Introduction

Welcome to Tea As It Is where we offer for online sale Hui Liu’s selection of wild teas of Taiwan and China.

In 1990, we opened our tea shop, Hui Liu in Taipei, Taiwan. After years of effort we established sources of excellent wild teas. This year, we have opened Tea As It Is to make our teas available outside of Taiwan and over the internet..

Tea is at the same time the simplest and yet most elegant of beverages. Over centuries it has cultivated its own arts, science, lore…Besides providing good tea our interests have been to preserve and research tea’s traditions and foster innovation and creativity in its culture.

Wild Tea

While there are some teas actually harvested from trees growing in remote isolated places, most of our teas are grown under deliberately determined wild conditions: with abundant space ( unlike cramped commercial tea gardens where maximum harvest output is the aim), abundant sunshine and moisture, far from traveled roads, undomesticated ( unfertilized and allowed to grow without pruning or other manipulation); leaves are harvested once or at most, twice a year and at regular intervals, trees are allowed to go unpicked and rest for years at a time. Obviously, the emphasis is on producing unique, superior quality teas whose taste can hardly be compared with teas from trees grown by what have become “conventional��? methods. Not only do these teas excel in taste and fragrance but also in qi and beneficial effects on health. It should be recalled after all, that tea was first recognized in ancient China as a medicine that remarkably improved vitality and mood. Of course, those ancient teas were from wild trees.

Processing

The leaves of these wild trees are harvested and processed by hand in traditional methods to produce teas that are appropriate to the inherent qualities of the leaves; particular taste styles in tea do have a relation to the place where they are grown. Experienced tea masters have been sought out for this work and to pass along their skills to a new generation. In some cases, old treatises have been researched to help make teas that have not been produced for many years. Some of the teas are quite traditional, the stuff of tea drinkers’ fond memories and tea lore, while others are innovative and contemporary. Still others are notable for their medicinal properties. The right leaves processed with the right skill make the right teas.

Selection

Wild teas are typically available in limited quantities but we try to offer teas that are priced reasonably, considering their special quality. We try to offer typical teas of Taiwan; that usually means high mountain (over 1500 meters altitude) Wulong unique to the island. But besides high mountain teas there are other special Taiwan teas, too. Usually, you will be able to find in our stocks, a variety of Fujian teas, i.e. different styles of Iron Guan Yin from Anxi County as well as a selection of “Rocky��? Teas from Wu Yi County. There are many interesting green teas from different parts of China , each with its unique local flavor cultured over hundreds of years. Genuine Pu Er teas are rare, particularly aged Pu Er but when available we will offer them here. We try to maintain a stock of aged teas: these are selected teas that have been carefully preserved and uniquely matured for from ten to forty or more years.

Check our website regularly for new stocks.

The indicated prices are for 100 gram quantities. For many, that is just a sample amount so, if you find you want more of a tea after tasting it, get back in touch with us promptly as, naturally, supplies are limited.

Notes on Tasting

Many people judge a tea by the taste, fragrance etc. from the first infusion. To really know the qualities of a tea takes more time than that. Wild tea reveals itself differently, too. If you have tried wild fruit or vegetables, you know they are different from their domesticated cousins; wild foods have a much broader range of flavors. It’s a different experience. In tasting any tea one must be attentive to the sensations but especially so with wild tea as the range of flavor is different. Each time the tea is brewed, you will notice different flavors and changes, and these teas can be steeped many times (by gong fu method).There are many teas that can be brewed with boiling water but if one uses 90 degree water ( except for green teas which are best with 80-90 degree) and allow the leaves time to open one will get a broader range of tastes with each brew. And you can experience the depth and purity of wild tea in a way that might surprise some: after you think the tea is finished and has no more taste, steep it once more and leave it a few hours, half a day or more and then drink it. You’ll be impressed by its sweet flavor. If stored carefully, these teas’ qualities will mature and deepen with time.