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  1. Nate

    What I’m wondering is very often I only have time and/or bladder space for 3-5 steepings at a time and I hate to waste the leaves potential.  Is there a good way to save the leaves for more steepings later in the day?  

    I do this now by putting the leaves/gaiwan in the fridge, then when I get home from work I give them a quick re-rinse with hot water and continue steeping.  It seems to work alright, but I’m wondering if you have any better tricks. 

    Thanks so much

    • David Duckler

      Hi Nate,
      The way you save the leaves depends on how long you want to keep them. For just a few hours, or later in the day, leaving the leaves covered and in the brewing vessel is best. You are on the right track rinsing the leaves with hot water before you start brewing again. This step is necessary to rinse away moisture in the leaves that had been “steeping” while you were away. Yixing teapots can keep leaves overnight with no trouble. Since tea is naturally antifungal and anti microbial, I avoid the refrigerator, where temperature and other smells may affect the tea. I have never had trouble leaving tea at room temperature and rinsing at boiling.

      Just be careful at the peak of summer, as humidity can occasionally cause mold after 2-3 days. Also be careful with blended tea that have fruit, etc. The sugars make it unsafe to leave out overnight. IN that case, stick with the refrigerator.

  2. Jackie

    Where do you recommend buying teapots and tea accessories? All we have locally is Teavana. Do you plan to sell teapots and accessories in the future? Thanks

    • David Duckler

      Hi Jackie,
      Finding teapots and accessories is something I have wanted to do for quite a while. I recently decided that the best way to do so in a way that goes along with my values is to reach out to local artists here in Minneapolis and start a conversation about tea art objects. I am hoping to work with a few potters and woodworkers, commissioning tea wares to sell on the site. Probably in a month or so, that will come to fruition.

      In the mean time, I often send people to my friend Garret, who owns Mandala Teas. He finds some very affordable and functional pieces- both yixing and gaiwans.

      • H.Q.

        Hello David,
        Could you please keep us posted on the progress of the tea art project? I’m willing to go hunt for a yixing or a gaiwan here in the Chinese market (Dubai, UAE), but I’m expecting average quality fast-living-consumerist oriented pottery at best. Once you get your tea art going, I’m surely getting myself one!


      • David Duckler

        Thanks! I will keep working on this project. The China trip sort of put it on the sidelines, but it is definitely something I will do as time allows. I believe in having less, and enjoying it more. Paying more and buying less for high quality anything makes everyday experiences with every day objects more meaningful.

  3. Donna A

    I just received an oz of Stone-Pressed 2004 Yiwu Wild Arbor Sheng. I like it a lot. Since it is a small quantity, can I just keep it in the ziplock bag it came in and if so, for how long is it ok to do this, or should I put it in a box in a low humidity area. This is the 1st raw puerh I have bought, and I read that for larger quantities that are going to be kept for aging purposes they should not be stored in airtight containers and should have air flow in an odor free area.

    • David Duckler

      Hi Donna,
      The pouch that the Yiwu come in will work just fine for short term storage. If you plan on drinking the tea within the next four months, the aging process is not a big concern. If yo plan to age for a year or more, you can just crack the bag open a little bit by not sealing it all the way and that will be plenty of airflow for the pu’er.

      You are right about larger quantity long term storage. At home I store bricks of sheng wrapped in rice paper in big cardboard boxes. Eventually I plan to store them stacked in ceramic jars since ceramic has less scent than paper, but pu’er isn’t really as finicky as people try to scare you into thinking it is. Most important is to have fun, and keep notes on how the flavors are changing over time.

  4. Jack

    If I want to store steeped leaves a week or more….plastic bag? Bag retains moisture. Leave leaves in Pyrex pitcher? Good tea. Thx.

    • David Duckler

      Hi Jack,
      Genrally I wouldn’t recommend storing steeped leaves longer than a day. If they have moisture in them, they will continue steeping the whole time they are out, and oxidizing. This will alter the flavor quite noticeably.

      If you do store them longer than a day or two, I would spread the leaves out on a plate and let them fully dry again. Dry leaves have less of a chance of going moldy, etc. Then you just steep them back up like new leaves.

      • Tracy

        I have been drinking pu erh teas now for a couple of years, and I usually drink only one serving of it a day. Since you can get roughly 6-8 definitively good steepings out of the same leaves, I have been using the same leaves for about a week before tossing them. I use a small, single serving yixing pot both to brew, and to store the leaves. I always pull the tea out of the fridge 2-4 hours before I’m ready to steep, and I have never had a problem with the tea going bad, or getting moldy, as people fear. The fact that it is immersed in boiling hot water each time ensures that well protected against anything harmful. The taste has never been altered by this practice, so I feel safe in saying that, as long as you are using boiling or near boiling water for you pu erh teas and storing them in a yixing pot, mug, or container, then you should have not problem. I also store some other types of brewed tea leaves in the refrigerator in small, BPA free containers that I have dedicated exclusively to those teas, and, depending on the type of tea, can get 2-4 more steepings out of them, again, without any changes in taste or problems with mold. I am VERY picky concerning food safety and cleanliness, and any hint of a problem would send me tossing tea leaves out, regardless of anything else. The main thing is to use common sense, and check the tea leaves carefully before use. Your own native climate can also affect the mold issue, so keep that in mind. Hope this helps alleviate worry and help you get the most you can out of those precious leafy gems of goodness!

      • Tracy

        Just to clarify my saying that I only get 6-8 brewings out of my single serving size yixing pot of pu-erh is because I drink about 10 oz at a time, and I like it on the strong side. My little pot is about 5 oz. so I do a double brew each time I drink this tea. This truly shows just how far this wonderful type of tea can go!

  5. Sam

    As a starting point, how many grams of tea do you recommend for 6oz of water?

    • David Duckler

      Steeping in short infusions and repeating steeping 5-15 times, I would recommend 3.5 grams of tea. This is a base line. In China, 7g is more common, and I personally use about 4.5, but the more tea you put in, the faster you have to pour off the water to prevent a bitter brew. The reward is a richer and more potent tea. Try 3.5 and see how you like it.

  6. Carol

    Which of the black teas do you recommend for iced tea?

    • David Duckler

      Hi Carol,
      I really think the Laoshan Black is exquisite. The iced version is so chocolatey and sweet. Very rewarding indeed. For a more classic iced tea, the Zhu Rong works great, and is strong enough to stand up to any sweetness or lemon.

      For a fun experiment, you can try infusing the Laoshan black in cold milk overnight in the refrigerator. The next day you get the best “chocolate milk” ever.

      • Kristina

        Just encountering this thread, so I hope you don’t mind a question on this.

        I’m pretty old hat at hot tea at this point, but iced tea continues to baffle me and turn out horrible when I make it. When brewing Laoshan Black in cold milk, what is the tea to milk ratio? Do you add ice cubes when you drink it?

      • Lily Duckler

        Hi Kristina,

        Usually when we make Loashan Black iced, we’ll do a cold-brew in the refrigerator overnight. Using a ratio of 4g. of loose tea to 12oz of cold water, we’ll let the tea steep in the fridge for 8-10 hours. Some folks prefer to strain out the leaves in the morning, but since the tea sinks to the bottom of our pitcher overnight, we’ll usually leave them be.
        Cold-brewing is usually less finicky than brewing a hot, concentrated shot, and safer than sun tea. However, if you want to give traditional iced tea a try (strong hot tea+ice), you can check out Geoffrey’s article on iced teas:

        For steeping in milk, I used the same cold-brew ratio (about 2g. in 6oz of milk) and let the tea steep overnight. This will not get bitter, so you can feel free to experiment with more leaf or less milk, depending on how strong you’d like it.

        Hope you have fun! :)

  7. Olivia

    Hi David,

    In several of the brewing notes, you refer to how much leaf to use in a “medium gaiwan or yixing pot,” which is great! But how big is “medium”? I’ve been guessing 5 or 6oz, and using slightly less leaf in my pots that hold 3.5 and 4.5oz water, but I’d love to be sure…


    • David Duckler

      Hi Olivia,
      Five ounces is just exactly an average size. A five ounce pot is best with about 3.5 g of tea for Chinese style brewing. Sorry for the less-than-clear notes, and thanks for asking.

  8. Theresa Steeper

    Is your tea available for purchase at your store or only by mail? If the former, what are your store hours? Thank you.

    • David Duckler

      Dear Theresa,
      We are devoted fully to sourcing in China and order fulfillment, and don’t yet have the resources to do a storefront justice. It means more time to find rare and unique teas, but is unfortunate for Minneapolis. Local shipping is generally overnight. If you ordered on Wednesday morning your tea would be packed and sent out for Thursday or Friday at the latest delivery.

      However, the summer you can actually visit us at the NE Minneapolis Farmers Market or the Linden Hills Farmers Market to try the teas and buy directly. We are also working to get tea available at local coffeeshops and co-ops. If you want to see our tea at your go-to place, by all means tell the managers about us and we will work to set them up with our product.

  9. Ryan

    I’m considering giving a bag of your chocolate phoenix chai as a gift, but first I wanted to check on something. Are there any allergens associated with the cocoa nibs used in this product? I know that they themselves are nut-free, but on rare occasions in the past I’ve run across brands which state that they are processed on the same equipment that processes peanuts, and I’d like to make sure that I won’t accidentally induce anaphylaxis in the person I give this tasty tea to. Thanks!

    • David Duckler

      Hi Ryan,
      The caco we use is light roasted Peruvian cacao imported by Mountain Rose Spice Co for us. They do also package nut and seed products, and I cannot get a guarantee from them that the cacao is packed in a separate facility altogether. Knowing the ethics and practices of Mountain Rose, I would assume that they do make the effort, and I will try to get a more clear and definitive answer, but in the mean time, I would be on the safe side.

  10. Lena


    I just have a quick question regarding allergens. I have a severe nut allergy, and as quite a few of your teas do not have full ingredient listings, I was just wondering if any of your products contain nuts. I don’t think they do, but I’d rather be on the safe side.

    Thanks for your time!

    • David Duckler

      Hi Lena,
      None of our teas use any nut products whatsoever. I grew up with a lot of friends with severe nut allergies and don’t want to shut them out of trying my blends. Check my response above to Ryan though- we source our herbs from a variety of importers and do not have a nut-free processing guarantee from them. Given both questions here, I am going to try to see if I can find out more specifically how careful they are at their facilities.

      Thanks for the question!

  11. JJ Adkisson

    Hey Verdant Tea! I was wondering where I could get a tea tray like your walnut tray. It is so classy looking!

    • David Duckler

      Thanks so much! Unfortunately I don’t know of any US vendors selling those boards currently. The shipping is so unwieldy that it makes them pretty pricey. You might try ebay, but there is no telling how reputable the vendor might be. I plan to bring a few in next year for a new teahouse project. I will certainly let everyone know if I get any to sell.

  12. Jack

    Would you please explain how one might have 25-30 steepings (in a 5 oz zixing pot, say,) as suggested for some teas? How many sittings, or how many hours? I am assuming small Chinese cups, but still….If I could get this mileage I would be happy. Xie xie.

    • David Duckler

      Hi Jack,
      When I brew Gongfu style in a 5oz pot and want to take the tea out to 25 steepings I will use closer to 7g of tea and do immediate steeping for the first 10 infusions, and then add a few seconds for each infusion after that to taste. Twenty five steepings represents about an hour and a half of tea drinking with 1oz cups. (25 oz consumed per person). When I am by myself I pour the extra of each steeping over an yixing pot to help season it. That lets me get a lot more steepings. Otherwise, inviting over 4 people takes care of the extra tea. bukeqi :)

  13. Connor

    My first Verdant Tea order consisted, unsurprisingly, of Laoshan Black. The tea really impressed me. I’m not much of a black tea drinker but this might change that! I’m curious, however: is chocolate actually involved in the making of the tea?

    • David Duckler

      Hi Connor,
      Glad to hear that you have enjoyed the Laoshan Black. There is absolutely no chocolate involved in the making of the tea. That chocolatey flavor is 100% the result of the unique conditions of Laoshan Village and the care that Mr. and Mrs He put into picking and processing.

  14. Jim John Marks

    I believe David has mentioned on one of his YouTube videos knowing someone who is making tea boards. Is there public information available about those in terms of whether they are for sale, the pricing, &c?

    Now that I have a proper yixing (and hope to get more), I need to be more conscious of the mess I’m making and would love to have a true tea board to brew my tea upon but wouldn’t even know where to begin to try to get one.

    • David Duckler

      Hi Jim,
      The experiments have gone really slowly with locally made walnut tea boards, but our prototype is almost done. Just looking for the right hardware for drainage. If it works, I would love to get more made. No timetable yet though…

      • Jim John Marks

        Well please know that there’s a market waiting! As I turn more and more friends onto loose left tea, we all run into the problem of water management in the work place and a tea board would help all of us with that.

  15. Jeff Tepper

    Please define a cup of water. 6 or 8 oz?

    • David Duckler

      8oz to a cup. However, most teas do quite well with more tea for less water (the 6oz cup) and shorter brew times. I do use 8oz though for practical purposes here.

  16. katie

    Hey David really excited to talk to you and buy some tea from you real soon. My question is I found a site where they had a gaiwan complete set and a gong fu set. I’m probably going to get the gong fu because its very pretty and procelian. Here’s the thing that confused me about the gaiwan set though, its looks more like a teapot than the traditional looking teacup with lid and saucer. Here’s the link. (note: this is not advertisement at all just reference.). So I guess my question is are there different gaiwan styles?

    • David Duckler

      Hi Katie,
      The gaiwan you link to is great for beginners because it is a lot hard to burn your hands using it. Technically, a gaiwan is a bowl on a saucer with a lid, and there is only one real shape that those tend to be. The adapted teapot / gaiwan hybrid is a modern convenience. Don’t let technicalities bother you though- just get what is easiest and most pleasant to use.

  17. H.Q.

    Hello Dave!
    I’ve been reading a bit about Verdant from a friend’s tweets and today I decided it’s time to check what it’s all about, and what do you know! I think I’m hooked already!

    I’ve just made my first order, a selection of 6 fine teas! And I’m already counting the days till I get them delivered! And now I’ve noticed the Rewards Program, and I would really wish to be a part of it, but it seems to require a Facebook account, which I don’t have!

    Is it possible to use my Verdant Tea account (My email) or a Twitter account or some other alternative? And if so, would I still be applicable for my first 1,000 points from my first purchase?

    All the love from the sandy land,
    Dubai, UAE


    • David Duckler

      I hope you get your teas very soon! I really hope that we can get Facebook alternative linked to the rewards program. Since we didn’t develop the code ourselves, we have less control, but we have asked the developers to work on other login methods. Possibly in the coming months.

  18. Matthew

    Where can I find those double walled glass teacups I see featured in some of your product’s pictures?

    • David Duckler

      I am not sure who has such small double-walled glass cups, but Finum manufactures larger 5oz cups that you could check out. I got mine from a friend in China.

    • Alex

      If you’re still looking for some, you can find them easily on eBay… Just search for “double walled tea cup”.

  19. Jeff

    What temperature is recommended for green teas when consumed from drinking glass (Chinese style). I would assume 140-150f? Higher could make the tea bitter? What are your thoughts? I enjoy the taste of tea best when I let it cool down. Thanks.

    • David Duckler

      Good question.
      Since glass lets the water cool very quickly, I usually use 180 degree water (sometimes hotter for Laoshan tea). I pour along the edge of the glass and introduce the leaves slowly. The water cools quickly and fine tea doesn’t tend to go bitter very easily.

  20. Deb

    What are your recommendations for brewing tea at the office, in terms of types of tea and methods?

    • David Duckler

      I would either put tea right in your cup and keep topping it off with hot water, or use a brew basket. The leaves should sink to the bottom of the cup. A Finum brew basket is nice to control steep times and resteep leaves. If you only have hot water from a water cooler, use green tea and white tea because the water isn’t quite hot enough for black and oolong. If you have hard water or off tasting water, go for something stronger like Laoshan Black since it can stand up to just about anything.

  21. Jodi

    Do you have gift cards?

    • David Duckler

      Not yet. I really want gift cards, but for now we have an awesome gift set, and two different subscription programs that make great gifts.

  22. Jarrett Sadowsky

    Do you have any recommendations for water filters?

  23. Frank Procopio

    What tea is grown in the USA, and where?

  24. Trey

    How would you recommend brewing your Bilochun? There are no brewing directions currently listed on the website.

    • David Duckler

      Sorry about that. The bilochun can be brewed like the Laoshan Green, except that it will yield more steepings.

  25. julian

    Will a new batch of shui xian be harvest anytime soon?

    • David Duckler

      I am looking into new Wuyi oolongs this month and may have a new one in by the new year. Should be very good.

  26. Lisa

    Hello! Do you sell the Holy Basil Blend anywhere in Minneapolis?


    • David Duckler

      Hi Lisa,
      The Yoga Center of Minneapolis usually stocks the Holy Basil Spa Blend, or our Ginger Sage Spa blend, along with some other popular favorites. They have the tea at both Minneapolis and St. Louis Park locations.

      • Lisa

        Thanks, David — I’ll check out the Yoga Center! Do you ever do any local tea tastings?

  27. Daniel

    Nice to notice your website and comments on steepser. Hope you are doing well there. I’m just wondering how americans feel the various quality of tea. Do they care so much about fresh or the slightly favor difference between each level of tea ? Meanwhile , have you ever considered sell artifical tea ball or herbal tea, which seems more attractive to foreigners

  28. Dave

    Hi, just out of curiosity would I be able to apply the $25 dollar coupon on my tea of the month reserve payment this January? If not, its fine. I’m sure I will be using that 25 dollars on another order of tea at some point.

