It came from the East. This tea like no other – complex, nuanced, sometimes difficult but always rewarding – Pu’er. And like many lovers of Pu’er tea, my family’s introduction to this famed tea occurred purely by happenstance. On a trip to China and Hong Kong about 35 years ago, my mother-in-law, a tea enthusiast, was introduced to Pu’er by her fellow travellers who were tea aficionados. She was seduced by the multi-layered flavours, tastes, and aromas of this fascinating brew but it was Pu’er’s medicinal benefits that sealed the deal. So legendary are the curative qualities of Pu’er that it has been popular in many countries, including the pharmacies in France since the 70’s and French hospitals have documented its efficacy. As my mother-in-law started drinking the tea to regulate her cholesterol levels, she started procuring top quality Pu’er of various vintages to add to her burgeoning collection – many which were rare and one-of-a-kind. Her love for the tea also deepened as she found that Pu’er changes in its taste, colouring and consistency over time and she delighted in observing her tea collection develop. Being based in Malaysia, she discovered first-hand that tea stored in the humid Malaysian heat matures differently and creates a better taste and experience compared to the same tea stored elsewhere.
Over the years, my mother-in-law’s formidable tea collection has become our family legacy and the collection has been curated as such – with only the best quality Pu’er teas featuring a wide variety of different vintages and different blends within those vintages. All these teas have also had the benefit of being stored in Malaysia, which is now recognized by tea connoisseurs as having the most ideal conditions in the world to store Pu’er. Apart from enjoying this treasure as a family, we began sharing our Pu’er collection with friends and families as gifts. In Chinese society, gifts are perceived as a measure of respect as such when a gift of precious tea is presented this conveys great prestige to the receiver as well as the giver.
In 2015, we founded TEASPEC as a way of introducing tea enthusiasts to the world of Pu’er and other Chinese teas. From the start, we wanted not only to be advocates of these wondrous elixirs but also to educate neophytes on how to properly handle, brew and store the teas to get the most enjoyment out of it. We chose the name TEASPEC because we hold our teas to a higher quality and level of craftsmanship. The SPEC suffix is derived from the word specification to denote the precise classification of our teas and TEASPEC’s desire to set the standard for Pu’er and Chinese tea. TEASPEC would like to help the uninitiated navigate unfamiliar waters with complete confidence by offering only genuine Pu’er of the best quality. This is our way of honouring our prized Pu’er which is not meant to be simply drunk, but to be part of an experience shared with friends and loved ones. Like fine wine, we envision connoisseurs savouring the tastes, notes and aromas that Pu’er tea has to offer. Each of our teas has a beguiling tale to tell – a history and provenance. We want to spread these stories and acquaint the world with reliable information and products so that they appreciate the quality of our teas and understand the passion we have for it.
We are avid collectors and advocates of Pu’er tea first and foremost, and as such, have a profoundly personal relationship with our products. Our teas are aged in Malaysia; it is widely acknowledged today that tea stored here is more sought after by tea experts worldwide than those stored in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan. And because our aging process is conducted under this most ideal of natural environments, TEASPEC teas have matured similarly to an older vintage and boast the associated robustness and complexity. Our story is decades in the making and we have learned that age, though it manifests in many forms, has a character all its own. You’ll know it when you taste it; you’re drinking time. We hope you enjoy your time with TEASPEC.
Founder of TEASPEC