The last month of the year is starting and last but not least, one of the greatest celebrations is yet to come. One of the most celebrated events in the world is about to take place: Christmas is upon us!
Weather gets colder, snow starts to fall, lights decorate houses and trees are brought into homes to be set in their traditional places, in the living room, waiting to be joined by Christmas gifts.
As it is a time to be caring for others and thankful, we have something we want to say to you: from your favorite tea shop, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that this year has been thrilling and full of good things and that the next to come will even be better!
As it is a special time, we have created special teas for this seasonal occasion: The Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Black Tea, which will give you a taste of warmth during the long winter season and the Cinnamon Orange Spice Black Tea, because Christmas can’t be truly celebrated without a little sense of citruses in the house! As it is Christmas, those two teas come in a limited Christmas edition so make sure to grab them before they are sold out!
Make sure to treat yourself, family and friends with this special Christmas teas!
As it is a special holiday time, we will close from 12/23 - 1/1. Enjoy the holidays!
Have a Merry Christmas, from Great Tea Road.
Schedule at the Winter Market
December 8 & 15: Hopkins Winter Market 33 14th Ave N, Hopkins, MN 55343
Can't make to the market? We are always at our retail shop. 16228 Main Ave NE, Prior Lake, MN 55372
L’automne est là, les feuilles se parent d’orange et rouges et les gouttes de pluie remplacent petit à petit les rayons de soleil estivaux. La seule chose dont vous ayez maintenant envie est peut-être de vous blottir dans un plaid, lire un livre et attendre que cette saison passe. Toutefois, un bel évènement va vous réchauffer le cœur : Thanksgiving est là ! Ce chaleureux évènement familial est la meilleure façon de partager de superbes moments et une nourriture délicieuse avec ceux que vous aimez, dans un esprit de reconnaissance et de bienveillance.
Cette année, pourquoi n’ajouteriez-vous pas un petit extra à cette célébration traditionnelle ? Pourquoi ne vous réuniriez pas autour d’une bonne tasse de thé chaud ? Obtenez vos thés préférés ou essayez nos thés spécialement créés pour l’automne : nous vous suggérons le Thé noir Orange épicé, une combinaison d’agrumes qui pimentera vos soirées ou le Thé noir Chocolat Noisette, qui vous apportera confort et douceur pendant les longues journées automnales. En dehors de ces deux-là, nous vous proposons une large sélection de thés qui nous l’espérons, vous satisfera ! Venez faire un tour dans notre boutique ou visitez notre site Internet !
Préparez vous avant vos soirées en refaisant vos stocks de thés ! Nous vous proposons une remise spéciale pour Thanksgiving : 20% de réduction si vous utilisez ce code en commandant sur notre site : Givethanks18. Cette remise est valable du 16 au 30 Novembre 2018 donc ne tardez pas ! Comme Thanksgiving est un jour où l’on partage, vous pouvez faire profiter vos amis et familles de cette réduction donc n’hésitez pas à passer le message!
La livraison est de 7$ pour les villes jumelles. Elle est gratuite pour toute commande au-dessus de 75$ dans le Minnesota !
Ayez votre thé prêt pour tous vos invités le jour de Thanksgiving !
Dear Tea Lovers,
If you are a customer of ours, you know we are different from other tea shops, especially when it comes to our process of hand selecting teas from around the world and our love of unique flavors.
What some of you may now know, however, is how some of these unique flavors came to be. As one example, 3 holiday seasons ago, my family and I were trying to figure out a tea we could make that everyone could enjoy. We decided to add some orange peel and cinnamon into our full caffeinate black tea, and thus, a new delicious flavor was born, one that is warm and cozy and perfect for the holidays. However, I don’t have a name for this tea. I don’t want to name it “Orange Cinnamon” because we already have an Orange Cinnamon Decaf Black Tea in our shop. The difference between two is decaffeinate versus full caffeinate tea as we often hear from our customers “I want caffeine!” What do you think we should name this tea?
