In an interview with Mood of Living magazine, our founder Lucy Yung shared her inspiration for Silver Needle Tea Co. and her love for pure tea.

How would you describe your occupation?

I’m an ambassador for pure tea and consider my occupation making the special experience of rare, pure tea accessible to American audiences. Whether I’m selecting a seasonal, small batch in a remote Chinese village or hosting a private tea tasting in Manhattan, my intention is to share the benefits of pure tea in a beautiful package.  

How did you get your start in this industry?

Tea has always been a part of my everyday life, my family and history. I started in the industry by really studying it. I jumped right into research, market analysis and data gathering, as well as visiting as many tea trade shows and expos, tea estates and tea shops I could find. I wanted to look at it from every perspective, from business to industry to consumer, to learn as much as possible about what was out there and how it was being offered.  

What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

I grew up in an entrepreneurial environment. My family was in the restaurant business, and I learned how to manage and run a business at a young age. In the back of my mind, I knew I’d have my own company one day. The catalyst was my passion for tea and the desire to create a product that didn’t exist on the market.  

When did you start Silver Needle Tea Co?

Silver Needle Tea Co. was launched in June 2014.  

Mission statement:

To share our love for the unmatched experience of pure tea, restyling teatime for the modern consumer by integrating sophisticated design, ancient tradition, wellness and community.  

Brief history of Silver Needle Tea Co:

After realizing that accessibility to pure tea in the U.S. was virtually nonexistent, and extensive research, Silver Needle Tea Co. emerged as a one woman enterprise. From the tea leaves to the packaging design, the core of every decision has been to offer something special and beautiful to a modern American audience.  

What’s the story behind the idea of Silver Needle Tea Co?

Silver Needle Tea Company seeks to promote and provide access to the most exceptional tasting, truly healthy and rare tea sourced directly from single origin estates committed to ecological practices. Silver Needle Tea Company is devoted to empowering and educating our customers and enriching lives through sharing knowledge and incorporating our tea philosophy of community and giving.  

What makes Silver Needle Tea Co unique?

Silver Needle Tea Company is a luxury tea purveyor offering pure loose-leaf tea of exquisite design. We work exclusively with single estate tea – everything we carry is pure and never blended. Quality is of utmost importance, and each tea is hand selected based upon terroir and craftsmanship. Our partnering estates, nestled between ancient hills and atop lofty plateaus in China, Taiwan and Japan, sustainably cultivate tea according to ancient traditions. We bypass the brokers and importers to bring you the highest quality tea; most have never been available in the U.S.  

What inspired you to start the company?

I wanted to bring the same appreciation for pure tea in Asia to the U.S., to educate and share the health, environmental and cultural elements of pure tea from different tea producing countries. Silver Needle Tea Company was inspired by the desire to create a product that wasn’t available in the marketplace: pure, single estate tea in exquisite design, ready for gifting.  

What were some of the challenges you encountered at the beginning, and what was the process in finding solutions? 

Like starting anything new, I had to learn about the industry and its nuances, and sometimes you make mistakes but it’s important to learn from them and be patient. Design and production were major challenges I encountered at the beginning. I’ve always had a keen eye for aesthetics but despite working with an awesome graphic designer, I didn’t realize how different my vision could be from the finalized product. There was a lot of back and forth and so many changes. We even added several new details after we thought we’d settled on a prototype. But those decisions resulted in a design award nomination and a stylish package I really love.  

Is there something you know now that you wish you knew before?

I’m still learning every day. I really believe it’s important to embrace life as a journey, to embrace now. Though there are hard times and challenges, they make me stronger, and I learn from them.    

Who or what inspires you daily?

I’ve always loved New York City because of its energy, people and culture. I’m thankful to call this exhilarating city home - it is a constant inspiration for everything I do. Additionally, I’m inspired by beautiful design, natural and manmade, vibrant colors and art of every medium. When I’m searching for inspiration, I simply step outside my door to visit museums, enjoy a concert, walk in the park, eat a delicious meal and watch life swirl around me. 

