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Every day, in tea producing countries around the world, another small grower whose family has been crafting small batch artisan teas for generations, is bought out by a commercial tea producer.

The remaining artisanal producers have no access to Western markets and sell the bulk of their production to middle men at just above their cost of production. Small tea growers on average receive just 3% of the retail price of their teas and often much less.

Meanwhile, North American tea lovers are reduced to shopping mall and coffee shop teas pushed by corporate shills who think the latest cherry-vanilla-French-lemon-lime-matcha powder is the pinnacle of the tea-making art.

Last year I floated an idea past you all. I was looking for a way to crowd fund craft tea producers who are still producing high quality organic teas using traditional methods.

I think this could be a huge win-win. By getting your commitment to buy upfront and using that commitment to negotiate with the growers directly, you get an amazing tea at the wholesale price, the grower receives a fair price for what they produce and we reduce our business risk and inventory costs and receive a fair commission.

Last year, when I floated the idea, your responses were overwhelmingly positive but I felt we didn’t have the numbers yet to make the idea viable. I’ve been working hard since then to earn the trust of more tea lovers and today I’m running the first test of the concept to see if we have the number now to make this fly.
Dragon Well (Longjing) tea is one of the most famous of China’s green teas. It traditionally originates from Zheijiang province in China. It was a royal tribute tea during the Song and Qing dynasties and, according to the Ultimate Guide to Chinese Tea, “Today it is widely considered the world’s finest green tea.” Serious Eats calls it “the Lamborghini of Chinese green tea.

It’s certainly one of my favorites! A high quality Dragon Well tea is creamy and intensely flavored of green vegetables and orchids with an aftertaste of roasted chestnuts. The mouth feel is decadent and lingers after each sip, seeming to coat your tongue with a mild sweetness.

Over the next week or so I’ll be sending you more details about this tea including:

  • How and why the craft tea artisans of Dragon Well tea are being squeezed out of business even though they sell one of the most coveted teas in the world.
  • How I found this great opportunity for you all and the specifics about where this tea is grown and by whom.
  • How was this Dragon Well tea prepared and how does it taste ?
  • And, (I say with my fingers are crossed), I hope to have a surprise video for you.
To be called Dragon Well a tea should originate from Zhejiang province in China. The closer to the original birthplace, the village of Longing near West Lake the higher the price.

What about yours? Your dragon well tea is grown in Zhejiang Province but not near West Lake itself. (I’m actually glad about this. I’ll explain why in the next email.)

The highest quality must be harvested before the Qingming festival in early April. Quoting again from Serious Eats, “Pre-Qingming (called Mingqian) Dragon Well is the top of the line: the sweetest, richest, most delicate tea of the year, picked before spring's heavy rainfall or summer's rising temperatures, which draw bitter flavors out of the tea bushes. “

What about yours? Your Longing was harvested this year on April 5th!

A high quality Dragon Well will be comprised of the bud and no more than two leaves

What about yours? Our Dragon Well picking standard was one bud and two leaves

The highest quality Dragon Well tea is grown without chemicals or pesticides

What about yours? This tea is wild grown on an abandoned tea field never touched by chemical or pesticides. (More details in a future email)

The highest quality Dragon Well tea is grown at high elevation.

What about yours? This tea was produced at an elevation of 4,265 ft. above sea level.

The highest quality Dragon Well tea is hand roasted in traditional woks.

What about yours? The tea master for this farm-cooperative-grown-tea is Mr. Zhang who has been hand roasting Longjing tea most of his adult life. He roasts each leaf by hand twice. He typically roasts 200 gram at a time and it takes him 10 hours to roast one day’s harvest.

Are you excited yet?

If you are a fan of green tea, you should be.

I will be giving more details about this amazing tea and the people who grow it over the next few days. But, if you’ve already heard enough to know you are interested, here’s how you can take advantage of this opportunity.

We have available to us (by “us” I mean the Insider’s Club) up to 44 lbs. of this Imperial Grade Dragon Well Green Tea. I’m taking pre-orders now. Once I know how many of you are interested I will place an order for that quantity. If there is any left over, I’d like some for our site also. The tea will be here 4-6 weeks after pre-orders close.

If you pre-order you’ll get this tea at the wholesale price. Tea of this quality from famous producers really do sell in China for upwards of $1,000 a lb. Here in the USA the top brand sells 1 oz for $15 (and I’m pretty sure it’s not really Dragon Well but an inferior tea prepared “Dragon Well Style.”)
PS: We'll be accepting pre-orders for one week only. after that, the producers have other buyers lined up for what we don't purchase. Please don't hesitate. After July 6th, whatever additional of this Dragon Well tea I'm able to purchase will be available at regular retail price on our site.

PPS: As an additional bonus, customers who pre-order our Dragon Well Green Tea will enjoy the wholesale price for this tea on our site until we sell out. So, if you love it as much as I think you will, you can come back for more at the pre-order price until we run out.