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tea travels, educated guesses, guest speakers

November 19, 2023
Traditional Hakka Eastern Beauty (And How to Age Oolongs)

東方美人 Dōng Fāng Měi Rén Eastern Beauty tea is distinguished as one of the most classic connoisseur oolongs, globally celebrated for its unique and refined qualities. Due to its limited precious supply and widespread acclaim, the higher prices it commands has given rise to the proliferation of imitations from various regions, in other areas of […]

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June 30, 2023
good tea + hospitality > western paranoia

Traveling can be an opportunity to witness one’s own cultural conditioning and bias. Whether or not we gain the entire picture of what is actually happening in these new contexts (we can’t ever fully), the process of dislodging one’s own well-worn assuredness in the face of fresh and even surprising experiences grants us deeper reflections […]

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January 1, 2022
Autumn Puerh, here for the New Year

Good things take time, they say. And we'll quickly take up that adage now that the long awaited autumn harvested teas from Yunnan have made it to US soils. This project got started — talks, first-time arrangements, artwork conception, etc. — way back in June; I’m now writing this commencement in late December, finally welcoming […]

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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'er Selection

New Interview with Dá É. Gus interviews Dá É, the producer of our Pu'er 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. We are excited and proud to be able to share these teas […]

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