Where to Buy Tea from Taiwan and China Online in 2016

As an avid tea drinker who likes to explore different teahouses in Taipei I have tasted many different kinds of teas since my arrival in Taiwan back in 2008. Since then I have been to everything from the local Ma and Pa store to bubble teashops to traditional teahouses. My favorite are the traditional ones due to their relaxed environment and variety of teas ranging from green, jasmine and of course Oolong- Taiwan’s signature tea. But getting access to these teas is a bit difficult when I go back home to the US since many of the houses operate completely world of mouth or in store. In fact because many of the shop owners are of elder generations many of them are not familiar with computers and haven’t even considered opening an online store. This is a pity for their business and for all the tea lovers out there who want access to affordable, yet premium quality teas coming from Taiwan.

There is one shop by the name of Shan Ying Cha that otherwise goes by Sunning tea. They operate in downtown Taipei and have since launched a product line in accordance with Canada/US based tea company Weight Loss Teas to offer a variety of healthy teas straight from the mountains of Taiwan. At the site http….you can find high quality tea sachets in black and Oolong flavors in addition to loose leaf teas including different green, Oolong and black teas. But what is even more exciting about this shop for me personally is that they sell a lineup of Pu’er tea that ranges between US$20-40 for a decent quantity, yet ranges in age from about 17-30 years. Nowadays not only are high quality tea sachets that have quality tea hard to find, it is also more rare to see Pu’er that is of high quality sold online due to limited quantities, that generally also lead to high pricing.

The owner of Sunning Tea has a major collection of Pu’er and all sorts of Taiwan teas that she negotiated to make available on Weight Loss Teas due to the website’s persistency to find quality Pu’er at affordable pricing. Pu’er is growing in popularity in the West but at large is either unaffordable or tastes disgusting due to the relatively young age and improper fermentation process it underwent, leading to bitter quality that is different from the slight bitterness found in some raw Pu’ers. Both owners of these shops are picky about what they would present to the online market, according to them, and aim to present the best balance between pricing, affordability and taste.

I tried the teas from the store. I simply went to the online shop, placed in my credit card info and had the teas shipped to my doorstep within a couple of days. I am in Taiwan now so this was quick, but I read that if I was abroad I would have received the tea within about 7-10 business days at a flat shipping rate of $3.95. For my order, I got their house 17 year old Puer of 100 grams, 50 grams of loose tea Spring Tea along with some black tea sachets, with a count starting at 10. However, you can buy different sizes/quantities.

The tastes were awesome. The tea sachets are big enough so that the teas can breath and expand. Black tea doesn’t really unfold like green tea leaves but the point is that the bigger satchels allow for bigger leaves to be places inside rather than crumbled up leaves like the ones you get in Lipton teabags, allowing for a more bold, well rounded and fresher taste. The quality of the taste is so much better than the typical black tea bag due to these qualities and I really felt like I became exposed to what black tea is really all about. If you are a coffee drinker, imagine going from Folgers to a locally brewed cup while at a plantation in South America. The taste is literally night and day.

The green tea was also a nice surprise. For those who are looking for really refreshing, crisp and clean tasting green tea that isn’t bitter then this is for you. In all honesty a lot of Taiwan green teas can be hard to differentiate even if they are organic and loose leaf, but I really felt like this tea captured the freshness of central Taiwan’s organic tea mountain ranges better than any other brand I have had. It tasted as if there was a lot of rainfall and myst in the tea that was late brought to the surface after being dried and rolled from local farmers hand made instead of machines.

But the coolest tasting one was the Pu’er. It tasted smoky, earthy and fulfilled that coffee lover’s desire I have. Drinking it literally makes me consider coffee far less as a result, and it this is one of those teas that goes well during an evening while reading a book. Pu’er is also generally consumed more in the winter but can be drunk in all seasons. Weight Loss Teas said this tea comes from Yunnan in southern China, and was stored at the Sunnning Tea shop in Taipei for safekeeping.

Taiwan is a great hub to buy tea from due to its high standards and long history cultivating the tea industry. Anything from China entering the country tea wise undergoes thorough inspection so in a way getting Pu’er from Taiwan is a better move compared to getting it from the Mainland. If you want this plus a secure tea website in English then I highly recommend checking out Weight Loss Teas to get your sipping on.

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