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FAQ’s

Where do these teas come from?

Most of our teas are shipped directly to us from China.  That is the way we like to do it.  Our goal is for your tea to touch the fewest hands between processing and your teapot.  This allows us to preserve freshness.  It also keeps prices low on small batch, artisan teas. 

It’s no secret that our passion for tea and expertise began in its country of origin – China.  The roots of incredible tea culture and history began here, so it’s a natural starting point for discovery the vast world of tea.

Over the years, we are fortunate to have established several reliable sources of rare and unique Chinese teas.  Through partners and friends, we have the unusual opportunity to buy directly from farms, tea markets, and respected collectives.  Within China, all of our teas come from the preeminent tea-producing provinces: Yunnan, Fujian, Guangdong, Anhui, Zhejiang, and Sichuan.  Occasionally, we may find a unique loose leaf elsewhere, but the majority will usually come from these magnificent regions. 

Aside from China, there is a whole world of spectacular leaf throughout Asia.  At the moment, we turn our focus mainly toward Japan, Taiwan, and India. These countries have exemplified a commitment to a wide range of incredible white, green, black, and oolong teas.  We aim for the best, and we’ll sip on until we find it.  As time progresses, we’ll introduce special teas from these parts, and hopefully new teas from others.  Nepal is an example of a storied land of tea that we have our sights on.  Keep an eye out for a taste of the Himalayas soon!

In the end, no matter where we go to locate the freshest leaves for you, it will always be our mission to obtain them in the most direct way possible.  Hopefully, we can also bring you stories of the diligent farmers and tireless tea artisans that granted us the opportunity.

 

What are the health benefits of Tribute Teas?

Tea drinking is an indisputably healthy activity.  Studies over the past decade point to a myriad of health benefits and wellness properties of the Camellia sinensis leaf.  For thousands of years, Chinese health specialists have praised the leaf’s ability to ward off life-threatening diseases while promoting optimal mind-body wellness. 

While some might question the ancient medicinal wisdom, recent studies have linked the chemical properties of tea with helping to battle numerous several diseases – including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and many types of cancer.   In addition, various claims have connected linked the leafy warrior to reducing hypertension, lowering cholesterol levels, moderating blood pressure, and enhancing artery functioning. 

With SO many studies and claims surrounding the mystical tealeaf, it’s often difficult to keep track, let alone make sense of it all.  Naturally, we’re hesitant to proclaim any health benefits as undeniable fact.  Broadly speaking, we strongly believe that regular tea consumption plays a role in a healthy way of life, and that’s something that we encourage everyone to indulge...

So stay tuned.  We will continue to seek out the latest information on the health properties of tea.  Please follow us as we will be sharing what we find!  In the meantime, be well, and sip away…

 

What's the best way to prepare my tea?

For infusion instructions and tips, please see the “Learn About Tea” section of our blog.  We always try our best to simplify proper tea preparation so that you can worry about more important things – like which teapot to use and with whom you will share.

For directions on how to properly infuse a specific variety, please see that tea’s page or email us at at support@tributeteacompany.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Can I ship Tribute Teas as a gift?

Yes, of course!  We LOVE to share our teas and we hope that you will too…  In China, giving fine tea is a sign of tremendous respect and sends sincere wishes of health and wealth.

To ship to a different address, in Step 1 of the checkout process, uncheck the box indicating that you want to ship to your billing address.  Then, simply enter the address of the lucky recipient and continue to Step 2 to complete your checkout.  Shoot us a note if you require anything particular and we will do our best to accommodate…

 

What makes rare teas so limited and cost more?

Rare teas, like rare anything, are simply a matter of low supply and high demand.  The yearly harvest of hand-plucked, artisan leaves requires a tremendous amount of skilled, arduous labor.  It takes about 5kg of hand-picked, processed, and sorted leaves to produce a single kilogram of tea. 

Dedicated tea craftsman do incredible work harvesting their precious leaves.  The result is often an incredibly unique product, which raises demand and interest from discriminating buyers.  As a result, many times, the finest teas hardly even leave their country of origin.

Fortunately, we have developed some relationships that give us access to these rare, special teas.  A great benefit of being a tiny, nimble tea company like ourselves is that we can buy small batches of rare, artisan teas to offer to our most distinguished customers.  We love this and it really gives us an opportunity to set ourselves apart from the mass marketed, commoditized tea operations.

Another factor that often drives up prices, particularly in the case of China, are the legends surrounding a prized cultivar.  We pride ourselves on our selection of rare, “tribute teas” – the famously exquisite leaves of centuries past that were literally fit for the emperor.  Core-producing regions for legendary teas are often able to charge higher prices for their limited production, because SO many tea drinkers want to get their hands on a taste of tea’s amazing history.

On the whole, we try to balance the desire to bring you imperial quality teas with a commitment to freshness and uniqueness that you probably won’t find anywhere else.  While the prices can be high for more famous or unusual teas, it is our goal to prove that drinking awesome tea need NOT be an expensive endeavor.

 

Why are some Puerh teas wrapped and packed in disks?

Great question.  The root of this practice lies on ancient trading routes linking East and West… Silks, spices, horses, and most importantly, tea, were traded along this extensive network.  The paths were treacherous, making travel incredibly difficult and dangerous.  It snaked through the mountainous regions of southern and central Asia – extending from Sichuan and Yunnan in southern China onward through Tibet, Nepal, Burma, and into India…  This legendary route was often called the ancient tea horse road.

In order to transport the precious tea to the Tibetan kingdom, mule caravans were assembled and on each dangerous journey, maximizing the load of tea was a priority (of course).  Therefore, the practice of packing tea into bricks and cakes served two purposes: to compress it, allowing mules to transport larger amounts; and secondly, to preserve its freshness as it was inevitably exposed to adverse conditions along the journey.

Thus, the traditional practice of compressed tea began.  Incidentally, tea masters noticed the improving character of the mystical leaf as it aged.  Aging tea and appreciating its mellower taste caught on quickly and tea cakes became the easiest, most space-efficient way to do it.

Puerh tea holds a special place in our regular tea consumption so we consider ourselves a bit of a specialist in this area.  We’ll continue to bring you new insight and expand upon the unique history surrounding it.  Please stay connected and never hesitate to taste new leaves as the world of Puerh is vast and seemingly endless…  Enjoy!

 

 Do you do local Chicago deliveries on a green/white, eco-friendly scooter?

Yes.

 

Tea Infusion Quantities

So how many cups is 50g of tea? Or 1lb of tea leaves?

The appropriate amount to use depends on the size of the teapot, teacup, or gaiwan, and how much water is being applied.  Typically, an average serving of tea in a small-medium vessel is about 4-6 grams.  Experienced tea drinkers will often use 6-8 grams per serving - with shorter and more frequent infusions.

Therefore, a 50 gram pouch of tea should be good for 8-12 servings of tea.  Depending on the type of tea, however, the leaves can withstand several "steepings", so that 50 gram pouch should allow for 24-50 cups of tea!  And, since a pound (lb) is about 450 grams, a properly steeped pound of tea should produce several hundred cups of tea!

 

Quantity of Tea

50 grams

100 grams

1 pound

Servings

8-12 servings

16-24 servings

70-85 servings

Cups of Tea*

24-50 cups

50-100 cups

200-400 cups

*often depending on the technique of the tea master, time per infusion, and thirst of the drinkers