Here, our liaison to Xishuangbanna, Nina, coordinates our compressed tea productions with one Mr. Xiaohui Quan (pictured above). A longtime tea maker in the regions east of the Lancang river (home of the 6 “old” pu’er tea mountains), Xiaohui is a true master of the classic Yunnan styles—especially pu’er, which in his words is for “sharing with everyone, the best pu’er tea inherited from our ancestors; not just the rich and powerful”. He references the traditional act of “Gong Cha” (贡茶), or “Tribute Tea”, a practice dating back to the Qing dynasty of reserving the best pu’er teas for royalty. Today, he’s repurposed the phrase Gong Cha—now written as “共茶”, same pronunciation—with the first character meaning “share” instead of "tribute". We’ve partnered with a true visionary in Xishuangbanna: a master tea maker producing tea for the everyman.
The structure at Xindi is typical of Xishuangbanna. They operate as our “broker” of sorts, and handle the logistics from finished “mao cha”, or “raw tea” (finished tea that isn’t pressed into cakes), all the way through wrapping and shipping to us. We coordinate with Mr. Quan via Xindi to buy these very special teas, as they aren’t typically exported.
Xiaohui Quan—known as Quan De Ge, or "brother Quan" to those who work under him—has been producing tea in Xishuangbanna for 35 years. He's a master in every facet of old world Yunnan tea making, including the arts of pu'er blending, "wo dui", and land management.
He owns or leases some of the oldest tea gardens east of the Lancang river, and from them produces a quality of pu'er tea once available only to China's wealthiest buyers. Xiaohui's credo is to make these once-luxury teas accessible to everyone at under market value—a goal we share.