Who Are We?

The Essence of Tea - founders

This page has been the hardest part of this website to write.

Firstly, we are tea lovers - a couple, David Collen and Yingxi Chen, who shared a wish to make good teas available to fellow tea lovers around the world.

We began in 2008 while living in China, moved to England for a few years, then moved to Malaysia in search of the perfect climate to age tea and to be in close proximity to the world of aged tea.  We currently have a warehouse for long term storage of teas in Malaysia and have a studio space in Kunming, China for meeting guests and drinking tea by appointment.  Your orders will also be shipped from here.

 Our aim with The Essence of Tea is to source and share good tea.

Our ideas of what makes a tea 'good' has changed over the years. I think it really boils down to satisfaction. A good tea has to really satisfy the drinker. There are many teas that display a Wow! factor. They provide a burst of flavour, aroma or sensation which excite the drinker, but fade leaving a feeling of absence. It is easy when approaching tea as a newcomer to be bowled over by this burst of excitement, but it becomes apparent when drinking the tea again and again that something is missing.

We hope some of our teas will have this wow factor, but moreover we hope all of our teas will also provide something more, something more substantial and long lasting.

A good tea has to satisfy. It should be thick and rich in the mouth and throat, it should be elegant and refined, comfortable for the body and mind. The flavours should linger and transform in the mouth, the sensations should pervade the body and mind, the effects of the tea should leave the drinker with a feeling of wellbeing and contentment.

This is good tea. This is the type of tea we want to make available and share with tea lovers and conoisseurs all over the world.