  29. starre

    Is there somewhere on the site where you recommend if certain teas can handle sugar, cream, lemon? I’m new to alot of these teas. Grew up drinking liptons with cream and sugar;O)

  30. Peter

    I am very interested in joining your tea club, but I am concerned about the lack of environmental regulation in China with possible pesticide residues and other contaminants in the tea you import. Is there any mechanism in place (i.e. testing or import regulations) to insure these teas are safe to drink? Thanks

    • Rich

      Also wondering about this. Are there some of your teas where pesticides are not used and others where they are? Also wondering if you still answer questions on this board as it looks like there are many that have gone unanswered in recent months.

  31. Kate

    I’m looking at the ‘Tea of the Month Club’ membership page and I’m a little confused. What’s the difference between ‘Regular Recurring’ and ‘3 Month Membership’? Is the former a one-off month of tea club, or does it continue until one decides to cancel?


  32. Jordan

    Hi there! I finally got around to trying the Minnesota Wild Rice herbal “tea” you included with a recent Tea of the Month club and greatly enjoyed it. I’m sad to see it isn’t available on your site to purchase more. Do you have any plans to get something like that in stock or do you know a place that may have something similar? Thank!

  33. Ryan Conaughty

    Hey Verdant Team,
    I’ve been watching a LOT of tea videos on YouTube trying to study the art of tea brewing: the movements, the precision, the concentration. I’ve found this video:

    and was wondering why the gentleman is pointing to the spout of the yixing pot. When brewing with a yixing, is it good to see the bubble peek out of the spout? I’ve heard seeing bubbles is a good sign. Should special attention be paid to the end of the spout?
    Thanks for your time. I’m a devoted fan and tell everyone I know that your tea and the farmers you source from changed my life. I’ll be ordering soon!
    Ryan C.

  34. cody

    will you be getting any more zhu rong yunnan black in or have you discontinued it? if you will be getting more in when do you expect it in? and if not what is the closest tea you have to it? thank you so much!

  35. Margaret

    Will you be restocking the Diyi Cornfields Shu in the future? I tried it recently and would love to stock up.

  36. Patricia Pipkin

    Last year I tried Golden Fleece and it was my favorite tea ever. I understand it’s no longer available, but could someone recommend a currently available tea that might taste sort of, kind of like Golden Fleece? Thank you.

  37. sue

    Hi, I am new to to the art of tea. I wanted to host a tasting so I could share the experience of tasting teas I have never tried before with friends. Could you recommend a collection of your teas to taste and the order one would try them in. I would like to cover the spectrum of teas from green, to oolong and black, etc.I would love your input. Thank you! Sue

  38. Tony Pounders

    I notice in your videos that you are using a Zojirushi water boiler. it appears to be the CD-WBC40 model. I’m thinking of purchasing that model. Would you share a bit of your experience with the product and what you think of it?

    Thank you

  39. Darn

    Hi Verdant!

    I love your approach to pu-ers and the offerings you stock. It seems that they can turn over quite frequently, which results in the selection being removed from the website. Since you offer such great info on each tea (taste, origin notes and brewing methods), I often like to go back to the tea’s page for refreshers. Is there any way you can keep the tea info available to purchasers, even after you’ve sold out?


  40. Gary Heine

    I just received my first Reserve Tea Club offering. I’m excited to explore the world of unique teas. I’d like to purchase the tea brewers and cups that would allow me to brew and serve the teas in the way you describe them. But I don’t know anything about this. Could you tell me where I might find some tea brewing utensils so that I could treat these teas like they deserve to be treated? Thanks.

    Gary Heine

  41. Chris Panetta


    First off, let me say that your instructional videos and articles have been great for starting to understand the many nuances of tea brewing and culture. I have been referring back often, so thank you. I’m just starting to get into pu’ehrs and I’m having a little trouble understanding the difference between Sheng and Shu as they often both look to come in cakes. Any help making the distinctions would be greatly appreciated and I apologise if this is discussed somewhere on the site.

    Thanks again,

    • Chris Panetta

      Maybe the better question is the difference between Shou and Shu. Are they the same?

      • Lily Duckler

        Hello Chris,

        Thank you for your kind words! It’s always great to hear that the videos and articles are being enjoyed; sharing knowledge and our love for tea is as important as sharing the tea itself.

        Shou and Shu are actually the same kind of tea. Both refer to pu’er whose fermentation process is intentionally accelerated with the addition of moisture to the aging environment. As a result, English speakers sometimes referred to this tea as cooked or ripe. The difference in spelling is due to regional dialect differences. The correct Mandarin is transliterated “shu,” but some regions pronounce the word “shou.”

        Sheng is the original pu’er.. basically: raw tea leaves pressed into cakes and allowed to age naturally over many years. Most sheng that you see these days has a much greener taste. Shou pu’er is a newer innovation where the effect of very very old sheng is replicated in newly picked tea, simply by aging the tea in a more humid environment. This turns the tea dark and generally makes the flavor sweeter, smoother, and more musty.

        Both kinds of pu’er can be aged, but sheng pu’er offers the most dramatic return on investment, as it changes from a raw, green tasting to something dark, complex and musty over many years.

  42. Sam

    I just bought the Laotian Green Tea and am wondering why it’s brown when I make it.

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Sam-

      The Laoshan Green tea will brew up green if prepared according to our recommended steeping instructions ( ), though if over-brewed (longer than 2 to 3 minutes), it may produce a very dark yellow-green cup.

      Tea utensils and brewing equipment can add unexpected colors to your tea if they still have residues left over from another brewing session. You might also notice a darker color in your steeped tea if the leaves have been sitting out for more than a few minutes in between brewing sessions. In between steepings, the green tea will oxidize, just like an apple turns brown once the fruit is exposed to the air.

      Very hard water can affect your brew, too. Hard water is not as good at extracting the leaves’ contents, including the elements that turn the tea leaves and tea water green.

      If you’re trying the Laoshan Green in the Laoshan Genmaicha, the cup will have a dark yellow (brown) shade due to the roasted Jasmine Rice and Minnesota Wild Rice. Laoshan Black tea leaves look very similar to Laoshan Green, since both a curled teas from the same farm. Laoshan Black will brew up a warm orange color.

  43. Amy

    I like a variety of teas, both straight and blended. I try to avoid teas with added flavorings however, whether they are natural or artificial. Do any of your teas contain added flavors?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Amy,

      None of our teas contain added flavorings. Our main collection is made entirely of traditional Chinese teas, so everything you taste is the result of careful growing, magnificent land, and the miraculous processing of master craftsmen. Even our Yunnan White Jasmine is scented in the traditional manner: jasmine blossoms are scattered around the tea while drying for several nights in a row, then removed in the morning to be replaced by fresh blossoms.

      Our tea blends are created by blending those same traditional teas with organic herbs, spices, dried flowers or organic whole vanilla bean. We never use artificial flavorings. The goal is to let the teas speak for themselves, not cover up and mask their beauty with heavy handed, unnatural flavors. Instead, the blended ingredients highlight natural flavor notes or serve as a counterpoint.

      If you’d like to read more in-depth about the philosophy behind our blended teas, you can check out this article:

      Best wishes,
      Lily Duckler

  44. Amy

    Do any of your teas contain added flavors, including natural and artificial flavors?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Amy,

      I think I may have answered this question in part above, but to clarify:

      Our main collection is made of traditional Chinese teas. These teas taste just as the farmers and tea masters who grew and processed the teas intended, and their rich and complex taste reflect the quality of their land and the skill of those who created the teas.

      Our blended teas contain no additional natural or artificial flavorings. We use 100% organic herbs spices and flowers in our blends to make sure that they are on par with the amazing teas sourced from our friends’ small family farms. Our carefully formulated blends draw their inspiration directly from the high end teas that we use as the bases of each offering. We blend to bring out the unique, natural taste of the tea itself, and never hide the tea under heavy, unnatural man-made flavorings.

      All of our blended teas can be found in the Tea Blends sections of our website.

      Take care!
      Lily Duckler

  45. Ken

    The time differences between “Gongfu” and “Western” brewing seem remarkably huge: minutes vs. seconds. It seems to me, without experience of the Gongfu method, that these varied timings would create vastly differing results. What’s up with that?

  46. William

    Hello, Within the last year or so I have really started to enjoy tea. I was wondering if there is anyway to train my palate so that I can detect subtle nuances and things like that, that doesn’t involve drinking immense amounts of different tea as I am only 16 and have limited funds.

  47. Jusitn St. Pierre


    I had a few questions regarding steeping, as well as the ‘correct’ ratio of tea to use per 8 oz. of water. I have read on several tea websites that, because some tea leaves are much larger than others, a teaspoon can be a clumsy and inaccurate way to measure (I have indeed found this to be the case!) and a better way is to use a digital food scale to measure out around 3 grams of tea per 8 oz. of water for the Western brewing method. I am wondering if you would second this recommendation, or if this varies from tea to tea? I am using a tea pitcher which uses a built in mesh filter and gasket system. I completely submerge the tea in the correct temperature water and once steeping is complete, simply place the pitcher on top of my cup and it drains into the cup.

    I find this method to be so much better than using a tea ball which I had been doing prior to this, but am wondering about recommendations for doing multiple infusions with the White Jasmine tea. I see that your site recommends 175 degrees for 2 minutes, or until most of the leaves have sunk to the bottom of the vessel. I’m finding at 2 minutes, that the majority of the leaves are still floating atop the water. Should I stop the steeping at 2 minutes, or steep until the leaves sink? Also, how much time should I add for each subsequent infusion, using the pitcher brewing method?

    Thank you in advance for any advice and recommendations!

  48. Richard Deitz

    Can you comment on whether pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used in your teas?

  49. Michael

    I stumbled upon your YouTube video about seasoning a pot. Was googling the subject, actually. Introduced to tea by a friend, bought my first pot on eBay. Here is my question. My 200 ml pot cost 16 usd. That is cheap. Does it mean it is not good? Should I invest in “developing” it, like you say in the video, or buy a better pot? In general the info on pot buying would be great

  50. Justin

    I will be in Xiamen for two weeks and have been watching your blog after seeing notes of your recent visit here. Can you recommend any specific tea shops or the dim sum restaurant you spoke so highly of?


  51. James


    You are ahead of your time and I would like to encourage you on your journey and thank you for sharing your wisdom and tea with me. I have been to every basement in Philadelphia Chinatown looking for a traditional Gaiwan this past Mother’s Day weekend and have spoken to dozens of business owners often times through a translator and we could not find one single functional Gaiwan anywhere. I lamented this rapid change in both design and production and noticed the stores had several new age plastic innovations which were mass produced and full of paint, plastic and metal which I would not use on silver needle, green tea or oolongs. I very happy to find your site and quickly place an order on your wonderful tea ware, but I had to explain my experience so you will know that there is nowhere else that it is even offered anymore forget about the artistry of the craft, one cannot even find a functional replica. I look forward to seeing a Verdant store front in Philadelphia in the met decade and I can’t imagine how many other people had similar experiences. I never would have thought that an American man in the Midwest would have access to the best tea wares in China, but thanks again David for sharing and now it is imperative that you do well or perhaps the next generation of drinker will think Styrofoam cups are authentic. Interestingly enough when I was able to explain what I was looking for, many of the older women understood and said, “that is the old way”, here look, “we have the new ones like Starbucks” Thank you sir!


  52. janet

    Is there somewhere on the website where we can see past tea club selections? It would be helpful for reorders!

    • Kristina

      I would also like this, for when I want to refer back to what previous month’s selections are like. Currently I use the sort-of functional method of looking the teas up on Steepster and hoping that the entry is complete enough, but that usually doesn’t include specific brewing information either.

      • Lily Duckler

        Hi Kristina,

        I agree that this is a very good idea! As I mentioned to Janet, there is a way to see what we feature in the previous month’s box (right under the video on the Tea of the Month Club page)

        I am going to get to work on pulling together past month’s selections + the stories, description + brewing directions that go out with each box. I’ll let you know when that’s finished!

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Janet!

      For now, you can see last month’s selection on the main Tea of the Month Club page, right under the video.
      However, I agree that it would be a great idea to keep a history of all of our past tea of the month selections, along with their stories and tasting notes. I will get to work on it, and let you know when we have a full compendium up and available!

  53. Andres

    How do I change my shipping/billing address for my Tea of the Month membership as I moved? I can’t find a way to log in from the main site…

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Andres!

      Do you still have your original e-mail receipt for your Tea of the Month membership? That e-mail provides a link to change your address. If not, please e-mail us directly at
      We can change it for you manually before the next Tea of the Month ships out!

  54. Michael

    Recently I noticed that the flavor of some of my teas from Verdant are not as strong as when I first received them. I keep them in a dry, cool place without strong smells and make sure the ziplock bag they are sent in contains as little air as possible. For example, today I had the Dong Ding oolong from an order I received in April. It lacked the sweetness and flavor, despite making it as I usually do (per the gongfu instructions). Is this normal?

  55. Kristina

    Hi! Here is me making a suggestion. I hoping that you will offer more glass teaware in the future since I missed out on buying any of the last offering. It would be really nice to see tea steep and prepare it in a traditional ‘green’ manner and I’ve found that you here at Verdant really do only get the best stuff.

    • Lily Duckler

      Thanks for your suggestion- we agree! We will be carrying the Glass Test Tube Steepers permanently, along with featuring them at our tea house in Minneapolis. We should have more back in stock in July, but I will update you here if they arrive sooner than expected!

  56. Sarah

    Any chance there will be another offering of reserve teas for the rewards program? :)

  57. mike

    can i store/age my pu ehr teas in a cigar humidor. is this good for the teas? is there any other way to age my teas? which one of your teas is best fit to age?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Mike,

      As long as there’s no aroma of cigars in the humidor already, it should be a good environment for aging your pu’er. If the humidor has already been used for cigars and has absorbed some of that aroma, then just be aware that the aroma of the cigars will also infuse into your aging pu’er over time. Some humidors are also constructed out of more fragrant woods. This will also affect the way your pu’er ages, because those fragrances will infuse your tea. Again- it’s not an absolute negative and it really depends on your personal taste: it’s just something to be aware of, so that you’re not surprised to pull your sheng pu’er out in a few years and find it’s acquired strong notes of cedar and cigars. If you want to experiment, you could always acquire two bricks (or break a brick in half, etc etc) of one kind of pu’er and age one in the humidor and one in a cardboard box, away from light and strong smells. You won’t know the full extent of the effects for a year or so, but if you’d like to know how your cigar humidor will affect your pu’er in a more concrete way, this would be the way to find out.

      If you decide against the cigar humidor or if you’d like to do side-by-side comparisons, we generally recommend storing your pu’er very simply: place them together in cardboard boxes, away from light, smell or excess humidity.
      For more details, check out David’s post on how to store tea, which includes a section on pu’er:
      In general though: if you have a large collection, store your sheng together in one box (or set of boxes) and your shu in another.
      Avoid basements (which often have moisture and must/mold issues) or closets next to or inside of bathrooms (again, too much steam will encourage mold growth). Avoid kitchen closets (strong spice or savory smells) or closets where you keep your dirty laundry basket. Typically, a hallway clean-linen closet on the main or second floor of the house works well, though some enthusiasts have also built or dedicated entire closets to their collection.
      If you live in a very dry or very low humidity part of the country, you can keep a shallow pan of water in the room with your pu’er or a damp cloth. Just be sure to change the water often (if you’re using a cloth or sponge, feel free to change daily!), keep an eye on the humidity levels (again, guarding against mold and must from too much humidity), and make sure your setup is protected against spills by keeping your collection a few inches off the ground!

      As for aging our teas: sheng pu’er will see the greatest amount of change, and many feel that these changes are the most satisfying- to see a young, raw green pu’er mellow and mature into a deeper, darker brew over the years. If you’re interested in sheng pu’er, our Qianjiazhai 2012 Old Growth Sheng Pu’er is a nice choice: still young enough to grow with you, and its wild-picked leaves from old-grwoth trees offer exciting aging potential.
      Shou pu’er can also age beautifully over a longer period, though generally their growth arc is more gradual. The Xingyang Golden Buds Shu Pu’er from 2010 is already a pleasure to drink, but age should give it more depth over the years.

  58. high adventure

    Is it dehydrating to drink tea all day? Should I supplement with water?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi there,

      This is a great question, and a long-standing myth stemming from the fact that the caffeine in all teas makes them a mild-diuretic. However, you will actually still be taking in more water than you would be losing. Ultimately, tea is hydrating: it just doesn’t hydrate as efficiently as water does. If you’re coming close to dangerous dehydration, your first choice should be water (for example, after long and strenuous exercise in high heat and humidity). However, daily tea drinking will not put you at risk of dehydration.

      For a more in depth review of the scientific literature on this subject, check out the 2007 “Black Tea- helpful or harmful? a review of the evidence” from EJ Gardner, RHS Huxton, and AR Leeds. On pg 9 of their study, they review the literature on the affects of caffeine in tea with respect to hydration.

  59. Chandan

    Hi, my cousin recently returned from a trip to China and brought back an aged Baihao Yinzhen. Was wondering if it was possible for me to age any of the Baihao that I keep at home for myself or the jasmine varieties or if there are only particular cultivars that can be aged. Thanks so much!

