Every shop will claim to have high quality products, but each business has its own view of what makes quality.
For us, it’s about the feelings the tea gives you. Just like a piece of art, a good tea should provoke a reaction in the drinker’s mind and heart.
It can come from a particular fragrance that will evoke nostalgia, or a complexity that makes it hard to describe the tea but gives a pleasant feel.
Each area of interest produces leaves with special characteristics. This is due to specific varietals implanted over history, the geographical features of the mountain, or a certain way in which the farmers traditionally process the tea.
As you acquire experience through hundreds of tasting sessions, you will have expectations regarding a certain type of tea or origin. If you’re a beginner, take the opportunity of not knowing to explore with an open mind. The early stages of the tea journey are the most rewarding ones.
You will notice that the price of our teas varies widely. This is mainly due to the origin of the leaves. Some areas are renowned, tea lovers enjoy their taste, and the high demand and/or low production means the prices are high.
Whatever the price, we make sure the tea is not boring. Of course, expectations do vary according to the price. When we taste our ancient tea garden production or a tea from Lao Man E, we expect more than a tea from an unknown region.
A trend we noticed among Pu-erh tea drinkers is to focus more on mouthfeel than fragrance as they acquire experience. Some enthusiasts will even go to the extent as to forego the taste of tea, and purely enjoy tea for the body feel. Pu-erh teas which provide a good buzz are highly valued on the market.
For green tea drinkers, the look of the leaves is important. The green tea producers will go to great extent in order to make immaculate leaves with beautiful buds. This is not so much of a concern in the Pu-erh tea world.
The terroir aspect, the unique characteristics provided by the origin of the tea, is most obvious in Pu-erh tea.
For black tea, choosing the right varietal and mastering the oxidation process will matter most.
In a similar way, each type of oolong tea comes from a dedicated varietal, its processing is long and unforgiving. One missed step, and you’ve botched the whole batch.
Finally, white tea can deliver plenty of sweetness and an endlessly complex fragrance. It will age and change faster than any other tea due to the simple processing. The leaf grade, from pure bud to one bud/3 leaves, will determine its overall profile.
All tea categories are worth exploring, but it seems we’ve fallen into the Pu-erh rabbit hole from a young age. We will pursue our efforts into sourcing teas that will make an impression on your heart!