Each year, we look for rare and unusual, single-origin teas that are not commonly found outside China. Traditionally, the highest-grade teas have been produced in limited quantities, sold locally and/or often had a pre-destination (such as an emperor or a high-ranking government official) awaiting what the harvest would yield. As a result, these teas have been difficult to source or were prohibitively priced. The privatization of Chinese tea companies changed this to a degree as it made many of these teas more widely available. Yet, even today, competition for these limited-edition teas remains strong as the domestic tea market has strengthened markedly in the last decade as China's younger tea drinkers explore new styles and flavors and look for better quality.
For our part, each year we set out to find some of these interesting, unusual teas that our customers have come to enjoy over the last 20 years. To accomplish this, we visit tea markets at the initial stages of the harvest or travel to small specialty tea farms. Produced in small quantities, these teas characterize the craft and artistry of China’s tea artisans. Each of the teas within this group has a story and we think offers a wonderful taste. Each is in our warehouse in limited quantity.
In providing these annual selections, we hope you will enjoy the diversity and artistry of China's wonderful teas.