  60. scott

    The “contact Verdant tea” link is failing to send a message. What is the best way to contact you about a change to a placed order?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Scott- thank you for letting us know! If you’re ever having trouble contacting us through the “contact us” link, you can e-mail us any time at support(at)

  61. Adam Balm

    Dear Verdant Tea,

    I discovered your company recently and am excited about it as you seem like a great group of folks, open and creative. I certainly have it in mind to see if there’s any way I can be involved, especially after reading your page about jobs and accepting all applications and all that. I feel a kinship. But anyway, for now I just have a question about my Gongfu tray that I can’t find any answers to online. I’ve had this tray for around four years now and I’m excited to do a first proper deep wash and cleaning and shining. Four years has really worn out the color of the main brewing area. What do you suggest for refinishing it? Polyurethane? Water-based polyurethane? Something else? My internet searches of how people care for their trays aren’t turning up anything, so any guidance would be much appreciated. Please pass on any other tips you have about caring for a tray, as well.

    Thanks a bunch.

  62. Nicholas

    I’m wondering about the current state of tea producers struggling in china. I have heard of the decline of Pu-Erh production due a market demand caused by counterfeit knockoffs, lowered the prices of such teas forced farmers out of business that has also affected Wuyi tea production. Then there are issues floating around about a decline local demands for tea in china , a drive towards instant teas than loose leaf teas,coffee displacing tea consumption problems with climate and inheritance issues with family operated tea farmers that has no future successor to continue tea production. Where does this all lead to? What is the future for tea in China? Will I still get my favorite Loashan Green tea 15 years from now?

  63. Zachery Wolf

    What are your guys favorite iced teas? Whether from verdant or from another source.

    • Lily Duckler

      Great question! We’ve been having great fun experimenting with all of our teas iced here at the teahouse, and we’ve found lots of crowd favorites.

      For classic summer black iced tea, try Zhu Rong iced with a squeeze of lemon.
      Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell is fantastic, too- creamy, refreshing, brews up nearly clear.
      Roasted Laoshan Oolong reminds me of a s’more or a roasted marshmallow.
      Laoshan Apothecary Green or Holy Basil Spa Blend are perennial crowd favorites for something minty and refreshing, but if you want a brew with a bit of citrus and floral? Go for Summer Garden Citrus Mint.
      Want to try something really surprising? Try icing the Qianjiazhai Old Growth 2012 Sheng! It’s been one of my favorite discoveries this season, and when I drink it, I always feel like I’m drinking frozen key lime pie.

      Experiment with the teas you have at home and feel free to play with what you have, too! One of our classics this summer is a Raspberry Pu’er Palmer: Master Han’s Shu Pu’er, fresh squeezed lemon, fresh raspberries and honey for sweetener. If you have mint growing in your summer garden, try muddling the fresh herbs in your ice before pouring your iced tea in. Enjoy what the season has to offer, and keep an eye on fresh fruits and herbs at your local farmers markets. :D

  64. J

    I just ordered some of your Shu puerh, but was confused because you recommend 2-4 second infusions, which is contrary to what I’ve been told about Puerh steeping times. I’ve always heard you can steep Puerhs into oblivion and that a minute, at least, is good for Puerhs. Thoughts?
    PS I love the Spring Tieguanyin and my new Wide Gaiwan. Great site!

  65. Glen

    I am considering ordering some of your tea for delivery to me in Canada. I am wondering what your customers’ experience has been regarding the payment of Canadian tariffs/customs fees/sales taxes/etc. With purchases of used goods from private individuals in the US, I have found this to be somewhat hit-or-miss, while with purchases from retailers, I have generally had to pay some form of tax/tariff.

    The best US retailer I have dealt with — B&H Photo/Video in New York City — the various customs costs are included in the shipping calculation at the time of online purchase. In one case of a used item I had purchased from a private individual, the Canadian postal service automatically paid the fees on my behalf and charged me $10 for doing so! UPS is infamous for gouging people in a similar but much more extreme way.

    So, what has your experience been with your Canadian customers regarding customs fees and the like?


  66. Chris

    Im looking for a good regular source of tea. I live in Spain and would love to join your tea club. It looks fantastic.

    • Geoffrey

      Hi Chris! We can ship tea club subscription boxes to Spain, so feel free to sign up any time!

  67. Glen

    I have a couple of questions about storing tow specific teas for aging, that are not answered in your article about tea storage.

    1. In storing a brick of Master Han’s 2012 Sheng Pu’er for aging, does the wrapped brick need to be protected from exposure to light?

    2. In storing some Silver Buds Yabao for aging, does the tea need air flow like a pu’er, or an airtight container like a white tea?


    • Glen

      Hello? … Is anybody out there? …

      I would very much appreciate a response to my questions about the two (not “tow” :o) ) teas, especially the one about the Yabao.

      Thanks in advance.

  68. John P

    I have done a lot of research on pu’er tea and it seems that everyone has different ideas of what makes a sheng a sheng and a shu and shu. Will you explain these to me? And also where in the process the fermentation and aging comes into play?

    • John P

      whoops, I meant to say “and a shu a shu”

  69. Dylan Sheffer

    Hey David,

    I’m a college student who has fallen in love with the Chinese tea culture and the Chinese language. I’m hoping to study abroad within the next year or two. What region of China would you recommend me to study in in order to gain the most cultural and tea knowledge. Xiexie!

  70. Ami G

    I would like to join your team and learn everything about tea, its history and culture. I live in Seattle right now but how could/do I go about getting into the world of tea? My dream is to become a great tea connoisseur an open my own tea and sweets shop. I guess Im not looking for a job per say but a way to learn. Thank you for taking your time to read this.

  71. Min

    Hi! A while ago I bought some Earl of Anxi (which I really liked, by the way). The problem I’m having now is I’ve noticed spots of frankincense resin coating the mesh of my infuser. I’m having difficulty washing it off. I’ve tried soaking it just-boiled water so that it softens and then scrubbing at it, but it seems to be having minimal effect. Any advice?

  72. Peggy Laska

    I missed out on your 8 Treasures last fall,
    and I was wondering if your going to have it back this year.
    If you are having it back could you please let me know when.
    Thank you ever so much.

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Peggy – we should have a Winter version of our 8 Treasures Yabao once our new Yabao comes in. Keep your eye out for it towards the end of November. We’ll be sure to announce any new arrivals via our mailer, Facebook and twitter.
      Thank you so much for your support!

  73. Cassidy

    I have been enjoying your teas so much!
    I am wondering though the reasoning on rinsing the tea leaves first before brewing? I just received orchard spice which is wonderful!!

  74. Rosa

    Why do you throw away the first infusion of black tea? It seems a waste

  75. david tubergen

    I received my order today, #14191023, and there is one item missing: That of MRS. LI’S SHI FENG DRAGONWELL GREEN TEA.

    Now I notice that according to the package slip, I was to receive MI LAN XIAN PHOENIX MOUNTAIN DANCONG (2) and received none….

    Tell me what is the problem is. I do not like this initial confusion with verdant tea.

    • Geoffrey

      Hi David. Thanks for contacting us about this error in your order. Our support staff has informed me that you have been contacted directly to resolve the problem. The missing tea will be sent to you promptly, along with some additional tea, as our apology for the mistake. Contact us again at any time whenever you need additional assistance. We very much hope you enjoy the teas!

  76. deni

    hi, how to order ( im at indonesia ) because i see you couldn’t ship to indonesia ( i read in faq)?
    if i buy >$70, did i get free shiping, include my country?

    • Geoffrey

      Hi Deni. Thanks for contacting us. We do not ship to Indonesia, or the other countries listed in the FAQ, because there is a high risk that the package will be lost, stolen, or otherwise not reach the customer who ordered it. Our shipping provider offers a list of countries that they recommend not shipping to, and that list is reflected in the FAQ.

      If a package was lost, we would normally be expected to refund the customer who ordered it. Since there is high risk of orders not reaching customers in those countries, we do not normally ship there.

      In the past, we have made exceptions for customers in those countries who understood the risk ahead of time and were willing to take the chance of their order being lost, with the knowledge that we would not be able to refund them if that happened. If this is something that you are interested in, please email to make arrangements for an exception. Any additional questions you have can be answered by our support staff.

      Thanks for your interest in our teas, Deni. I’m sorry that it’s not easier for us to ship to your location. Hopefully that will change in the future.

  77. Lois

    Any possibility that u guys sell gift cards yet ?

  78. Nikko

    Why are certain teas no longer available?

    • Lily Duckler

      Thank you so much for getting in touch with us, Nikko. Due to the seasonal nature of tea, we are unable to carry certain teas year round. For example, Spring harvest green teas often sell out by summer or fall, and autumn teas are usually no longer available in the Spring time. Additionally some of our teas are experimental and it is up to the farmers whether or not they choose to make more with each harvest. Good examples of these are Laoshan White Tea and Laoshan Oolongs from the He Family or Anxi Fo Shou Black Tea from the Bi Family in Anxi. However, we always keep customer preferences in mind as we source new teas, and we’re always looking out for great offerings to fill out the collection!

  79. Lori

    I bought tea at an Asian store for relief of congestion due to bronchial and sinus inflammation. The name of is Wong Lo Kat. It looks and smells horrible. The smell reminds me of old moldy leaves and there are sticks and leaves in the bag. Is it harmful to ingest something that smells like rotten, mold?
    Maybe you could suggest an alternative for those symptoms?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Lori,

      While I cannot speak to the quality of herb you purchased, I will say that if the thought of using the herb makes you feel uncomfortable or if the smell makes you feel ill, using the herb to relieve your symptoms may not be successful, if only because you will not want to use it!

      The Ginger Sage Winter Spa Blend was constructed around traditional folk remedies (including such popular aids as ginger, sage, and rose petal), but if you are looking for ways to relieve serious bronchial and sinus inflammation, we recommend consulting with your physician. They will be able to make a recommendation based on your current symptoms with full awareness of your particular medical history.

      Hope you feel better soon!

  80. Grace

    Quick question- I’m in China right now studying tea ceremonies, and am trying to find the Golden Fleece tea that you guys have listed on your site. Do you by chance know the Chinese name for that particular tea? I know it’s a “dian hong” tea, but don’t know the exact name…

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Grace,

      How wonderful! I hope you’re having a fantastic time learning right now.

      Golden Fleece is particular picking of a “Ye Sheng Da Ya Dian Hong” style of Yunnan Black tea – in English, it is literally a “wild picked large bud Yunnan Black tea.” Depending on where you are at the moment, this style of tea is usually very difficult to find at a large, general tea house. Look for people who are passionate about sourcing unique finds from Yunnan (though do not be surprised to find Wild-foraged teas much more expensive than more readily available Dian Hong!). This style of tea is more difficult to pick and make and results in smaller harvests, all of which contribute to higher value on the domestic Chinese market and therefore higher prices.

      Are you attending a specific institution right now, or studying the way tea is made in large tea houses, or learning from tea markets? Each offers their own unique point of view on tea ceremony, and I’ve always enjoyed learning from as many people as possible about their own way of doing things. You’ll often make friends this way with people who have very strong and very different opinions on the subject, which will help you discover what resonates most strongly for yourself.

      Best of luck to you!

  81. Noobie in Destress

    I plan to put in an order for a bunch of samples, but I would like to also sample the “Master Zhang’s 15 Year Aged Tieguanyin” and as far as I can see you guys don’t offer it in a 7g option. Is there any way I can sample this tea? Because at the moment it is a little pricey just try it, not knowing if I will like it.

    I also had a question about the taste of tea. I have the pallet of a novice and I have only tried the mass produced stuff, which I feel I have been cheated out of my money on my last order from one of these companies. I have tried several techniques including these companies western style recommended brew instructions, and Chinese style brewing, changing temps between 180-212, brew times, changed my water, changed the pots I used to bring the water up to temp, both in a new gaiwan and the standard brew basket in a cup. And nothing has really made a huge difference, so i assume its the tea itself.

    The Tea’s sent in the ziplock bag is weak, there but weak, and all smells different (5 diff teas all Oolongs). Brews 1-4 with every variable I can change, all have very weak flavor, hardly notice the taste, but they do have pleasant after flavors that linger, but arent all that special. After 2 infusions, all 5 teas have almost no flavor and smell exactly the same. Like plain used up leaves and pencil eraser shavings, really damaged my confidence with this tea. After inspecting the leaves, lots of stems, lots of broken leaves. The teas were $2 $3 $5 $7 $12 dollars an ounce.

    The only tea that I feel is worth brewing is the 12 dollar tea, it had the most flavor, weak smell, but had plenty of Ltheanine because I could feel it after the first cup. Is there anything you can tell me about my experience. I look at the reviews and people have so much good to say about these teas and they use all these terms that sound knowledgeable.

    Along with this, many reviews of the teas I bought say they have slight sweetness, I like my tea sweet so I was siked to get tea I didn’t have to add sweetener too. Maybe I miss understood when people call these teas sweet, because I didn’t even get the slightest hint of sweetness. Are any Teas’s Naturally sweet so I don’t have to add sweetener? A lot of the teas you offer also are described as sweet, or related to sweet foods. This experience has really got me down especially since its from one of the biggest companies in the loose tea scene which invokes the deceiving notion of “I cant go wrong with these guys”

    Thank you so much for your time, I’m very long winded, sorry for such a long post.

  82. Rob

    I notice that you sell your tea in 1 oz. quantities. How much do you need to use per serving?

    • Lily Duckler

      It depend on how you prefer to make your tea! For a traditional “Western Style” steeping with a large put, folks tend to use around 3-4 grams of tea. In that case, you would get 8-10 sessions. If you enjoy multiple steepings of the same tea, we often recommend using more tea: for example, 4g of tea per 6oz of water. If you have a larger 8-10 oz mug, you’d use about 5 grams of tea per session, which means about 5 or 6 brewing sessions in an ounce of tea. If you brewing gong fu tea in a gaiwan or test tube steeper, you could use 5-7 grams per session. All three of these methods would, depending on the tea, be able to steep anywhere from 3-10 times (a whole day of tea).

      Generally, if you drink the same tea every day, an ounce of tea will be good for a week of brewing, similar to a pound of coffee.

  83. Jim John Marks

    This past month’s tea-of-the-month box featured the Qilan Wuyi oolong, and the extra tasting notes mentioned a rural Chinese tea ceremony which is distinct from teahouse style. Would it be possible to create a YouTube video to share with us that demonstrated the difference between them?

  84. Raymond Rin

    Hello, is it safe to drink tea when you have the leaves from the tea bag floating around in there? Thank you.

    • Lily Duckler

      Yes! In fact, I often make tea by just putting leaves into a tea cup and letting them float and steep freely in the cup as I sip. I usually have to blow the leaves out of the way, in this case, so I do not end up getting them in my teeth. However, if I’m drinking green tea, I actually often eat the free-floating leaves themselves after they have been steeping and are soft once again.

      At the moment, I know of no dangers to eating tea leaves other than perhaps getting tea stuck in your teeth (though in that case, it’s a danger you’d find with any food!). Tea is known for protecting teeth when chewed, and has been used this way for centuries. Doing this exclusively over using toothpaste will lead to tea stains and some discoloration (especially if you drink very buddy / downy, oxidized tea), but is said to help protect the enamel against cavities.

      The only reason ingesting tea leaves might be dangerous would be 1) if you have a true sever allergy to caffeine or another component of tea leaves – however, his means you would experience symptoms of an allergic reaction even when steeping the tea leaves. If you are afraid of a rare reaction like this, seek guidance and treatment from your doctor.
      Alternately, if the tea leaves were sprayed with harmful herbicides or pesticides, drinking the tea or eating (larger amounts!) of the leave could lead to a reaction like upset stomach, etc, especially if you’re already on the brink or you haven’t eaten anything else for most of the day. Bagged tea is mostly grown on large monoculture plantations, and unless they are certified organic, are sprayed with these chemicals – just like in any large scale, non-organic modern farming operation.

      However, as a general rule – if the tea you are drinking is not making you feel ill or uncomfortable, drinking tea with some of those leaves loose in the water (or eating some of them) is also safe. The tea bag simply holds the leaves in one place, making it a little more convenient to sip, clean, or remove the leaves to stop the steeping process. While tea bags can sometimes add their own “paper” flavor to your tea and are notorious for sucking up more flavorful tea oils (making for more muted / less delicious tea), the tea bag is not keeping you from anything chemically in the leaves. In fact, you are more likely to e ingesting more of the tea leaf with a tea bag than with loose leaf tea (even floating loose leaf tea), because so many tea bags contain mostly tea dust. The finest tea dust can come out of perforated tea bags (you can sometimes see this settled on the bottom of your cup), and are small enough for you to drink without noticing. Matcha (a kind of specially ground green tea from Japan) is the most extreme example of this. The fine tea powder is whisked into water, and you end up drink (eating!) all of those ground up tea leaves! This is an extremely popular kind of tea, and is very traditional in Japan – in fact, drinking a “soup” of ground up tea was one of the first ways tea was originally enjoyed in China, all the way up until the end of the Song Dynasty when there was a push to enjoy whole tea leaves for what they tasted like themselves, rather than ground up with additives or highly whisked and frothed.

      Bottom line: If there were something harmful in or on the tea leaves, you would experience it – with or without a tea bag. Do not fear tea leaves that have escaped a tea bag, but watch out in case they get stuck in your teeth! Finally, if you ever feel consistently ill while drinking a specific kind of tea or caffeinated beverages in general, you should always consult your physician about your concerns.

