All things Chinese tea, food and culture.

Recent Tea Posts

The Five Great Kilns Of The Song Dynasty

The Five Great Kilns Of The Song Dynasty

The term “Five Great Kilns” (Chinese: 五大名窑, wu da ming yao) was first mentioned in a book of imperial collections of the Ming dynasty. It referred to the five kilns that were famous for their production of Chinese ceramics during the Song dynasty (960–1279). They […]

Consolidation Plus Offers Tips to Finally Ditch Your Credit Card Debt

Consolidation Plus Offers Tips to Finally Ditch Your Credit Card Debt

Being stuck in credit card debt is a frustrating situation that many Americans find themselves trapped in. Getting caught in the seemingly never ending cycle of missed minimum payments and accruing interest can make the situation feel hopeless—but there is a way out. Consolidation Plus […]

China’s Jasmine Industry Transformation Is All About “Innovation” & “Return”

China’s Jasmine Industry Transformation Is All About “Innovation” & “Return”

“In June we launched a new jasmine soap. Now every day can sell 200-300 pieces.” says Chen Feng Jiao who’s a owner of a perfume factory. The demand is now picking up quickly in South Korea and the Middle East region.

Feng Jiao’s company is located outside the city Hengxiang, where she spend 20 years in traditional farming. The local keywords of success are ‘innovate’ and ‘return’. Innovation happens mainly in the supply chain space, by expanding into online sales channels such as eCommerce. At the same time, there’s this new demand for traditional jasmine products that used to be left behind in the past. People want to return to original small scale natural farming and jasmine products processed by hand.

“Our online sales of tea accounted for more than 30% of total sales and with higher profit margins than our offline stores.” as tea garden owner Huang Shanzhen. “While offline shops have regional advantages, an online store can instantly push our products throughout the country,” he adds.

Inspired by the success stories, many local young people enter the Internet Business forces. Effort is spend on the development of new jasmine products such as jasmine flower tea blends, oils, jasmine scented rice and even jasmine bonsai trees.

A  jasmine old root carved into art bonsai can sell for more than 1,000 yuan(150 USD) a pot these days. A local flower garden director closed says that with the improvement of people’s living standards, the value of jasmine has been extended from a simple drinking to aesthetics.

A local jasmine grower says “In the past, we mainly jasmine tea wasn’t popular in China, we mainly focused on producing bulk teas for abroad. These were served for free in restaurants or used for processing in other products. This is different today. We find there’s now a high demand for premium Jasmine tea in China and we’re glad that we’re able to grow and process the best jasmine tea we can.”

At last, the industry’s success and focus on ‘return’ also comes with surprising benefits. The town is now also seeing an inflow of local tourists.

This Coal Mine Worker Is Now A Successful Tea Entrepreneur

This Coal Mine Worker Is Now A Successful Tea Entrepreneur

The past Jiu’an Township is a typical coal-producing township. When the coal economy was booming, the town had as many as 400 mines. More than 80% of rural revenue came from coal production and more than 3,000 people worked in the coal for a living […]

West Lake Dragon Well Tea Harvest Expect To Drop 10% Next Year

West Lake Dragon Well Tea Harvest Expect To Drop 10% Next Year

It’s the most popular tea in China and perhaps also abroad: the longjing tea (dragon well). It’s a green tea from the south of Hangzhou. Xinhua, China’s state news site reports today that severe drought this summer will result in a lower harvest next Spring, […]

Tea Pets Movie Animation Trailer (2017)

Tea Pets Movie Animation Trailer (2017)

“Tea Pets” is a movie made by Gary Wang, who also directed “The Guardian Brothers”. The term “tea pets” refers to Chinese lucky charms, which are loved and collected by tea drinkers in China.

Tea lovers who brew their tea in a traditional way, always ‘wake up’ the leaves by rinsing them in the first session. Tea resulting from this brew is always discarded. Because it’s a waste, tea drinkers generally pour them over these little tea pets on their tea table. It’s known that the more often you pour tea over them, the shinier they become! In the Tea Pets movie, these lucky charms come to life and embark on their own adventures.

Hawthorn Berry and Rose Bud Herbal Tea Blend: Recipe and Benefits

Hawthorn Berry and Rose Bud Herbal Tea Blend: Recipe and Benefits

Hawthorn tea has been used for many centuries as a heart tonic in Europe. While in China, hawthorn berries has always been used for indigestion and calming the nerves. Rose bud has been widely used worldwide for centuries for its therapeutic power – now we […]

Pu erh Grading Standard

Pu erh Grading Standard

Each tea has its own grading standard based on its quality and condition. Pu erh is the same. Due to the quality of raw material (mao cha / 毛茶) and the difference in process, Pu erh is sorted into ten grades.  From the highest grade […]

What is “Wet Piling” (Wo Dui)?

What is “Wet Piling” (Wo Dui)?

Traditional pu erh tea can take years to age, but this changed when the ‘wet piling’ or ‘wet storage’ method was discovered.

Wet piling, in China known as ‘wo dui’ (渥堆) is a fermentation process used for the production of ripe pu erh. This technique manipulates conditions to accelerate the pu erh aging process by prolonged bacterial and fungal fermentation in a warm humid environment under controlled conditions.

Sheng & Shou Pu Erh

The wet storage process was first developed in 1972 by Menghai Tea Factory and Kunming Tea Factory to imitate the flavour and colour of aged pu-erh. Because of this brilliant invention, the long fermentation period of the traditional ripe Pu erh is shortened to about 45 days.

The intention was to imitate the natural aging of raw (sheng) pu erh tea. However, due to the significant different taste profile, a new style of pu erh was created and referred to as ‘shou’ or ‘shu’ pu erh.

Both sheng en shou pu erh start with

How Does Wet Piling Work?

wo dui wet storage pu erh tea

To apply the wet piling method, one first needs ‘mao cha’ which literally is ‘unfinished tea’. This mao cha is the result of picking, pan firing, rolling and sun-drying leaves. Mao cha is then compressed into sheng pu erh cakes, or wet stored to create shou pu erh. We discuss the wet storage steps below.

The process of wet piling involves piling, wetting, and turning the tea leaves which is similar to composting:

  • Piling: pile the mao cha leaves to certain height. This usually around 70 cm, but individual tea masters have their own preferences.
  • Wetting/dampening: wet the piles of mao cha with water, and cover them with a linen cloth. This step allows the mao cha to stay in a warm and humid environment in order to accelerate the fermentation.
  • Turning: wait until the piles of tea ferment to certain degree, spread them out and air.

Depending on the different degrees of wet piling, mao cha can turn from green to yellow, maroon, or brownish black colour. You can tell the wet piling degree from the colour of the liquor – the darker the liquor gets, the higher the wet piling degree is, and vice versa.

Does Tea Prevents Dementia (Alzheimer’s)?

Does Tea Prevents Dementia (Alzheimer’s)?

During the early ages, we humans don’t really worry about mental disorders and memory loss. Yet, when we grow older some of us see that our loved grand parents suffer dementia. In extreme situations, this results even in personality changes or impaired reasoning. That’s about the […]