My First Sourcing Trip Since 2019...Greetings from Taiwan!
It’s day four of a compulsory eleven-day quarantine in a small hotel room here in Taipei (which will be followed by another seven days pseudo-quarantine, in which I’ll be able to go on walks outside, but not enter any homes or businesses). Wish me luck!
The journey across the Pacific was uneventful. My flight was largely empty, though it did take about 2.5 hours after landing to go through PRC testing and secure a new sim card in my phone that allows Taiwanese health officials to track my whereabouts and interactions.
While safety is a priority, it does feel a bit like the worlds in the stack of science fiction books I brought to occupy my time over the next few weeks. (I’m particularly excited to begin Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Hawada, which I picked up at Black Bird books in the Outer Sunset before I left. Black Bird is one of our newest partner accounts. If you haven’t been, please visit, enjoy of a cup of Song Tea and find a new-to-you novel!)
Accompanying me on this trip are small bags of Ruby and Red Water Shuixian. These two teas travel well, and also the least fussy teas to brew. I also received several early harvest samples that I've been enjoying, including a large leaf shuixian oolong that may have a place in our 2022-2023 line-up. Liao Guo Hua graciously sent a tea bowl to the hotel for me to use while I’m here, so I’ll be brewing tea in this bowl while scheduling farm visits once I leave quarantine.
Meanwhile in China, northerly and higher elevation harvest green teas are almost ready to ship. Harvest dates are weather dependent, and these regions were the last to see leaf buds. We’ll be restocking Fragrant Leaf and White Dragonwell, along with some new surprises. I expect Wild Tree Yunnan Red to be ready along with the rest of the Chinese red teas by late May. (There is little left of the 2021 Wild Tree left at the studio - if you love this vintage, now is the time to stock up!)
I'll have another dispatch once my quarantine ends and I'm able to move about again. On schedule are visits to Shan Lin Xi, Lishan, a meeting up with Mr. + Mrs.Chen, and pottery studio visits. Until then,