If life is made up of little moments, what better way to share them than with the best tea?
Our story begins on the road with an unquenchable thirst for tea and adventure. And a lot of bumpy long-distance bus travel. You need all those things to see a place as big and diverse as Yunnan province in southwest China, with its highways, byways, and intersecting mountain paths.
Once there, I got to meet local people in the tea industry (growers, pickers, sellers) and to appreciate how tea and life are intertwined.
I also learned that their broad-leaf teas (including Pu’er, white, green and black tea) can be complex, fascinating, hard-wrought and highly-prized products of a challenging environment.
Hi, my name is Damien Kinney. My formal education was in Chinese language studies, but to be perfectly honest with you, there was nothing formal about my absolute favourite moments of immersion in Chinese life.
Those moments were all about sitting down to some high-quality Pu’er in a warehouse filled with tea from floor to ceiling, hours at a time, with tea-loving friends on knee-high tables and chairs and the Kamjove kettle constantly bubbling away. Before you know it, you’ve drunk eight…nine…ten cups. They don’t call it getting ‘tea drunk’ for nothing.
Inspired by just that kind of experience, I helped set up Cloud Nine Teas as a trusted online source of Pu’er, Yunnan black tea and white tea. Put simply, I had to find a way to share the authenticity and honesty of the Yunnan tea lifestyle with specialty tea lovers in Australia.
The Best Tea Means Different Things to Different People
Australian tea lovers have wide-ranging taste buds, and our passions span more than one tea tradition. Our fascination for the Japanese tea tradition and the oolong tea culture of Fujian and Taiwan is as strong as our familiarity with “afternoon tea” with a robust black tea.
I believe Australian tea culture is based on respect and love for diversity and “difference.” That is a wonderful and precious thing that we should nurture. After all, we can all learn more from each other no matter where we come from!
That’s why you will find in-store a tempting selection of organic Oolong teas from the mountains of Taiwan, and celebrated green teas from the Uji Valley, Japan, to suit just about every palate. Our unique tea wares from Japan, Taiwan and mainland China beautifully complement our teas.
So, by now you’ve probably worked out that my own tea apprenticeship includes a range of influences and people “steeped” in different traditions. Those people include friends, colleagues, teachers, suppliers and you: the customer and reader.
And if you’ve read this far, thank you!
Now let’s go on a tea adventure!