While we are all facing the shock and unprecedented times related to the pandemic of Covid-19, we wanted to send out our thoughts to you and your family and wish each of you safety and well-being. We’d also wanted to update you on how we are addressing the pandemic as well as the 2020 spring harvest in China.
Our Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic
At Meimei Fine Teas, we are proud to take responsibility for sourcing high quality naturally grown teas to ensure our customers have a great tea experience, and your health and enjoyment of our teas are our top priority.
- We have been closely following the outbreak in China since January and have communicated with our farmers and producers regularly. Per my contacts in China, they are safe and healthy, and things there have been mostly back to normal in recent weeks.
- We have always taken controlled sanitary measures with our inventory and when fulfilling your orders. We wear protective clothing, such as smocks, masks and gloves while on the job and will continue to do so.
- We have been practicing social distancing and increased cleaning procedures according to CDC and in accordance with WHO recommendations.
- We will continue to buy our regular quality teas for the 2020 harvest from our established producers. As some of you may know, I have been going on tea sourcing trips annually since 2014 and would typically spend a couple of months during the harvest season to monitor and secure the desired crop of high-quality tea. Due to the outbreak and the cessation of flights between US and China, I have delayed my travel plans for this year's spring sourcing trip. If you are interested in our sourcing philosophy, please click below to read our blogs.
- As the logistics and supply chain undergo an interruption and activities slow, we will do our best to navigate through. We will make announcements when new teas arrive, most likely in May or June. Just a friendly reminder, unlike some international tea retailers shipping from China, we are a US-based, home-grown business. We ship directly from Virginia, and you will receive your orders quickly.
The 2020 Spring Harvest is Under Way
During China's outbreak of the virus, the tea regions in even the remotest villages were locked down and no cases have been reported in the tea areas where we source our teas. As far as I know, the tea villages are still very protected, and in some areas outsiders need to have a “green pass” (government approved virus-free status) in order to enter into the tea villages. However, out of an abundance of caution, we currently have no plans to source Enshi Jade Dew green tea for the 2020 spring harvest since this tea is from Hubei province, even though it is in rural high mountain areas. We will continue observing the situation, and we may source a small quantity of this tea when the situation clears up, in order to support the tea farmers affected by the outbreak.
We are happy to know that some tea regions have already started harvesting. Here are a few for your reference. For our popular dragon well green tea produced outside of Hangzhou, batches of #43 Dragon well (the most common and widespread varietal) have already been produced. We only source the local varietal Tu Cha or Qunti Zhong which is at higher elevation and yields better flavor, though currently about two weeks behind.
In Fuding county where our Fuding white tea comes from, the first batches of Silver Needles have already been processed (see the picture below).
The Puerh tea regions in Yunnan province are having another year of drought, and the tea leaves in the high mountain area where our ancient tree puerh tea comes from are struggling to sprout, resulting in about a 2-3 week delay as compared to plantation puerh teas (please see picture below). Just so you know, we don't source plantation puerh teas.
As a premium specialty tea retailer, we will continue to make our best effort to source the highest quality Chinese tea, and to meet and exceed your expectations, even during these challenging times. Tea is our passion and we continue to invest in tea and the lifestyle we love so much.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will make it through this and the best yet to come! Hope you all stay healthy and safe!
Founder, Meimei Fine Teas