Our philosophy is that when customers buy tea they are investing in pleasure. Tea is a product to be enjoyed for its aroma, taste and feeling of satisfaction. There is no right or wrong way to drink it, just whatever suits you except the better the tea the greater the experience. It is the ideal beverage to enjoy with friends but equally as rewarding to savour alone where it can both relax and revive. While some methods of preparation and serving may be better than others there are no wrong ways if it works for you. Tea is a drink for everyone and does not have to be something mystical or to be discussed at length unless you want to it to be. Be curious, explore, experiment and don't be overwhelmed!
In selecting our teas we adhere to a consistent set of principles designed to delight the drinker. Teas must demonstrate exceptional taste and aroma, a depth of character that develops over successive brews, consistency in production and it must offer excellent value for money. That being said, we do not even go on to consider a tea for selection if it is not clean (i.e. free of chemicals and additives) and produced in a responsible, sustainable and fairly traded way. Equally, it is not enough that a tea has an organic certificate, is produced in a certain style or is from a particular location if it falls short on flavour.
An excellent tea requires great source material (fresh tea leaves from an optimum environment) and great skill in turning those leaves into something special. No amount of skill will turn poor material into something great but great material can easily end up as ordinary tea in the wrong hands. The challenge is to uncover those extraordinary circumstances where the two essentials come together.
For us, sourcing tea from Vietnam is an ongoing everyday activity and not something that happens once every few years. Being based in Vietnam and focusing solely on Vietnamese tea we are easily able to do this. Although we have traditionally presented ourselves as a sourcing business the lines have become blurred over time and we now rarely stock off-the-shelf teas. Rather we work with our tea-making partners to produce bespoke products – whether it is a subtle change to drying or rolling or whether it is teas made entirely to our own specifications. For the majority of our Oolong teas we have taken on the final drying phase to ensure that each has our own signature and are delivered as fresh as possible.
We work very closely with many tea producers around the country, visit them frequently and speak to them regularly whether this is checking on the weather or the progress of the harvest, sharing new ideas for improvements or new products, encouraging them to speak to each other to share experiences or simply asking them how they are.
Ultimately our mission is to create the finest range of teas that we can find in Vietnam and bring these to the awareness of customers around the world. It is a never ending journey but one that is full of wonderful experiences.