About Us

More and more the world is turning its back on mass consumption as a quick fix for personal and societal well being. Other things in life might be a little more demanding in the short run but are definitely a lot more rewarding in the long run.

For smith&hsu, contemporary tea culture perfectly encapsulates this new spirit. We want our customers to experience the rich tea traditions of Asia as well as the West. At the same time, we believe in the power of contemporary design to make these traditions come alive. Since our founding in 2007, we have discovered stunning tea plantations that are beautifully embedded within nature and have found talented designers who share our vision of hosting the finest teas in soothing environments.

We are passionate about offering superb teas, designing timeless modern tea products and creating unique tea houses with a contemporary edge. Following the new spirit, we want our legacy to be care for and modesty towards our surroundings, the body, the people we work with and serve.

Our History

At the heart of a passion!

Brought up in a coal miner’s family in Keelung Taiwan the hardship of daily life forced me to value the few simple pleasures which were given to us. One of them was to bring my father his daily lunch and tea to the mine. I discovered that tea was that simple luxury which could expel the long dark shadow of the mine which covered the faces of my father and his colleagues and in a mystical way brought back the smile onto those hardened black faces. The local tea was an imperial ingredient in our daily life and was widely used both as a beverage and in food. My grandmother used tea leaves to wash her still black hair leaving it shiny and soft and with a fragrance which became one of my childhood’s dearest memories of sense.

Later travelling between China and Europe my curiosity for tea was following me and I became more and more passionate about tea and the infinite varieties of delicious taste this small tree could bring alive. Through the years a deep passion for Chinese and British tea culture and an equal passion for contemporary lifestyle developed into a dream of opening a contemporary teahouse with the memory of my childhood’s frugality as the founding philosophy of my undertaking.

With the help of trusted staff members and my family, I opened the first smith&hsu teahouse in No.33, Zhong Xiao East Road in Taipei May 2007 designed by Carsten Jørgensen, a good old friend and a well-known international designer.

My dream of creating a contemporary tea brand was to assemble the best tea of the harvests from around the world with a contemporary accent, far removed from any sense of the nostalgic past then supported by the respect, enthusiasm and knowledge of treating our customers in a cultivated manner.

With a superb selection of a wide variety of teas put together from some of the most famous tea plantations around the world we have set out on a journey to transform old traditions into a contemporary way of making and drinking tea. Indeed, our selection of tea mirrors the soul of smith&hsu, but we are not standing still! We are constantly in search of the best natural and ecological grown teas we can find in Taiwan and the rest of the world.


After more than a decade of smith&hsu I believe that more and more people have a rising demand for returning to high quality and natural essentials beyond fast food and supermarket standards of average tea taste. From this comes a deep concern for our globe and our health where tea stays at the centre of our mission. Routed in a sense for natural products smith&hsu have set out to serve our customers the simple but sublime taste and quality tea tools that suits a contemporary tea drinker who share the same frugal attitude to health and nature as we do. smith&hsu has become a Taiwanese heritage and we believe that we have practiced long enough to dare to take the smith&hsu and our homegrown Taiwanese teas to a wider audience of like minded tea lovers. In short, our goal is to make objects of desire for tea and life and we look forward to share our experience.

James Hsu