 立春

In Chinese culture, drinking tea is more than sipping a warm beverage, it’s a way to reconnect, appreciate and immerse one’s self in nature. As a culture that sought harmony with nature rather than conquest over nature, “traditional Chinese medicine” was discovered. Traditional Chinese medicine does more than just provide relief for symptoms that ail us, it is actually a ...

Chinese, green tea, health, Solar terms, spring, TCM
Health and Tea
November 16, 2014

Shu Pu’er, Sheng Pu’er – To Age or Not to Age

Today in an online tea community, I heard for the first time that shu (cooked) pu’er cannot age. I was really surprised by this because I had always understood almost all tea changes with age, especially including pu’er. After some reading and consulting, I think I finally figured out what is meant by “shu pu’er cannot age”. I think the more precise statement would be that shu ...

aged tea, dark tea, pu'er, sheng pu'er, shu pu'er
Mysteries of Tea