  85. Larraine van Breet

    Can I ask if in future Pinterest add on will be available to add your products on Pinterest boards ?

  86. Terri Weatherly

    Where’s my tea?

    Order Summary:

    Order #: 184571077
    Date: Thu 12 Dec 2013 06:02:47 AM PST
    [Moderator Edit – hidden for privacy]

    • Lily Duckler

      Hello Terri,

      I just sent you a direct e-mail containing the tracking information for your package. Currently, USPS shows it is on the way to you, and should be arriving this week.

      For further questions about this or other orders, please feel free to write to us directly at

      All the best!
      Lily Duckler

  87. Jessie

    Do you have any teas that are considered safe for pregnancy?

  88. Marguerethe

    Is it possible to purchase a gift card & have it mailed? I live out of town & would like to purchase a gift card for my mother who lives near Seward.

  89. Lynn Ritchie

    Your “Contact Us” page has not worked since before Christmas.

    • Geoffrey

      Hi Lynn. Thanks for letting us know about the problem you’re experiencing. It appears to be an isolated bug affecting a small number of users. I need a little more information from you to help us fix the problem, and am sending you a private email to discuss the details. In the meantime, we’ve added a direct link to our support email address on the “Contact Us” page, for anyone who is experiencing errors with the form. Hopefully we can get this resolved quickly.

  90. paul

    does verdant mean green teeth? or green tooth? Where does the reference come from?

    • Mark

      ver•dant | ˈvərdnt |
      (of countryside) green with grass or other rich vegetation.
      • of the bright green color of lush grass: a deep, verdant green.

      ver•danc•y | ˈvərdn-sē | noun,
      ver•dant•ly adverb

      ORIGIN late 16th cent.: perhaps from Old French verdeant, present participle of verdoier ‘be green,’ based on Latin viridis ‘green.’

  91. Maggie

    I’m sensitive to caffeine but a sucker for green and white teas. Do you have recommendations for such tea with low to no caffeine content? Thanks!

  92. Wilf

    I have 4 tea cash vouchers that do not work($85)good untill Jan 31 2014.Help!

    • Lily Duckler

      We wrote to you directly to help you with your vouchers – please check your e-mail and we’ll go from there!

  93. Stu

    I had a question about the transport of the tea in the winter, specifically puerh. I know you are in Minneapolis and I am located in Canada and during the winter I was wondering if the transport to my location would kill some of the microbes in the puerh that is supposed to help it age over time. (Being in the back of a UPS truck in -15 degree weather). Have you given this any thought and do you think it would be OK?

  94. Mark

    I’ve tried to get into Pu-erh, being primarily a Green Tea guy. I really enjoyed a sample you provided of Yanxin’s Reserve ’04 Shu Nuggets a while back. Have yet to find anything similar since, and unfortunately you no longer carry it. Any suggestions?? My Pu-erh knowledge is very limited. Thanks!

  95. Akos Molnar

    Dear Verdant Tea,

    I would like to place an order, but it seems you do not deliver to Hungary.
    It is quite interesting since you deliver to all the countries surrounding us.
    Can you help to fix this?

  96. Chris F

    I can’t find a way to order a gift certificate online. Is there one? I notice that the last inquiry about gift cards was in November 2012, and at that time your answer was “not yet.” My daughter lives in St. Paul and I’d rather let her browse than buy her something myself.

  97. Karen

    Are the verdant storage tins available for sale?

    • Lily Duckler

      Not yet! Though we do offer almost every tea in the new Gift Tin packaging, we currently do not offer single, empty tins by themselves online. We would like to offer them in the future, and we’re working on pricing and design now.

      Thank you for your suggestion, and for your support!

  98. Karen

    Iced Tea Brewing Method Question – Currently I make iced tea by brewing it first according to the instructions for hot tea, allow it to cool for a few minutes and then chill overnight in the fridge. Is this an good way to make iced tea?

    • Lily Duckler

      You certainly can make iced tea in this way, but for health and safety reasons, we do not recommend it.

      The risk of foodborne illness increases when (non-shelf-stable) food and drink are not kept at either above 140 degrees F or below 40 degrees F for more than 1-2 hrs.

      When you brew tea hot, your tea will be at between 210 F and 170 F. You can certainly put the tea into your refrigerator to cool it, but the fact is, even in a refrigerator set to 40 degrees F and below, it will take longer than the safe 2hr window to cool your drink down to safe levels at 40 degrees F.

      That’s why we always recommend either brewing your iced tea cold from the start, or flash chilling with ice to keep you and your family safe from foodborne illness. This is always why we never recommend brewing Sun Tea.

      For more, the CDC and offer great resources and tips on food safety:

      • Karen

        Thank you so much Lily! This is great information, I will try the cold brew method tonight. Is it ok to re-use the tea leaves for a 2nd infusion the next day if they remain chilled in the fridge or should I discard them?

  99. Kristen

    Hey there. I was just wondering if there was any form of alert system for the return of “Golden Fleece.” I’ve never tried it but it sounds AMAZING and would love to try it out when the opportunity arises, if it ever does. Thanks!

    • Lily Duckler

      Good question! The best way to find out about all of our latest tea releases is to sign up for our mailing list. For small harvest and limited availability offerings like the Golden Fleece, we release these teas right as we send out a newsletter announcing their availability, in order to give everyone a fair chance.

      If you want a head’s up about upcoming releases (or low stock notices!), you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter. We often try to let our followers know ahead of time exactly when we will be making releases, especially of such in-demand teas like the Golden Fleece.

  100. Jeff

    What can you tell me about the use of pesticides with the teas you offer, especially those from China, and Taiwan? Much has been said in the news lately with regard to high levels of pesticides in teas from China.

    • Lily Duckler

      Great question. The farmers we work with are each committed to organic farming, without the use of pesticides or herbicides.

      For example, Mr. He of Laoshan village is committed to entirely organic farming. He utilizes crop rotation, and grows soybeans amongst the tea fields as a lure for insects, rather than using pesticides. At the end of the season he mulches the soybeans as natural clean fertilizer for the tea, returning nitrates to the soil. The fields are weeded by hand in the evenings – the weeds are collected in buckets, and mulched.

      Mr Zhang of Anxi has invested his profits into a testing lab to certify the air, water and soil quality of his land and the land of every farm in the area to enforce organic farming for all of Daping Village.

      Mrs. Li of Dragonwell Village has one of the most prized plots in all of China, yielding 2k an ounce tea for the first picking. Pesticides would completely destroy her family’s earnings from selling one of the most famous teas in China.

      Master Han of Yunnan lives in the middle of a national forest preserve, and wild-picks his trees from ancient forests hundreds of miles from the nearest townships.

      The question of certifications is an interesting and complex one. You can read more about all of this here:

      Thank you for your question, and for all of your support!

  101. Chris

    Do any of your green teas contain barley malt? Wondering if they’re GF-friendly. Thanks!

    • Lily Duckler

      Good question! All of our traditional teas are tea only: just leaves – grown, picked and finished with care. None of our tea blends contain barley malt or wheat ingredients of any kind.

  102. Nikko

    Loashan Green Tea is amazing! I wonder when will the next batch of Spring Loashan Green Tea be arriving? I

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Nikko,

      The Spring Harvest in Laoshan usually happens the last week of April or the first two weeks of May, depending on when the last snow falls in Laoshan. Last year, for example, there was an unexpected late snow the last weekend of April, so our first Spring harvest was picked May 11-12th. We expect to get in the very first of the Spring harvest this year about a week after it is picked, which means we’ll have fresh green tea by the end of May! Keep your eye out or sign up for our mailing list to stay in the loop with the very latest news – we’ll be sure to let everyone know as soon as fresh Spring tea is here :)

  103. Joel Bateman

    I recently broke the lid to my gai wan. My tea set is a Taiwan haoyue ceramic culture, ceramic/clay set. I bought it in China a few years ago. Ideally I would like to replace the lid. can someone point me in the right direction to find a replacement? Thank you

  104. Rashmi

    Hello. I stumbled upon your website and got excited about getting 5 samples for just $5. I have dived deep into my love for oolong teas and am always looking for something new to try. Please let me know when the sample section of your website comes live again so I may explore the varieties you have in your store. Thanks.

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Rashmi,

      Thank you! In the meantime, you can always build your own sample pack by choosing the sample size option on almost all of our teas. We will be bringing in even more oolong teas as the Spring 2014 harvests start to come in, so keep an eye out for new teas towards the end of May!

  105. Myungji Lee

    Hi, I heard that your tea has high qualities so I’d like to order some samplers. At the same time I saw a lot of tea samplers are out of order. When can I order the most various kinds of tea in general? Perhaps after June or July? Thank you!

    • Lily Duckler

      Thank you for your question! We will have many more teas available once the 2014 Spring harvests arrive at the end of May and the beginning of June. In the meantime, you can always purchase a 7g sample of almost every one of our teas – just choose the “sample” option on the product page, and add every sample you’d like to try to your cart!

  106. Yong Xue

    how did you handle food safety issue? China is terribly polluted place. As a Chinese tea lover, I cannot help but having a second thought about the tea I order. Do you adopt any measure to secure our confidence?

  107. Maydanoz

    I’m looking for a small gaywan (4oz or smaller), esp. higher one rather than broader ones since my hands are small. Do you have any plan to put some in stock? Otherwise do you have a recommendable place to buy one via online?

    Also, I wonder if you have a plan to sell other jingdezhen teapots (4-5oz ideally). I like the on-sale Jingdezhen teapot but it seems to have holes on the lid and a little bit bigger than I want. And is it recommendable to brew more than several kinds of tea at one teapot? I heard that it is better to have only one tea with one zisha teapot, but not sure if the same applies to the Jingdezhen. Thanks!

  108. Yong Xue

    My first purchase has arrived, Ms. Li’s first pick dragon well. I found there are many seed-like small balls among the tea leaves. What are they? I have never seen those things in any dragon well before.

  109. Jenn Pattinson

    If I preorder some Spring Tea, can I have my order help until the blends are up so that it all ships together? It’s shipping to Canada so I’d like to bundle it for free shipping if I can.

    Jenn (cavocorax /Steepster)

    • Lily Duckler

      Of course, Jenn! We’ll keep an eye out for your order, but just e-mail us at when you get your receipt, and we can hold the package for you for you. When you place your blends order, we can either send you a custom paypal invoice, or send you a coupon ahead of time for free shipping.

      Write to us, and we’ll get everything sorted out!


  110. bonnie

    where in Minneapolis can I buy verdent teas . I don’t like ordering anything online.

    • Lily Duckler

      Great question, Bonnie!

      You can always visit us at our headquarters and flagship tasting room in the Seward Neighborhood of Minneapolis: we’re right on Franklin Avenue, between 21st and 22nd.. right where the Seward Coop used to be! For directions, hours and our full menu, check out our Minneapolis website:

      You can also find our loose leaf tea both served and sold at fine grocers, coffee shops, restaurants and bakeries around the Twin Cities. You can find all of our local partners here:

  111. Jeff

    Any idea what the alcohol content of your Kambucha might be?

    • Lily Duckler

      Yes – the alcohol content of our Kombucha is less than 0.05%. We carefully control the temperature and processes after the kombucha’s fermentation period to keep the alcohol content less than 0.05%, below the legal limit – effectively no longer an alcoholic beverage – and continually test each batch and keg to make sure of that.

  112. Aisha

    Hi. I’m looking for a monthly club that offers green teas only. Do you offer that?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hello Aisha – our Classic Tea of the Month Club offers three traditional teas each month according to whatever is most appropriate for the season. For example, May featured Mrs. Li’s just-picked Spring Dragonwell Green Tea, new 2014 Sheng Pu’er from Master Han and – for comparison – a 2006 sheng pu’er from our private collection. June will feature the three tieguanyin oolong teas that just arrived from Master Zhang, picked just weeks ago. While the Spring months almost always includes fresh-picked green tea (we’re always excited to share our newest arrivals!), we do not exclusively feature just one specific kind of tea.

      The Classic subscription club is instead designed to send you whatever we think you should be drinking for the month. With one oz of each of the three teas, you receive enough tea to have a cup or a gaiwan session of seasonally appropriate tea each day until your next subscription box arrives with new teas. It’s excellent for a tea drinker who wants to get to know our collection or who wants to be drinking the freshest teas and the newest arrivals each season and each month.

      In general, the Spring and Summer seasons tend to feature just-picked green teas and oolong (tending towards unoxidized teas), while the Fall and Winter often feature black teas and aged pu’ers.

  113. mark

    have the spring teas shipped yet this the first time i have asked

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Mark!

      Many of the 2014 Spring harvest teas are already here! Master Zhang’s Tieguanyin Oolong, new Wuyi Oolong from the Li family, as more white, green and black tea from Yunnan. You can find them all here:

      Laoshan Teas from the He Family are on their way, and should be shipping out to pre-order customers around June 16th (next week!). Golden Fleece and more of Mrs. Li’s Spring harvest Dragonwell will be arriving shortly after.

      If you have questions about a specific tea or your order, you can also always contact us directly at

      Happy Spring!

  114. Zachary

    David, I have ordered from you in the past and love the teas you have managed to procure. I find myself in Chengdu, China this year and am wondering if you could recommend a trusted tea shop for me to visit?

  115. MzPriss

    Hello. I just recently got to try some of the Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha and I’m wondering if you will be blending more when the Laoshan Black comes in. Because need.

    • Lily Duckler

      Good question! Yes – we definitely plan to bring back blends, including Laoshan Black Chocolage Genmaicha, as soon as Laoshan Black comes back :) Right now, we’re expecting the teas to arrive in a few weeks. We’ll be sure to let everyone know in a mailer and via social media!

  116. MzPriss

    Also, I know this is a long shot, but are there really and truly no more Jingdezhen Red Lotus Tea Cups? I broke mine and it was my very favorite tea cup. My VERY favorite. I ordered the last two blue ones but I really, really, really want another red one? Might you have one hiding somewhere?

    • Lily Duckler

      So glad you asked! Yes – we DO have just a couple more Red Lotus tea cups for sale at our tea house in Minnesota. I’ve set them aside for you this morning – just give us a shout at and we can coordinate on getting you another of your very favorite tea cups :)

      • mzpriss

        I am so happy to have 4 of these cups (and a WHOLE BUNCH of new tea). Thank you for going to the trouble to make these happen for me!

  117. Lisa

    I had an outstanding rose steamer at your store a couple of days ago. Where do you get your rose syrup from? Any other ingredients other than the syrup and milk?

    • Lily Duckler

      Thank you – I’m so glad to hear it! We make our rose syrup from scratch at the tea house several times a week with organic rose petals, just like we make our ginger, tulsi and strawberry syrup. Eva Duckler, the creator of Tree Fort Root Beer, is the mastermind in the kitchen behind all of our syrups at the tea house :)

      Once we make the syrup, frothing up a steamer is very simple. We add about 2 TB of syrup to 8oz of your favorite milk, and froth with our steam wands.

  118. Karla

    I recently read an article warning people about pesticides in teas. It claimed that since leaves are dried right after harvesting them (no washing prior to dry) the amount of pesticide that can end up in your cup of tea could be significant. I absolutely love tea but this article got me uneasy. Does Verdant verify there are no significant amount of pesticides in their teas? Thank you, Karla

    • Lily Duckler

      Great question. The farmers we work with are each committed to organic farming, without the use of pesticides or herbicides.

      For example, Mr. He of Laoshan village is committed to entirely organic farming. He utilizes crop rotation, and grows soybeans amongst the tea fields as a lure for insects, rather than using pesticides. At the end of the season he mulches the soybeans as natural clean fertilizer for the tea, returning nitrates to the soil. The fields are weeded by hand in the evenings – the weeds are collected in buckets, and mulched.
      Mr. He can tell you in his own words why he and his family have always been committed to organic farming:

      Mr Zhang of Anxi has invested his profits into a testing lab to certify the air, water and soil quality of his land and the land of every farm in the area to enforce organic farming for all of Daping Village.

      Mrs. Li of Dragonwell Village has one of the most prized plots in all of China, yielding 2k an ounce tea for the first picking. Pesticides would completely destroy her family’s earnings from selling one of the most famous teas in China.

      Master Han of Yunnan lives in the middle of a national forest preserve, and wild-picks his trees from ancient forests hundreds of miles from the nearest townships.

      The question of certifications is an interesting and complex one. You can read more about all of this here:
      At the end of the day, organic certification is ultimately two parts: (1) certifying that your growing practices are organic (or organic enough), and (2) paying for the rights to use the trademarked logos. Both parts are extremely expensive, and since our partners’ family farms are small (10 – 15 acres), certification financially out of reach. To pay for the certification would bankrupt each individual families. We are working to becoming large enough to fund the expenses of certification on our partners’ behalf.

      Thank you for your question, and for all of your support!

  119. Lariel

    Do you have any plans to bring back the Five teas for five dollars now that the Laoshan Black has returned? I still would be a new costumer, I just missed out on that sampler.

    • Lily Duckler

      Actually – yes! We’ve been working on revamping 5 for 5, and will be relaunching it in a new way this month :) When it does return, we’ll be sure to let everyone know on social media and here on the website.

  120. Laura Beizer

    Hi. I have been reading on your website and am very interested in trying your teas. Would jumping right in with the Daping Village gift set be a good way to try something that sounds quite different and quite exquisite or would you recommend a more modest first try?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Laura,

      If you love oolong teas and get excited at the possibility of trying three teas picked n the same farm? The Daping Gift Set is a great option!

