Top grade


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Top grade

Postby Vash4 » Jan 31st, '11, 00:04

What are the highest grade vendors? a list would be nice. I'm talking the vendors with the best of the best!!!
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Re: Top grade

Postby edkrueger » Jan 31st, '11, 01:52

Mandarin's Tea Room, Teamasters, Hou De. In that order. Based on the praise of others, Tea Gallery probably deserves to be on the list too, but I haven't tried the tea I got from them yet.
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Re: Top grade

Postby Poohblah » Jan 31st, '11, 02:45

perhaps also teahabitat, postcard teas, essence of tea?
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Re: Top grade

Postby David R. » Jan 31st, '11, 08:04

I'd consider Hojo, for dan cong at least.
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Re: Top grade

Postby debunix » Jan 31st, '11, 12:09

Definitely Tea Habitat for Dan Cong.

And Norbu's Diamond TGY is my standard against which to judge others.
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Re: Top grade

Postby tingjunkie » Feb 1st, '11, 02:00

For a variety of teas, The Tea Gallery and Mandarin's Tearoom are both 100% top shelf. Then, Tea Habitat for Dan Cong specifically, Essence of Tea for Puerh specifically, and Tea Masters for Taiwanese Oolong specifically.
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Re: Top grade

Postby brlarson » Feb 1st, '11, 18:46

Red Circle Tea deserves a place in the list. Both their 1984 Xi Ping TGY and Emperor's Puzzle shui xian are a treat.

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Re: Top grade

Postby hopeofdawn » Feb 3rd, '11, 11:48

I'm by no means an expert, but if you want to explore Taiwanese oolongs, go with Floating Leaves--she definitely knows how to pick her teas. Both the Winter 2010 Alisan and Lishan are *amazing*.
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Re: Top grade

Postby AlexZorach » Feb 4th, '11, 13:40

Best is a completely relative term. I take issue with people who say they know what's best, because what's best for one person might not even be enjoyable by another.

That said, my favorite oolong vendor, the one I'm most impressed with, has been Life in Teacup. I like them because of (1) consistent high quality (2) reasonable prices (3) great selection of oolongs (4) some unique offerings I have found it tough to find elsewhere, and (5) wide range of grades and prices, from some relatively inexpensive ones up through competition winners.

Everything I've tried from them has been good. But...you're not me, so you may end up liking something completely different!
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Re: Top grade

Postby Oni » Feb 10th, '11, 06:18

I believe in Hojo, essenceoftea, teahabitat, postcardteas, are among the most respected and highest standard of teashops online for oolongs, I would add jingteashop too to this list and Dragon teahouse, their new wu yi selection looks high end.
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Re: Top grade

Postby tortoise » Feb 10th, '11, 12:20

hopeofdawn wrote:I'm by no means an expert, but if you want to explore Taiwanese oolongs, go with Floating Leaves--she definitely knows how to pick her teas. Both the Winter 2010 Alisan and Lishan are *amazing*.


I want to repeat this rec. I have not ordered from a lot of the other top shelf vendors on this thread, but I am very happy with Floating Leaves and can say they are well above commercial offerings. That said, they do not have the diversity of oolongs offered by other vendors.
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Re: Top grade

Postby bagua7 » Feb 11th, '11, 01:03

AlexZorach wrote:Best is a completely relative term. I take issue with people who say they know what's best, because what's best for one person might not even be enjoyable by another.


+1

Wise words.

:)
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Re: Top grade

Postby tingjunkie » Feb 11th, '11, 01:44

mayayo wrote:
AlexZorach wrote:Best is a completely relative term. I take issue with people who say they know what's best, because what's best for one person might not even be enjoyable by another.


+1

Wise words.

:)


And yet, show me one serious tea drinker who doesn't search out the best. Whether that's the best that exists, the best they can afford, or merely the best they have access to. Yes, it's all subjective in the end, but different quality levels of tea do exist, and being existential about it won't help anyone. :lol:
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Re: Top grade

Postby edkrueger » Feb 14th, '11, 19:46

+1, There are grades of tea.

Also, its doesn't follow from "what's best for one person might not even be enjoyable by another" that there isn't a best, because it might.

For example, suppose a newbie's best tea isn't best for a teamaster and that the teamaster's best tea would be best for the newbie. This suggests that there is a better tea.
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Re: Top grade

Postby Tead Off » Feb 14th, '11, 23:52

I think most tea drinkers with experience would all agree that there are 'better' teas out there and some of the vendors mentioned carry them. Some specialize only in 'better' teas. There is a difference and it usually costs the drinker more. 'Best' indeed is relative. I like to use the word 'great' instead. It implies a level of excellence but is not exclusive as 'best' can be. Great tea is something everyone wants to drink. It doesn't have to be expensive, but, it usually is. :D
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