Do you have a hobby?

I practice yoga regularly and try to paint as often as possible. I also enjoy cooking and traveling.  

What’s your vision for the future of company?

I would like Silver Needle Tea Co. to be a socially responsible industry leader and designer heritage brand. Silver Needle Tea Co. will be synonymous with a modern experience of pure tea packaged artistically, readily available through high-end e-commerce and partnerships with companies committed to quality and distinction.  Importantly, giving back is a central mission of my life, and I hope Silver Needle Tea Co. can be used as a tool in serving others. 

What do you look for when finding farms to source tea from?

Origin, environment and craftsmanship are three important factors we consider when sourcing tea. You learn a lot about tea by just knowing the people who are involved in the process. In the end, I choose to work with people I trust and who have integrity; they often apply the same philosophy towards their products. 

How does the use of high-quality ingredients translate into your final product?

Quality and craftsmanship is everything when it comes to tea, and you can taste it right away, clean, pure and undiminished by fillers or preservatives. As with wine, pure tea carries within it the characteristics of where it was grown. From flavors and aromas to potential health benefits, the terroir—basically, the complete natural environment where something is grown—makes each tea what it is. It's central to what makes pure, single estate teas so special.  

You seem to be focused on quality of life, how do you think tea elevates quality of life?

Tea offers a sensory experience that enriches my life. Drinking tea in the morning is a daily ritual that allows me a few moments to be present and appreciate life. And when I share tea with others, it helps me connect with them on another level. Tea offers a luxury in the sense of taking time for your wellbeing, a moment to center and fully enjoy the beauty, complexity and flavor of a simple leaf. 

Is your tea organic?

Not at this time - many of the ancient tea estates from where I source have been held in high esteem for several generations. Due to their distinctions and reputations for the most sought after and prized teas in Asia, a certified designation is deemed unnecessary, even if the tea is cultivated using all natural practices. In other cases, some of the best tea is also produced by very small estates for which organic certification is cost prohibitive, though their traditional growing methods are chemical-free and pesticide-free. Most organic teas you find in the marketplace are from large tea corporations in Asia that can afford the expensive and time-consuming political process of certification. 

Would you ever consider using tea blends or just using the pure product?

Pure, single estate tea is the essence of Silver Needle Tea Co.

What’s your favorite tea and why? 

Silver Needle is the namesake of the company and my favorite tea. Growing up, I usually drank green tea because it was always around the house, at every meal. When I discovered Silver Needle, I felt like the world of tea just opened up to me. I’d never tasted any tea that was so refined and elegant. Historically, it was reserved for emperors and court dignitaries. Only the bud of every branch is plucked, making it quite labor intensive, rare and special. Silver Needle is lighter in color with delicate, elegant notes and the fragrance of orchids. I loved the subtle flavor that deepened with each subsequent steep. It was then I realized that fine, quality tea can offer multiple steeps. Directly experiencing that evolution of flavor has been like getting to know someone: the longer you know them, the more you appreciate them. Silver Needle is mesmerizing and intoxicating all at once. 



We are happy to announce that our teas are now available at TOWN Residential through Luxury Attaché, a premier lifestyle concierge.  With With 18 offices…Town residential is New York’s leading luxury real estate services firm that has established a new standard of excellence within the industry by delivering best in class service establishing a new standard of excellence within the industry.  Silver Needle Tea Co. is delighted to be on their gift guide for clients.


Our branding company, SimpleSong Design mentioned us in an interview with William Sonoma Blog.  "Right now we have a lot of fun projects going, including working on developing branded collateral for a lovely company, Silver Needle Tea, based in NY" - SIMPLESONG Design

It's been such a pleasure working with Suann Song, Creative Director + Founder of SIMPLESONG Design.  Suann has been instrumental in developing brand collateral for Silver Needle Tea Co. and we are so honored that she mentioned us when William Sonoma Blog asked about a design project she was excited about...well, mostly because she works with many cool projects.  Read more on the link below to learn about Suann and her company as well as the entire Q&A blog on William Sonoma.