      I would also recommend trying Master Zhang’s 2014 Spring harvests. We have just a few ounces of his unorthodox Early Spring Harvest still in stock, as well as his classic true Spring harvest and Traditional Tieguanyin. The Gift Set is currently the only way to try his fantastic aged Tieguanyin. His Spring teas come in all sizes, from 7g samples all the way up to 8oz. You can always start with a collection of samples and ounces before taking the plunge.

      For more about Master Zhang and his Anxi Oolong teas, check out:

      I wholeheartedly recommend anything we carry on our website. We would not offer it if we didn’t believe in the teas 100%!

      One other fun way to get started and get introduced to our teas is with the Tea Of the Month Club (you can sign up for a few months at a time, or simply subscribe month to month – we’ll send you our favorite teas to drink each season with tasting notes and full stories and histories) OR our soon-to-relaunch 5 for 5 Tea Sample (five teas for just $5).

  121. Christopher Wilson

    I am new to tea, but am excited to get started. Unfortunately, tea houses are a little short in the South. The best we have is Teavanna (gag). My main problem is that I have no idea what kind of tea I like.

    I found a Chinese shop that offers high quality samples of around twenty types of tea, but they also have a ten dollar shipping charge. Does Verdant Tea offer something similar?

    • Christopher Wilson

      [ Sorry for the double post! ]
      My water quality is only rated 50 by the EPA. I have yet to make a good brew from it. Is there any filter you would recommend?

      I also wanted you to know that your site is one of the most enjoyable I’ve run across. The history, folklore, and sincerity goes far beyond simple marketing. You let passion color the walls of this site. After I find a water filter, buying some of your tea will be the first thing I do.

      • Lily Duckler

        Hi Christopher – good questions!

        I’ll start with water, since that’s the first ingredient in tea.

        We’ve had great experience with Crystal Quest water filters.

        One stage works well; three stage water filters will work even better. We use a single stage filter in our home now, but our old apartment had such poor quality water that we used a three stage filter. It was extremely hard water, so we did change the filter a little more frequently, but it was absolutely worth it!

        These high performance water filters are also a great option because set up is quite simple: many of their filters simply screw in to your faucet head, rather than needing the help of a plumber and installation underneath your sink.

        As for samples, they are a really fun way to start off your tea journey! We are about to relaunch our 5 for 5 new customer sample pack: 5 of our favorite teas from across the spectrum to introduce you to our collection, for just $5 (including shipping!).

        On the other hand, you can always build your own custom sample pack any time on our website. You can order a sample size for almost every one of our teas. Simply select the “sample” option in the Add to Cart area of the product page, and you’ll be able to add a 7g sample of that tea to your shopping basket. When you have all the samples you want to try, simply check out! We always include one extra sample, too, with every order. Shipping domestically is $4.50 for orders under $49, and free above. International shipping is a flat rate of $8.00. Either way, we want to make it easy for you to try whatever you’re interested in without a large shipping burden.

        Thank you so much for your kind words. We really love getting to share our friends’ teas on their behalf with a wider audience. We truly believe they are farming some of the very best teas in the world, and it is our sincere wish to share them with tea lovers like you.

        Thank you again! I wish you all the best on your tea journey :)

  122. Laura Beizer

    Hi. I just received my first order from Verdant Tea. Thanks! I am excited but also confused. I ordered a variety of teas and noticed that the brewing instructions on all 6 bags and my sample are the same. Thinking that this could not be correct, I started looking on your website and saw all different instructions for different teas. Please help! Thanks,

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Laura – great question!

      The instructions on the tea bags are a more general set of instructions (a general setting of guidelines: more like a simple brewing philosophy!), designed to give you a place to start if you’re away from a computer and just want to get started brewing.

      We believe very much in brewing to taste – we want you to be armed with the guidelines you need for a fun brewing experience, without making you feel like someone is going to swoop in a rap your knuckles with a ruler in case your pinky isn’t lifted just-so or if you steep 3 seconds “too” little or “too” late.

      In general, we recommend brewing with “gong fu” guidelines and philosophy. At it’s heart, brewing tea is just: take tea leaves, add water, steep to taste. Gong Fu style uses more tea leaves with less water, which means you don’t need to brew as long. For example, I generally recommend 4-6 grams of tea in 6-8 oz of water, steeping just for a few seconds. I tend to brew with my nose: when the brew smells delicious, it’s time to stop steeping! Also in general, I recommend starting with less time: it’s always easy to add more time by putting your brew basket back in your tea cup, etc, but it’s nearly impossible to turn back time if your brew is strong than you wanted.

      For more on the gong fu philosophy of brewing, check out David’s video on improvisational gong fu tea:

      Many of our teas also include videos of David brewing, both in a gaiwan and with a brew basket. As you say: each individual tea has more detailed steeping instructions. Think of these as tips and tricks that we’ve learned and are passing on to you – these guidelines get us a cup of tea that we really love, but you also have to trust your own senses to come to a cup of tea that YOU love!

      Luckily, really great tea is much more forgiving and flexible in brewing. :)

      If we can help give advice with any particular tea, don’t hesitate to contact us directly at

      All the best – Lily

  123. Laura Beizer

    One more question about amount of tea. Your instructions are for 6-8 ounces. My brewer holds 12-16. Do I double the amount of tea for that amount or is it best to just brew 6-8 ounces at a time and then resteep if I want more tea?

    Oops… One more… Do you rinse your leaves each time you resteep and if so does the rinse count as one more steeping in knowing how many times to resteep? Thanks again!

    • Lily Duckler

      You could really do either. To start with, I recommend the latter: try brewing 6-8 oz (one cup) at a time, and see what you think and how you like it. Once you find the brewing style and strength you enjoy, then you can size up with more leaf and more water.

      Alternately, you can always use more water and the same amount of leaf if you steep for a longer period of time. The result is usually a slightly less nuanced cup of tea – just as flavorful, but more suited to drinking rather than sipping, savoring and tasting.

      As for the rinse: just rinse once, that first time! The rinse does a few practical things. For example, it “wakes up” the leaves, allowing your first true cup to be more fragrant and flavorful. The first steeping can also be used to heat up your cups, allowing a more consistent brewing temperature.

      Even ore fun for me: throwing out the first steeping prepares me for the main event. It’s like a teaser: a visually and aromatic “appetizer” of all the fun to come. Discarding the first steeping also helps get you in the mindset of tasting, sipping and savoring. It serves as a reminder that you are drinking tea – not to accomplish a goal – but just to enjoy some relaxing free time. You don’t need the tea – you’re not quenching terrible thirst: you’re just enjoying a flavor experience.

      If you’re making a big mug of tea with a brew basket, you can also skip the rinse and go right into the first 30 second steeping. It’s a little less formal – a little less of a ceremony – but it will still make you a flavorful first cup :)

      Best – Lily

  124. Daniël


    I have a question about Dragon Well tea (and probably some other green teas) and I hope it is not a too specific of a question to be answered.

    When I brew Dragon Well tea, it seems that the first steeping always tastes best, and that the second steeping is much, much lighter. The following steepings seem to be even lighter and sometimes even seem to lose the typical Dragon Well aroma and almost taste like plain green tea.
    I have noticed that it might have something to do with exposure to air, because whenever I sit next to an open window or simply have my fan pointed at me while I’m drinking tea, the aroma and flavor seems to dissipate quicker than it would otherwise.
    Another reason why I think it might be air exposure is because sometimes when I drink Tie Guan Yin during the evening and have had enough, but I don’t want to throw it out, I would put a plastic bag around my cup with the brew basket still in, so that it wouldn’t be exposed to air. And whenever I just left the tea out overnight in the brew basket without a plastic bag, I noticed that the next day the flavor seemed completely gone and all that remained was an astringent tea with barely a hint of it being Tie Guan Yin tea. And it seems that this is the exact thing happening to my Dragon Well tea, but only the Dragon Well tea’s aroma seems to dissipate within minutes of being exposed to air.
    This is all just theorizing though. I was wondering if this is something that you are familiar with and might be able to explain. If so, is there a way to brew Dragon Well tea with minimal waste of aroma/flavor?

    Thank you.

    PS, I found a lot of your youtube videos very informative and entertaining.

    • Lily Duckler

      Excellent question! I was actually having a conversation about this just this morning with another fan of Dragonwell green tea.

      Effectively – you are right! Exposure to air after that first steeping, especially with more vulnerable teas like the iconically flat-pressed Dragonwell, always has an effect on subsequent brews.

      Basically, once the hot water brings your leaves back to life, the leaves start to interact with air again. For simplicity’s sake, I refer to this as oxidization (though I mean that in a very broad chemical sense.. ie: interaction with oxygen to change moluecules into something else.. rather than the specific process of oxidization used when making black tea).

      This will definitely change the flavor of your tea in the next steepings, though this effect is usually difficult to detect in more robust teas, especially when you steep in quick succession. More delicate (unoxidized) teas are the exception here, especially teas that are pressed flat like Dragonwell. The shape of those leaves offers them much less protection against changes due to exposure to the air than, for example, curled or twisted or rolled teas.

      Even green, modern style tieguanyin can show symptoms after long exposure to the air. Often when left for many hours between steepings, green oolongs can develop a lemon-y aftertaste. This can usually be corrected if you do a quick rinse when starting up your steeping again. Throw out the very first steeping to refresh the leaves.

      This is related to the same reason why uncorked wine is best consumed in one sitting. Once the bottles are uncorked, the (delicious!) complex molecules in the wine can interact with the air at a much faster rate than they could within the sealed bottle. It is this very interaction (on a small contained scale) that ages wine and makes it more complex over time (and the same reason why folks will pour first into a decanter or use an aerator when they pour). Once exposed fully to the air, however, those interactions can accelerate, leading ultimately to a wine that is no longer drinkable. You can protect against this by either keeping the wine cold (lower temperatures will slow down any chemical reaction, while warmer temperature speeds things up!), limiting exposure to the air (by recorking or even adding heavy gases to the bottle) or just drinking it right away!

      Because of all of this – and to get back to your original question! – we usually recommend against exposing your Dragonwell tea to the air between steepings. The easiest way to do this is to brew Dragonwell style, floating freely in a tempered glass cup. You can sip from the cup (blowing the leaves aside or filtering with your teeth), and then refill your cup with hot water once it’s down to the last third. Mrs. Li explains here:

      If you’re brewing in a gaiwan or glass pitchers, you can acheive the same result if you leave just enough water in your vessel between steepings to keep the leaves covered. If you’re using a brew basket, I will often pour myself a small bowl (or another cup) or room temp water to set my brew basket in between steepings. Again, I aim to use just enough water to keep the leaves covered.

      With all of these styles, the big goal is to limit exposure to oxygen between steepings. Using water to insulate and protect has worked the best in my personal experience, but if plastic bags are working for you – then by all means, continue!

      Thank you very much for your kind words of support :)
      Happy sipping,

  125. Will

    I recently went in for a tasting and bought some of the Licorice Mint Herbal. However, the instructions called for 4 grams of tea. Is there a way to measure this amount without using a precision scale or, better yet, a way to make it by using less tea and steeping at a longer time?
    Thank you!

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Will – absolutely!

      When brewing tea, you can always use less tea if you either brew for a longer amount of time or use less water. It’s all about controlling the water-to-tea-leaf ratio and brewing time. If you have a higher water-to-tea ratio, then you’ll need to brew longer to achieve the same strength. If you have a lower water-to-tea ratio, then you can use less time for your full bodied cup of tea.

      We often recommend using more leaves in less water and brewing for a shorter period of time, specifically because this style of brewing usually means you can get more steepings (more cups) out of your tea leaves. With herbal tea, you definitely have more flexibility, especially because a tea like Licorice Mint Herbal will not become bitter the longer you steep it – only stronger and sweeter.

      For reference, 4g of Licorice Mint Herbal fills 2 tsp. (or one spoonful with a large soup spoon). For me, that was a healthy pinch. We tend to use grams (weight) to describe quantities of tea simply because the shape and density of the tea leaves and blends means that the amount of tea can vary drastically in volume.

  126. Rainey

    I just tried the Minnesota blend and I must share that I absolutely love it! It’s my favorite blend thus far and I have tried nearly all of your tea blends. I noticed that it was being discontinued, and I just want to ask why, and if it is possible to bring it back?

    • Lily Duckler


      Good question. The main reason the Minnesota Blend is out of stock right now is because its base tea, Laoshan Green, is out of stock right now in between the Spring and Autumn harvests. We have new Autumn harvest on the way (should arrive any day now!), so once that arrives, we can blend up a new batch! :)

      Thank you so much – I’m so happy to know how much you enjoy our tea!


  127. Ashley

    Does your shop allow for and have space to accommodate a small group (5-10ish) of artists to get together, partake in your tea, and hangout?

    • Lily Duckler

      Absolutely! We’ve got a couple of large community tables that accommodate about 6-8 on their own or 12 all-together. They do sometimes fill up during our daily Happy Hour (4-6), but we can always work with our smaller tables to get you all seated and comfortable.

      Hope to see you soon!

      • Ashley

        Excellent! Thank you so much!

  128. Imam


    Usually I drink coffee in morning & evening (Starbucks). If I ask, then which Tea you will gonna prefer to me for my morning & evening?

    I will appreciate if you can let me know.


    • Lily Duckler

      Hello Imam,

      That’s a very good question!

      Generally, people who enjoy coffee tend to enjoy roasted oolong teas (like Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe or Laoshan Roasted Oolong) – these oxidized teas have the nice, dark warm body that many coffee drinkers crave, with added floral and fruity complexity.

      Many coffee drinkers also end up enjoying black teas. Black teas are oxidized as well, so they have a bolder, fuller body and dark, sweet flavor. In general, black teas tend to be more sweet and savory rather than fruity and floral.

      However, I encourage you to experiment! The world of tea is so large, and so fun to explore :)

      As soon as our latest shipment of tea arrives, we will be re-opening our Five for Five sample pack. This sample pack will let you try tea from the full spectrum, from green teas and unoxidized (greener) oolong to fully oxidized black and oolong teas. You might discover that you love vegetal green teas or even sweet, creamy white tea!

      Take your time, try a few samples, and make notes about what you enjoy. You can use that to continue your tea journey. Soon, you will discover many teas that you love, and tea can become a daily habit and ritual for you to enjoy.

  129. Michael S Austin

    I have an order outstanding. Placed on 9/28 to be shipped on 10/3 or soon after. Have been told of holdup in customs. That was last week. It is now 10/14 (soon to be 10/15) and I wondered if you have any news. Order is # 409036889. Thanks for your help with any information you might have as to when I can expect shipment.

    Mike Austin

    • Lily Duckler

      Thank you so much for your order, Michael. I am glad to know you received our update last week about the hold up in customs.

      The shipment is still being processed. We are working with our brokers to expedite the process in every way we can. Late last night, we received notice that we should be receiving more news of the shipment today – we will be sending another e-mail with any updates as soon as we can.

      This shipment is our main focus, and we are working every day to get your tea as quickly as possible. So far, it looks like we will have our shipment at the latest by Monday, November 27th. However, the tea could also be released tomorrow or later on this week. We will be contacting everyone with further updates as soon possible.

      Please e-mail us directly at We want to address your questions and concerns or help you make changes and updates to your order, and writing to us directly is the fastest way for us to stay in contact with you about the status of your tea.

      Thank you again for all of your support.
      Lily Duckler

  130. to ea

    Any retailer in NYC Area?

    • Lily Duckler

      At the moment, we don’t have any locations in New York City – if you have a favorite shop or retailer, please let us know and we can get in contact with them!

      In the meantime, you can always order directly from us online, and we will mail your tea right to you :)

  131. dt

    Years ago a friend who grew up in Japan introduced me to sun-brewed roasted barley tea. It’s been a favorite staple ever since, served cold and often mixed with fresh apple cider. Recently though I’ve noticed a filmy residue forming on top of the tea when stored in the refrigerator. I rinse the glass containers thoroughly between brewings, often using a touch of bleach when cleaning them, and am buying the same brand of mugicha tea bags. Any idea what the residue might be and how to eliminate it?

    • Lily Duckler

      It could be a few different things. It’s always possible that htere is some sort of contamination, but since you describe cleaning so well, that is less likely.

      Have you ever had issues with hard water, or do you use a water filter? Water that has too much calcium will form a residue on the surface of the water as part of a chemical reaction. It’s totally harmless, but certainly unpleasant to see. This is usually solved with using filtered or spring water.

      Alternately, this could be a sign of the tea interacting with oxygen as it cools in the refrigerator. Do you cold steep your tea or do you brew it hot and then chill it? If you do the later, then I highly recommend cold brewing your iced tea in a vessel with a cover – this will protect the tea from interacting with air as it cools, and it will also protect the brew against bacteria. Cooling in the refrigerator doesn’t happen quickly enough to be guaranteed food safe – this your tea is at a temperature below 180 F and above 40 F for more than four hours.

