tealet, elyse petersen, moonshine, tea, nepal, nepali tea, white tea, green tea
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March 2016 Posts


Blog Entry

Innovative Tea Producers in Nepal Introduce New Specialty Tea: Moonshine

Monday, March 28th 2016 @ 10:38 AM

LAS VEGAS— Direct Trade Tea marketplace Tealet has recently listed a new tea on their wholesale catalog that demonstrates the diversity and complexity of specialty tea. Hariyali Cooperative of Ilam, Nepal, a tea grower in the Tealet network, has been producing handmade, specialty teas for some time in an attempt to boost profits as commodity tea production has shown less than sustainable with low market prices. There is a growing specialty tea market abroad, especially in the United States, but small scale producers of Nepal looking to access these markets must compete with the high quality tea producers of China, Taiwan, and Japan. Companies like Tealet have been working closely with small producers like the Hariyali Cooperative in a feedback loop to help the producers improve the quality of their tea every batch by learning from producers of famous teas of China, Taiwan, and Japan and with experimental batch processing.

In the Spring of 2015 the Hariyali Cooperative produced a tea which attracted the interest of tea tastes of Tealet called Moonshine. The team gave some minor feedback to the producer in regards to the slight astringency of the tea. By Autumn 2015 the producer made a tea with the same processing steps keeping in mind the feedback from Tealet and produced a tea that is now impressing tea tasters around the world. This hybrid white/green tea has sweet, savory, soft notes of cream corn and is reminiscent of a fine Chinese Bi Luo Chun. “This is a tea we are very excited to introduce to buyers that are looking for something unique and delicate to add to their tea menu at an accessible price,” says Tealet CEO, Elyse Petersen.


Nepal Tea Innovation

Nepal is relatively new to tea production. Young tea plants and the high elevation, clean environment make for very good quality raw material. Typically the only option a tea grower has in Nepal is to sell their harvested green leaf to a local factory. Factories produce tea that will later enter the commodity market. Competitive prices force factories to work on very small margins, leaving a low price paid for green leaf. Entrepreneurial growers have started to experiment with processing their own teas and selling them directly to the market. These growers look towards the specialty tea producers of China for inspiration.

Nepal has its own unique terroir with no established tea style. As a result tea producers have developed their own novel tea processing methods through trial and error. Teas from Nepal found in the specialty tea market are hybrids that often cannot fit into the traditional categories of green, white, oolong, or black tea. Specialty tea marketers that introduce these hybrid teas to their customers must do it with a high level of education so consumers can understand that high quality teas can be very diverse and non-conventional.

Direct Trade from Nepal

Consumers that want to support struggling tea producers in Nepal and enjoy high quality, unique teas can seek out direct trade tea. There is no certification, but the consumer can trust the transparency and quality of the tea by asking questions to the merchants. If the tea is direct trade the merchant should be able to give answers to questions such as: Who made the tea? How large is the farm? How many employees work on the farm? What price does the grower get for the tea? If you are a merchant seeking to increase your direct trade tea selection or a tea lover looking for more information Tealet is a great resource, www.tealet.com


Founded on April 28, 2012, Tealet is a Las Vegas, NV start up that builds tools that connect tea growers with drinkers around the world. Their marketplace and more information can be found at www.tealet.com.

Find a review of this tea here.



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