It’s quite simple: we were not happy with the teas available on the market. It is so difficult to buy a first-rate tea, even when you’re willing to pay a top price. In China the problem is even worse, since so many people know about tea or have connections to a tea farmer, and it is consequently more expensive to buy teas online.
In China, when you step into a tea shop and ask for the best tea, they will invite you to sit down and have several free cups. The first tea they offer you is normally just OK. It will be carefully infused and steeped only briefly. You will take a sip and they will ask for your opinions. If you’re not satisfied, they will offer you another style without increasing the quality. Then at last they will bring out a higher grade, and if you can indicate its shortcomings, you will earn their respect and be treated as an equal. People will gladly share their personal collections and their stories, and you will all have a very nice time but in the end you might not be able to taste a really top tea, as the quantity for the top tea is always limited and normally reserved for their oldest customers.
The secret to excellence is limited quantity, especially in the case of food. If one brand owns 100 stores and claims they have the best food, they are almost certainly lying. Great food takes more than large sums of money, it takes the right materials, it takes years of experience, sometimes even several generations, and of course, it must be enjoyed at the right time. That’s why a gourmet will research any restaurant advertised on television; they may be good but not the best. Whoever works to bring you the best must love what they do deeply and focus on it exclusively. If they ever start to focus on expanding their business for its own sake, something important will disappear.
We know all of this. We are not simply tea enthusiasts; we get our feet dirty, we make tea, we cooperate with others in order to experiment, and we appreciate the very best. Although in the end, the quantity available might be small, we have opened a window. And if that window lets you see me and me see you, I will invite you to a free tea tour, you and I will visit the tea mountain together, leaving our conversations to linger in the wind.
But be careful! Once you have tasted the beauty of that mountain, you will be willing to pay more to taste it again.