Trading fresh tea leaves (by Weiquan WU)

Harvest Review 2016

Tea Journey’s first annual harvest review gives you the big picture on the global tea business in 2016 along with insider information from local experts on some of the year’s most interesting teas. Especially for tea enthusiasts in the West, we hope this issue brings you a step or two closer to your favourite tea gardens – and your next new favourites!

Photo: Students get hands-on rolling and making their own tea. Courtesy: Tea Processing Class, World Tea Expo

Inside the Taster’s Practice

Experiencing the taste of tea and then describing that experience in spoken and written language is an art and a science, dependent on both inspiration and a lot of hard work. Professional tasters discuss some of the key questions about their craft.

Confluence Topographic tea table2

Confluence Topographic Tea Tray

This beautiful carved-wood tea tray lets you bring the tea plantation home with you.


Teabags too Charming to Compost

Most tea connoisseurs will choose loose leaf over a teabag. But one New York artist is doing something wonderful with teabags that you can’t do with loose leaf.

Lepod brewer

Lepod Tea Brewer

A Shanghai company has invented a tea appliance that it claims can brew tea as well as a skilled gong fu cha artist but in a fraction of the time.

Wireframe of Utah teapot

The Significance of the Utah Teapot

Tea—in particular, one special teapot—holds a special place of honour in the history and ongoing development of digital 3D modelling.

Blue Italian Entertainment Set plus Hot Beverage Server

Two Centuries of Iconic Spode

Italian ceramics maker Spode celebrates the bicentennial of its trademark pattern with an exquisite limited edition collection.


Rock On: Designer Porcelain Dinnerware

American interior designer Kathryn Scott’s new line of porcelain tea ware is inspired by natural forms and the grand traditions of porcelain design in China.

Purnima Rai

Purnima Rai’s Nepal Garden

Smallholders are the backbone of the tea industry, especially in underdeveloped Nepal. Here’s the story of one Nepali smallholder: a widowed grandmother who has spent a lifetime in tea, nature, faith and family.


Nepali Tea in Context

A lack of infrastructure, a lack of capital, difficult politics, natural disasters and the very tough competition next door – these are the challenges faced by Nepali tea farmers trying to bring their unique high mountain tea to market. But there’s progress happening and there’s hope for the future.


Growers Hope to Revive Georgian Tea

For most of the past century, Georgia was one of the world’s leading tea producers, supplying the unremarkable brew that filled tea cups in the Soviet Union. The Soviet collapse and the country’s civil war virtually killed the industry, but it’s starting to make a comeback.

Georgia_Delicate Black1

Tasting Notes: Georgian Tea

What kind of tea is coming out of Georgia these days? Well, it’s not your (Georgian) grandfather’s tea! We recently sampled a green and some black teas from producers reviving a tea industry that under the Soviet Union was once the world’s fourth largest producer.


Yongzhong Xie: Tireless Tea Master

Meet Yongzhong Xie: born into tea, raised by tea and to a great extent, defined by his tea. A tea master and a task master, Mr. Xie demonstrates the art of manufacturing fine Keemun tea.


Hawaii: the Spirit of Tea is alive

A community of artisanal tea growers has taken root in Hawaii and it’s finding success in niche tea markets internationally. For one Chinese-American couple, their new career keeps them connected with their art and their family’s tea heritage.

Life bearing volcanic soil

Hawaii: Lifegiving Terroir

Hawaii’s climate, soils and topography make it a natural place to grow tea. But the rich physical and biological diversity of the islands pose both opportunities and challenges for the first generation of Hawaiian tea producers.


Hobbyists Building a Tea Industry

Hawaii is experiencing the birth of a new cottage industry: tea farming. The American state is taking advantage of favourable terroir to build an environmentally sustainable industry. Its development approach is based on research, innovation and cooperation.

Photo courtesy Nerada Tea

Harvest Review: Australia

2016 was a good year for the growing tea industry in Australia. Australians have a history of being black tea drinkers and following their mostly British heritage, but that is rapidly changing. Gardens there specialize in Japanese and Taiwan style teas with a reputation for high quality and distinctive taste from the continent’s varied terroir.


