Hello! I’m John Smagula, the owner and founder of Crossings Tea, and if you have ever asked yourself:

  • Green or black?
  • Loose or bagged?
  • Hot or iced?

Or, if you simply want to learn more about tea to make informed choices when you buy…you’re in the RIGHT place!

Tea, Travel, China

This blog will empower you to understand the basics of tea. My goal is to help you cross from the mainstream market of low-end particles in tea bags and bottled concoctions made from concentrates to the larger tea world of flavor, health, and enjoyment.

Tea. Tea is second only to water as the most commonly consumed beverage in the world. The health and weight loss benefits of drinking tea are well known. There is a lot of tea available on the market, and you may be overwhelmed with the choices. But believe it or not, understanding the difference among teas is quite simple. In fact, the key difference between green and black tea can be summed up with ONE word…

Travel. Tea is grown in exotic locations with spectacular scenery and high elevations. We may know about Assam, Ceylon, and Formosa teas, but don’t necessarily connect the tea’s flavor to the geography of where it’s grown. Just as a wine drinker distinguishes cabernet sauvignon from Bordeaux and Napa Valley, so might a tea drinker distinguish black tea from Darjeeling or Keemun. Once you learn the ONE concept related to growing locations, you’ll unlock the mystery to understand many of the world’s teas…

China. Tea was discovered in China nearly 5,000 years ago. Tea began as a medicinal brew, then became an elixir for the emperor and elite, and finally evolved into a drink for us all. Given this important history, I write about tea from a Chinese angle, infusing Chinese tea culture and bringing you right to tea farms. There are six kinds of tea (with green and black only two of the six), but 70% of tea consumed in China is only ONE type…

Follow my blog to learn the answers to these problems…and so much more!

About John Smagula

As a Wall Street lawyer turned educator, I direct Temple University’s China office. Based in Beijing, I travel all over China to teach on legal education, professional development, and positive thinking.

My high school history teacher’s enthusiasm for China inspired my drive to learn Chinese, and my many years of living in China opened my eyes to the sublime aspects of Chinese tea culture. As one of the few tea experts certified both in the United States and China, I have spent time on tea farms in every region of China. I write this blog to share my passion for tea with you.

Welcome to the journey.