In addition to this unique and tasty flavor creation, we also developed another flavor. It is nutty, chocolatey, and indulgent. We took our Belgian Chocolate Black Tea and added almond, hazelnut, and sugar-coated fennel seeds. I think the seeds look like little holiday light bulbs. What do you think we should name this second tea?
We invite you to send us name ideas for these hand-crafted tea flavors. If you are picked, your tea name will become the official name for one of these teas and we will send you the tea you named! For our runner-up, we will send you a fun tea infuser.
To enter this contest, please send us your tea names along with your contact information by October 15th. Please submit your entry using the text below or something similar:
Tea 1 (Orange Cinnamon flavor) -
Tea 2 (Chocolate Hazelnut flavor) -
We will aim to announce the winner around October 20th. We would prefer that you pick up your prize at our shop because we would like to take a picture with you.
Thank you in advance to all who participate. We wish you luck and can’t wait to see what the new names for these scrumptious teas will be!
All my best,
Always online at
email@example.com or by mail PO Box 594, Shakopee, MN 55379
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Here at the Great Tea Road Company, we know that while our passion for great tea has carried us forward, we also know that we would be nowhere without the patronage of our customers. When we began this business, we were located solely online, then we expanded to farmers markets, and now, today, we have our shop in Prior Lake as well. Even with all this growth though, we haven’t forgotten our roots. We still do business at farmers markets, we still visit tea farms around the world to select the very best teas, we still hand-pack our teas for maximum freshness, and we still remember that it is our customers who have made us who we are today. It has been our pleasure to serve you and the community over the past five years. Our growth and success is only possible due to your continued support, so, from the depths of our hearts, thank you.
We would also like to thank you for all the input you have shared with us over the years. Whether visiting our shop, sending us a note, or chatting with us at farmers markets, your insights are invaluable as we work to provide you with the best tea experience possible.
We would also like to thank you for all the input you have shared with us over the years. Whether visiting our shop, sending us a note, or chatting with us at farmers markets, your insights are invaluable as we work to provide you with the best tea experience possible.
To celebrate our customers this month, we are doing a really special giveaway called Share to Win where you could win just by sharing your thoughts with us!
Here is the prize:
Here is how you enter to win:
We can’t wait to see your responses. Here at the Great Tea Road Company, we look forward to celebrating our customers this September and beyond.
All my best
Dear Tea Aficionados:
I hope you are having a good summer. I always get a bit sad when I drive past corn fields in the summer, as corn fields are summer’s timekeepers and inevitably signal the season’s gradual exit. I live right by a corn field in Shakopee, and recently when I drove by it with my children, I told them, “Now the corn is taller than me. You all know what that means. Our summer is coming to the end soon. And then you will have to go back to school.” This also means that our hot summer days are coming to an end too (remember the 104-degree day we had earlier in the season?!), and before we know it, it will be time to welcome in the cooler days of fall.
Just as the temperature changes with the season, so too do the teas I carry. The summery flavors are going fast, including fruity flavors and several varieties of refreshing green and white teas, among others. Some of my personal favorites include the Fruity Sangria and Organic Chamomile Dream. If you hurry, you can enjoy 15% off select flavors before they’re gone. Don’t wait though because once fall rolls around, we will have limited stock of our summer flavors.
To redeem your discount on select teas online, use code “Summer15%OFF” when you check out. Otherwise, we’d love to see you in our new brick-and-mortar location in charming downtown Prior Lake or at one of our farmers market locations.
Here’s where we will be in August:
Our shop at 16228 Main Ave SE #113, Prior Lake, MN 55372 TH 2-6pm, F 2-5pm, SAT 9-3pm
Hopkins Farmers Market- August 11 & 18,7:30-12pm
Prior Lake Farmers Market - August 11, 2018 8-12pm
Golden Valley Farmers Market - August 12 & 19, 9-1pm
Here at the Great Tea Road Company, we are wishing you a great rest of your summer and that you find the perfect tea to complement your summer memory-making. As always, we are happy to provide recommendations on flavors and brewing instructions. Until we meet again…
All my best,
Always online at
Like us at
Macao, a region on the south coast of China, has been given the nickname of “the Vegas of China” due to the influence of other cultures, and the increase in casinos and gambling. Who would think that this same region Macao would also become such an important place for the creation of tea.
