Eugene & Belle launched Tea Urchin to share their love of Chinese tea with the world. Eugene is an Australian who moved to Shanghai in 2004, where he discovered gongfu cha & became obsessed with puer. There he met & married Belle, a feisty Shanghainese tea lover with a penchant for sweet reds & fragrant oolongs.
Together, we specialize in finding premium and rare Chinese teas, with a story.
We hope what makes us different is our down to earth honesty and integrity. Even though Eugene works in advertising, you won’t hear us using marketing speak like “organic, heirloom or artisanal”, nor overstate our involvement in the making of the tea. We enjoy finding good tea, made by good people, and we help them to find an international market.
We sell 3 kinds of tea – hidden gems produced by our tea friends, great deals found in the Shanghai markets, and our own line of Puer which we sell under the brand “Cha Ren” (茶仁 which means “tea compassion”). We also sell hand crafted tea wares from Yixing, Jingdezhen, Longquan & Taiwan.
Each year, we travel to Yunnan to source traditional, hand crafted puer teas directly from the best farmers & producers. We work with the same trusted producers each year, to ensure our tea is pesticide free, and not blended with cheaper or inferior teas. You can meet our producers & follow our tea adventures on our blog (teaurchin.blogspot.com). We try out best to show you where our tea came from, who made it, and how it was made. We hope with this deeper understanding of each tea’s story, you will find more enjoyment in each cup, and feel more connected to the people who made it.