Harvest Review: Introduction to China

The Chinese tea industry, responsible for a third of global tea production, will remember 2016 mainly for the challenge of recovering from severe spring frost. Early spring tea was hit hard but the late spring harvest made up somewhat for the early losses. It has added up to overall lower sales compared to 2015, especially for the higher grades.

Fujian Province mudslides

Harvest Review: Southern China

It’s never a bad year for tea in Southern China, home of Anxi and Wuyi wulongs and many more outstanding varieties. But a wet spring dampened this year’s harvest, especially in early May when heavy rain brought tragedy to the region. Recommendations from the region this year include two Dancong oolongs from Guangdong province, Rougui from Wuyi, and jasmine.


Harvest Review: Jiangnan China

Jiangnan (literally means River South, refers to the area south of the Yangtze River in eastern China) region is the biggest tea producing region in China. With low hills, abundant rainfall, distinct four seasons, this region represents two-thirds of the total production of the nation. Interestingly, a handful of high mountain ranges are all key […]

xinyang maojian

Harvest Review: Jiangbei China

Photographs by Huiling Liang Jiangbei (literally means River North, refers to the area north of the Yangtze River in eastern China) region’s teas are little known outside of China. This region is located at 32 degrees north latitude, which globally speaking, is quite far from most tea producing regions. It was not always a natural […]

Kinezuka family at NaturaliTea Tea Farm.

Harvest Review: Japan

Tamiko Kinezuka: “We make tea with great effort, and hope you will drink our passion with your tea. As my father says, ‘Please taste the tea in one half of your cup, and the heart of its farmer on the other.’ “

Deng Sha Gao surveys wild tea.

Taiwan: Off the Beaten Path

With Taiwan’s compact size and its modern transport and communication infrastructure, one can easily visit a tea grower anywhere on the island in less than a day’s journey by car, rail, plane or bus. Sophie Lin, operator of the Wisteria Teahouse in Taipei organized a press tour in July 2016 to introduce three of her […]

Wisteria Tea House

Cultural Treasure: The Wisteria Teahouse

Taiwan has teahouses of every sort, from Laoren (old man’s) style where common tea leaves are steeped in ordinary drinking glasses, to quiet Daoist establishments, to modern shops where scanning social media sites on mobile phones and laptops is OK.

A C. sinensis bonsai donated to the U.S. National Arboretum in 1936.

Beginner’s Bonsai

Bonsai master Bob Langholm offers these instructions for caring for a miniature C. sinensis plant in your own home. Leaves from the beautiful little tree on your table also make a fine cup of tea.

C. Sinensis bonsai at the U.S. National Aboretum

Bonsai: Master of the Miniature

Just as in the world of tea, there is a gulf between mass-produced and master-produced bonsai. A true artist’s worth is measured by how well he manipulates a plant to make it a thing of enduring value, a work of living art that evolves and changes over time.


Regal Rituals

The English, says author and tea historian Jane Pettigrew, “have forgotten a lot of the importance, significance, and history of our tea drinking habits.”

Preserving the Life of the Leaves

Preserving the Life of the Leaves

Storage is a challenge tea drinkers have struggled with for as long as Camellia sinensis has been part of our lives. Dark teas like puer were aged in smoky kitchen rafters in China for centuries. Wooden chests lined with lead were used to transport shipments on long sea voyages. During the Victorian era, the British […]


A Consumer’s Guide to Buying a Yixing Zisha Teapot

Visit a Yixing store and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the wonderful selection of Zisha (‘purple clay’) teapots. Use this guide to understand which variations in design is best for brewing your choice of tea. The taste of every type of Camellia Sinensis (with the exception of green tea and yellow tea)  is enhanced by brewing in a quality Zisha teapot. […]


Keemun Mushroom Risotto

This Keemun Mushroom Risotto is so hearty and satisfying that you’d never think it’s completely vegetarian. There are 2 star ingredients: the first being Asian mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, and shimeji) and the other, Keemun black tea. The Keemun used in this recipe is malty, slightly smokey, and not at all astringent. You can swap out […]


A Summer Barbecue

As the weather warms and you fire up your grills, it is second nature to reach for an iced tea or Tea Sangria, but tea isn’t just great accompanying grilled food, it can play a role within that food as well.  There is the ancient and classic concept of smoking with tealeaves that can easily […]


Can Tea Lower Your Risk of Diabetes?