Dating from the early 17th century, Macao was the most important entry that exported chinese tea to the west. The tea trade was a crucial industry, as it played an important role in the history of China; bringing the tea propagation and trade. Eventually, the Chinese tea culture was disseminated to Europe, the Americas and worldwide, and merged with local customs and habits to form a new type of global tea culture.
Macao was then a gate-way of sorts for tea exportation around the world. It had an abundance of valuable cultural heritage related to tea, in the form of art such as poems and couplets centred on tea, drawings with tea as the theme, and other cultural staples like tea restaurants, tea shops, tea societies, tea houses, tea booths, and tea customs.
Today, it is sad but it seems we could find more tea houses in Hong Kong rather than Macao. We visited a tea museum (picture above) and was looking for an original tea house that was mentioned in the museum. Unfortunately, the staff said it was closed years ago due to the influence of casino.
For Hong Kong, tea is still a popular drink and Hong Kong people enjoy it throughout the day - for breakfast, in the afternoon, and at dinner. Most teas in Hong Kong come from China but decades of colonial rule under the British lent to the custom of enjoying "milk tea." Tea and dim sum are a pair of lover. In Cantonese (spoken in Hong Kong and parts of Southern China), "yum cha" refers to the Chinese tradition of drinking tea. Yum cha has come to mean sipping tea while eating dim sum, similar to Tapas. Yum cha and dim sum words are used interchangeably.
About 5-6 years ago, my father told me that he was interested in growing Sacha Inchi tea. Finally, he pulled things together and received a license to harvest this particular tea in Northern Thailand. The fruit looks like heart or star shape, depending on how you look at it.
How exactly might these delicious seeds help your health?
Consuming sacha inchi over a four month period resulted in a drop in the patients’ LDL and overall cholesterol levels as well as an increase in HDL – the good type of cholesterol.
This effect owes a great deal to the presence of essential omega-3 fatty acids which are known to have cardio-protective benefits.
High in Serotonin which is a neurotransmitter which is believed to help calm the nerves, boost the mood and deal with anxiety, depression and stress.
BRAIN HEALTHBecause so much of the brain is made up of fat, it needs healthy fats of the type contained in sacha inchi to resupply the cells and help to fight against inflammation.
Antioxidants also have an anti-aging effect, not only on your internal parts but also on the skin. They can help prevent wrinkles and keep your skin looking younger for much longer.
JOINT HEALTH AND ARTHRITIS
Sacha inchi may be an effective food when it comes to dealing with the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.
Disclaimer: The information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.
What it tastes like?
Sacha Inchi tea has a mild flavor with a nutty finish. Since we can customize how we want this tea to be made, our mix has 50% leaves and 50% nut shells. Nut shell is where most of the nutrients come from. The leaf helps with the color of the tea. My father holds a Thai Certified Organic but to convert to US Certified Organic is too expensive for us to do so. We decided to leave it as it is.
You can also pick this tea up at
715 Florida Ave So., #206
Golden Valley, MN 55426
Enjoy the pictures from the farm.
You see, when I was young, I would frequently have chrysanthemum tea with my meals. It became a sort of staple for my meals, and was a fun thing to look forward too during the day. I loved the tea, it was so amazingly delicious. What I find funny, though, is that I didn't actually know that it was flowers.
Chrysanthemum tea is non-caffeinated, and is sweetened to enhance it’s nice, soft flavour. What makes this tea so special is that the sweet, non-caffeinated taste works whether it is served hot or cold. So it can work for many meals, and is good to drink whether it is hot or cold outside.
Want another amazing fact? According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, chrysanthemum tea has many different health benefits. One of those medicinal benefits includes “cooling” your body. So this is a great drink to have when you have been eating too many “hot” foods, such as deep fried or barbecued foods.
