About TeaDB

TeaDB is a website and podcast started by friends and tea lovers James Schergen and Denny Chapin. James and Denny are business partners professionally, running websites in tea-unrelated industries (AllTreatment, TheraThink). We invite you to learn alongside us in our tea journeys! Format-wise, TeaDB consists of weekly tea tastings (on youtube) and biweekly articles. In our videos we taste and review a tea and discuss the vendor/tea while giving our personal recommendation. The articles are an attempt to extend the English-speaking tea literature available on the internet and largely consists of curation from disparate sources and less-covered practical topics.

Got a question!? Send us a tweet @teadb or an email to teadborg@gmail.com.

56 responses to “About TeaDB”

  1. Aloha guys, thanks for the great podcasts and education that you are putting out there. I am Elyse from Tealet, we are an online marketplace that connects independent tea growers with tea lovers. I would love to share some of our growers’ teas with you for your review. Please email me at elyse@tealet.com with an address if you would like some samples. I would also like to talk to you more about what we are trying to accomplish with Tealet.

  2. Hey guys, thanks a lot for your podcasts and articles. I am especially enjoying the compendiums.

    I was wondering if you have any recommendations for (or maybe you did some episodes on) late-evening tea. Tea that does not contain a lot of caffeine, especially if you are brewing it with cooler temperatures.

    Thanks. And sorry if this comment section was not the appropriate place to ask this sort of stuff.

    • Hey Danlil,

      No worries, feel free to comment or ask questions anywhere! Here’s a couple common late night choices:

      Hojicha (Japanese roasted stems) – This is a pretty typical Japanese nighttime drink. The stems and roasting both help to reduce the caffeine content. We talk about this briefly in the Green Tea Basics Episode.

      Huangpian – TwoDog has covered this really well: http://www.twodogteablog.com/2013/10/19/tea-for-bedtime/ . Basically the huge leaves in pu’erh.

      Both these teas are treated as casual drinks and can be acquired for inexpensive prices.

      Hope this helps!

  3. You guys are doing an awesome job. I’d be hard pressed to find a more relevant tea blog out there. You’re saving us tea freaks a ton of time and money by conducting all of this detailed research and having video reviews that are informative and actually worth watching. Keep up the good work!

  4. Love you compendiums and articles–have found them super helpful in learning about Wuyi and Puer.

    I don’t think I’ve seen you guys talk about water. Some of the blogs out there (teamasters, teahabitat) suggest that the mineral content and PH of water is super important. But there doesn’t seem to be much codified information about water. Teahabitat, for instance, says PH of 7.5 for DC, but then other DC blogs don’t mention it.

    All this leaves me wondering what I’m supposed to do. Some of the blogs have rather complicated systems: boil with this or that, in this or that pot, leave the water out in this or that kind of container for this many or that many days…

    I’m a pretty catholic tea drinker–Taiwanese, Wuyi, Japanese and Chinese green, some puer, dangcong. Sometimes I wonder if the DC, etc, doesn’t taste amazing because I’m using the wrong water.

    Would be very interesting to read your thoughts about water.

    • Hi teaNovice,

      Thanks for the comment and kind words!

      Frankly speaking, I’ve only done very basic tests on water and have nothing huge to report. Personally, I suspect that for those using tap water or filtered water, results can vary dramatically depending on the source. Denny and I are based in the Pacific Northwest of the US, a place known for its excellent quality water.

      I know some people will even switch up their kettle (tetsubin vs. ceramic) depending on the tea they are brewing. I’d checkout MarshalN, MattChas or Hobbes posts on water.

      Hope this helps!

  5. Hey guys,

    Just wanted to stop by and tell you thank you for producing such an incredible podcast and YouTube series.

    I sent you an email a few days ago regarding some samples I would like to send you. I work for a white tea specialist and me and my co-worker Ross both talked him into sending you some of his 100% organic grown white tea, red tea, and white tea wu-long free of charge. If you are interested please email me back.

    Again thank you guys for putting together such an intriguing podcast and YouTube series.

  6. Hi guys,

    Really enjoyed the videos and articles on this website, keep up the good work!

