How We Started

My name is Jinny. I began Taiwan Tea Connection with a simple and focused mission - introduce premium Taiwan oolong tea to my community and fellow tea drinkers in the United States. Taiwan Tea Connection is based in beautiful Bellingham in the state of Washington.

Even though Taiwan oolong can be found in specialty tea stores, the selection is often limited, a small subset of a wide range of teas sourced from all over the world. For this reason, Taiwan's premium oolong tea still remains a HIDDEN TREASURE. There are many types of oolong, and within each category there is great depth waiting to be explored. Taiwan's artisan tea makers are amazing at their craft. Their skills, passed down over generations, are continuously honed by nationwide tea competitions, fellow competitors, and demanding Taiwanese tea drinkers. 

Before starting Taiwan Tea Connection, Taiwan's premium oolong tea was a HIDDEN TREASURE to me. Even though tea was a part of my everyday life when I grew up in Taiwan, I never felt the urge to find out more about it. Later I was fortunate enough to travel and live in different countries, including Japan for four years. There I drank lots of Japanese teas, hot and cold. Still tea did not "touch" me. My favorite tea then was Earl Grey, served with cream and sugar. But without hesitation, I would tell anyone that I was a coffee person, later converted by Starbucks to drinking latte.

HOWEVER, in recent years, finding out about Taiwan tea really opened my eyes (and my senses). The premium oolong teas I tried at specialty tea shops all tasted so exquisite! I kept wondering "where were you all my life?" When I visited the tea regions in Lugu, AliShan, and PingLin, I was constantly struck by Taiwan's beauty. Tea farms nestled against mountain slopes, ever-changing cloud and mists, mountain ranges that continued endlessly into the horizon - surely such beautiful environments would nurture the perfect tea leaves.

Most of all, I was impressed by how people in Taiwan connected through tea. Buying tea in Taiwan is not an impersonal experience. You sit down as you are invited to try various teas. While the tea is brewing over various steeping, you chat and talk about tea, family, work, life in general. Sometimes you are joined by other visitors. The process can take anywhere from an hour to an entire afternoon.      

Building relationships, communicating through local dialects, keeping an open-mind and heart ... I believe these are the key elements needed to find truly wonderful Taiwan teas at its local origins. Likewise, to connect Taiwan's oolong teas to our local tea drinkers, I believe these same key elements are also needed. We will strive to understand your preferences and concerns, and together we will find the taste(s) that you truly enjoy!