      Hope this helps! You can read more about our cold brewing recommendations here:

      All the best,

  132. Frank

    Dear Verdant Tea,

    Thank you for your wonderful website– complete with a great deal of very helpful information. I have especially enjoyed your videos in recent months. I just placed a first order for your 5 sample teas and will look forward to trying these and your teas in the future. I am fortunate enough to be visiting Hong Kong and possibly mainland China this coming January. This a preliminary visit to prepare for a year of work in HK and China. I will likely be back there next academic year for much of the year. I am a long time tea drinker. I especially love oolongs (especially high mountain teas from Taiwan), Chinese green teas, and I’m a much devoted fan of pu’er teas both Shu and Sheng. My admittedly somewhat general question: do you have any recommendations or suggestions of where and how to explore the possibilities for tea in Hong Kong. I have read and been informed by friends that the teas available in HK in some places may be very good but in others are not fresh and are overpriced. I’m also looking to purchase some high quality gaiwans and yixing teapots. Any words of wisdom for a first time traveler to Hong Kong and mainland China? I thought I would ask as I have been inspired and informed by your videos of your journeys to China in search of tea.

    Many thanks and good wishes,


    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Frank,

      Great question! Congratulations on your upcoming trip – I know you must be busy preparing everything from luggage and visas to collecting small gifts and building a personal pharmacy.

      Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the Hong Kong tea markets – all of our work has been done on the mainland in Qingdao, Xiamen and with our partner farmers in Laoshan, Wuyi, Daping and Qianjiazhai.

      I can give you some more general advice.

      In Hong Kong and the mainland, you’ll find tea houses (cha guan), tea shops (cha dian), and tea markets (cha ye shi chang). Tea houses are fun to visit, but in general, their prices are very high and the quality of their tea is not so high. They are an excellent place to meet with friends or meet for business, especially if you want to avoid drinking alcohol. They are also a nice place to experience more formal tea ceremony, as everyone who works in a more “proper” tea house has graduated from special schools around the country specializing in tea ceremony.

      Tea shops outside of tea markets come in a wide range. They can be chain stores, like Ten Ren / Ten Fu (in Qingdao alone, I’ve counted three different Ten Fu store fronts in two square blocks!), or they can be the representative store of a smaller brand, or they can just be one person’s shop – their own small business. As you might guess, pricing and quality runs on a sliding scale depending on which kind of a place you’re visiting. Generally, the bigger the chain, the more consistent the branding and offerings. These places are also much more conservative in the breadth and quality of their offerings – for example, you can expect to find the big name teas and perhaps a well-known local tea, but nothing unusual or out of the ordinary, and all at a premium price.

      For tea houses and branded tea shops, the higher prices reflect the “gift giving” culture in China. Business men and women give gifts to each other, to their bosses and to their clients to build “guanxi” (connections). The gift itself doesn’t particularly matter – it’s more about the price of the gift and it’s packaging. This does not necessarily mean that the contents of the gift are worthless – instead, the high price of the item is itself part of it’s inherent gift giving value, and that price is determined by a more extreme demand curve than you might expect.

      On the other hand, going to a small tea shop owned by one person, you run higher risk, with a higher opportunity of return. A single person’s shop may have a more interesting selection of tea, but that selection is determined by the owner’s own interest and expertise. Just because someone has an excellent supply of Shui Xian Wuyi Oolong does not mean their selection of sheng pu’er or Dragonwell will be as good – they may only keep a small supply of that around for tourists like you, or because their niece is a fan. Smaller shops will likely have no branding of their own, with simpler packaging. Smaller shops are also much less likely to speak English.

      Almost no one is fluent in English on the mainland, though I understand that is not the case in Hong Kong. Having a basic grasp of Mandarin will only do you well – I highly recommend starting your studies now. Even a simple book like “Chinese in Ten Minutes a Day” will help you get started, though there is no substitute for working with a native speaker. There are a variety of mobile applications designed to aid in your studies or help you on the ground – I suggest you take a look while you still have time and see what you think. Everyone learns differently; luckily, there is a such a wide variety of books and applications available, you’re sure to find something that works for you.

      There is also the risk that a smaller shop has set up in a tourist area simply to attract foreigners or easy targets. This certainly happens – follow your instincts. If you feel pressured or uncomfortable, just leave! Just because you sit down with someone and try some of their tea does not mean you have to leave with anything.

      The tea markets will be a better bet for better tea at better prices. Tea markets are places where many small tea shop owners set up shop together – there’s intense competition among so many vendors to provide good experience and advice. Going to the markets is more about finding someone you like and trust and whose taste you respect. Given enough time, going to the tea markets can be about making friends to find teas you like and teas that they’ll be excited to share with you. Of course, tea markets will always have all sorts of people and shop owners – some are looking to cater to all comers, some focus on “foreigner friendly” teas like white tea, jasmine and black tea and set up near the front of the market, some are dedicated just to pu’er tea or just to wuyi oolongs. Either way, tea markets are great examples of the diversity of Chinese tea – no one person brews tea in the same way, and everyone has their own (strong! conflicting!) opinion on the current tea culture.

      On the other hand, tea markets can be overwhelming, and especially difficult to navigate if you don’t speak Chinese. For example, the Beijing tea markets can take a few days just to walk through it all, and would take months to spend one day at each shop. By the time you finished, a quarter of the vendors would have moved on and changed to something new, and you’d have to start over again. Big cities will usually have several tea markets, so there will likely be one near you. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with Hong Kong, so I can’t give advice one way or the other on finding one there.

      Best of luck,

      • Frank

        Dear Lily,

        谢谢 !

        This is a wonderful help. I did not know a great deal about the differences between the tea houses, tea shops, and tea markets. I will explore widely. Thank you again. Many good wishes for the holidays!


      • Frank


        I continue my studies of Mandarin and when inspired or by necessity I can speak in short sentences or single words! Yet my vocabulary is limited and I need more time with the flash cards! :-)

        再见 !


  133. Amanda

    I just bought the yunnan white jasmine, which is delicious. But I read that people brew it many, many times, and I find that it gets too bitter for me after about 3 brewings. I’ve been brewing it at 175 for 30 seconds each time…by the fourth it’s very bitter. Am I brewing it wrong, or do other people just not mind the bitterness?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hello Amanda,

      Can I ask how you’re brewing your tea? I’ve personally never experienced what you’re describing – however, I usually use a brew basket or a gaiwan. Either way, this means I generally don’t leave my leaves sitting for more than a few minutes in between steepings, and the leaves are not left sitting in extra water.

      Your leaf to water ratio also has an effect. The more leaves you use, the less time you need to brew. I would recommend experimenting with shorter brewing times. For example, I generally recommend about 5g of tea per 6-8oz of water (cup). Brew for about 15-20 seconds. I often recommend steeping lighter to begin with. If the tea isn’t as strong as you might have liked, you can always put the leaves back in your up (if you’re using a brew basket) or steep for a few more seconds on your next steeping.


      • Amanda

        I use a brew basket with 4 grams for 6 oz water, and brew for 30 sec. But I might drink 2 or 3 cups back to back, and then brew the next cup after a few hours, and the same for the following cup. I let it sit for hours between steepings. Could that be the problem? The strongness of the tea is perfect for the first 3, then the bitterness sets in.

      • Lily Duckler

        Amanda – yes, it sounds like the time between steepings it the issue! If there is any water left in the leaves, that water is continuing to “steep” while the tea sits in between brews.

        To counteract this, I recommend doing a quick rinse of your leaves with hot water if the leaves sit out for a half an hour or more. This will help wake up the leaves and warm them up, which also rinsing and throwing out any bitter water that may be left affecting your next cup.

        All the best!

  134. Asher


    I’ve been doing a lot of reading (and drinking) on tea, and I was wondering if you could suggest a database or good book to find more information on tea. What I’m learning right now is trying to differentiate names and romanizations of terms and all kinds of things – there’s a lot out there and they’re pretty confusing.

    Thanks for all you do!

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Asher,

      That’s a good question – and difficult to answer! At the moment, there is no one compendium that lists every tea and all of the different ways it has been transliterated. Much of this has to do with the history of China’s relationship with the rest of the world, and the way linguists have argued and debated historically about the most “correct” transliteration.

      Chinese is not a phonetic language like English, Italian, German or any of the Indo-European languages. There have been many attempts by Western scholars to find a way to transliterate Chinese for an audience which cannot or will not learn to read Chinese itself.

      There are two systems which affect the tea industry: Wade-Giles and Pinyin. Wade-Giles is the older method of transliteration, and is no longer used. The method has been purposefully abandoned and left behind, and was officially replaced by pinyin in the middle of the 20th century. Modern academics all use pinyin. More importantly, China and Taiwan all use pinyin for transliteration, both for working with other languages and for teaching Chinese to children learning it as their native language. Granted, Taiwan only officially switched to Pinyin in 2008, so many signs, maps, etc are still in both Pinyin and Wade-Giles.

      For an overview on both of these systems, you can start here:

      You can still find Wade-Giles in certain museums and private collections of Chinese antiquities. This is, depending on your point of view, the legacy of scholarship (older works out-of-print but still referenced, or an attempt to use both to bridge inconsistencies or stave off confusion in research), a political statement on Taiwan’s statehood, or a hold-out of more unsavory, Orientalist viewpoints.

      This is why some tea companies still use the Wade-Giles transliterations for tea names. For example, Tieguanyin (pinyin) is the same thing as Iron Guanyin / Iron “Goddess of Mercy” (English translation) which is the same thing as Ti Kuan Yin (Wade-Giles). Regardless of the spelling, both are pronounced the same way (per IPA / international phonetic alphabet):
      t’jie g’wɑn yiːn

      Even though pinyin has been the standard for decades (50 years!), there are still hold outs of Wade-Giles. The tea industry is one of the last places where this happens. There are many possible reasons. For one, Wade-Giles makes tea names appear more foreign and exotic. Many tea companies rely on the value of this “otherness” – the idea that things from Asia are valuable simply because they are exotic rather than because of their own intrinsic value, universal to all people. On the other hand, there are some tea companies that have been operating since the time when Wade-Giles was the standard, and some of these have simply chosen not to update their catalogs for one reason or another. For yet another explanation, consider the fact that mainland China was until recently closed to international trade – almost all tea came through Taiwan, which has continued to use Wade-Giles until just a few years ago.

      That is why you see so much disagreement over names. Add to that the fact that some companies transliterate while others translate, and you can see why there is so much confusion. This is compounded by competition for search rankings and better SEO / advertising as well as general terms becoming trademarked (like the name “Longjing” – no joke! – is trademarked by one Chinese company, even though it is the name of Dragonwell village and universally understood to be the correct name for Dragonwell tea; if another tea company uses the word “Longjing” in a product name, they are at risk of being taken to court for infringement!).

      We are working on building up our tea blog with as many in depth articles as we can. Ultimately, this is the beginning of many books about tea in general, as well as its folk stories, history and the overall industry & culture.

      I do heartily recommend The Tea Horse Trail: it’s a recent publication from an ethnobotanist studying in Yunnan. Part history, part travelogue and with the eye of a talented photography and the serious academic chops of a scientist and researcher, I recommend it to everyone I can.

      If we can ever answer any specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

      All the best,

  135. Garrett Weaver

    Hey David,
    I’m a business student in Colorado and its my dream to work in the tea industry in the future. What can i do to get involved and learn more about it? How did you get involved?

    • Lily Duckler

      This is a great question, Garret!

      For us, we began working in the tea industry through our academic studies collecting folk stories, translating and doing research in Chinese literature. On the surface, that might seem like a round-about path ;)

      You can read about it here:

      There are so many ways to get involved in the tea industry that it is difficult to describe just one path. It truly depends on your own interests and skills.

      For example, you could come at tea from the perspective of food: maybe opening or working with a cafe, tea bar or restaurant. In that case, you’ll need experience working in the trenches as a dishwasher, a chef, a bartender, a barista, a sommelier. Your goal would be to build up experience in taste, customer service, and understanding the crazy + fast-paced life of someone in the food industry. Build your palate – taste anything and everything you can. Fall deeply in love with food, drink and taste, and you may discover a talent for blending, building collections or creating incredible pairings and tasting experiences. Or immerse yourself in the hospitality culture to become the best at understanding what guests need to feel comfortable, to feel at home, to fall in love with what they are tasting. Or dive headlong into the world of managing workflows, organizing kitchens and offices, hiring and training an incredible staff, and generally getting your hands dirty in running a business with boots on the ground wherever they’re needed.

      On the other hand, you could come to it from the perspective of sourcing, logistics and international business. In this case, you might want experience working for logistics and shipping, or maybe seek degrees with training in international business regulation and law. Whatever you do, if you are going to be the direct importer of your tea, you must have fluency in the language and culture of the tea’s place of origin. Become completely fluent – spend time living in that country – study and understand the complex history and politics of these regions of the world. Learn everything you can. Whatever you learn, understand that this world changes in a moment; be prepared to learn everything all over again, and be prepared to spend time and money learning it all the hard way, over and over and over again.

      Or maybe you want to join a company that’s already operating? The opportunities here are almost endless. Every company needs help with design; with customer service; with managing websites and e-commerce integrations; with packing, fulfillment and warehouse management; with managing tea shops, tea houses and brick-and-mortar locations; with brewing chai, kombucha and specialty drinks; with accounting and taxes and legal advice; with public relations and public outreach; and on and on and on!

      My best advice is this: discover the passion that drives your life. Tea is a huge world – a complex chain of logistics is required to even bring the leaves into this country, let alone share it with tea lovers around the world. And then there are the hundreds of industries that support every link in this chain. If you become the best at what you do, you can make your skills valuable to any company involved in the process – that’s because you’ll make yourself the indispensable resource! If you are bright, passionate and dedicated, the best path will make itself apparent.

      Short answer: cultivate yourself; keep learning; discover what skills make you valuable in the workforce; stay flexible; recognize unexpected opportunities, especially if that opportunity is friendship with someone new; learn Chinese; learn Japanese; learn as many languages as you possibly can; study history; study world politics and economics; fall in love with taste and flavor; keep falling in love with tea; never stop learning about tea; never stop learning about taste; never stop learning about yourself.

      Ok, so there is no short answer ;) If you want to work in tea, work for it and keep your eyes open. If you find a company you respect, reach out to them and show them how you can help them succeed in your shared mission of sharing tea!

      Best of luck – doing what you love will always be full of challenges, but to say “it’s worth it” is the understatement of the year.

  136. Susan

    Do you have teas that can take milk and sweetener?

    • Lily Duckler

      Sure! You can add milk and sweetener to any tea you like :)
      There are no hard and fast rules about which teas can take additions like milk, sugar, honey and more. Usually, folks recommend adding these to darker, more robust teas or teas with spices to cut through the cream. However, sweetener can be an interesting addition to any brew.

      For example, many of our tea friends love drinking our Ginger Sage Winter Spa Blend with a touch of honey when they’re nursing a sore throat, or adding a little simple syrup to iced Hibiscus Berry Rose. You can find these and all of our blends here:

      Our chai teas are designed to taste great with or without milk + honey.

      Generally, the favorites for adding honey and milk are darker oxidized teas like black tea and roasted oolong:

      You should feel free to experiment and brew your teas to your own taste. While I highly recommend trying our teas on their own for at least a few sips, once you bring a tea home it is yours to enjoy however you like!

  137. steve


    A brand new tea fan here. How should I store the loose tea? I see tins and bags but with the small amounts I will be getting what is the best method? Any product suggestions would be appreciated, too.

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Steve!

      Either method works well – the choice between tins and bags is mainly an aesthetic one. We offer tins to those who need a better option for storage and display, or who prefer to give the gift of a beautiful tin are tin. Bags are great because they are lighter and can take up less space while holding large quantities. However, bags can sometimes be harder to identify and sort through when you have a big collection, and don’t stand up as well to constant re-use over time.

      The most important thing to keep in mind when storing your tea is to protect from exposure to light, to the air and to strong smells. This will keep your tea fresh longer and prevent it from picking up the odor (and taste!) of anything stored nearby. Both of our bags and tins do this.

      You can learn more here:

      If you’re looking to get started, I recommend either our 5 for 5 deal (five tea samples for $5!) or one of our tea sampler packs. Really, anything in our Tea Essentials section is a great choice for getting started:

      Otherwise, you can always build your own sample pack with any tea that interests you! Almost all of our teas are available as 7g samples – just add whatever you like to your cart, and let your taste buds tell you which ones you want to buy in bulk.

      However you get started, I recommend checking out our beginners’ guide to tea – along with an overview of loose leaf tea, it can get you started with links to fun stories, articles and videos to help you out :)

  138. Zahi

    what’s the volume capacity of the glass pitcher? thanks.

    • Lily Duckler

      Filled to the very tip top, the pitcher holds about 9oz. For general use, it’s capacity is about 8oz (250ml).

  139. Sean

    I’ve got a question for the Verdant (TEA)m! (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.) I love so many of your teas and, as recommended, resteep the leaves multiple times. Once the leaves have been steeped once, how should they be stored between resteepings? How long should the leaves be kept overall after the first steeping? For example, could I steep some leaves on a Monday morning and then again on Tuesday morning? Wednesday? Do you see what I’m getting at?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Lily Duckler

      Definitely! We get this question all the time. :)

      Generally, we recommend steeping your leaves all together in one continuous brewing session. It’s not a hard and fast rule – in our experience, it just tends to be the most fun and produces the most reliably delicious tea.

      However, it’s quite true that this is sometimes difficult for one person to do when enjoying a brew basket + mug or larger tea pot. If you’re not brewing using gong fu methods with its small cups + smaller volume of tea produced per steeping, I know it can be easy to spend more time between each steeping.

