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tea travels, educated guesses, guest speakers

July 30, 2021
A month's word cathartics on Pu'er tea

It feels like quite a while since I've blog-posted here. And while this may be the case, fortunately I can state that Rivers & Lakes as a whole has not been neglected one bit, and is quite a vibrant source in creating this omission. This year we sourced more tea than last year, expanding our […]

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December 20, 2020
Dimensions of White Tea, An introduction

White Tea or 白茶 Bai Cha, perhaps the most basic, unassuming, yet often misunderstood and recondite styles of tea. Enigmatic as it is, white tea has experienced a recent boom in popularity, boasting a steady increase in annual sales since 2008, with this increase becoming exponential within the last few years. In tandem with this […]

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October 10, 2020
Yiwu Part II: Cultivar of the Psychic

I finished Part I of this series signaling to folks that in part II there might be some inspired speculation... You've been warned. In Yiwu, most of the actors hold such a staunch belief in the superiority of Yiwu teas that it could be likened to the intensity of a football team rivalry. During our […]

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October 9, 2020
Yiwu Part I: At a Glance

易武 Yiwu is one of the main towns in Mengla county, the most eastern county in the prefecture Xishuangbanna, bordering Laos in Southern Yunnan. It has a long history of Pu’er production, having been cherished as a source for imperial court tea by government officials, and stands as one of the main origin points of […]

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September 27, 2020
Tea as Ritual

Tea scholar, educator, and Rivers & Lakes community guest writer Miles Cramer pens an essay providing a tasteful glance at tea's journey through time as a ritual communion.

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September 15, 2020
Jianghu Jargon

This essay is a short linguistic analysis of the myth, “Chinese is the most widely spoken language on earth”. In recent years, along with China’s rise as an economic and political superpower, more western students have begun to take an interest in studying Chinese, the language with the most native speaker according to several online […]

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July 20, 2020
Nannuo Pu'erh Selection

New Interview with Dá É. Gus interviews Dá É, the producer of our Pu'erh teas from Nannuo Mountain. We talk about what goes into good tea, production techniques, as well as touch on the edgy subject of her Aini heritage. Translated by Bart.

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June 29, 2020
Sichuan II: Cang Cha and bad, bad tea

We were continuing our tea-centric tour of Ya’an guided by our gracious hosts — my friend Alex, her husband James, and his old compadre Jiqian, a retired Ya’an city official. With these friends, we received first class treatment. In the history of tea, Ya’an is known for having been another main trade center along the […]

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June 25, 2020
First Encounter with Shan Lin Xi

Shan Lin Xi. Apart from feeling like we needed to shower every two hours or so, Taiwan had been a completely surprising and magnificent adventure for us. On our first day, we visited Longshan temple in the heart of one of Taipei’s oldest districts. The locals there told us that during WW2 the area had […]

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June 24, 2020
Sichuan PART I: Summiting Meng Ding

During our 2019 trip, we visited three main regions: northern Fujian, southern Yunnan, and central Sichuan. The last hurrah took place in Meng Ding Mountain, just north of the city of Ya’an, about 100 km southwest of Chengdu. This area is a legend in the tea world, known as the progenitor site of first known […]

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