Chrysanthemum tea, a premium tea, comes directly from a Northern Thai tea garden. At the farm, they only produce it about once a year. As I know the owner of the tea garden, and am quite close to them, I can say safely that they are incredibly nice. All of the flowers that he selects for us are the best of the best.
Enjoy the pictures of both the flower and the farm.
Have you ever wondered what Thailand is like? Wanted to know more about the tea fields, the mountains, and the people? Well, I was lucky enough to get to explore Thailand for tea reasons. I’m not sure whether you should be jealous or just happy for me, but I hope you enjoy reading this. If you don’t already want to go, then maybe this will be the push that you need.
When I first got there, I got to travel up a beautiful mountain. The mountain had a nice, paved road that lead all the way up to the top. It was quite dangerous, though, as it was also at a 90 degree angle! Once we, the driver and I, made it up the mountain, I was led to the tea market. Getting to see where the tea trading happens was quite interesting. When you go, you can see the tourists enjoying themselves as they taste different types of tea.
In the market, just about every store in the area focuses on selling tea. Some of the store owners have their own tea farms, but some do not. Thankfully, my driver knew a thing or two about the area, so he managed to find a new tea farm for me to explore. My driver was a very knowledgeable man and I did scout for new tea farm before coming here. Because of him, I knew exactly where to go and who I would be speaking with.
Jer, the lady in the yellow shirt, is the owner of her own small tea farm. While I was there, she told me that her husband was the one that started his own tea farm. About 50 years ago, he had started a farm with some of the other Chinese immigrants in the area. Back then, the “lost army”, the Kuomintang’s 93rd Division, spent decades wandering the region between China, Myanmar and Thailand, trying to find a home. During that, they were in a constant fight with the communists and those that did not want them to settle. Finally, in the 70s, they were granted land around Mae Salong by the Thai government, in return for helping crush the communist guerrillas in the mountains of northern Thailand.
Back then, the area had been used to grow opium poppies. With the help of King Bhumibol Rama 9 (Current King is Rama 10), they put an end to the poppy farms. The king told Jer’s husband that the opium was killing people, so the land could be used for better reasons. He then assisted the people as they began to grow tea, coffee and a variety of fruits. The opium fields were no more. They were replaced to help aid the people, not kill them.
As the owner of the tea farm, Jer let me taste some of the teas that she grew. Her te was very nice, as it was quite smooth. I am happy to say that, with her hospitality, we managed to obtain her “Siam Ruby” Oolong tea.
But, my curiosity did not stop at Jer’s tea farm. I continued to wander around the area; scoping other tea shops, and tasting more tea. One of the teas that I came across was called “Red oolong”. The owner of the tea shop that had it said it was a special version that was hand roasted. That means the consistency of the temperature used varied. To be honest, I thought I was smoking, rather than drinking tea. After that, I tried a tea that was roasted in a controlled temperature. There was no smoky flavor or the feeling of smoking.
I actually don't mind teas with a smoky flavor. One of the teas I like happens to be Lapsang Pouchong from China, which we carry in store. It tastes smoky, but is a lot more pleasing. It’s different than the tea I tried, which was one of the only bad experiences I had on the trip.
So, as you could probably guess, I spent the whole day tasting various teas. It got to the point that I was actually a little bit sick of tea after a while! Don’t worry, I still love tea. I just had too much that day. So, I tried some Thai food to help clear my palette. Have you ever had tuna salad with tea leaves? It is quite good, but a little bit spicy.
Oh, wanna know a fun fact? The tea trees that are found in Thailand are actually incredibly tall! The tea farmers have to shorten them to speed up the picking process.
Come by to see us at our shop if you want to see the teas we brought back for yourself. They are quite interesting, and definitely worth the trip! Our address is 16228 Main Ave, Prior Lake. To end this, I’ll put a picture in of the beautiful tea farms for you to enjoy.
