I Think I Might Be Cheating On My Tea Company

It is no secret that I am a ginormous tea fan. There are so many wonderful things about tea — it’s good for you, tasty, and sometimes even has caffeine in it, the miracle of modern civilization.

There’s something about the whole process too that is just so zen-like and appealing — selecting the tea and the teapot, boiling the water, checking the temperature, steeping the tea for just the right amount of time.

Lovely, lovely tea. I have been ordering tea from the same tea company for the past eight years. I love TeaSource‘s Yunnans and Assams and am absolutely hooked on their Scottish Breakfast tea.

But I have been seduced by another. Sure, I try tea from local tea companies now and then–a mild flirtation really, nothing serious. Until now. I have been unable to resist Holy Mountain Trading Company. They have a great selection including a rare type of white tea from Sri Lanka, you can order sample sizes to try and, the most seductive of all, they have luscious and long descriptions for their tea.

While TeaSource describes their Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl like this:

The youngest leaf tips are scented with fresh Jasmine blossoms 8-10 times and hand rolled into pearls yielding an intense, slightly sweet, floral flavor. May be infused many times.

Holy Mountain describes their Dragon Phoenix Pearl Jasmine:

Organic Dragon Phoenix Pearl Jasmine tea gets its name from the visual characteristics of the tea bushes climbing the hillsides like a Dragon coming out of the water. The women pickers, chosen specifically to pluck this type of tea, give the appearance of dancing phoenixes next to the Dragon’s long slender body. The tea is grown in an area in Fuding City near the border of the Fujian and Jiangxi provinces. The area is mountainous and is often shrouded in clouds or fog. The tea is picked in April and May and held until August and September when the finest jasmine blossoms are in bloom. The jasmine flowers are picked before noon and set aside until evening when the petals begin to open in the cool night air. Once open, the “marrying” of the jasmine to the tea happens in two applications after which the jasmine petals are removed. When the petals are removed, women begin rolling each leaf and a bud into tiny pearl-sized balls. Once rolled, the tea is wrapped in silk mesh and dried by fire to set the form. According to analysis done by Chinese researchers, Organic Dragon Phoenix Pearl has a higher concentration of Vitamin C and amino acids than other teas. Use spring water at a temperature of 80° to 90° C. (180° to 195° F.) and multiple short steepings.

There is nothing I don’t like about that. Irresistable.

But it doesn’t end there. No one could hold out against the power of Holy Mountain Trading Company. It is quite another thing when you find yourself ordering from a company that barely has any description of their teas and doesn’t even tell you where the tea comes from.

I’m talking about Twinings. So they’ve been around since 1706 and have a Royal Warrant, that is no excuse not to entice me with your catalog copy. And yet, I found myself with a nostalgia craving for Lady Grey which is difficult to find loose leaf in the states and ENDED UP ORDERING FOUR KINDS OF TEA FROM THEM!

Is there no end to my licentiousness?

Love to you all,


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  1. Oh, I miss living withing biking distance of TeaSource. I think I’ll have to go and place an order. It may be tea weather someday.

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