    Just wanted to introduce ourselves; We are a recently start-up tea website, Wymm Tea, specializing in Ancient Tree Pu-Erh. We are based in Kunming, China but currently reside in Vancouver, BC. We have plans to bring our family’s Pu-Erh business to North America and was hoping we could share some of our tea with you guys for reviews. Please let us know if you are interested and we could send some your way:)

    Best regards,
    Shane and Julie
    Wymm Tea

  7. Hi James and Denny,

    Greetings from Malaysia!

    Thank you so much for your great work on all your youtube videos and your articles in regards to tea. I enjoy and learn a lot from you two.

    I refer to your vendor list very closely and so far I have made purchases from Taiwan Tea Craft and Teavivre. Both of their service is top notch.

    However, I cannot say the same about Teacuppa. Their response to my email seems very uninterested. The information requested were not fully provided. I definitely will not buy from them.

    Anyway, keep up your great work! and cheers!!!

    • Hi!

      Thanks for the comment and kind words! Glad you’ve enjoyed Taiwan Tea Crafts and Teavivre.

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Teacuppa. Most of the information about them is a few years back and I haven’t actually ever ordered from them. Much appreciated.


  8. Hey guys,

    I own a (very) small tea company called Teature. Part of my mission is to educate people who are interested in/employed in serving tea. That being said, I love your series. The openness of the knowledge you’re putting out there rules. I would love to talk to you guys more about stuff. You can contact me anytime you’d like via my comment E-mail address.

  9. Hello you guys 🙂
    I´m Elias from germany. I love your videos and your website and of couse i love drinking good tea. 😉
    I have a kind of complicated question: I would love to try more different Pu Erh teas and decided to order from Yunnan Sourcing bc the shipping to germany is only 8 bucks and they seem to have very good and very cheap teacakes to try. (i´m a poor college student and will probaly only have arround 100 dollar to invest ). Can you give me some advice for good and cheap teacakes (preferably raw pu erh) so that i can taste some different teas and have a small stock to let them age? Unfortunately i can´t order some samples before ordering whole cakes because that would kill my bank account. :/
    I hope you can help me and wish you a wonderful teadrinking summer!
    Alles the best from germany,
    ps.: sorry for my bad english 🙁 i´m kind of lacking practice a bit ;)

    • Hi Elias,

      Thanks for the comment and sorry for the tardy response. Yunnan Sourcing definitely does well in the cheap, functional and surprisingly good category. I’ve heard of some people liking that Dehong Yesheng mini-cake, although I haven’t tried it myself. The 2002 Ailao also might be good for the money. Hope that helps some.

      Would recommend shooting Scott an email for some more advice/recs.


  10. Hey James and Denny,

    Hello from the San Juan Islands!

    I’ve just recently become interested in tea and i ran across your podcast. Great content you guys are producing. I’ve learned a lot from it.

    I’ve never purchased any pu-erh tea, but i really wanna try it. I’m very uncertain about what to buy though. What price point do you generally shoot for on Yunnan sourcing? Would you have any advise for new pu-erh drinkers?

    You may have released content that talks about this, but i haven’t gone through all your media yet.


    • Hi Nick,

      Thanks for the comment and kind words. Hope the islands are treating you well! I go up there perhaps every other year or so.

      I think with YS, you should sample a variety. Some people are perfectly satisfied at the lower-range, while others like something a little nicer. Scott is also very helpful for recommendations if you want to shoot them an email. If you buy from the .us site, it ships from Bend, Oregon and you’ll get the tea very quickly :).


  11. I’m new to your website and YouTube channel, but I think both are great. Thanks so much for all the great tea information! Question: any suggestions for a good source for teaware? I am especially looking for Japanese-style cups, pots, etc. I would be grateful for any recommendations. Again, thanks!

  12. Greetings Guys,

    Just a general note of thanks for putting together such an entertaining and informative resource. From a personal standpoint it has filled in some of the missing pieces in that having seen the gongfu tea as a child with my father and uncles but not understanding what exactly was going on, it has filled in the details as to what is going on in that particular tea experience. If you do not already know the 10-part history of tea on the attached link also helps to place Chinese tea in the context of world history and perhaps some of your other viewers might find rather informative as well and as it gives both the Chinese and English translation of terms and names it is a very good bridge between the two worlds.

