Ashley Lim, photograph courtesy of Mansa Tea

I lately had the possibility to fulfill Ashley Lim, Founder of Mansa Tea after sampling a number of of her pu’er teas. Her story was fairly intriguing and she or he kindly agreed to an interview. Learn all about how rising up in a household of tea lovers has formed her love of tea, and continues to affect her firm, beneath.

You had been raised in a household of tea lovers. Can you share one of your earliest tea recollections with us? 
I keep in mind the primary time my dad shared Laobanzhang pu’er with me. I used to be in highschool (going by a matcha craze!). He introduced dwelling a tea cake and started to loosen a number of grams of the pu’er whereas telling me how treasured this tea was. As he brewed within the conventional gong fu model, he let me scent the perfume of the tea, which was wealthy in honey notes. As we sipped away the tea over a 3-hour lengthy session, my dad requested, “do you feel the chaqi of this tea?”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, or fairly I didn’t even know what I used to be imagined to really feel. Why couldn’t he describe the tea in a “normal” means utilizing flavors? I do cherish this reminiscence as my father’s means of sharing his love for each tea and me.Why did you determine to begin Mansa Tea?

Despite having lived in New York for a very long time, I didn’t know the place to go to get high quality pu’er. Fortunately, I’ve by no means needed to myself as my father all the time introduced tea for us. But each time I used to be requested by buddies and acquaintances, I didn’t have a solution. Then, I noticed how third wave espresso drastically modified the espresso scene, but folks had been nonetheless ingesting unhealthy tea. I needed to be half of the third wave tea and produce that change.

photograph courtesy of Mansa Tea
How do you select the
teas that you simply promote?
First, we supply and import our personal teas, that are chosen
from the best terroir and handpicked from 100+ 12 months outdated bushes situated on historic
tea mountains. We fastidiously age our teas and conduct in depth tastings to select
out the teas which can be at their peak of taste and maturity. For instance, the
younger uncooked pu’er teas in our Jade Pu’er
assortment have been particularly chosen as a result of they don’t seem to be as bitter as
different younger uncooked pu’er teas.
What ideas do you may have
for somebody simply moving into pu’er? Where ought to they begin?
I counsel attempting differing types of pu’er (younger uncooked pu’er,
aged uncooked pu’er, and ripe pu’er) from a trusted supply to search out out the kind of
pu’er you want greatest. Based on our many tasting classes with totally different folks,
the end result tends to be based mostly on private preferences. We designed our Taste
of First Step
set based mostly on this expertise and in addition added an aged
white tea and a darkish brick tea to present a bit broader overview of the aged tea
world.
photograph courtesy Mansa Tea
To observe that
query, what ideas do you may have for somebody that enjoys pu’er and needs to
deepen their information?
I might begin doing extra comparative tastings that permit you
to match tweeze out the variations between the teas extra simply. For
instance, examine two teas from the identical terroir however from younger vs. older bushes,
or each from the traditional bushes however one from Yiwu vs. Bulang mountain to get a
deeper appreciation of the flavour profiles and mouth feels.
I do know you’ve achieved a
few pop-ups recently; do you may have any tea occasions developing that we should always know
about?
Yes! We have a Mother’s Day Miansai x Mansa Tea pop-up at
Miansai’s Soho flagship retailer on May 4-5. Miansai is a an artisanal jewellery
model with retail retailers throughout the US (NYC, LA, and Miami). Mansa Tea will probably be
taking on the tea bar that’s situated at their SoHo retail store for 2 days
to supply brewed teas in addition to our prepackaged collections. We even have a number of
extra which can be being deliberate as we converse, so keep tuned for extra by signing up
for our month-to-month e-newsletter at mansatea.com or following us @mansa_tea.
What is your imaginative and prescient
for Mansa for the long run?
We need to introduce top quality aged tea to tea
connoisseurs in order that aged tea turns into a serious tea class that’s as well-known
and beloved as inexperienced tea, black tea, and matcha.
photograph courtesy of Mansa Tea
Can you share one
rewarding factor, and one difficult factor about working a tea firm?
The most rewarding: Sharing my ardour for single origin
aged tea with others. Last weekend on the Coffee & Tea Festival, one of the
attendees mentioned, “Wow! I often don’t like pu’er tea, however I actually like your
pu’er tea.” Pu’er tea is a tea that wants a correct introduction with high quality
leaves which can be aged and brewed fastidiously. Changing an individual’s notion by
sharing my ardour may be very rewarding to me.

The most difficult: Raising
the broader stage of tea schooling. Compared to different beverage gadgets, resembling
wine, beer, cocktails, and occasional, tea has been lagging behind in phrases of
high quality and schooling. The meals and hospitality industry has been
deprioritizing tea in favor of different meals and beverage gadgets and slicing value
and high quality on their tea choices. This has been slowly altering, however we
nonetheless have rather a lot to go. Tea schooling is one thing I spend rather a lot of time doing
and in addition get pleasure from doing as half of my journey.

photograph courtesy of Mansa Tea
Do you may have any
private tea rituals?

I truly love brewing aged tea all through the day utilizing a
gaiwan. I start my first brew within the morning (or generally within the afternoon on
the times I determine to begin my day with espresso) and rebrew the leaves all through
the day. I strongly consider that utilizing a gaiwan adjustments your relationship with
tea. This assertion could sound odd to those that don’t use a gaiwan, however I’m
positive those that already use a gaiwan are nodding with me proper now.

Thank you a lot Ashley for taking the outing for this interview! To be taught extra about Mansa Tea, make sure you try their website.

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