Tead Off wrote: Mostly, I've gotten strange TCM comments about Autumn harvest and how it will harm you down the road.
Yes, I met a few TCM and also older tea masters who mentioned about the negative effects of autumn or even late spring tea. They mentioned that one of the many signs are knee joint pain and problematic digestive system. However, a lot are hearsay, without scientific backing. At the same time, it is also good to note that TCM and many Chinese folklores are based on decades of observations and there may be some percentage of truth in it.
One old tea master told me that years ago a group of Taiwanese tea masters went to China and did a joint research with Chinese tea masters on the Puer tea. The Taiwanese noticed that a lot of wild and large trees leaves were left alone in late spring onwards. They were astonished that the Chinese, being such a resourceful people can leave alone such tea tree. Later, they found out that only spring tea leaves are good for Puer especially from large and wild tea trees. They noted that late spring and later tea from big tree and wild trees cause stomach upset. I didn't see any documentation of these stories but heard it a few times from different sources over a period of time.
Notwithstanding what has been said above, there is no concrete scientific evidence whether they are facts or fiction, but it is good to heighten our observation and prudence.
Personally for me, if given a choice, I will go for as early spring as possible when considering any purchase.