Written by Eric Rasmussen on September 24, 2010.
The Mountain View Tea Village was an unexpected delight for me while stranded in Mountain View on a business trip. I have never been to China and cannot say what is or isn’t authentic when it comes to Chinese teas or tea shops, but by my estimation the owner of the Mountain View Tea Village is an incredibly knowledgeable tea connoisseur, and there is no question that his shop houses an unbelievable selection of teas.
The owner was quick to share his knowledge about different teas and some of the common misconceptions we have in America. For instance, he explained that Oolong tea in China is distinguished in part by coming from a particular kind of tree, so he does not consider Ti Kuan Yin to be an Oolong tea. Anywhere in America, however, Ti Kuan Yin is considered a staple Oolong, because we define Oolong only as a partially oxidized green tea.
I left the tea shop with a renewed enthusiasm for learning and a better understanding of how little I know. Perhaps more importantly, I left with a good quantity of his prize-winning Pouchong and vintage Pu-erh, both of which were top-notch. I was disappointed at the time to hear that they didn’t offer a website to order online, but in the intervening months they launched their website: mvteavillage.com.
The website is absolutely worth checking out, but if you’re ever in Mountain View, CA, make it a point to stop by the shop. They have a great deal more than what’s available online, including a large variety of teaware and accessories from China.