European teashops


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European teashops

Postby Pouvla » Jan 6th, '08, 08:19

[intro]
Hey, this is my first post on this nice forum :)
Im a 25 year old danish male who started (as we all do) drinking lipton from the grocery stores and got really fond of it.
Later I was lucky enough to come across some loose tea, at that time it was the black aroma teas that got me drawn in.
Soon though I got enough of the strong flowery/fruity taste and started my pure tea adventure.
The first pure tea, was (ofcourse) a nice Darjeeling and soon tried a 1st flush of that too. Darjeeling, in its many forms, are still one of my favs teas.
Last week I ordered myself a gaiwan from Funalliance as I've started to explore the pure green teas and still have oolong to try.
[/intro]

But theres 1 decent tea shop in denmark, rest are more for the show of loose tea.
Adagio and alot of other american sites seem to have some top grade tea...BUT the shipping prices from usa to europe is a nightmare, specially considering its dried leaves being transported...
So does anyone know of any great or atleast good tea sites which are based in europe ( or have some sensible shipping charges)

/edit, reason I put it in the green tea section is Im most interested in a tea shop that have a nice selection of green teas (dont hurt if they got black too ;))
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Postby Mary R » Jan 6th, '08, 15:26

I can't think of any off the top of my head other than Mariage Freres, but I do know that Germany is particularly quality-oriented and has some top-notch retailers. Perhaps you could concentrate your search there?
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Postby Lama » Jan 6th, '08, 20:49

O-Cha has the same shipping charges for Europe and the USA. If you are looking for green teas that would be a good place to start.
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Postby Space Samurai » Jan 6th, '08, 23:04

That's a good point.

I would imagine that companies in Japan (O-cha, Hibiki-an) and China (Teaspring) would have the same shipping costs to Europe as they do to the US. And the closer you can get to the origin, the better the quality is going to be.
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Postby joelbct » Jan 7th, '08, 17:09

Also try Dragon Tea House which is located in China but has reasonable shipping charges.

And the link for teaspring is http://www.teaspring.com/

I went to Mariage Freres when I was in Paris... that was before I became a daily tea drinker though so I can't really give an opinion....

And http://www.o-cha.com/ is wonderful for Sencha, my order got to US from Japan in less than a week, and the shipping was only $6.50 US
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Postby criteaque » Jan 9th, '08, 04:56

Hey Pouvla,

sorry to hear about the tea situation in Denmark. By the way, which part of the country are you from? Heard that it’s very beautiful up there... We’re working on taking better care of tea enthusiasts in Europe, so expect shipping rates/times to become reasonable soon :lol:

Have a great day.
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Postby Pouvla » Jan 10th, '08, 23:50

Thanks for the nice links, the one im gonna give a try first is teaspring, loved the part where the buyers could rate and comment on the teas, and also the wide selection of teas.

Sounds nice if adagio would open up an european department :P

I live in the nothern part (isnt it all ;)) of Zealand (no not new zealand..), actually very close to Kronborg (the place where Hamlet lived according to some english fella). And yes, in the summer its very beautifull up here. At the moment its quite cold outside though..

Oh btw, my gaiwan will arrive from funalliance tomorrow :D
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Postby yukondoit » Jan 13th, '08, 11:05

Hey there,

I never came across many tea places in Scandinavia. There's one place in Stockholm called Tea Central (many, many months in Stockholm-Uppsala and I only found one tea place), but I've only ever spent extended time in Copenhagen, and didn't come across anything. Most people are still into coffee over there, for sure. The tea craze isn't really present in that part of Europe, at least as far as I've seen.

My best friend and a lot of my family lives in Sweden (central) and shipping ANYTHING over there is outrageous. Generally what I do with my friend is she buys stuff and has it shipped to me, then I ship everything together and she sends me whatever I want/need from Sweden.

