In this post, we discuss our own tea geography. We talk about the tea regions we specialize in, and why we do so. This is both an article about the importance of terroir and origin in general, and an insight into how we approach it.
The need for regional specialization
The multiple types, varieties, and sub-varieties of tea are the result of the combined influences of local climate, geology, vegetation, and culture. Understanding a tea means knowing both the region where it is grown and processed, and the people who make it. In other words, only by directly sourcing, is it possible to find out and get access to the best quality products and artisans.
If, as a tea merchant, your aim is to only provide the very best teas, it is important to choose an appropriate scope of regional specialization. You have to be able to maintain close contacts with your producers, and regularly visit the area.
Our tea geography
Of course, the tea regions one chooses to specialize in, also reflect your preferences and contacts in the tea world. In our case, it is South West and Central China. Our base of activity in China is the big southwestern city of Chongqing. Culturally part of Sichuan, it is the hub and gateway to the South West of China. It is located at the center of our main tea regions: Yunnan, Sichuan, and Hunan. Guizhou, and Hubei are equally close. These are the provinces from which you can expect to find selected teas in our online shop.
It is more than just a question of distances. The local dialects are similar enough to be mutually understandable, which helps a lot when discussing with tea farmers. Our tea regions also have in common that the local food specialties are hot and spicy, which we do appreciate a lot. It adds to the pleasures of tea hunting.
Our plan is to relentlessly explore the tea producing counties from the mentioned provinces and look for the best teas they have to offer.
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