Tai Ping Hou Kui, means Monkey King Green Tea. This tea is one of the most luxurious tea from China. It is very healthy for your skin and body. It is the antioxidant that helps protect your skin from the harmful effects of free radicals, which cause wrinkling and skin aging. Drinking green tea is an effective and organic way to cure acne. Regular consumption of at least 3 cups of green tea per day will treat acne by improving insulin resistance, and reducing the levels of hormones.
picture credit: teaherbshop.com
How to brew it? We also say drinking tea is as much science as art. Don't be afraid to try new way to suit your taste and style. For this tea, we suggest the water should be at 160-170F Apply 3-4 g Monkey King tea leaves to an uncovered ceramic teapot or tall heat-proof glass like picture above, add 6 fl. oz. of hot water and brew for one to three minutes. Monkey King Green Tea can generally be brewed for up to 3 times. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing.
Monkey King (in Chinese Tai Ping Hou Kui) is a native to the regions near Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province, an area which produces other famous variety of green teas, like Huang Shan Mao Feng and Legendary Liu An Melon Seed. We work with a farmer directly to obtain the best quality teas (above picture is where our tea came from).
Tea Plantation visiting & Store hour.
Many people had asked me how we decided to come up with new teas. To be honest, my husband and I listen to you. We hear about your concern about health, wellness, what you like and don't like. We are not a company that check off the list from vendors to obtain our teas; we carefully listen to what customers want. This is why we are visiting tea plantations. As a result, my husband will stay at the tea shop while I travel to the Northern Thailand.
One of our goals this year is to grow our selection on Herbal Tea. Of course, I will also visit Tea plantations (Tea as of Camellia Sinensis, a scientific name of tea tree) and other herbal tea plantations such as Chrysanthemum and Sacha Inchi. The reason to visit is to ensure that we get high quality products and they are organically grown.
I hope to bring back teas and herbal teas to share with our communities. My husband will need to take care of our 2 young children and look after the shop. For the week of 3/12 and 3/19, we will be opened only on Saturday from 9-3pm on 3/17 and 3/24. Sorry for the inconvenience.
新年快樂 (Xīnnián kuàilè) Happy Chinese New Year!
According to the Chinese zodiac, the year of the dog starts on February 16, 2018. Along with the new year, we have some new information we would like to share: after years of being located in various outside farmers markets, we have finally secured our retail store!
While we enjoyed the experience, we are incredibly excited to be holding our GRAND OPENING on February 10th, from 10 AM - 2PM. Hopefully you will all be able to come join us, enjoy some tea, and get to explore our beautiful new store.
On behalf of the year of the dog, and to celebrate our GRAND OPENING, where you will be able to try our special sample tea for free. We will also be giving everyone who attends our grand opening event a 20% discount on their purchases made that day. Hopefully you will enjoy our sample tea as much as you enjoy dogs. Unless you are not fond of dogs, which, in that case, we hope that you enjoy the tea more than you like dogs.
It will be a very fun event, so we hope to see you there.
Starting from 2/1/18: We will begin our soft opening. We hope you can stop by to say hi, see our space and look at our tea products.
Happy New Year! We hope you are enjoying your time with friends and family. We start off this year with a legend about Da Hong Pao Oolong. It is one of our favorites! It said in 1385, during the Ming Dynasty, a scholar name Ju Zi Ding was on the way to attend the Imperial exam. This exam was at that time the major path to a career as an official. Unfortunately, on the way to the exams he became ill when he arrived in Wuyishan and wasn't able to continue his journey.
Luckily, a monk from temple name 'Tian Xin Yong Le' passed by and served him a special tea with healing effects. Ju Zi Ding was healed and made it to the exams on time. He eventually passed the exam with the highest score and was awarded an imperial scarlet red robe. Scholars with the highest scores are called 'Zhuan Yuan' and have a promising career advising the emperor and taking high officials' positions.
The humble scholar was so grateful that he travelled back to visit the Monk to thank him and ask where he got the tea from that healed him. Once arrived at the tea bushes, Ju Zi Ding took of his red robe and wrapped it 3 circles around the tea bush out of gratitude and carried some Da Hong Pao tea in a jar back to the palace. Since then, the tea is named Da Hong Pao, meaning Big Red Robe in English.
