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about fine tastes, mostly
Our purpose is NOT to promote the business of any individual teashop, product or production region, but rather to help the reader to form better understanding of the various aspects of fine teas such that they are better informed to make judgement and decisions for themselves. Telling the facts and realities may not make us very popular amongst some traders and merchants. However, we believe that it is only through a better educated market that any trade could have a long term prosperous future.
There simply is too large a gap between the facts and what the general consumer knows about fine teas; this allows for too many myths, misunderstandings and misrepresentations, resulting in dissociation for some consumers, and skepticism for others. As a result, only those who have been culturally accustomed to premium teas are privileged to the enjoyment. This is unfair both to the quality of fine tea and to the consumers.
information basis for physical experience
Nothing compares to the actual physical experience of a properly prepared cup of fine tea, but it is through the foundation of enough verbal and visual cognition that people can be prepared to even begin shopping around. However, the reader has to be reminded that the photos here are only benchmarks for the appearance only — there are a lot of products which looks are very similar to the real thing but are not the same in gastronomical qualities, some not even remotely close. Tasting is still the ultimate verification of a quality product but the best we can do here is to describe it in words.
All writings are original; all observations, descriptions, and summaries of scientific findings and historical facts are based on a wide range of trade experience, intimate contacts with real life situations, investigative reading, together with recent research reports of reliable and reputable sources. Our direction is to provide practical and realistic references for both the trade and the connoisseurs, recommendations that reflect the writers’ personal experience, and meaningful readings about the market as well as individual tea varieties from an insider’s perspective.
setting your standard
If the tea you get from your shop is not tasting up to the description provided in this site, and if you are preparing it well according to the infusion guideline here, then you are not getting a fine enough quality. We hope that the quality standard here can be useful as a benchmark for the consumer and the trade alike.
staying healthy as well
A huge number of researches have pointed to the health benefits of tea. This becomes an essential part of tea-drinking in the health-conscious population in most of the developed countries today. This aspect will be discussed in the corresponding section. It will share weight with other fundamental contents: production specifics, origins and, most of all, the gourmet aspects — such as taste qualities, infusion techniques, teaware usage, and care and storage.
why China first?
We have begun with productions in China, where tea originated, and which productions and products we have the most first hand knowledge of, and where the current biodiversity, product ranges, taste differences, and varieties in health contributing composition are by far the greatest and most interesting. Its tea economy structure is also the most vibrant, energetic and has the best potential to learn from. As the content of this site grows, quality productions from other parts of the world will be included*(note).
There could be areas of knowledge that the reader wants but not included. There will also be different opinions and information and experiences that the reader may want us to discuss. Comments and feedbacks are most welcome. Please be generous with offering us your thoughts.
keeping update, for free
This site is on the continual creation. New articles, such as tea selection reviews, tea health information, infusion techniques, tea ware reviews etc., will be added regularly. It is beneficial to the reader to subscribe to this site for updates, for free. <subscribe link>
Leo Kwan, the Tea Guardian
Producers who think their products should be included are welcome to submit information and samples for our study. Click <here> for contact details. It should be understood, however, we insist on editorial independence and no comments or inclusion of any products, teahouses, or any other commodities or commercial entities are influenced by any sponsorship or advertising in this site.