      Once you steep your leaves once, I don’t recommend keeping your leaves for more than a few hours. Much of this depends on unpredictable factors: for example, if you live in a warm and humid environment, the risk of mold on leaves left overnight might be higher than a dry, cold Minnesota home in the wintertime. This depends on both the cleanliness of the environment where the tea is left siting, as well as pure chance and happenstance! In terms of strict food safety, a restaurant or tea shop would need to throw away leaves if left exposed at room temperature for more than four hours. To be considered food safe, food needs to be kept either above 180 or below 40 degrees. Once temperatures fall between for more than four hours, food is at risk. These guidelines do not apply before you brew your tea: the way tea leaves are dried and finished means that they are essentially shelf stable. This changes once moisture is re-introduced (either by a ridiculously humid and musty environment like a damp basement or storage area, or by adding water).

      Personally, there have been many times where I have come back to a gaiwan or pot of tea after a full day without issue – apart from the tea being less giving than it otherwi

      se would have been had I enjoyed the rest of it during my original session. Whether I have left my leaves sitting cold for 20 minutes or several hours, I will generally do a flash steeping to warm them up before I brew again. This warms up the leaves and all of my brewing equipment, removes any small amount of liquid that may have been left brewing with the leaves while I was away, and generally makes for a better “first” steeping of the new brewing session.

  140. Cheryl

    I was given a case of boxes of What I decided is Oolong Tea. The woman said a client buying from her company gave her it as a gift saying his family was either owner or part owner back in Taiwan of this tea farm.
    Anyway, I am trying to find out more about this tea. Almost all writing is asian. Except brewing directions are also in english and at the bottom of the Green 8 sided cardboard box with green plastic hinged lid, it says: The tea of the best in Taiwan. And on the side of the box at bottom : no. 837. On the front besides asian lettering down the middle, there are pictures, a tea cup on saucer with what looks like peanuts in shells next to cup, and a green tea pot..
    Any info. Would be appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Cheryl,

      It sounds like someone gave you a gift of oolong tea! Unfortunately in this case, it is impossible for me to tell you exactly what kind of Taiwanese oolong it might be without seeing the leaves and tasting them.

      Tea packaging in China tends to be very universal and interchangeabe. Any tea shop will carry between 3 and 40 different kinds of tins, packaging and matching bags for teas that are going to be given as gifts. The packaging usually has nothing to do with the tea packaged inside.

      This is why the writing – for example, the English instructions – seem very generic. It is simply tea gift packaging, rather than a specific brand of packaging for a specific tea.

      If you would like to learn more about the gift giving culture of tea in China, you can take a look at our most recent article:

      In the meantime, I would recommend enjoying the gift of tea! If you have a gaiwan, try brewing the tea and tasting it. Taiwanese oolongs in general seem to brew best in a porcelain gaiwan, but you can also always use a brew basket and a mug. Once you taste the tea, you’ll have a better idea of what it could be.

      The three most common Taiwanese gift oolongs are probably Dong Ding oolong, Alishan oolong, and Wenshan Baozhong. Wenshan Baozhong is an unoxidized strip-style oolong. The leaves will be green in color, large and long and twisted. Alishan is more creamy, buttery and floral, while Dong Ding has more savory notes, almost like popcorn or kettle corn. These other two oolongs are rolled, and would look like little balls, similar to the Anxi Tieguanyin we source directly from Master Zhang. Se and his family have been growing Tieguanyin in Anxi for generations – some of his bushes are over 300 years old! – and he grows and finishes it all as tea farmer and tea master:

  141. Susie

    I saw you on Twin Cities live and would really like to try your teas. Currently my husband and I like Honey Chamomile tea, do you have something similar in taste? What teaware to you recommend for a first timer. I’m excited ! Thanks, Susie

    • Lily Duckler

      Hello Susie – I’m so glad you got to see that fun segment on Twin Cities Live! Thank you so much for coming to find us and try our teas :)

      If you enjoy chamomile tea, I would recommend trying our Summer Chamomile Medley. We originally created this sunny herbal blend for the folks at Terzo (great food, wonderful wine, wonderful people) but it became so popular and well-loved, we had to share it with everyone!

      You may also enjoy some of our other blends and herbals – many people fall in love with tea through blends first, and we create our blends with the best ingredients we can find!

      The teas we’re most passionate about, however, are the Chinese teas we import directly from our friends and partners growing the tea themselves. Our partner tea farmers are the best at what they do, and we’re privileged to get to share their work with a wider audience on their behalf. One great way to get to know these teas is with our 5 teas for $5 sample pack – we created this sample box just for first time customers, so it is a great place to start! Once you order, we’ll send you five 5g samples of our 5 most classic teas: the box also comes with coupons to save on your next order, which makes trying them all more fun.

      You can find our 5 for $5 deal and a few other sample packs here:

      As for tea ware, I recommend starting simply! It is easy to fall in love with beautiful objects like gaiwans, hand made tea pots, etc, but you don’t have to start there. As David mentioned on TV, tea can be as simple as tea + water.

      If you’re just getting started, I love recommending Brew Baskets. These are very versatile, but they are also easy to clean and almost impossible to break! They work with any cup or tea pot you might already have, and can be used to brew any kind of tea.

      But you don’t have to just go with a brew basket. David just wrote a great article about our five favorite simple ways to brew tea at home. Check out all five and see which one makes the most sense for you!

      And if you’d just like to start browsing, start your journey here:

      I hope this gives you a few ideas!

      Have fun, and happy sipping :)

  142. Starre

    are any of your teas organic? I noticed in the new blends the herbs are listed organic but not the teas.

    • Lily Duckler

      Great question. The tea farmers we work with are each committed to organic farming methods. All of their teas are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers.

      For example, Mr. He of Laoshan village is committed to entirely organic farming. He utilizes crop rotation, and grows soybeans amongst the tea fields as a lure for insects, rather than using pesticides. At the end of the season he mulches the soybeans as natural clean fertilizer for the tea, returning nitrates to the soil. The fields are weeded by hand in the evenings – the weeds are collected in buckets, and mulched.
      Mr. He can tell you in his own words why he and his family have always been committed to organic farming:

      Mr Zhang of Anxi has invested his profits into a testing lab to certify the air, water and soil quality of his land and the land of every farm in the area to enforce organic farming for all of Daping Village.

      Mrs. Li of Dragonwell Village has one of the most prized plots in all of China, yielding 2k an ounce tea for the first picking. Pesticides would completely destroy her family’s earnings from selling one of the most famous teas in China.

      Master Han of Yunnan lives in the middle of a national forest preserve, and wild-picks his trees from ancient forests hundreds of miles from the nearest townships.

      Ms. Li Xiangxi and her family do a mixture of both – they wild harvest tea growing on the mountainsides above their family’s workshop. This land is common land – anyone may climb the mountain and pick from the wild bushes, but the Li’s act as stewards to protect the land from the encroachment of tourism and tourist industry development, as well as protecting against over picking. They also tend several cultivated tea fields of hedges and tea trees – these are all grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides – native flora and fauna grow all around, and that biodiversity is essential to healthy tea bushes.

      The question of certifications is an interesting and complex one. You can read more about all of this here:

      At the end of the day, organic certification is ultimately two parts: (1) certifying that your growing practices are organic (or organic enough), and (2) paying for the rights to use the trademarked logos. Both parts are extremely expensive, and since our partners’ family farms are small (10 – 15 acres), certification financially out of reach. To pay for the certification would bankrupt each individual family. We are working to becoming large enough to fund the expenses of certification on our partners’ behalf.

      The herbs and spices we use for our blends, however, are either certified USDA-organic, or – in the case of our elderberry – they are wild crafted (harvest from the wild, not cultivated and grown with fertilizers and pesticides). This holds true for our new premium scented teas, created with Intelligent Nutrients. Intelligent Nutrients is absolutely dedicated to using only the highest quality ingredients in everything they produce, which is why we are excited to work with them on this project. You can read more about their high standards here:

      This is why all of our blends only list the blend ingredients as organic – the term “organic” is a trade mark that must effectively be purchased, and cannot be used without that certification. That said, all of our friends’ teas are grown organically without the use of fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

      Thank you for your question, and for all of your support!

      • Starre

        Thank-you so much for your thoughtful reply. And I understand completely the comment about paying for the right to use the term organic. I know farmers that are very dedicated to caring for the land yet cannot afford to buy the organic label. I will be happy to purchase your products and support these families that are good stewards of the beautiful lands they work

  143. karen

    Hi, how long can pu er tea be kept after making it? My mum likes to drink it after leaving it there for hours and sometime over night. She already has a weak stomach to start with.

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Karen – that’s a good question, and we get asked something like this all the time!

      In general, it depends on a few different factors. I’ve personally done the same as your mum without ill effects, even though my training in food safety means that I know there is a risk of food-bourne illness after about four hours exposed to the air at a temperature between 40º F and 180º F.

      This is why we recommend steeping your leaves all together in one continuous brewing session.

      There are many unpredictable factors that go into the risk of food-borne illness: for example, if you live in a warm and humid environment, the risk of mold on leaves left overnight might be higher than a dry, cold Minnesota home in the wintertime. This depends on both the cleanliness of the environment where the tea is left siting, as well as pure chance and happenstance! In terms of strict food safety, a restaurant or tea shop would need to throw away leaves if left exposed at room temperature for more than four hours. To be considered food safe, food needs to be kept either above 180 or below 40 degrees. Once temperatures fall between for more than four hours, food is at risk. These guidelines do not apply before you brew your pu’er: the way tea leaves are finished means that they are essentially shelf stable. This changes once moisture is re-introduced (either by a very very humid and musty environment like a damp basement or storage area, or by adding water).

      As I mentioned before, there have been many times where I have come back to a gaiwan or pot of pu’er after a full day without issue. Whether I have left my leaves sitting cold for 20 minutes or several hours, I will generally do a flash steeping to warm them up before I brew again. This warms up the leaves and all of my brewing equipment, removes any small amount of liquid that may have been left brewing with the leaves while I was away, and generally makes for a better “first” steeping of the new brewing session.

  144. Andrea

    Do you have gift certificates available?
    I LOVE your website, my friend introduced me, and took advantage of the 5 for $5. It was amazing, I loved all of them. I’d like to get her a gift certificate for your website, since she’s in a different state.
    Thank you!!

    • Lily Duckler

      Hello Andrea,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! We would love to offer gift certificates – unfortunately, our system at this time can’t create proper gift certificates. We are in the middle of redeveloping our website now, and hope to have a good solution later this summer.

  145. Jessica Cantu

    I would like to learn more about making kombucha. Do you host classes, or recommend anyone locally that will? Does your store front carry the basics to get started?

  146. Nonnette Afable

    if the loose leaf tea from china has expired, how long will you be able to use it?…say for example expiration date is 2013 and now we are in 2015 which means to say 2 years have expired…can you still use it?

    • Lily Duckler

      Sure! Until tea has been exposed to moisture, it is essentially shelf stable. Dried tea leaves are generally not in danger of mold or food-borne illness, because they are dried.

      The only thing to watch out for is tea that has been stored in a damp environment, exposed fully to light and air – this could cause mold in the worst case (damp environment) or unintentional scenting with nearby food, spices, or general smells of the house.

      After so many years, your tea is simply likely to have very little flavor. Probably, it has become stale. You can certainly still drink it, but it will not be as full and flavorful as it would have been when it was first picked. If stored in an aromatic place – like a spice cupboard or a basement or garage – it may also have picked up the odor of whatever was nearby. If it was near cinnamon? No problem! If it was near garlic powder or a musty basement wall? Less tasty, for sure.

  147. David

    Dear Verdant tea,

    First off I would like to say how much I enjoy your tea. It is great we have such a wonderful place to buy quality Chinese tea here in the Twin Cities. I recently acquired a Sheng Puerh cake (wrapped in paper and placed in a small cardboard box). I have only had it for a couple weeks and didn’t realize until now that it should be stored in a room without smells. I had been burning a scented candle near the packaged cake and was wondering if the cake could have already absorbed the scent of the candle? Also, what are the proper precautions to longterm storage for Sheng Puerh? Thank you for your advise.

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi David – good question!

      Without checking out your new cake in person, it is hard for me to say definitively one way or the other. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you’re storing your pu’er for the long term, this exposure is probably not going to cancel out or overpower whatever the cake will be growing into over the next several years. It also sounds like your cake is still being stored in a cardboard box, and the box will help mitigate the effects of the candle.

      One great thing about pu’er is that it is easy to check in on it and see how it’s developing! You can always take a sample from your cake and brew it up. If there is any scent from the candle, it will most likely fade after the wash or the first steeping.

      My recommendation would be to keep candles and incense farther away from the room where you are storing your tea – it sounds like that’s what you’ve already done, so that’s great! For more details on storing your tea, I highly recommend reading David’s article on storage:

  148. Elliot

    Do you offer Golden Milk? I would rather pay for it than (try to) make it at home. Thank you.

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Elliot,

      We do not offer Golden Milk at this time. Thank you for thinking of us!

  149. Glen

    I am just starting to look into drinking teas and was wondering if I brew a single cup of tea how many ounces of tea do I need (approximately since everyone is different).

    For example 4 oz of tea will let me have how many cups of tea?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question but I don’t know how much to order based on weight.



    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Glen – not a stupid question at all!

      You can think of an ounce of tea like you might a pound of coffee: if you drink some every day, it will last you about a week.

      If you’re brewing in a big mug with a brew basket, we recommend using between 3-5g of tea. More tea leaves mean your tea takes less time to brew, so this is up to you.

      Let’s assume an average and say: 4g of tea per 6-8oz of water.
      There are just over 28g in one ounce, which means 28 / 4 = about 7 sessions (with a little bit left over!).

      If you have 4oz of tea, and you brew one cup every day with 4g of tea per mug, then your 4oz will last you 28 days (or about a month!).

      I hope this helps give you an idea of where to start. You can always use more or less leaves, depending on your favorite way to brew.

  150. Victoria

    Being new to the world of loose teas, how can I know which teas are in season and when my favorites will be available again? My favorites are the handpicked Tieguanyin and Yunnan White Jasmine.

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Victoria,

      Good question! Tea is generally picked in two seasons, the spring and the autumn, with the Spring harvest seeing the majority of new teas in season.

      For example, most green teas are picked just in the spring time. This is true for teas like Dragonwell, which generally have 3-5 pickings in the spring time (depending on the farmer or plantation overseeing the care of the tea plants). For Dragonwell Village (Longjincun), the spring pickings occur around the Qingming Festival – usually the 4th or 5th of April, depending on the year – with the earliest pickings just before the festival, and more affordable pickings in the days and weeks after.

      This is why so many Spring teas can often be referred to as “Pre-Qingming” teas: this means the tea was picked before the festival, and usually denotes the first or earliest picking of the Spring. This is true for green, white and black teas all over the classic growing regions. These teas are usually more expensive, both because they are so highly desired by the domestic and international market, and because they require more time and labor to pick and process. These fine teas are usually marked by sweet, delicate flavor, lingering aftertaste and beautiful texture in the mouth.

      Laoshan Village, as a counter example, is much further north; it’s the northernmost place in China where tea can grow, which means that their earliest pickings can’t happen at the same time as teas grown farther south. In 2013, there was snowfall up until the last week of April! The plants are kept covered in greenhouses during the colder months and through May to protect against frost and snow, and early pickings can start at the end of April and beginning of May (again, depending on the weather).

      Yunnan teas are picking right now (March!), ideally before the 15th. That means that the spring 2015 harvest will be in our cups soon: once picked, it takes about two weeks to get airshipped from China here to our HQ in Minnesota. Shipments out of China at this time of year, however, can often be delayed by the New Year celebrations. In 2014, for example, New Years’ fell in January. This year, New Years’ fell at the end of February! Since effectively all shipping and business (banking) shuts down during the long holiday (about two weeks), this can sometimes add a few extra days to the export process.

      The main picking of Tieguanyin happens later in May. There are early pickings (for example, last year we were able to offer Master Zhang’s Early Spring picking) which tend to be brighter, tangier and more energetic than the main “ideal” picking, but the classic Spring harvest happens – weather depending! – in the 2nd half of May.

      Many teas do not have an autumn picking, but Tieguanyin is definitely an exception. The Autumn harvest of Tieguanyin is highly anticipated, and many fans prefer it to spring: each harvest is unique, and each is worth loving and enjoying for its own merits. Laoshan teas are another exception; we share the He Family’s autumn harvests of green, black and oolong tea each year.

      The new harvests of your two favorite teas will be arriving soon! We purchase spring harvests before they are picked: that way, they can be packed and air shipped as soon as they are ready, and they can be in your cup weeks after picking. Look for Yunnan tea in April, Dragonwell at the end of April, and the rest of the spring harvests through May and the beginning of June.

  151. Chris

    Hi! Do you know when you will have the Laoshan green tea in stock? Thx!

    • Lily Duckler

      More of the He Family’s Autumn Harvest is on the way now! We expect to have it back in stock in the 2nd or 3rd week of April. Their 2015 Spring Tea picks right at the end of April / beginning of May (depending on the weather), and should be here about three weeks later!

  152. Xian


    I am interest in the new dragon well this year. I am wondering where I can buy it?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Xian – good question!

      Dragonwell is picking right now, and will be available in just a few weeks! We wil be making Mrs. Li’s 2015 Dragonwell green tea available for pre-order as soon as we can, and ship directly as soon as it arrives, around the end of the month or early May.

      Mrs. Li’s Dragonwell will be available for sale here, very soon:

      If you’d like to know the moment this tea is available again, I suggest signing up for our mailing list. You can sign up and join in the footer of our website (at the bottom of every page), to receive notifications about new products, deals and articles.