Like a vintage pu-erh – the tea varietal mainly produced in Yunnan province – Da Hong Pao doesn’t expire with age, but only improves (pu-erh is a full fermented tea, if you don't know already). It can be sold and resold numerous times over the decades, gaining in value with each transaction.
Da Hong Pao still grows in traditional, small-scale tea gardens, and each spring the farmers still climb the hills to implore the tea god to bring new shoots. It’s the combination of rock and water that gives Da Hong Pao its rich flavor. The rain that pours off the sheer rock walls, flowing down narrow streams and pretty waterfalls, becomes imbued with minerals, which then impart their goodness to the tea. A legends has sprung up around the original Da Hong Pao trees, which still perch precariously on a cliff face not far from the monastery.
What Da Hong Pao taste like? This is a medium charcoal roasting oolong. It gives a flavor of red dates and purple plums and slightly roasted with light floral / fruity aroma. It is clean finished and clear, medium-amber colored liquor.
Stock up your favorite teas. They are 20% OFF.
Use this code or pass on to your friends and family.
It is $5 shipping in Twin Cities.
Free shipping with $65 order.
Disclaimer: Not qualified for Journey Point Card
Thanksgiving day centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. It is another year, we blended orange black tea. Deliciously sweet and fruity with the underlying support of a robust (decaf) black tea.
The weather is getting colder. Please take care of yourself and have this wonderful Orange black tea to warm you up!
We met Karen at the church in November. We remembered that she purchased "Strawberry White" and "Blueberry White" sample tea. Since that day, she called us when she needs new teas.
We are very happy when someone is happy. This is a reason why we keep going with our tea journey -- to put smile on your face.
Thank you for being a part of our tea journey.
One of our friends suggested to change the current recipe of sweet mint tea. We took his suggestion to heart! Now it is called "Organic Exquisite Mint" Tea. We LOVE mint (peppermint, spearmint, wolly mint, etc). Do you know why mint is such a good plant? Here are 10 Reasons why drinking mint tea would be good for you:
Tea & Ice Cream
I got a chance to meet Grandpa's ice cream in Fridley. To my surprise, Kathy, the store owner and ice cream maker, wanted to make ice cream out of our teas. As I kept thinking which tea would be suitable for ice cream, I suggested Organic Chamomile Dream and Organic Ceylon Earl Gray.
Kathy turned our tea into yummy sorbet and ice cream. If you have a chance to visit Fridley, stop by Grandpa's ice cream. They are very innovative and have many different kind of fun flavors.
I admitted; I love Bubble Tea. It is one of the best creations coming from Taiwan. You may have tried in many Asian stores around where you are. I can only tell you one thing. They are too sweet and most of the time, they don't even use "real" tea.
Welcome to Chun Shui Tang (春水堂). The founder, Liu Han-Chieh, first came up with the idea of serving Chinese tea cold in the early 1980s after visiting Japan where he saw coffee served cold. Then, in 1988, his product development manager, Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui, was sitting in a staff meeting and had brought with her a typical Taiwanese dessert called fen yuan, a sweetened tapioca pudding. Just for fun she poured the tapioca balls into her Assam iced tea and drank it. Today, bubble tea shops occupy nearly every corner of Taiwan’s streets. They spread to neighboring countries like Japan, South Korea and China and then to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, Lin did not trademarked the product. Much like Sriracha sauce from my hometown, Sriracha, in the Eastern part of Thailand invented Sriracha sauce without trademarked them.
Their bubble teas are made to order and are usually shaken, not blended as in other shops. Unlike many stores in the US, they use real tea instead of powdered tea which I suspected there was no tea added at all (and full of sugar or corn syrup).
I ordered Mango & Ginger bubble tea which was a new item on the menu. Perhaps, I was sort of sick due to lack of rest during this trip and caught cold. My apology. So my taste bud didn't work well.
