If I told you that if you that steeping tea bags in a cup of boiling hot tap water every morning was the wrong way to brew tea, would you care? Well, after a sip of tea from the tea experts of Valley Brook Tea, I can guarantee that one cup from them will forever change the way you think about tea and how it's made.
Yunhan Zhang, the owner of Valley Brook Tea, explains how the business is more than just another tea shop. “In the US, our tea store will be the first of its kind,” says Zhang. “At Valley Brook Tea, you can truly enjoy an authentic farm-to-table, high quality cup of tea. There is no sourcing or suppliers involved. Every tea product comes directly from our tea mountain fields in China.”
You read that right - Valley Brook Tea started as a wholesale tea producer, and the company owns everything from the source. Valley Brook produces both its own tea and teaware. To maintain consistency over the quality of their products, they own the land, tea mountains, tea plants, processing facilities, teaware factories, the design studio, the packaging center, and even - the water company.
That’s because the quality and temperature of water are an essential part of making a great cup of tea. Zhang explains that good teas shouldn’t be steeped (except green tea). Plus, tea at different temperatures will display different characteristics. Whether you want to leave the water technicalities to the experts or decide to take a few minutes to talk to the staff and learn more about how to correctly steep tea, Valley Brook Tea is the right place to go. That way, the next time you have friends over, you can school them on how most American’s have been taught to make lackluster tea.
After months of renovation and preparation, Valley Brook Tea is open in Dupont Circle, with it being the first Valley Brook Tea retail location in the United States. The store, which was previously a Starbucks, has a clean and simplistic Chinese design, that is stylish, yet comfortable. The store is perfect for either a quick tea before work, or an informal work meeting in their upstairs or downstairs seating area. “We’re also very proud that we made our own supplies, decorations, and furniture for our Dupont store,” says Zhang while his wife skillfully makes a cup of tea. “By creating everything ourselves, we hope to bring the most authentic tea experience to DC.”
The store will provide free & advanced tea classes, where you can learn more about the use of authentic teaware (such as Gaiwan), the history of tea, and Valley Brook Tea’s amazing tea-making techniques and procedures.
● Tea (Duh!)
● Being Able to Watch the Tea Making Experience