08 January 2018

Xie Xie Teas

Sourcing the best products is of utmost importance at Park Chinois. Our Chefs, sommeliers and baristas are expertly dedicated to sourcing the finest ingredients from around the world and in doing so strive to produce the world’s very finest food, pour the most interesting wines, create quality coffee and last but not least serve the very best tea.

We speak to Xie Yutung XIE, a native Taiwanese from a family of tea makers, about her family’s company Xie Xie and the teas they lovingly create from their tea plantation in some of Taiwan’s highest mountains.

So please explain the name to us, why Xie Xie teas?
XIE is my family name. The term XIE XIE, also means ‘thank you’ in Mandarin. Within Asian tea culture there is much humility and gratitude. So the word Xie Xie and tea are intertwined, they are inseparable. I hope that through promoting XIE XIE teas and tea culture I can make the world a better, grateful and more humble place.

The term XIE XIE is not just a name to me, it is at the very heart of the brand. I grew up in the tropical and serene island of Taiwan. I have since been thankful for everything that nature has brought to me and allowing XIE XIE to produce such excellent tea.

What is tea to you?
Tea for me is about coming together, I do not think of it as a word or a product but a beautiful picture of friends and family gathering together and drinking tea.

In Asia, tea is not just a drink, it is thousands of years of cultural heritage, manifested through the custom of appreciating, drinking and treating our guests with tea. It is with friends and family that we come together to taste and share a cup of tea.

When did Xie Xie teas come about?
Although our family has produced tea for decades amongst other things, we had become consumed by the success of our furniture making. In 2001, we decided to stop the destructive art of cutting down trees to make furniture and to start the more positive artisan production of planting tea. We spend a great deal of time nurturing the growth of our plants and lovingly restore the earth in which they grow with bio-cultures and natural methods to ensure our tea plants are healthy. In doing so, our plants provide us with bountiful healthy and tasty tea. Xie Xie hopes that every cup of precious tea is enjoyed and appreciated with pleasure.

Although our planting and production methods are ancient, our fusion methods are more modern. We endeavour to use oolong picked from the mountains, along with natural European flowers, thus combining East and West to produce a distinctive and unique brew of tea.

So what’s next for Xie Xie Teas?
XIE XIE adheres to the strict practice of hand-picking buds, not using machiner. Only by hand can we ensure the best buds are picked and also the plants are not disturbed or harmed.
There are 15 other ancient steps to producing tea which all ensure we uphold the best practices to the creation and production of the highest quality teas.

I hope, through such stringent and mindful practices in producing our teas, we can promote a better, higher and more authentic tea culture. Tea has existed since ancient times and has therefore become one of the most symbolic bridges between the East and the West.

I believe it is perhaps even more meaningful to promote this culture in the UK where although there is already an existence of love for tea this lies mainly within the consumption thereof, not for the appreciation, the gratitude and humility.

I would like to open a XIE XIE Tea Salon in Mayfair. Nowadays, with the ever increasing frantic pace of society, there is more need for it. Through this tea space, we can restore calm and tranquility. Regardless of culture, regardless of your thinking and regardless of your age, everyone can stop with us to sit and enjoy in a cup of XIE XIE.

“At the XIE XIE Tea Salon, people of different cultures can enjoy a cup of tea. No borders or cultural boundaries; this is what I ultimately yearn for in the world of tea.”
Akim Howey


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