Sips and Steeps

Humble Beginnings.


Welcome, oolong lover, to our very first blog post (if you’re not yet an oolong lover—don’t worry, we’re the confident type). Here’s where we’ll dish semi-regularly on what’s going on—with the tea community, and with Tea Ave in particular.

Anyway, we wanted to use this, our inaugural blog post, to tell you a little bit more about ourselves. (If you were here, in the room with us, we’d offer you a cup of tea. We’re in the mood for some Cape Jasmine Oolong; you?)



We’re Jeff and Heidi Chen, a brother-sister duo from Taiwan living in Vancouver. We grew up drinking oolong tea, but we didn’t think we’d make it our lives until one day, over some Lishan Oolong and an aroma cup, we asked ourselves: what if we made this our lives? Jeff put his eye for design and experience as a UI-UX designer to work, and Heidi used her skills in mass communication, journalism, and retail to get Tea Ave’s marketing off the ground. 



There were a few things we decided pretty quickly. First, and most importantly, we wanted to offer really high-quality stuff. That means we’d procure the very best oolong tea we could find—and that means traveling to Taiwan ourselves to source our teas. We visit the best tea farms in the country, armed with aroma cups, and we sip, and discuss, and sip, and discuss. Our teas come from several different Taiwan tea farms in different regions, depending on where we can get the best quality.

Our commitment to really good tea also means no artificial flavorings—and no chemicals. This is another point we feel pretty strongly about: you should know what you’re drinking. Our straight oolongs, from Lishan to Dong Ding, get their flavor and nuance from where they’re grown (Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong, for example, gets its unique flavor from the foggy conditions it grows in) and how much they’re oxidized and/or roasted in production. Our scented oolongs are prepared using the ancient method, which means the tea leaves absorb the flower fragrance during the baking process, producing a scented tea that’s aromatic and flavorful without using any additives or chemicals. We feel really good about the purity of our teas: they’re delicious and also good for you—an important point, since many people come to oolong teas for the health benefits (more on that later).



We also really wanted to combine the beautiful traditions of Taiwanese tea rituals with a modern, clean approach to design and the e-commerce experience. That’s why we sell a range of good-looking (we think) teaware ranging from traditional to modern, and it’s why we’ve spent a lot of time developing our design and tweaking our user experience until it feels bright, modern, and a little bit adventurous. We’re also always looking for feedback, so feel free to drop us a line with any questions or comments. We hope you like what you see.


Happy sipping.



By Heidi, on

@CHARLES: We are so happy to see positive feedback on our website and support on our oolong lineup. Thank you for your message and support.

By Heidi, on

@RUTH: Thank you for your kind words and encouragement :) We will keep up the good work. Feel free to stop by anytime! We’ll be here when you complete your wish list!!

By charles, on

I’m loving the blog and the website. I am grateful to your stance on a pure leaf , and not to some chemically enhanced one. Best wishes on your endeavors.

By Ruth, on

Best wishes for a prosperous endeavor! I appreciate the standards you have set for your business, and hope you “hook up” quickly with the people who want what you have to offer. I am watching the reviews and making my wish list. So far, your Jasmine Oolong and Dong Ding are on the list, along with the Magnolia Oolong I have already tried!

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