    Thanks again,



  13. Greetings guys,

    Thanks very much to your jobs. Via your videos and articles, lots of people know much more about Chinese tea. I checked several videos, all the tea came from Sourthern China, such as Yunnan,Taiwan, Chongqing, etc. In fact, we also produce tea in Northern China, such as Laoshan tea, Rizhao tea. As far as I known, only two shops are selling Laoshan tea, one is of my friend, located in London. here is his website http://what-cha.com/. Because its low output, few people know, hope Laoshan tea and Rizhao tea could get approval in the near future. thanks

  14. I’ve just started an interest in better teas. I’ve had tea for years but it’s always been from cheap bags so it’s time to begin exploring the world of loose leaf tea. Thank you guys for what you do … it’s tremendously helpful for us noviices. Do you have any podcasts for people just starting out on the journey? You have so many podcasts that I am having trouble finding any that deal with getting started. Thanks!

  15. Hello guys!

    I really appreciate your website and video’s. Very informative, accessible to laymen but interesting enough for seasoned tea lovers nonetheless. Though tea is gaining popularity where I live, it’s very much viewed as a sort of weak watery drink for women or elderly people. That’s why it’s nice and refreshing to see two young modern men talking so knowledgeably, passionately and even unapologetically about quality tea.

  16. Hey TeaDB!
    I was wondering where the best place to buy a gaiwan online is? I’m looking for one $15 or less. Thanks!

    • Kelsey, check out YunnanSourcing.com, or yunnansourcing.us if you’re in the US. Scott’s got a good variety of tea and teaware for very reasonable prices.

  17. Tea Drinking Bros,

    Thanks for producing TDB and sharing your passion for tea. I’ve greatly enjoyed your videos, posts, and especially appreciate your the fun and honest approach to learning about the pleasures of tea. I’ve learned a great deal and I’ve had fun doing it. Thanks again. Drink well (slurp on!).


    PS. With your help, my interest in tea has expanded to the history. I recently read ‘For All the Tea in China’ by Sarah Rose, and per recommendation, I am reading ‘The Great Tea Venture’ by J.M. Scott, both very good books. The latter one is very broad and informative history, filled with interesting stories from around the world, plus quotes and poetry. Great stuff.

  18. Hi Denny and James,

    Many thanks for you videos they have changed my Tea Experience around for the better! I drink tea all day the correct way now as a result of your informative videos.
    Just got to this website this week, a treasure chest of info. Question on seeing Vendors here. But what do you think of Amazing-Green-Tea.com? I’ve got some great stuff from them. MeiLeaf.com I have not ordered with yet, but his offerings are outstanding.
    Making a fall list to include your recommendations with YunanSourcing.
    Thanks again.

    • Glad you’re enjoying the videos. I can recommend Yunnan Sourcing as a great place to buy from, although I’d caution you with MeiLeaf, especially with their pu’erh. They have some problematic claims and you can find posts by other vendors and steepster about it. Might be wise to read up before ordering.

      I don’t know much about amazing-green-tea.com .

      Hope that helps.


      • James, Thanks for you input. Will read up on MeiLeaf claims.
        Making the Yunnan Sourcing list now.

  19. Hi James and Denny,

    Thanks for sharing your videos on Youtube. It’s nice to see some down to earth reviews and the latest video about the speed test is such a good point about drinking tea.

    In my opinion, quality Yiwu puers are the easiest to drink on a daily basis although it can be pricey compared to the alternatives. I’d be interested in your views about the teas that I stock as I exclusively focus on our family Yiwu teas. I’d be happy to share a few samples if you’re interested.

    • Hi Philip,

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m also a big fan of Yiwu teas and they tend to be consumed comparatively quickly.

      If you want to connect, shoot us an email on the about page.


  20. Hey dudes,

    I have some black tea that I would like to send your way for tasting. I have Yunnan Sourcing’s Drunk on Red 2014 with chrysanthemum buds and 2013 years. Would you be interested in tasting this? If not just tell me no and no hard feelings. I like this tea a lot but am also pretty new to the tea world. Love all the videos on youtube. Keep up the good work.



  21. Do you have a newsletter or a subscription to your articles? I couldn’t find that (but then again I’m using the mobile site)

  22. hi,James & Denny
    I’m AprTea’s sylva,We sincerely invite you to taste our carefully selected samples of Chinese tea for free.I have sent you an email, please check.

