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The Min River Tea blog

News, events and information from the world of Chinese tea

Faster, quicker and safer payments on minrivertea.com

We've just implemented a new payments gateway, which will mean safer, more secure and faster payments for all our customers. The new payment gateway is powered by Stripe, implemented in response to feedback from customers (1). As well as offering industry standard encryption and secure handling/storage of your credit card details, you can now make all payments without having to navigate away to a separate website. At the same time, we've also implemented secure SSL encryption technology on all payment pages. It means that any data you submit to us (eg. your email, address and name) is encrypted ...

Need a good excuse to go to Amsterdam?

Looking for an excuse to visit the Dutch capital or want to spend some quality tea time in the company of Italy's most promising tea blogger? Our dear tea friend Francesca (check out her blog) is going to host an Origami (traditional paper folding) workshop and tea tasting in Amsterdam. Don't worry it will be all in English! You can see the full details here but here's the quick info: Saturday, 9th November 2013 4.30 – 6.30 pm Spoiler alert: Francesca will be responsible for the Italian Min River Tea website to be launched later this month. It ...

Roast your own - how to revive that last bit of Iron Buddha

A sad fact of life is that tea is perishable - it's best drunk fresh, and generally speaking, after 12 months most teas will be past their best. So, what do you do with all that old tea?? Well, if that tea is Iron Buddha, roast it yourself! Many teas are roasted as part of their processing, and it gives them a deep and hearty flavour. Iron Buddha is not roasted normally, but tea lovers in China fed up with throwing out their Iron Buddha often roast the leaves after 12 months to preserve them for another year. The roasting ...

2013 Jasmine Tea Tour

Last weekend, we took a small group of friends guests on an exclusive tour of Fuzhou's Jasmine tea industry, from the beautiful Jasmine flower fields of south Fuzhou through to a guided tour of the historic 'embassy district' founded around the tea trade. We had a mixture of guests, including a few Chinese tea industry insiders and foreign expats in Fuzhou who were simply interested in Fuzhou's local produce. The itinerary started off at Cheng Men where we looked around one of Fuzhou's last remaining Jasmine flower fields in the shadow of 'Five Tiger Mountain'. After that, we took a ...

How Long Jing (Dragonwell) Tea is made [PHOTOS]

Dragonwell tea, otherwise known as Long Jing (龙井) in Chinese, is probably China's most famous tea - it's green, light and regularly grabs headlines with ludicrous auction prices for first flush teas each April. For those of you interested, here's our quick photo guide to how Long Jing tea is produced. These photos were taken at the farm of Tea Master Chen Jian Jie who makes our Long Jing tea in Zhu Ji, Hangzhou - click here to try out our Long Jing tea for yourself! The tea fields - Long Jing is usually picked before Qing Ming ...

A weekend trip to Meng Ding Shan

While my friends in Europe curse the renewed onset of winter, Chengdu (成都, south-west China) enjoys a meteorological curiosity around this time - kind of like a warmup for summer. For two weeks, everything heats up, and unfortunately, stirs up lots of dust as well. So, what better way to avoid the dust storms than to take a short, 2-hour bus trip to one of China's oldest tea growing areas - Meng Shan. Reputedly the birthplace of Chinese tea cultivation, it's somewhere to escape, breath the fresh mountain air, and watch preparations for the upcoming Spring tea harvest. Later on ...

Tai Ping Monkey King green tea available now!

We're really proud to add a new tea to our line-up today - it's called Tai Ping Monkey King, and it's possibly the most ridiculously green Green tea we've ever seen. The tea comes from Huang Shan in Anhui Province, growing in the foothills of the misty peaks of the famous mountain range. The production method is quite unique, involving flattening the leaves between grills before being fired, and the tea plant itself is a special cultivar. The distinctive shi da type gives it its large shape and strong green colour, and also the flavour known in Chinese as chun ...

Want to help fund an innovative new brewer?

While we hold a special place in our hearts for the traditions of Chinese tea, we're also big fans of innovation in tea. If you're looking for the next big thing in tea gadgets, check out Joel Bebo's KLiP tea brewer. With production being funded via crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter (you can see details and contribute yourself here), Joel's new design for a clean and simple way to brew loose-leaf teas has certainly caught many people's attention (260 contributers so far, and $11,000 in funding already!). It's just as important to look forward as it is to respect traditions. Brewing ...

Mao, stinky tofu and fermented teas in Hunan

40 hours on a train marked Raphael's first tea adventure after setting up Min River Tea Germany. He went to one of China's least talked about but strongest tea growing areas, Hunan province. Read on for fungus teas, rotten tofu, insect tea (gulp!) and some surprising green gems... Raphael is a Belgian citizen working and living in Chengdu, south-western China. He is a huge tea enthusiast and keen linguist (Chinese, English, French, German and a little Dutch too) and began working at Min River Tea recently to help spread the word in Germany, Austria and Belgium. Get in touch ...

Winter Sale - all roasted teas 15% off!

To help you all warm up this winter, we're offering 15% off all of our roasted Chinese teas for the whole of January (or while stocks last). That includes our Aged 'Old Iron' oolong tea, original un-smoked Lapsang Souchong and the fruity, delicate Jin Jun Mei. In China, red teas are drunk in the winter because they are seen as nuan wei, warming to the stomach and helpful for digestion. if you've never tried high quality red teas before, our Roasted Tea Taster pack has also been discounted. You can see all our special offers on ...