As of October 2015, I started an on-line tea business. I carry teas that are predominantly hand-crafted by artisanal teamakers, so it actually seems like the tea equivalent of the books I review here. Since the tea business will hopefully pay the bills and allow me to continue reviewing fine and private press books, I thought I’d provide this page with info and links. A nice letterpress book and a handcrafted tea go well together, maybe just not right next to each other…
Why am I in business? I am in business to bring great tea of known provenance into the market.
Target Customers: My target customers are people who favor straight teas or simple blends with no “natural or artificial flavoring” and who care about where, how, and by whom that tea was produced.
I want to provide a source for quality teas of known provenance that adhere to the goals of the Specialty Tea Manifesto of the Specialty Tea Association.
In particular, each tea sold by Leaves of Cha should have a minimum of the following information to prove its provenance:
- Place of Origin: within a resolution of 100 miles
- Cultivar of Camellia Sinensis
- Harvest time
- Plucking Standard
- Tea Master
Providing this amount of provenance is rare in the $40B/year tea business, even for those marketed as “specialty” teas. As I continue to identify and add teas for which this information is known, if I carry a tea that does not have adequate provenance, it will at least have a certified organic status while I search for a well-documented source for that tea.
As with many healthful foods, the amount of benefit derived depends on the purity of that food. Leaves of Cha hopes to help drive specialty tea standards while allowing us all to drink the best tea possible.
Provenance Matters. Know Your Tea. Drink.