易武高山友益茶坊 - Yiwu Mountain Puer Tea
Our Mission: provide authentic premium-quality Yiwu Mountain Tea and support the families of Yiwu
My wife's family is based in Gaoshan Village, Yiwu Mountain, Mengla county, Xishuangbanna. We currently operate a small family business in Guangzhou, selling authentic premium-quality Yiwu teas. This website was created to help support the sales of pure Yiwu-sourced teas to the global market, as our physical location focuses on local customers. In addition to online retail, we focus on wholesale partnerships with local businesses.
How it all began:
This business started with Mr Li Jia Cai, our father and a true local of Yiwu, who has been tending to the family tea plantations ever since he was a young boy. As the eldest son of his immediate family, he took responsibility for selling the family tea planted by his ancestors and this helped to build his reputation for sourcing organic, high-quality tea. This reputation spread, and traders would seek him to help source teas from the extended the Yiwu Mountain range and our local contacts we slowly built up this way. To this day, most of our teas are still sourced by his local knowledge and immaculate ability to find great tea.
Our teas are sourced from old arbor trees and ancient trees, and hand-crafted with care.
With the rising demand of Puer tea and the price rises that came with it, it was clear that the tradition of naturally sourced tea and art of hand-crafted tea would need to compete with modern methods of mass planting of young tree bushes and machine processing for mass production. A visit around Yiwu will show you that the mountainscape has changed a lot over recent years. We only source teas that use traditional hand-crafting methods as we believe that this produces the highest quality tea. Mass production uses machines that do not treat the tea leaves with proper care and damaged leaves during processing leaves an inferior end product.
Why focus on high-quality, low-quantity Yiwu teas?
Yiwu teas are highly sought after due to the high concentration of gushu (ancient tea trees) and high-quality soil in the plantations where they grew naturally. Unfortunately, the popularity has meant that blended and fake products have flooded the marketplace, and high-production, lower-nutrient tea bushes are now becoming more and more common. The growing population of Chinese middle-class is creating this market due to their lack of tea knowledge and the fact that blended or even faked Yiwu teas are still comparatively much higher quality than the average tea, especially high-street and supermarket brands. The end consumer often has no idea of their product source and what the expected quality should be. We compete with large companies that use trading strategies that monopolize the market such as signing exclusive-rights contracts with families or villages and their teas never make it to the end consumer without being reprocessed. Our products help educate consumers about authentic Yiwu tea.
We support traditional tea families to keep their plantations producing the highest quality.
The increase in overall demand and has in no doubt brought wealth to Yiwu. However, the farmers that grow less earn less, so basically the gushu and arbor tree plantations earn less money than more productive plantation management methods. We pay premium market prices for only the premium quality tea to ensure that these families are not persuaded by shrewd businessmen to sell their land or change the way they produce tea. We focus on old plantations and support the families that have been working in the tea industry for many decades if not centuries. By doing so, we help these families continue picking the best tea trees sustainably, keep their trees organic and in great condition without over-picking and not change the landscape towards the arguably more profitable, lower-quality tea bushes. Many of these families have little or no formal education and often lack awareness of the market or the science behind their traditional practices. We also support them by providing information about the market changes and traditional production methods that work well and those that do not. Unfortunately, we can't control nature because that would be an even better way to support the families.
Our products and services
We seek to provide pure Yiwu mountain teas, either Yiwu sub-region specific gushus, or blended high-quality Yiwu arbor trees, and help the market enjoy and remember the taste of authentic Yiwu teas. We purchase the highest quality Yiwu teas at a premium price from local producers who have the right to refuse sale as they see fit. Our extended family and friends grow the teas that we source for this business and provide a direct connection from plantations to your tea cup. We've also had the pleasure of hosting our customers to visit Yiwu to see the source of their tea.
If you would like to learn more about us or our teas, or wish to enquire about wholesale purchases, please drop me a message using the Contact Us page.