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  • What's the difference between Shou and Sheng Pu-erh?
    Time! Well, simply put, anyway. It's the time it takes and the process in which the tea is aged for consumption.
  • Do you have more teas available than are listed on the website?
    Yes! Call us at 831.423.4200 to see what might suit your needs. If we are unavailable, leave a callback number and we will return your call.
  • Why don't you have more teas other than pu-erh?
    We do offer a limited handpicked selection of fine green and black teas, but we have grown to specialize mainly in pu-erh teas. We can special order some other teas for you, though at larger amounts. Please call us at 831.423.4200 for more information or to see what other green and black teas may be available for purchase in-store.
  • How do I steep this tea?
    Great question! Our teas can be steeped with multiple, short infusions that allow the tea to be enjoyed for long periods of time. Our pu-erh, especially, affords itself well to gung-fu style tea, meaning small tea pot and small amount of tea for precision steeping of only a couple seconds; but if you have a large tea pot or a tea ball/strainer you prefer to use, we still suggest smaller amounts of water and removing the tea from the water very quickly. Another method is bowl tea, wherein a small chunk of tea is added to a small bowl or mug and hot water added over and over again to keep the mug full, never drinking it all, but always leaving a small amount of "concentrate" at the bottom. For pu-erh, it does well with a full rolling boil. For black tea, just off the boil. For our greens, they are forgiving, but might do best around 180. We ALWAYS encourage experimentation.
  • Are you open?
    Yes! Our current hours are Wednesday-Sunday 2pm-8pm for retail, casual patio seating, and inside gung-fu tea service. Please call us with any questions. 831.423.4200
  • Where are you located?
    We're in downtown Santa Cruz! Technically, we have a Pacific Avenue address, but you may wonder why our storefront can't be seen walking down Pacific. That's because we are in the lovely, private little Plaza Lane alley that affords us much tranquility and ample courtyard space. If you are headed south down Pacific Avenue, we are to your right, across the street from Zoccoli's Deli, in between Barceloneta and Plaza Lane Optometry. You'll see a big mural. If you're near Bookshop Santa Cruz, you're close by! Just a little further north and across the street. For nearby parking, we suggest the Locust St. Garage or streets nearby.
  • Your operations seem archaic, why?
    Yes, we do operate a little unusually in this modern market! We are a digital-free teahouse and tend to live with as little technology as possible within the scope of the teahouse. We like to uphold human connection over technological convenience and can often seem outdated or slow because of this. However, we assure you that everything we do is done with care and the utmost integrity to our patrons. We love connecting with our customers and will go above and beyond to care for you. If we can aid in selection of tea or teaware or can answer any questions you don't see here, you can always give us a call at 831.423.4200. It's very likely you will talk directly to the owner himself.
  • Has my order shipped?
    We do not work with a dedicated shipping company and instead pack all orders by hand. Our dedicated crew attempts to get all orders out in a timely fashion, but if you have not received a notification of shipment please be patient. If it has been more than 7 business days, please feel free to drop us a line. We do apologize for any inconvenience our shipping times may cause. If you are local, we suggest in-store pickup to reduce the time it takes to get your product.
  • Why don't you offer free shipping?
    At this time, shipping costs are such that it is not feasible for us to offer free or discounted shipping. We are in the process of finding a way in which we might offer this in the future, but for now the time, supplies, and postage are just too costly to offer anything else. If you are local, we always encourage you to visit in person. We do all we can to make the in-store experience comfortable and easy. Call us for more information at 831.423.4200.
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