Seven Cups

Tea Vocabulary is important to those who dive deep in the world of tea. It helps us relate what we are are seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting to others. Andrew McNeill not only runs an amazing company with superb tea but also has an stunning tea repertoire. You will enjoy not only sipping on their tea but also everything he writes.

Location(s) Headquarters: Tucson, Arizona, USA and Chongqing, China.

Company Focus:

  • Chinese tea, direct-trade, and positive relationships between our suppliers, customers, and employees.

Most popular company tea(s)?

  • High-end Chinese green has traditionally been our most popular category going back for years now. We were the first American tea company to import Anji Baicha in 2007. At that time, the feeling in the industry was that Americans would never appreciate teas like this. We’re happy to have proved that false!

Does the company name have a meaning?

  • Seven Cups is a reference to a poem written by Tang Dynasty poet Lu Tong. The excerpt that the name comes from is translated below:
The first cup kisses away my thirst,
and my loneliness is quelled by the second.
The third gives insight worthy of ancient scrolls,
and the fourth exiles my troubles.
My body becomes lighter with the fifth,
and the sixth sends word from immortals.
But the seventh —oh the seventh cup— if I drink you,
a wind will hurry my wings toward the sacred island. 
LuTong (795-835A.D.) (translation by Christopher Nelson) 

Do you participate in any charities?

  • We’re a regular contributor to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and animal shelters supporting the work of Pima County Animal Care.

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea? 

  • Mogan Huangya is a little-known yellow tea that’s tremendously good. It’s sort of a sleeper-hit and a staff favorite here. We also like to drink the broken dust from rock wulong. These teas are prone to breakage in shipping, and we don’t want to sell broken leaf to our customers, but it’s too good to waste, so we keep it back for ourselves. Seven Cups owners, Austin and Zhuping, drink a lot of powerful steeps of yancha dust.

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • It’s important. Supply chains that effectively transfer information across their stakeholders are stronger, more sustainable, and more equitable because of it.

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • The answer depends on the person. Tea’s purely functional for some folks. It’s a hobby for lots of people, a health practice or a religious pursuit for others. Most people get a little bit of all these perks from it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Social Media:

Both siblings of the Red Robes come from the Wuyi Mountains, a UNESCO world heritage site.

TeaTiff Picks: Xiao Hong Pao (Little Red Robe). Move over Da Hong Pao your little sister has come! The main difference between the two is the aroma. This is great for those who love the taste of Da Hong Pao but find the aroma overwhelming. My mouth is just watering even thinking about!

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Published by teatiff

I'm a tea lover currently working on my tea specialist certification while juggling mom life.

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