  23. Hello,
    Firstly, I thoroughly enjoy your Youtube videos. For many years I have been a green tea drinker. In the last year I have expanded into puerh (sheng) and Taiwan oolongs.
    Now I have sort of lost my taste for green tea. My first love Verdant Laoshan GT I find flat. But, I have been enjoying greatly Anji Bai Cha very, very much. It could be my daily drinker if I wanted to drink GT exclusively. A tea shop in Tucson, Seven Cups offers 2 options/pickings for Anji Bai Cha, Yu Qian & Ming Qian. The Ming qian is significantly more expensive. I’m not a strong taster but I feel the Ming does have a special but subtle quality that I prefer (unfortunately).
    I would suggest that you sample this tea, preferably both pickings from Seven Cups.
    I’ve checked out other vendors regarding this tea and they only one option, without identifying whether it is the Yu or Ming. It is a light very satisfying tea.

  24. Hi James,
    I have bought from several of the Vendors you have on this list. I really like Floating leaves. Teavivre is just ok. You have done quite a few episodes with Taiwan Sourcing. I’m surprised they are not on your list of vendors. Thinking of placing an order. They have some interesting stuff. They still have some spring 2015’s. They seem kind of pricey. Is that why they are not on your list? I know most of his episodes are Pu’er tea. I am looking to purchase all Oolongs. Not sure I want to spend the money. Any advice?

    • I have purchased from them lately and have found their quality to be outstanding and their customer service impeccable. I would highly recommend them. They have a huge variety of teas.

  25. Hello Teadb

    I am a huge fan of your blog and i am a crazy tea lover, i watched you video introduce many teas, very amazing.

    Can we make friend?

    I love drink dancong tea (ya shi flavor) from chaozhou, do you try it before, if not, i can sent you some of this tea to you as gift. Hope you will like it.


  26. I do not know iff it’s juwt me or if perhaps everybody else experiencong issues
    with your blog. It appears as if some of the text on your content
    are running off thee screen. Cann someone else please comment
    and let me know iif this is happening too them too?
    This may be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Thank you

  27. Hey guys. This is a non-tea related thing, love the videos by the way, but Denny should have the background image of the group of people removed from the home page of the TheraThink website. I say this because that is not TheraThink team, that is a photo of the WooThemes team / WordPress developers. In fact, I know one of the people standing in the group on the right hand side, his name is Chris Van Patten.

    Keep making good videos. I learn new things and discover new teas all the time because of them. Thanks!

  28. Hi there James!

    This is Arby, the tea-head who sent you and Denny the Simple Syrup water. I have a new flagship water recipe called Untitled and I think you’ll absolutely love it. Are you interested in reviewing it? Take a look at the website here for more info: https://empiricalwater.com/products/untitled

    Please let me know, thanks!

  29. Hi James,
    I just found your YouTube videos and have watched 3-4.
    In one I noticed that you are based in Seattle.
    The wife and I just moved to Olympia a few months ago.
    About a year ago I started to explore the vast world of premium Chinese teas.
    Which is to say better loose leaf teas, and Pu-erh teas. Rather than store bought tea bags of twigs, sticks and shredded leaves.

    I was wondering if you have any experience or recommendations on any of the local tea shops in the Seattle metro area?
    Especially any that would be good for visiting for a sit down tasting and sampling session.
    We do not plan on going into the Seattle area if we can avoid it.
    The one trip we took a couple of weeks ago took 2 1/2 hours to get back to Olympia. Not a fun drive home that evening.
    Still, if the wife and I ever have plans to visit the Seattle area I would love to plan a side trip to a tea shop or two. And we look forward to finding a good Chinese restaurant in the area too! FYI, Olympia is a waste land for good Chinese regional food, and we like most of region types.
    Being from from the SF bay area I guess we are rather spoiled in regards to food, and tea shops.

    Tea shops in Olympia? Dream on.
    Cantonese style food?
    Fujian food?
    Hunan food?
    Szechuan style food?
    Taiwanese food?
    Any of these available in Olympia? NOT A CHANCE?

    So we look towards Seattle with hope of finding a good tea shop or two to try some teas before committing to buying 50g/100g or more of any one tea.


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