Ku Cha Frequently Asked Questions
  • Where does your tea come from?

    Our owners import a lot of teas directly from China, Japan, India, etc. For example, we import Puerh teas from Yunnan Province, Bi Luo Chun from Jiangsu Province, Gyokuro from Fukuoka, and a lot of Japanese teas from Shizuoka prefecture. We have also created a lot of unique blends in house.

  • How do you select which teas/blends we sell in store?

    We are in tea business for 15 years – from the very beginning we imported a lot of classic teas directly from China, where we come from. We gradually introduced herbal blends and flavored teas as we see the need or received requests from customers. Our core is still classic, unflavored teas, such as Chinese green, Rock Oolong, Puerh, etc. We work directly with Chinese tea farms to get these bests of the best teas.

  • Why are some of your teas so expensive?

    Yes, some of our teas can be expensive. The price is usually determined by the relationship between supply and demand. For example, our top Chinese green teas are relatively expensive because those teas are hand-picked by early April and the harvest window is about 2 weeks. Because the superior quality and the small amount of production, these teas are very sought after by tea drinkers.

  • Which teas are organic?

    We put “Organic” on the labels when the teas are made with 100% certified organic ingredients. We as retailer don’t get the teas organic certified; our suppliers and organic tea farms do that. Organic teas mean they don’t use synthetic chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. They are also Non-GMO.

  • Are your teas safe to drink?

    This is a tea safety question. There are two major sources of contaminations: chemicals from the usage of pesticides and heavy metals from soil (Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, and Cadmium). Chemicals are measured by the level of residue found on the dry leaves, which is similar to measuring vegetables. The fact that Teas are steeped makes it safer: most of the chemicals are not soluble in water. However, if people still have concerns, we offer many organic teas, which do not use synthetic chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides.

    Heavy metals are related to the soil that tea grows in. Extracting heavy metals requires long steeping time (> 15 minutes). So, don’t over-steep your teas!

  • What is one fact about tea that every beginner should know?

    All the teas, no matter Green, Black, White, or Oolong, come from the same plant called camellia sinensis. (Tea beginners may think Green tea comes from green tea trees and black tea from black tea trees since they look and taste so different!)

    1). All the teas have good amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and are good for your health.
    2). All the teas make you feel good because they have theanine, a type of amino acid, that make you feel relaxed and focused. Theanine is considered "Nature's remedy for Stress".
    3). All teas have caffeine, unless they are decaffeinated. The caffeine level in the majority of whole leaf tea is less than 20% compared to a regular cup of coffee.

  • Caffeine contents of specific types of teas

    All teas have caffeine, unless they are decaffeinated. The caffeine level in the majority of whole leaf tea is less than 20% (40 mg vs 200 mg) compared to a regular cup of coffee.

    In general, green teas and white teas have least caffeine. Oolong tea is somehow in between. Black teas have more caffeine. Reasons can be 1). People tends to put more dry leaves to brew black and oolong than green and white! 2). Black tea often has more broken leaves hence release more caffeine when brewed.

    Rule of Thumb: more crumbled teas tend to release more caffeine. So, our Irish Breakfast tea will brew a quite caffeinated drink! For whole leaf teas, teas with more buds and less leaves tend to have more caffeine because caffeine is a natural defense against insects to protect the young buds. In general teas have less than 20% of the caffeine compared to a regular cup of coffee. Our most caffeinated green tea, is Matcha. Gyokuro and Kabuse Sencha both have higher level of caffeine because the “growing under the shade” method produces more caffeine and theanine.