Leaf of the East Blog

Spring Harvest 2018

Spring Harvest 2018

During April, which many of you know, is the usual spring tea harvesting month here in the north of Taiwan, it rained just nine days, for a total of about two and a half inches. This, compared to double that for rainfall last year. Even then, due to a...

Tea and Artifice

Tea and Artifice

If you have an interest in tea culture and high-quality tea, the questions of where and how your tea is made are probably important to you. Taken as a whole, of course your tea's supply chain can tell you much about its quality. The history and culture of...

The Difference Is…

The Difference Is…

The following post is meant to answer a question often asked of 'Leaf of the East', as to just how it is different from other tea companies in the market today. "The map is not the territory" - Alfred Korzybski. While the above quote is indicative of how...

Spring 2017 Taiwan Pickings

A friend wrote in to a post I'd written on Leaf of the East's Facebook page where somewhat unfortunately I post most of my thoughts and experiences with respect to tea. The following copied and pasted question and answer are long enough to warrant posting...

Evan Shaw – Wood Fired Pottery

寶島, BaoDao, Treasure Island, is where I first met Evan Shaw, more than thirty years after he’d left the United States to study meditation in India. In 1974, one could still travel from Western Europe through Iran into the Middle East to the Far East without...

Tea as a Cultural Artifact

At times, making tea feels like trying to transfer hot water from one bathtub to another with your hands, making the transfer without spilling a drop and in time to allow someone to get into the second bath while the water is at least still warm. Yet this is the...

Paths with Heart

Up in the morning at 4:30 a.m. Up on the mountain in the cold rain and wind. Working in silence, self-reflection comes and goes, a reflection of intent and character. Sifting through the tea after it comes in from the gardens, again after it's rested and bruised, and...

Weather and Time

This tempest has prevented the tea leaves from being picked, and perhaps just as alarming, the leaves picked prior to it must wait indefinitely to be withered along the Tropic of Cancer under the sun’s intense rays the sun’s rays which lay along Tropic of Cancer. Instead they wait, air drying, oxidizing, inside the “Quiet Resting Room”, on their bamboo racks. P1120521.jpg P1120553.jpg While the tea leaves rest the sleep deprived tea-maker Mr. Yu cat naps, taking a break from frayed nerves.

Cultivar, Terroir, and the Alchemy of Tea

While speaking with a family member who is in line to helm the business himself, he’d identify a Wulong, or Green tea I like and ask, “Do you know which cultivar it’s made from?”. Through the work I’d done on the Yu family tea farm, their were many opportunities to compare a JinXuan BaoZhong to a QingXin BaoZhong before, during, and after the leaves had been processed into a finished tea.