Siam Tea Blog

Siam Tea Blog

Welcome to the Siam Teas Blog. The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to the world surrounding the cultivation of Tea in Thailand, specifically an emerging culture that has been developing in the mountain community of Doi Mae Salong, located in Northern Thailand.

Siam Tea Blog is about a lot more than just the history of tea cultivation in the high mountainous areas of Northern Thailand, one of the world’s most picturesque and enchanting regions, it is also a story about people, and how tea is a part of their daily lives, and the story of the establishment and development of the Chinese communities of Doi Mae Salong and Doi Wawee, which is chronicled in our articles

Journey to Doi Mae Salong

and Doi Wawee

For another part this blog deals with the tea and general culture of the various mountain tribes, which emigrated to Northern Thailand via China, and particularly with the ethnic Shan people inhabiting the Northern Thai/Burmese border region, who look back on a tradition of tea cultivation and processing that reaches way back in history.

One of the Shan’s centres of tea cultivation on the Thai side is the village of Pang Kham. More about the dark local tea grown there, region and people offers my well-illustrated article

Phang Kahm: Tea Village in No-Man’s-Land

Rooted in the same context is our “Project ShanTea”. The Project ShanTea is a concept for the provision of a sales market for small Shan tea farmers along the Northern Thai/Burmese border as well as for the generation of financial means to support refugees from Burma lacking any economic basis in Thailand. 20% of the sales price of Shan Tea, a dark, savory tea harvested and processed by the villagers of Pang Kham from up to several hundred years old tea trees, are channeled back to the refugee relief. 10% go to the German refugee aid organization

Help without Frontiers

More details about the project as well as the resulting tea can be found in my article

Project Shan Tea

A general overview of the origins of tea cultivation in China and its spread over Asia and further to Europe and other parts of the world gives my feature article

The History of Tea

While tea cultivation in Thailand looks back on a long-reaching tradition only with the mountain tribes native to the north of the country, particularly Green Teas and Oolong Teas have been enjoying growing both national and international popularity during the past few years. You will find more detailed information about the still young history and present situation and scope of Thai tea cultivation in our article

Tea Cultivation in Thailand

The mountains of Northern Thailand, due to their climate, height and landscape characteristics, are particularly well suited to the cultivation requirements of the tea plants grown here, which were mainly imported from Taiwan originally. For more than a decade now, an increasingly vivid tea culture and tea cultivation develops particularly in the region of Doi Mae Salong, coined by its Chinese population, in the higher regions of Doi Chang and in the border region to Burma, mainly inhibited by ethnic Shan and hilltribe people.

During recent years, small to medium tea plantations are becoming a more and more frequent sight of the scenery in other areas of Northern Thailand as well, wherever height (over 1200m) and conditions fit the requirements.

A shorter summary of the development of Tea cultivation in Northern Thailand offers my feature article

“Tea Cultivation in Northern Thailand – History and Development”

Teas from Northern Thailand: Close-ups collage

Another overview, this one with focus on Doi Mae Salong, offers my article

Doi Mae Salong – Center of Tea Cultivation in Northern Thailand

Doi Mae Salong, Center of Tea Cultivation in Northern Thailand, collage

A comprehensive overview of the teas grown in Thailand and their respective cultivation areas is provided in my article

Teas from Thailand

Please meet Mrs. Letha Hadady, one of the US’ leading capacities on Traditional Chinese Medicine and author of a series of renowned boods on natural healing resources and philosophy! Her book “Asian Health Secrets”, outlining the millenium-old knowledge and wisdom of the Chinese culture has fundamentally changed the way we are looking at deseases and healing processes.

Letha has reflected on Teas from Northern Thailand, and honored Siam Teas, which I take as one of the largest compliments I ever received, in several of her articles and blog posts. Read all about it in our blog post

Letha Hadady’s Asian Health Secrets

Letha Hadady: Asian Health Secrets, Collage

Whoever engages with tea will soon realize that even the finest nuances in parameters like water temperature and infusion period in the preparation process will make a significant difference to the taste, effect and appearace result of a tea. This science, or even philosophy, for that matter, is brought to perfection in the Chinese Tea Ceremony, Gong Fu Cha, where every aspect of tea preparation is addressed in detail, and a broad range of tools is used to bring every litte aspect of the ritual tea preparation to perfection and aid hobby tea lovers and tea masters alike with each step of the preparation process. We’ve been digging deep into the details of ths and have prepared a vivid visualization in form of a nice little video in our article

Tea Preparation / Tea Ceremony

Tea accessories, tea instruments, around the Tea Ceremony, Collage

Another very fundamental knowledge area in the realm of tea is the cultivation and processing of the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. This is, besides a detailed written exploration, vividly illustrated by a video in our article

Tea Processing

Tea and Tea Garden profiles, Tea Cultivation at Doi Mae Salong, Thailand,collage

In September and October 2012, we explored the Royal Thai Development Project on Doi Tung, north Thailand, and its key role in laying the basis and initiating larger scale tea cultivation in north Thailand. Apart from this eventually leading to us adding Ruan Zhi Oolong Nr. 17 and Jin Xuan Oolong Nr. 12 in their Doi Tung versions to our tea portfolio, our research into tea cultivation and production on Doi Tung also lead to a series of articles on the subject matter. The first feature article in the Doi Tung series is

“How Poppy Fields Turned Tea Gardens – The Royal Development Project”

2 leaves and one bud: tea leaves in a tea garden at Ban Si Phan Rai, Doi Tung

Rather known as somebody, who talks a lot whenever asked, and even sometimes, when not asked at all, it is a great experience, if somebody comes along and cuts your stuff down to what you really had to say (correcting and bettering my somewhat humble English in the process, too). Janis Badarau, a tea-dedicated author and columnist, only recently did just that in a feature on the English Tea Store Blog, this providing an excellent summary not only of the becoming of SiamTeas, but also of the backgrounds of tea cultivation in north Thailand:

SiamTeas founder Thomas Kasper sticking out of a Doi Tung tea garden
SiamTea’s offer, consisting of a range of Thai Green Teas, Oolong Teas, and Black Teas, naturally scented Thai Teas such as Jasmin Flower Tea, Oolong Ginseng Tea, the Chinese “Immortality Herb” Jiaogulan, and, of course our product Shan Tea, covers the whole tea portfolio of Northern Thailand and is available at inexpensive prices via SiamTea’s online store

Siam Tea Shopbuy tea from Thailand here

Meanwhile, our info sites about the people and the culture in the periphery of Thai tea cultivation are here to arouse your interest and encourage discussion and participation in the forum, while our continuously updated playlist

Tea Music

delivers a relevant atmospheric background and puts your mental receivers into a state of gentle vibration.

Please register as a user on Siam Tea Blog, and you will receive, in irregular periods, newsletters, notifications to new articles and features on the site. I am looking forward to a lively interest.

Thomas Kasper for Siam Tea USA