Anyhow, if you have never tried it before, I suggested you try it once. It is interesting texture and fun to drink (and of course, unnecessary high calories). See you next month!
Partly credited to:http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/drink/inventor-bubble-tea-885732/
A very nice comment from one of our friends: "This morning I enjoyed my first bowl of the ceremonial matcha that I ordered from you. It was bright green (always a good sign) and delicious. Thanks for sending it out so quick!". Cynthia H., Minneapolis.
Thank you. We are happy to hear your opinion and suggestion. This is why we keep going with our tea journey to put that happiness on your face. Thank you so much for being a part of our tea journey.
Tea Presentation at Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA).
What a fun day! It was at the Minneapolis Institutes of Arts that i had a chance to present tea to Patron group. We plan to offer tea ceremony in the future for people who are interested tea culture when we open up our brink and mortar store.
We have been really busy with new packaging. This is to help us assure the quality of tea and lower the cost to pass to you in long term. We decided to go ahead with new packaging. Don't be surprised when you see us next time!
This is a real tea country. Everywhere is tea from vending machine to side road. Welcome to Taiwan. Taiwan is famous for their oolong. Majority of them are grown in the central part of the country, but you can find other type of tea production through out the country.
Tea fields are in the neat rows rising and falling with the slope of the mountains like waves of green sea water, majestic and elegant at the same time. Tea farms are everywhere.
If you come during harvest season you will have a chance to observe scenes of tea harvesting and processing; the whole countryside, at this time, is filled with the rich aroma of tea. The tea grown here has a fresh and sweet flavor.
We met with Tea Master Jeff in Songbaoling. He is the owner of a tea farm and a Tea Master in his own right. I told him that i would come to visit him but with me missed my connection flight (ugh), I didn't specifically tell him when I would arrive. As I walked along the street, the street vendors sell mainly pineapple, yellow ginger, some mushrooms and most of all, Tea.
While I was looking around, I stopped in front of a store to admire tea pots. Without realizing it was Mr. Jeff 's store, I said "Oh, is that Mr. Jeff?" He invited me to go inside. When I entered his store, I noticed him and his wife were busy picking out tea. I asked what they were doing; they said they were separating higher quality tea leaves. We knew beforehand that Mr. Jeff's tea are award winning in several competitions. We then introduced ourselves for a little bit.
He asked what tea I would like to drink and we hit it off with Jade Oolong, winter tea. The tea was so much of flower aroma and strong with astringent. After 2 cups, we moved to Jin Xuan Oolong which also has a flower aroma but lighter and a little bit more palatable for me. At the end, he asked if I wanted to try black tea. This black tea is made from smaller leaves (Camillia Sinensis) as opposed to Camillia Assamisis which is famous to grow in Sun Moon Lake area, Sun Moon Lake Black Tea #18. See our another blog on this tea.
It was not my plan to visit him during the Buddha's birthday. There were many worshipers, drum playing along the street, and many display of Buddha's images. After tea tasting, Mr. Jeff and I walked to see the Buddha's birthday event. Incense smell filled the place with so many people carried Buddha images into the temple. The sky was so blue with no cloud and definitely, it was too hot for a Minnesotan like me (around 27C /80F that day).
On the way back to his store, he pointed out his cousin store on the way back. We stopped by to buy a mochi (rice cake dessert) and his wife invited me to join them for a lunch. After lunch, he took me to his factory where I could help him with tea processing and looked at his tea farm. I learned that his grandfather started the tea farm and now he is the 3rd generation of tea family.
Standing next to his tea plants, I smelled flower aroma which was in his tea. I have always wondering why Taiwan's oolong smells so good. I thought they added something in the tea but no, it actually comes from the tea plant. As I helped them rolling the tea, the aroma was so fragrant and beautiful. No wonder why many of his teas won tea competition.
I came here for a cup of tea but I received a kindness, true friendship and hospitality from him and his wife. Thank you.
Disclaimer: We are not associated with any local or oversea tea organization.
Staff at Great Tea Road Co