You might want to set up something like this with someone, because it's really the only way to get stuff over there without spending an arm and a leg. Set up a tea trade or something.
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Re: European teashops

Postby Salsero » Jan 13th, '08, 14:47

Pouvla wrote:So does anyone know of any great or atleast good tea sites which are based in europe

A Chinese farmer/wholesaler on the IM last night referred to this online vendor in Hungary that sells his Tie Guan Yin.

http://www.teautja.hu/teahaz/tieguanyin_sourish.html

I have no idea if their tea is good or if their shipping is reasonable, just that they exist and the photos on their site are pretty.
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Postby MoGa » Feb 28th, '08, 19:33

One of the few green teas (Japanese) I've bought in the UK that I've enjoyed enough to buy repeatedly is this one:

Fukamushi Cha Sencha
http://www.japancentre.com/?cmd=itm&cid=178&id=1545
from London's Japan Centre

Postage charge to Denmark is just 2.50GBP .
MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE THE 'SMALL PACKET' RATE FOR DENMARK.
(otherwise it shows as being much more expensive)

At £13.94 for 200gms this tea isn't cheap, but it IS worth it. You should get at least 4 cups (5 even) from each serving of tea leaves. Steep for no more than a minute at no more than 80-85 degrees Celcius.

I've bought more expensive green teas from Fortnum and Mason which I did not enjoy. The sencha I've recommended is as good as most teas I've bought in Japan (I have family there and visit often).

---
If you particularly like the taste of green tea and want a cheap and cheerful everyday alternative, then you might like to try this one:
iemon Matcha Iri Sencha
http://www.japancentre.com/?cmd=itm&cid=372&id=842
powdered green tea (matcha) amongst the leaves is a bit of a 'cheat' (often it means that lower quality tea leaves are being used) and this tea is not so good (or economical) if you like to get several cups from the same serving - although you can get at least two, three if you aren't too fussy. But it is easy to prepare and actually tastes very pleasant, so good for when you're at the office, and particularly suitable for making cold green tea with.
It's £4.92 but you only get 100g
This brand is very popular in Japan as a ready made cold green tea.
http://www.suntory.com/about/news/2005/9010.html#02
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Postby RussianSoul » Feb 28th, '08, 19:54

Gschwendner is a reputable tea merchant. They are based in Germany and have a branches in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and US.

I got quite a few teas there and can recommend them. Their black teas are very good, but I have not tried the greens and whites yet.

http://www.teagschwendner.com/DE/de/Shop_Start.TG

While not in Denmark, I don't suppose shipping from Germany or other EU locations would be as prohibitive as shipping from America.

Also, I heard that Adagio is opening a European division. I am not sure when though.
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Postby MoGa » Mar 2nd, '08, 07:06

Just an update as the Japan Centre has gone through a period of refurbishment.

The website doesn't fully represent the range of green teas they now have available.
http://www.japancentre.com/

They've recently opened a department dedicated to tea and sake. This is located in the basement below the Toku restaurant.

The range of green teas is bigger than ever. There is even a small range of very reasonably priced wagashi.
Alas, only one tea is made available for tasting. However, some of the teas can be bought upstairs in the Toku restaurant. If you visit at a time the restaurant isn't too busy, I imagine they will be able to help you select a tea to drink that can be purchased from the shop.

Also of note is the range of tea cups/teapots/utensils that can be bought here (and in the grocery department next door - check both). There are some very nice cups available. Most are 1.50GBP (approx $3) some cost a little more.

---
Alternatively in London. If you'd like to try before you buy and have the tea made (and presented) perfectly then there's
www.postcardteas.com (9, Dering Street - just off New Bond Street, London W1S 1AG)
A cup of tea here costs just 1.50GBP - a real bargain in London.
A small selection of sweets and snacks are also available.
If you like the tea enough to buy it, the cup of tea is complimentary/free.
This is a marvellous place to try and buy green teas from China and Korea and is an excellent alternative for Japanese teas to the Japan Centre.
Just don't expect fast service. Do expect good advice from the knowledgeable staff.

A range of tea caddies from a long established Kyoto manufacturer is currently on display. The kind that take on a patina as they age. Absolutely beautiful!
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Postby Photiou » Jun 24th, '08, 01:25

I have once ordered tea from http://www.greenteajapan.com/. They do not have a webshop as their clients are normally retailers - but they do sell directly to consumers. Downside is that you have to ask price list by email and pay in advance to their bank account, but there are some interesting teas on their list like kamairicha.
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