About Us

We carry tea mostly from Taiwan. The varieties of tea will change from time to time according to each season's condition and final product.

We named our store Luh Yu as a tribute to the man who best personified the art of tea tasting and brewing. Best known for his comprehensive book on tea, Luh Yu was a man in China during the Tang Dynasty era, more than a thousand years ago from now. He became an orphan at the age of three when his parents abandoned him at a lakeside. Luckily, he was adopted by a Buddhist monk and raised to manhood in a monastery. Thus, he grew up in an environment surrounded by Buddhist monks and Zen meditation. Tea was widely drunk by the monks and therefore, he picked up the lifestyle of tea drinking while he was growing up. Later on, Luh Yu began a life-long quest in search of the best tea as well as various brewing methods and tools. His compiled his findings into a book called Cha Chin, literally means tea bible. It contains valuable information on tea and is still highly regarded by today's standard.

Strives to carry on the legacy of Luh Yu, Luh Yu Tea Emporium is founded in December of 2004 to serve that mission. We believe that a gourmet loose tea has to pass three stringent criteria: aroma, taste and appearance. All of our tea has no additives and no sugar. Our floral tea is made from baking tea and flower petals together. We never add floral flavorings or concentrates to the tea. We also do not add additives to make our tea acquiring a sweet aftertaste. Do not assume that all loose tea is made equal. A small bag of superior grade can last a lot longer than a giant can of inferior grade tea. In tea contests where tea growers submit their tea samples to judges, the protocol is as such: place 3 grams of tea sample in 150 cc of hot water for 5 minutes. Then sip. The strengths and weaknesses of this tea will show readily in this testing.
  • Aroma: The tea leaves are not supposed to smell like your freshly-mown lawn when brewed. If it smells too grassy, then the tea has not been processed properly or just poorly made. Take a sniff at the brewed leaves. Does it smell sweet or floral? Upon brewing, tea's aroma should smell nice and appealing, but not necessarily strong if it is lightly oxidized or lightly baked.
  • Taste: Even after five or six brews, the tea continues to yield taste, although the taste may not be as strong as the initial four brews. If the tea yields eight brews or more, then it has proven its superiority. Ideally, a good tea should have a sweet aftertaste, but not the sugary type of sweetness. After sipping, it is normal to salivate from the throat area or from the chin areas. Unflavored tea should yield sweet aftertaste that lingers for a long time even after you stopped drinking. Some bitterness in tea is acceptable. Usually, you get the same level of sweet aftertaste as you get from the bitterness. But if that bitterness is unbearable, then that can mean one or more of the following reasons:
    1. You placed too much tea leaves in the pot
    2. Was not brewed properly (i.e. water temperature was too high, steeping time was too long, etc.)
      Note: Low quality loose tea is usually bland and therefore, it rarely yields strong taste at all so bitterness is usually not a problem.
  • Appearance: Dry tea cannot give a reliable indication of quality because some tea varieties are rolled or curled. Nevertheless, there are clues you can look for. In the same batch, dry tea is supposed to be consistent in its color, shape and size. Green tea should appear green, not brown or orange. Black tea should be dark reddish color. Semi-fermented tea should be dark green. Upon brewing, the tea should yield liquor that matches its variety hue. Before you throw the brewed leaves away, take a look at them. Are the leaves wholesome and unbroken? Ever wondered how are the leaves picked? By hand? Or by machine? First round of picking? Or subsequent rounds? Some shredded leaves are acceptable because sometimes leaves are torn during the processing. However, if all of the leaves look as if they have been chopped randomly, then the tea is not handpicked but rather machine chopped. Green tea, yellow tea and white tea should have young and tender leaves. Semi-fermented tea leaves are picked at a more mature growth stage so the leaves should appear wholesome and large. High-mountain tea leaves are always thicker than lowland tea leaves.
Copyright © 2004-2009 Luh Yu Tea Emporium, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Luh Yu Tea Emporium is a member of the Specialty Tea Institute.