Wen's TaiwanTea is an online tea store launched in December 2015 and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We aspire to elevate the taste of tea drinkers and connoisseurs in North America to a new high level, all through its quality artisan Oolong teas and black teas sourced from the boutique, single-estate tea farms in Taiwan. We also want to offer tea as an alternative healthy drink to consumers who are not yet a tea drinker but are looking for a drink that is healthy to consume, tasty without sugar or flavoring, and easy to prepare themselves in most settings. Through this business adventure, we are also able to give our direct support to individual tea farmers and to promote traditional artisan of tea-making.
A native of Taiwan and a long-time tea drinker, I wasn't keenly aware of the unique characteristics and quality of traditional Taiwanese teas only until I started working and traveling in Europe and the Middle East more than 15 years ago, where teas were and still are sold mostly in scrap packed in tea bags and drank with either milk, sugar, fresh mint, or dried flower buds and petals. As much as I enjoyed exotic teas, I missed even more the enjoyment of drinking Taiwanese teas: watching whole loose leaves unfurl freely in a teapot (or a French press, my favorite because of convenience) and the slow emergence of pure golden color permeating the tea liquid as well as immersing my taste bud with the delicate tastes exuding right from the tea leaves. And virtually no access to quality Taiwanese teas while abroad had made me cherish dearly each delivery of teas from back home. Although I have lived in the culturally diverse part of the United States for over ten years, access to quality and pure Taiwanese teas remains a challenge. In addition, bolstered by positive feedback to Taiwanese teas from friends who had never tried them before, I decided to take the plunge to found Wen's TaiwanTea to introduce Taiwanese teas to tea connoisseurs and anyone interested in quality loose teas.
With increased accessibility, tea drinkers would have the opportunity to enjoy the rich liquid color-aroma-taste presented in whole leaf loose leaf Taiwan teas. The teas themselves also embody the purity sought by our tea farmers, meaning they are not adulterated with foreign or lower-grade teas and are not added with any flavoring, artificial or natural. Then you may wonder where the scents and tastes come from? They are the resulted of interaction between the unique terrain, climate, tea cultivars, eco-system in and around the tea plantation as well as the tea-making artisanship passed down for generations.
Taiwanese teas are typically characterized by oxidization levels, with the majority of them being in the Oolong tea family. Prominent Oolong teas include Pouchong (8-18% oxidization, intense floral aroma), High Mountain/Alishan (20-25%, floral aroma), Dong Ding Oolong (30-35%, light fruity taste), Iron Goddess/ Tieguanyin (40-45%, rich fruity taste), Bai Hao/Oriental Beauty (50-70%, ripe fruity aroma and honey taste). In addition, non-oxidized green tea (such as Dragon Well) and fully oxidized black tea are also among the known Taiwanese teas, however with less production compared to the Oolong teas.
Quality has been the hallmark of traditional Taiwanese teas, so we have taken a few steps to ensure we can channel that quality when introducing them to North America. We partner with small individual tea farmers who devote great effort to driving up quality over quantity but lack resources to market their teas themselves. These tea farmers have few things in common: they have run tea farms for generations, constantly seek and experiment with eco-friendly ways to grow and nurture tea plants, and continue to minimize or simply do without pesticides because they want to sell teas, as one tea farmer puts it, "that he himself is willing to drink", or as the other farmer goes even further "that even insects are willing to bite the tea leave." As generations of farming lessons have taught them, going natural is the only way not to kill off the natural fruity, floral, sweet taste from teas.
Purity is also what differentiates us from other tea vendors. We do not sell teas that were blended, scented, flavored. We believe the increasingly popular practices are against what real tea drinkers want - purity. Only through purity will natural flavor, tastes, nutrients be preserved and fully come through in a cuppa.
The diversity and quality of teas cannot sustain without thriving tea farmers, tea artisans, and tea masters. Through direct sourcing and expanding international market for Taiwanese teas, Wen's TaiwanTea can contribute to the growth of small and individually-operated tea farms in Taiwan. We believe the more diverse and competitive the small farms, the greater chance for the tradition and artisanship of tea-making to survive and thrive, and in the end we as tea drinkers would benefit most from this.
So, give our teas a try and let them be part of your healthy drink whenever you want to relax, recharge, or think about serving or sharing something new in your family gatherings and social events. Check out “ShopTeas” section to choose a tea that meets your taste or imagination.
Founder, Owner, and Manager