      Happy Spring!

  153. Peter

    I am a bit frustrated with your site. I only found a small discussion on brewing teas you sell on your site. It said “place the water in the cup for a few seconds to steep(?), then pour off steeped water in separate cup, etc. Is there any place on your site where yo discuss steeping times for many of your teas? I usually brew teats 3-4 minutes. I know it depends on what teas are being brewed, but that’s why I hoped youe site would provide more info. It may, but I can’t find it.

  154. Peter

    Found it, click the tea you want, then How to Brew.

    • Lily Duckler

      Wonderful! I’m glad you were able to find it :)

      I also just wrote a more detailed response to your original comment, including links to articles and videos about different brewing style, too.

      If there’s anything else we can help you with, we are here for you!

      • Peter

        Thank you for your lighting response. You are very kind.

        This is for you- tea pot ritual

  155. zach

    Do oolong and black teas take well to vacuum packing if desired for longer-term storage? Thanks

    • Lily Duckler

      Good question! This really depends, mainly on the shape of the tea.

      Rolled oolongs like Tieguanyin work really well in vacuum packaging. This is one reason why many tea shops in China package their rolled Tieguanyin oolong teas in 7g vacuum sealed bags for their retail customers. This also means that greener oolongs can be kept in the deep freeze, without fear of condensation or smells, allowing modern green Tieguanyin to last much longer than it otherwise would.

      However, curled black teas, strip style oolongs like Wuyi and Dancong, and large buddy black teas have a shape that makes vacuum packaging difficult. Because the leaves are not very compact, vacuum sealing can often break up leaves and damage them under the vacuum pressure.

      If there were a way to vacuum seal the leaves without crushing them, then yes – this sort of a sea would protect them well from smells in the air, and generally becoming stale over the years.

      On the other hand, there is a school of thought that enjoys the way black teas and Wuyi oolongs age over time, so many tea lovers will keep these teas stored in ceramic jars, partially sealed with foam or a cloth placed between the lid and the body of the jar.

      All this to say: theoretically, there is nothing stopping you from experimenting with vacuum sealing black and oolong teas. However, vacuum sealed bags will generally damage all but the most tightly rolled teas (like Tieguanyin oolong). If you like, I encourage you to experiment and see which storage method works best for you by taking a small sample of Wuyi + black tea and storing it in multiple ways. After a few months or a year, try tasting the samples side-by-side to see what difference the storage method has made, and to discover what style works best for you.

  156. Ying

    I first order your webside, I want to try “Five Teas for Five Dollars”,but why I can’t pay money? Your webside still say”Processing your order,please wait”.

    • Lily Duckler

      Thank you so much for letting us know! The issue should be fixed now. My sincere apologies for the inconvenience. If you have any trouble, please write to us directly at and we help you out with whatever you need!

      Thank you,

  157. Marc

    At this very moment, I am enjoying a sample of hand picked autumn tieguanyin. How many grams are in your samples?

    • Lily Duckler

      How wonderful!

      Our samples come in two different sizes: 5g and 7g. Free samples and the samples included in the Five for Five special are each 5 grams. We also offer 7g samples of most of our teas for those who wish to put together their own ala carte samplers.

      Happy sipping!

  158. Peter

    I was wondering why shipping to Australia isn’t currently an option. From what I understand from my cursory reading of the local laws for importing tea, import for non-commercial purposes is permitted.


    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Peter – excellent question.

      As you may have read, shipping tea to Australia is a little more complex. The main issue is tea blends – tea blends containing seeds (like cacao nibs, coriander, fennel, cardamom, etc), fruit peels (lemon peel, orange peel, etc), and just – in general, dried plant materials and herbs (sage, mint, tulsi, lemongrass, etc), are all subject to quarantine laws, and are often barred from entrance to the country. Because we do currently offer tea blends, this makes orders to Australia more complicated.

      Traditional, unblended teas are not necessarily subject to quarantine, but must be declared and inspected. Even traditional teas can sometimes be held at customs for quite some time, to protect against the possibility of invasive species. Technically, we can send packages of traditional, unblended loose leaf tea to tea lovers in Australia. However, at this time our website’s cart + checkout system is not powerful enough to facilitate the cross-checks necessary. That said, we are in the middle of a large overhaul to our online site, and plan on making purchases from Australia possible, perhaps as soon as this summer!

      In the meantime, if you would like to order sooner, we are always happy to help put together orders via e-mail, with a custom PayPal invoice. Just write to us at so we can get you started.

      Thank you so much!

  159. Jocelyn Stephens

    What is the proper name for a tea bag holder? The Ladies in my church are having afternoon tea tomorrow and I volunteered to find out. It will be formal with porcelain tea sets, accessories, little sandwiches, scones and the like. Some of the sets are Royal Daulton and quite beautiful. Thank you for your time,
    Jocelyn Stephens

    • Lily Duckler

      Good question!

      I must admit, my expertise is not in formal English tea sets, but I do know of a few options. If you are storing the tea bags in a box, the box is often called a tea chest or a tea caddy. Technically, a caddy is often used to describe a jar or box where you are storing loose tea leaves or ground tea, like matcha.

      As for the option you use for setting down a used tea bag? I believe you could just call that a saucer, as many tea sets do not have a specific object used just for this purpose. Most tea sets will simply use an extra tea cup saucer or a small bread plate.

  160. M Decker

    How is your tea packaged?

    • Lily Duckler

      Our tea is packaged in either resealable pouches or small metal tins with tight-fitting lids.

      Our pouches are made of recycled kraft paper with a food-safe lining. Once packed, these opaque bags are heat sealed. The pouches are are easy to reseal, keeping your tea safe in between brewing sessions.

  161. DeEtta

    Do you have Japanese Black Tea; I understand it is especially healthy.

    • Lily Duckler

      We do not source any tea from Japan at this time. Right now, we source all of our tea directly from our friends and partner farmers across China; that’s where we have all of our fluency, expertise and relationships.

      As for health benefits: the jury is still out on which tea is “healthiest.” All tea comes from the same plant (camelia sinensis): the main differences come from where the tea grows (China vs. Japan vs. India vs. Kenya, etc), how the tea grows (in a large monoculture vs wild foraged, shade vs direct sun, grown sustainably or grown with pesticides / herbicides / synthetic fertilizer, low elevation vs. high elevation, etc etc), when the tea was picked (Spring / Summer / Fall / Winter), ad how the tea was processed (as a white tea vs black tea vs green tea, steamed vs. pan finished, curled or flat pressed). There are also differences in what was picked (hand picked vs machine harvested, just buds vs. large leaves, etc etc) and in varietals and cultivars (camelia sinsensis var. sinensis vs var. assamica, true tieguanyin vs benshan tieguanyin, etc).

      At the end of the day, however, ALL tea is the same species, and so all produce the same things that contibute to a healthy beverage like antioxidants, EGCG, caffeine, altheanine, etc etc. Processing and age of the tea will have the greatest effect on how the tea effects you: generally, green teas and white teas are less processed and will have more of those antioxidants, etc. Because black tea is more processed (chemically, more has happened to those leaves, like oxidation: long polyphenal chains have broken down and combined to become other things). For some people, these make black teas easier to drink or more mellow and soothing.

      If a tea is not clean – if it is grown with synthetic fertilizaers and pesticides, covered with pollution, etc – then this will also have an effect. Personally, teas grown with pesticides make me feel sick to my stomach and extremely unwell, and so I avoid them.

      At the end of the day, if you want to drink the “healthiest” tea for you, you should 1) purchase tea from people you trust, and 2) drink the tea you enjoy the most. If you purchase a tea for health reasons, but you don’t enjoy drinking it, then it will simply sit on your shelf. If you are not drinking your tea, then it can’t do you any good!

  162. Shae

    I received your Yunnan Black Jasmine tea in my April blends box and am wondering what type of tea you use and if it is for sale on your website. I tried to find it but had not luck. Since this blend is not for sale here, I would love to buy some of the tea itself to be able to enjoy when I run out of the Yunnan Black Jasmine. It is incredible!! Thank you. :)

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Shae,

      Thank you so much for your kind words!! We used a Yunnan Black tea (Dian Hong) as the base for that blend, similar to the Zhu Rong Yunnan Black. I wish we had more of that great tea to share with you! Unfortunately, we used all of it to share in the April Blend and Classic club boxes.

      We will be expanding our collections greatly this upcoming fall, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we were able to source another great Dian Hong like the one we used for this blend. Keep an eye out – we will definitely make announcements like that through our mailer and on social media!

      In the meantime, I will keep my eyes open for Jasmine Yunnan Black teas; they have definitely become more popular in the last two seasons!

      All the best,

  163. Marc


    I am so grateful to have been taught about Verdant Tea. The teas you distribute have inspired a lifelong practice.

    I just received a green Ru Yao gaiwain and two matching hexagonal Ru Yao cups. I love them, but I know little about Ru Yao and the history of teaware in general.

    Will you please tell me a bit about Ru Yao teaware, historically and how it exists in modernity? Will you also tell me more about these specific items–who, where, when, etc?

    I appreciate your time and look forward to learning more so that I may fully honor these pieces.

    Be well

  164. MzPriss

    Will Zhu Rong be coming back?

    • Lily Duckler

      We would love to bring it back this fall! It’s a great tea, so if we can, we certainly will.

  165. Howard Lape

    Fantastic that you are pre offering Wu Yi finest efforts, and rarest teas.
    I love true reserve teas, nothing else really compares. I am interested as to why master Zhang has early spring lilac floral aromas tea, and regular spring Anxi Daping TGY.

    • Lily Duckler

      Thank you so much, Howard! We are so excited for Ms. Li’s Wuyi teas to come in; I can’t wait for you to try them.

      The question about why Master Zhang produces an earlier Spring Tieguanyin is a good one. Essentially, he is a great believer in all of the tea his plants produce, whether they’re the traditional (highly desireable) Spring harvest or very early pickings or even later summer pickings. Each picking has its own unique characteristics, and its own reason to fall in love with it. Honestly, Master Zhang is interested in making an earlier harvest, because it has such a unique flavor – more zippy, more green and bright and early in it’s flavor. Because he wants to share that point of view, we’re excited to make the Early Spring harvest available alongside the more traditional spring harvest.

      Ultimately, we are working to offer a wider selection of Master Zhang’s teas this Autumn, including his reserve teas – just like Li Xiangxi. I am looking forward to it!

      All the best,

  166. Carmelle

    What happened to your building? I drove past and there is a For Sale sign on the door. What’s up with that?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Camille,

      We’ve moved! We actually moved out of our previous space in the fall of 2014 into a warehouse and distribution center just down the street in Seward (the Snelling Distribution Center on E 24th St). We moved to focus on helping Tree Fort Soda and Prohibition Kombucha build up and prepare for their first official, large production runs!

      Our old space is currently for rent, and last I heard, there were several great folks interested in the space for new restaurant and bar projects.

      The move gave us the room we needed to grow, and was also a better fit for the type and volume of production work we’re now doing. Having a small van come by once a week to pick up and deliver a few cases of bottles is one thing; having big trucks deliver pallets of glass and thousands of bottle caps and pick up hundreds of cases a week is another! The last thing we’d want to do is subject our neighbors (living in a commercial / residential corridor) to trucking route traffic.

      Our warehouse is currently closed to the public for construction inside the building and outside on the street. However, you can still find our tea and chai and kombucha all around the Twin Cities in restaurants, cafes and grocery stores.

      We are also popping up and serving afternoon gongfu tea at IN Spirits by Prohibition – a new bar collaboration we’re helping to open at Intelligent Nutrients’ beautiful location in Northeast Minneapolis. The bar is open on Thursdays and Fridays: afternoon tea is from 3-5pm, and aromatic cocktails are available from 4-8pm. You can also find Prohibition Kombucha at the bar on it’s own and in cocktails; in fact, Nate Uri (the brewer and our partner in Prohibition) is the bartender!

      You can find out more about what we’re up to on our local website:

      We hope you’ll come visit us in our new projects! We loved sharing the old space with you, but we’re really excited about everything we’re working on now, and we’re happy to give the old space to someone new to build another opportunity and space for the community.

      Thank you!

  167. Terry Harrison

    Aloha, I love tea! especially a black superior purer cake tea.
    Do you sell this? Thank you very kindly,

    • Lily Duckler

      Hello Terry – nice to meet you!

      Black superior pu’er cake tea looks like a general term for shu pu’er. This kind of tea is also sometimes called “cooked” pu’er.

      While we do not have a large selection of shu pu’er at the moment, the best place to find all of our pu’er (sheng and shu) is here:

  168. Ed Perry

    Please contact me when you get the Summer Chamomile Medley back in stock. I’d like to order 8 oz.

    With thanks,
    Ed Perry

    • Lily Duckler

      Thank you, Ed! Though we have no plans at this time to bring Summer Chamomile back permanently, we will contact you if that changes.

      I’d also be more than happy to send you our blend recipe, if you’d like to blend a batch for yourself at home! Just send us an e-mail at and I can send you all of the details.

  169. Sabrina

    Hello, I’m very new to drinking “real” tea, and I was wondering if I am “supposed” to sweeten your teas? Are they meant to be drunk without any sugar, or is it just up to the person?

    • Lily Duckler

      At the end of the day, it is up to you!

      Generally, most of the traditional teas we sell from our partner tea farmers were not created with sweetener in mind. Many of our customers prefer enjoying the tea as it is, with it’s own natural and subtle complexity.

      However, there are no hard and fast rules; different sugars and sweeteners can brighten a tea or bring out parts of its flavors you may not have noticed before. This can be especially true when drinking tea (or at this time of year: iced tea!) with a meal.

      If you’d like to experiment with sweetener, you certainly can. I usually recommend trying the tea the first few times without sweetener to get to know the tea. You may find that you love it just the way it is, and the way the farmers wanted you to experience it! OR you may find that a certain iced tea with just a touch of your local wildflower honey is your favorite thing you’ve ever had to drink.

      It’s all up to you. Take your time and enjoy all of your experiments – but do give your teas a try unsweetened first, if only as a learning experience :)

  170. Sarah

    Is Eight Treasures going to be coming back? I adore that tea and would love to order at least an ounce or 2!

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Sarah!

      It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to bring it back officially, but I do know we would be able to blend up a few ounces if you’d like!

      Just write to us at and we can make all of the arrangements for you :)

  171. Marc


    How would you recommend storing a brick of Shou Puerh?


  172. Jim Marks

    Curious what the move to China means for the retail tea shop you opened in Minneapolis?

  173. Ian

    Hi! Longtime fan and shopper– can I buy the Five For Five as a surprise for a friend? Can I order it to ship directly to someone else? If not, what would you recommend as an inexpensive “sampler” that I can send someone?

    • Lily Duckler

      Yes – definitely! My apologies for the delay in responding to you here.

      Just send us an e-mail at and we can make the arrangements for you.

  174. Brent Lok

    I am interested in buying some of your Laoshan Greens. I understand another shipment is coming in August. Any idea of when that shipment will arrive, and which ones of the Laoshan Greens will be available?

    • Lily Duckler

      Hi Brent,

      Thank you so much for your question! Our Laoshan Green teas are temporarily sold out because we are moving all of our operations to China. However, the He Family’s entire collection of Laoshan teas will be available again when we switch over to our new website on August 7th.

      We’re really excited to be able to share a wider selection of all of our partners’ teas, especially because they’ll all be sealed fresh at the farm.

      For Laoshan Greens, we’ll be able to share:
      – Spring Harvest Laoshan Green
      – Laoshan Biluochun Green
      – Flat Pressed Laoshan Green

      If you’d like to learn more, you can read all about our big move to China here:

      You can also always sign up for our mailing list. We generally sound out news or new teas each Friday, and apart from following us on social media or checking back here, it’s the best way to stay up to date about new teas, restocks and low stock alerts. That sign up is right at the bottom of our website!

      Thank you again for your question, Brent. It helped me update all of our Laoshan product pages with better details about when they’ll all be back in stock.

      All the best.

  175. Ashley

    Hello! I have recently ordered quite a few types of teas after seeing the emails about your moving sales and was wondering what the shelf life might be for an unopened tea in the original bag? I am thinking of stocking up on some more of my favorites before they sell out as I’ve been checking this week and noticed a few popular ones are already gone! -Thank you for being such wonderful people and selling the most beautiful teas :)

    • Lily Duckler

      Great question – thank you, Ashley!

      Generally, it depends on the tea.
      Green teas and greener oolongs are best within 2-4 months of picking, but unopened, they can certainly last about 6 months before they really fade away. If your bags are unopened, you can increase the shelf life of these by storing them in the freezer, as long as there are strong smells in your freezer (giving you frozen-lasagna-infused green tea!).

      Black teas, roasted oolongs, etc can be great up to a year and more. And pu’er teas are great for stockpiling – these teas age over time, as long as they are NOT too cold (frozen) or too dry and are open some to the air. If you are purchasing these to keep for years, you’ll want to open the heat seal on your bags.

      David has also written a great guide to tea storage which outlines this in more detail. I recommend taking a look!

      Thank you again for your question, and for all of your fantastic support!

      • Brent

        Thanks very much, Lily. Good luck on your move and I will be looking for the return of your Laoshan Greens in early August.

  176. Wy

    Is your tea certified?

  177. Wyatt

    On the website, it will measure the tea in grams and T does that mean tsp. or Tblsp ? Also the gram to teaspoon and tablespoon conversions seem to be incorrect.