The benefits of tea may be due to its influence on the digestion of glucose (blood sugar), the ADA noted, or because of tea’s high polyphenol content.

contraceptive pill

Modern Future for Ancient Remedy: Tea

Evidence dating to antiquity attests to the medicinal powers of tea, but Tetley foresees a future where “remedy teas,” teas enriched with medicines such as painkillers, antibiotics, and contraceptives, are readily available. “The benefit is that whatever the medicine, from birth control to antibiotics and painkillers, it could be available in a far more palatable […]

Green Tea Extract supplement

Green Tea Extract on Consumer Reports’ List of Potentially Harmful Supplements

Consumer Reports’ writes that the risks of GTE include: “Dizziness, ringing in the ears, reduced absorption of iron; exacerbates anemia and glaucoma; elevated blood pressure and heart rate; liver damage; possibly death.”


Tea Polyphenols Studied in Fight Against Neurodegeneration

Polyphenols in white tea are promising candidates to test for protection against neurodegeneration associated with diabetes, according to Dr. Branca Maria Silva, an associate professor at the University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal. Silva spoke on “Polyphenols as Protective Agents against Neurotoxicity and Neurodegeneration: The Case of Tea Polyphenols,” at the 10th World Congress on […]

Yunnan tea forest

Harvest Review: Southwestern China

China’s southwestern region includes Tibet, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Chongqing. The southwestern region is the oldest tea producing region in China and the birthplace of Camellia sinensis. It is also called “the plateau” tea region. The majority of teas are grown at an altitude of 1,500 feet or higher. Many wild tea trees over 1000 […]


Harvest Review: South Korea Ujeon-Sejak (Early Season)

Many tea connoisseurs wait for this first harvest each year, which is usually only available in very small quantities, and will most likely be gone within the first few months or even weeks of its harvest.


Teapot High Art: Trenton Teapot Museum

One man’s veilleuse-théière obsession preserved in small town Photo credit: Pat Riley “VAY-yerz Tay-ee-yair.” The first thing Dent Partee, docent at the Trenton Teapot Museum in Trenton, Tennessee, wants you to know is how to pronounce the name of the 527 “nightlight teapots” in the museum’s exhibit. The veilleuse-théières displayed are the world’s largest collection of […]


Tea Journey Blog

Never at a loss for words…

Tea Journey was funded this week by more than 550 backers who contributed $127,500 making this magazine the third highest funded periodical in Kickstarter history… To our backers around the world: Those who know me well, know that I’m never at a loss for words… until now. Tea Journey was funded at dawn — fittingly […]

Grasse: Tea Blenders’ Paradise

GRASSE, France — Less than an hour away from Nice, in the South of France, there is a small town that I call the “tea blenders’ paradise.” For us tea alchemists, the use of favouring is paramount to our tea creations, and Grasse is definitely the place to go for understanding and experiencing essences. The city […]

Tea the Hero Crop

Large government-supported tea estates are failing. Scarcity of labor, the cost of large-scale production and reliance on chemicals and pesticides unwanted by consumers make plantations unsustainable. A legacy of colonial days, the vertically integrated multi-nationals that still dominate the tea value chain are witnessing a dramatic change as smallholders become the main producers of tea […]

Harvest Review: South Korea

By Mina Park Green tea (nokcha in Korean) is called “sparrow’s tongue tea” (jaksulcha) due to the tea leaf’s delicate shape. In Korea, green tea is graded by the size of the raw tea leaf and the time it is harvested according to the lunar calendar. Ujeon – Marks the first buds of the season […]

Viewpoint: Why Tea Education Matters

“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.” – Joseph Pulitzer At the heart of every journey is a purpose. For Tea Journey magazine, that purpose and North Star […]

Fish House Punch

‘Fish House Punch’ was created in 1732 at the The Schuylkill Fishing Company gentleman’s club in Philadelphia. This angling club, which is still in existence, was the first of its kind in the American Colonies, and claims to be the oldest social club in the English-speaking world. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, as well as […]