What was the puer tea market like 20 years ago?
Seven Cups Blog
by Austin Hodge
6M ago
Zhuping, Austin, and Hu Haoming buying puer mao cha from a producer in 2005   My first experience with puer tea came in an alley outside the Victoria Hotel on Shamian Island surrounded by the Pearl River in Guangzhou China on a fall morning in 2002. I had just registered my business in Tucson, Arizona and was in Guangzhou looking for tea. I was having dim sum. I was trying to figure out the best way to eat a chicken foot and the waiter dropped off a pot of puer tea that came with the meal. I was more impressed with the chicken foot than the tea, and discovered if I bite through at a knuck ..read more
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The Magic Of Direct Sourcing in the Tea Industry
Seven Cups Blog
by Austin Hodge
6M ago
Zhuping (right) and with Cheng Cheng of the Weng family, on the first day plucking their old heirloom tea bushes for Shifeng Longjing. Cheng Cheng is the third generation of the Weng family we’ve enjoyed working with.   The success of Seven Cups fine tea over the last couple of decades for the large part can be attributed to “direct sourcing.” It is one of our core values. For us, it gives us the ability to focus on quality. For the tea maker, there is direct exposure to the market. For the customer, there is value and the assurance that they are getting what they are paying for. There ex ..read more
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Teahouse Blues
Seven Cups Blog
by Austin Hodge
1y ago
The front room of the Tucson tea house. With the holidays’ approach, I’m filled with sadness that our teahouse continues to be closed for service. It looks as if that may be the case for the rest of the year. The first year we were open was also challenging, but December filled us with hope for the future. Not so much that we sold more tea in December, which we did (I didn’t quit my day job), but it was the warmth and encouragement that came from our community that moved me. Let’s face it, on the surface, Tucson was not an intuitive choice for a Chinese teahouse that was selling the highest pr ..read more
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How Chinese Black Tea Conquered the World (and then China)
Seven Cups Blog
by Austin Hodge
1y ago
Chinese black tea spread to every continent around the world to become the most popular beverage next to water before it was noticed by Chinese tea drinkers. It was always considered damaged tea until the 21st-century tea renaissance. Chinese are drinking black tea for the first time. The quality of the tea being produced now qualifies as some of the best in the world with prices to match other premium teas. All black teas, however, have a linked heritage. I’m going to talk about that heritage and why these modern teas are so remarkable. The valley where Tongmu Village is nestled among the for ..read more
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How do Heirloom Tea Cultivars Affect the Price of Tea?
Seven Cups Blog
by Elizabeth Miranda
1y ago
Understanding Quntizhong: China’s Heirloom Tea Plants One of the quntizhong bushes used to make the original Shifeng Longjing from West Lake in Hangzhou, called Longjing Lao Cha Shu Quntizhong. Among the wide variety of available tea cultivars, where do heirloom plants fit in? The specific variety of tea plant used to make any tea has a big influence on the final product. All of the hundreds of tea cultivars in existence have their own distinct flavors, aromas, and patterns of growth. The differences between each tea variety can be so great that many famous Chinese teas are only considered aut ..read more
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Spring Harvest 2020: Holding to Core Values in an Uncertain World
Seven Cups Blog
by Austin Hodge
1y ago
Brewing Ming Qian An Ji Bai Cha green tea in the desert. The best of the Chinese green teas have arrived in Tucson. Spring is always an exciting time for us. We love green tea, and as a category, it is our best seller. Along with our green tea, our best yellow and white teas are also arriving. This year has given us a chance to validate the business values that we have been working on for the last 18 years, very often going against the grain of the American and European tea markets. Having ethical values doesn’t mean much if you can’t deliver the goods. Not once or twice but year after year, g ..read more
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The Complex Identity of Yue Guang Bai “White Moonlight”
Seven Cups Blog
by andrew
1y ago
Yue Guang Bai (White Moonlight) is one of the most beloved teas in our catalog. Yet despite its popularity, it seems to be a difficult tea to categorize.  Is it sheng puer? Its Yunnan origins and its tangy, herbaceous aromatics suggest it could be. It lacks sheng puer’s typical astringency, though. Is it white tea? With all that that puffy white down you might peg it for a batch of Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) at first glance. However, on close inspection, the backs of those leaves look too dark — almost black — could it be a black tea? And really, when it comes down to taste, it doesn’t pre ..read more
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What’s So Special About Aged Tea?
Seven Cups Blog
by Elizabeth Miranda
1y ago
Though somewhat counterintuitive, aged tea is in fact a recent phenomenon. Before the 21st century, fresh tea was always considered to be the best. However, while it is true that freshly made teas tend to have the strongest and brightest aromas, many types of tea develop fascinating new flavors and textures with time. Tea that has been aged to develop these characteristics is often referred to as chen cha (陈茶) or “aged tea.” Many tea drinkers in the past few decades have come to enjoy and even prefer these aged characteristics, and the newfound market for aged teas reflects this trend. While s ..read more
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Trade War, Tariffs, and Tea
Seven Cups Blog
by Austin Hodge
1y ago
Trade War With China From the beginning of American history China has been an important trading partner. One of the causes of the American Revolution was the monopoly of the East India Company that made it illegal for us to trade with China directly. Tea was the key element in that trade, helping to make America’s first millionaires. Throughout our history, there has never been a tariff on tea. A tax on tea supplied to us by the East India Company sparked the revolution. For the first time, a tax on tea has been threatened by the Trump administration. Will it happen?  So what is a tariff ..read more
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Happy Lunar New Year! Year of the Rabbit
Seven Cups Blog
by andrew
1y ago
Newsletter Archive Jan. 20, 2023 Happy Lunar New Year! This weekend is the Spring Festival, the marker of a new lunar year, auspicious and pure. We hope your Rabbit year hops off to a happy start with good luck, good company, and good tea. We’re celebrating the event with our once-per-year sale of 20% off ALL tea and teaware that’s not already on sale. Use the coupon code RABBIT when checking out online or in-store to get your discount. This discount only lasts through the weekend (ending midnight Sunday, January 22nd), so be careful not to wait too long. Walking through the door of the new t ..read more
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