In Spring 2015 we launched Dachi Tea Co. on Kickstarter, delivering premium-grade, direct-trade high mountain tea from Taiwan to tea enthusiasts in 27 countries. Emboldened by the overwhelmingly positive feedback, we spent the next 18 months getting acquainted with the nuances of tea cultures from countries outside Taiwan, including China, Japan, India, and more. We soon learned two things:
- When it comes to craftsmanship, transparency, safety, and value, the Taiwanese tea industry is the most consistent of all.
- Quality requires an excruciating attention to detail, one that we would rather invest in a single tea-making region than spread thin over multiple.
When Kickstarter approached us to design an even better version of our first campaign, the idea for Kickstarter Gold came in an instant. An Encyclopedic Approach to Tea is a campaign that’s about depth, not breadth—exclusively the finest tea from Taiwan, no corners cut, no stone left unturned. It’s a thorough introduction to Taiwanese tea with as much of the detail, color, and humanity as the mind and camera can capture.
We’ve selected nine teas from our newly-sourced collection of eighteen Taiwanese teas to show you the breadth of taste in Taiwanese tea.
This nine-tea collection will include three of the island’s finest competition-grade teas, as well as six premium-grade teas that represent the diversity of Taiwan’s tea culture: indulgence at its finest.
Each tea will be accompanied by a 90-second “Meet the Maker” video, as well as a “How to Brew” video tutorial showing you how to extract the best flavor from your tea.
Our print magazine will include encyclopedic notes on the taste, tradition, and terroir of each of the nine teas; photoessays and travelogues; how-to guides for both the beginner drinker and aspiring tea sommelier; stories from the field; and long-form explorations of Taiwanese culture.
We’ve been excited to get moving on a print magazine since the inception of Dachi Tea Co., but a commitment to producing rigorously researched, original editorial is not one to be taken lightly. We have a bilingual editorial team ready to go and a network of industry contacts to interview. All we need now is your help to make it happen.
To complete the experience, we’ve partnered with Taiwanese designers Toast Living to bring their “Made In Taiwan” line of teaware to our customers in the US and the rest of the world. The line employs a contemporary aesthetic while respecting the traditions of tea-brewing, offering products that are at once beautiful and pragmatic.
The perfect companion for focused or creative work, this all-in-one brewing kit offers all of the convenience and flexibility of a traditional tea set while still allowing for a disciplined brew.
By combining white porcelain with a woodgrain imprint, Toast Living has referenced two classic materials in this tea set, ideal for preparing tea for yourself and a guest. Includes a 650ml porcelain teapot with a stainless steel strainer, as well as two 220ml porcelain cups.
Prior to meeting with any makers, we taste each tea ourselves, consulting with expert sommeliers to filter out the less-polished offerings. Only when we find a tea that we truly like do we start the process of adding it to our collection.
From identifying the best soil for growing different tea varietals to specifying the temperature to roast each batch of leaves, tea production is a multi-step process with variables at every stage. Fine-tuning these variables requires the expert hand of an artisan.
Our esteemed makers have been refining their craft for years. Their tea reveals an attention to detail that simply cannot be replicated by large-scale operations.
It would be easy to gather teas from a region and collectively label them as “single-origin,” but we’ve taken pains to source every one of our teas from a single, particularly high-performing farm. The tea you get is as pure a representation of the signature taste of each tea-making region in Taiwan as possible.
We source our teas after countless trips to the mountains visiting tea farms, attending local tea competitions, and building relationships face to face, one at a time. No middlemen or intermediaries are involved; in this way, we can guarantee that what you get is what we’ve tasted and found exceptionally delicious.
For the inexperienced, loose-leaf tea can prove difficult to prepare. We demystify the process with comprehensive tutorials so you understand not only how to brew your tea, but also why. Additionally, our tasting notes give you a guide to the flavors and textures you can expect.
We also believe that learning about a tea’s origins is essential to appreciating it. By providing a closer look at the makers, traditions, and experiences that surround tea, we hope you’ll come to see not just a product, but the culmination of many hours of labor and love.
All of our teas are independently tested to ensure that there are no traces of pesticides. Our packing factory is ISO-certified to ensure a safe and clean environment for handling the tea.
In the spring of 2014, Nick (US) and Simon (UK) teamed up with local creative Ta Yang (Taiwan), hired a 4x4, and set off on a tea-seeking expedition, venturing to some of the most remote reaches of Taiwan to get the good stuff, just as it was coming down the hill.
What started as a simple desire to purchase the island’s finest tea for an affordable price turned into a project to curate a collection of four high mountain oolongs to share with friends and family. Today, we’re opening an office in Providence, RI, to complement our Taipei base.
Risks and challenges
—Packaging design: design is subject to minor changes.
—Video/editorial delays: scheduling issues with our video subjects may arise.
—Delays due to customs: most of our product will be shipped to our warehouse in the US for domestic distribution. Occasionally, our bulk imports are held at customs for 10-14 days, causing delays. For backer rewards destined for all other countries, we'll use international shipping services from Taiwan. On some rare occasions, shipments will be held for 10-14 days by customs before being allowed through.
—Teaware breakage: should this occur, send us a picture of the item exactly as it was received, and we'll ship another one!
- (30 days)