A Note on Taoshubao‘s Suspension From the Solidarity Trust
Since 2018, Taoshubao's Goldbud and Wild Black teas have been staples of our product line-up. Taoshubao was also the very cooperative that inspired Xiaoyan and myself to move out here to Enshi and make One River Tea a bigger part of our lives.
Sadly, earlier this season, we learned from another local tea processor that a portion of the black tea sold by Taoshubao at their farm stand may have been purchased from a third party source in Sichuan.
Unlike our other producers that sell "wild" black tea, the folks at Taoshubao have not allowed us to see their wild plot, nor have they supplied pictures of such a plot. There has also been a wide variance in the quality, appearance, and price of their wild black tea over the past two years. All of this alone would not be enough reason to remove them from the Trust, but the proprietor of the En Lu Workshop (also located in Enshi's Tunbao Township), was able to provide us with samples almost identical in appearance and taste to Taoshubao's most recent "wild black" and "goldbud" teas, claiming to have been the very person who sourced the black tea from Sichuan Province and in turn sold it to Taoshubao on and off over the years.
Until we have gotten to the bottom of this, we are removing their teas from the Solidarity Trust. For 2021 at least, packaging carrying their tea will not carry the solidarity stamp, and we will not be organizing any tea trips to their farm.
We will stay friends with Taoshubao and continue selling these teas, regardless of their providence, but cannot in good faith include them as part of the Solidarity Trust.