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The Craft Tea Producer's Dilemna: Sell or not to sell.

Dragon Well tea is a great example of the craft tea producer’s dilemma. The traditional home of Dragon Well tea, the area around West Lake in Zhejiang Province, is now almost entirely owned by large commercial operators. Machine harvesting, chemical fertilizers and oven roasting have all become the norm.   Furthermore, West Lake is quite close to what is now a major Chinese industrial city. Greater metropolitan Hangzhou is China’s 20th largest city and home to over 20 million people. Consequently the West Lake area...

The Custom of Guanxi and What It Means to You.

Repeated from email - Three years ago I was in a small teashop in Hangzhou. The shop was one that probably doesn’t get a lot of foreign visitors. The shopkeeper took one look at me and assumed I wasn’t too bright and had money to burn.  So he was busy brewing samples of 3rd rate teas for me while I played a game I like to call, “bring out the good stuff.”  Our game was interrupted when I heard a car pull up out front....