Oollo is formed from 'ool' in oolong tea and 'lo' of the founder's family name and pronounced as "wu-low". Oollo in Hakka is directly translated as 'to not age' and interpreted as 'the longevity of life'.
Oollo Tea is a small independent company based in Vancouver and founded in summer of 2013 by Jenny Lo and The Lo family. We are dedicated to source and supply premium quality rare teas directly from farmers and their tea gardens.
We come from a long line of tea farmers. In 1913, Jenny’s great, great, great grandfather acquired a piece of land in Golden Mountain Region of Hsinchu, Taiwan and started growing tea. In 1923, the family’s tea farm flourished successfully and so The Gold Mountain Tea Company was established. The tea farm became famous across the world and traded as far as Morocco and Russia. In 1983, the tea farm was sold but the family’s love for tea has remained for four generations.
Growing up surrounded by tea farm and people of tea, Jenny love tea but does not like tea traded as a commodity and so she initiated the creation of Oollo Tea. We envision a future where tea farmers are appreciated like wine makers and tea drinkers appreciate tea like wine. We are extending the legacy of fine tea, bringing teas directly from the source, the tea farmers, and connecting them with you.
What We Do
We source direct trade through building real and trusting relationship with farmers. We travel and seek out exclusive farms personally. The teas are harvested and hand crafted by skilled and dedicated farmers on micro farms. All our teas are directly from farms, never from wholesalers.
We value quality and safety by continuously sample and select the best of the season and make sure all of our teas pass rigorous quality lab exams (SGS) and food safety management (HACCP). We love the planet and so we are committed to responsible sustainability. The farmers we work with use sustainable practices that protect and benefit the people and the land.
We travel to the farms to be the first to taste the teas then arrange export and import back to Canada to pack, label, warehouse and distribute. Working with many farmers far away from ports, we help make it possible for micro-farmers to reach you.
Aim and Vision
Our aim is to create a win-win for tea farmers and tea drinkers, you. To bring you the best tea, we choose quality over price and volume. To support the farmers, we source directly to ensure they are not just sustainable but will thrive in the future.
Our vision is to create a future where tea is valued like wine. Tea trade, right now, is still widely exploited and thus teas are cheap. We envision a future where tea farms are valued for their work and unique product and tea drinkers appreciating tea as a craft, not a commodity.
A great tea depends on the weather, time, soil, plant varietal, plant care, then how it’s picked, and the entire craft process. The cost of teas can range from a few dollars a pound to thousands of dollars a pound. Unlike luxury items, to have a great cup of tea costs as little as a quarter more. For a little more, you are supporting sustainability and taking a progressive step towards equality, in return, you are drinking great tea.
We are committed to Direct Trade. We buy directly from tea farmers, not from secondary sources. We buy high quality tea at a much higher price than commodity prices. We pay directly to farmers. The farmers produce teas in small batches with dedication and passion instead of throwing teas in big industrial machines fast and lifelessly. With the Direct Trade model, the farmers are better off and you are better off with better tea.
We work with responsible sustainable tea farms. For example, The Dai Family at Sanxia of Taiwan lets the weather and the soil conditions dictate the best kind of tea to produce. He makes Biluochun Green Tea and Honey Scented Black Tea. At Pinglin, Mr. Zhen allows the unique natural process of green leaf hoppers' bites so he can make the best natural Oriental Beauty.
To minimize our carbon footprint, we ship by sea. To minimize packaging, we use aluminum bags that protects the loose leaves from air, light and moisture. We refrain from tins and decorations. To minimize waste, we encourage you to drink whole leaves instead of tea bags. When you replace tea bags with loose leaves, you are taking an action to reduce wasteful bags that often contains chemicals, plastics and genetically modified corn starch.
Tang is the onsite tea hunter in northern Taiwan, is frequently visiting our tea farmer friends in Pinglin, Sanxia, Muzha and Emei districts to taste new and aged tea.
Yoshi is the onsite tea hunter and also a local vegetable farmer in the Taiwan mountain region. He's tasked with providing first hand tea news and most importantly, scouting for precious high mountain teas the second they are available.
The teas are taken to the eldest tea expert in the family, Grandpa Lo, for the final seal of approval before being shipped off to Vancouver.
Jenny, a seasoned backpacker, goes on adventures every season to find new mesmerizing teas to provide to Canadian aficionados.
Product Photography Issha Marie of Flattened to Fit Paper.