Best months to receive fresh tea?


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Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby dnick » Mar 29th, '12, 23:58

I am really in interested in purchases some Roots labeled green teas but I'm skeptical about the freshness of the teas....how would I know that I'm not getting year old tea? Like white monkey, ceylon sonata, pi lo chun, all seem to be on a Feb-End of March harvesting schedule based on province/county.........but I have a feeling as with any business has interest in getting rid of old stock..is this the case with Adagio?
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Oni » Mar 30th, '12, 01:33

My best guess is middle of May, by that time most of the spring harvest is done, and it had enough time to be bought by the tea merchants, and any tea merchant who does not specify the harvest date, and sell 2011 teas in may 2012, is a dishonest merchant.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Proinsias » Mar 30th, '12, 05:22

Over the next few months I tend to assume if a vendor has a spring 2012 harvest of green tea they will be making a song and dance about it. If a vendor does not mention the harvest year I tend to assume it not new harvest, there are as always exceptions to this rule.

If the tea has been stored well last years greens should still be very tasty.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby dnick » Mar 30th, '12, 08:35

Adagio's tea pages don't show harvest times, just locations :(. Really don't want to drop that amount of cash for old tea when MountainRoseHerbs is a lot cheaper, though it doesn't have nearly as good selection of Camellia Sinensis.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Chip » Mar 30th, '12, 09:42

Many companies do not provide harvest information on their sites. It helps to contact them and indicate that you would like to see this information conveniently right on their site ... and why. This is likely why many companies do provide this information.

Obviously this is most critical for particular types of teas, so letting them know what types of teas you would like to see this information for might be helpful as they may see it is not such a huge undertaking. For a company like Adagio, this would be a lot, but narrowing it to unflavored greens and greener oolongs would be pretty feasible I would think.

Adagio could do this since they are a direct buyer, not dealing with middlemen which would muddy the waters. They have direct access to the harvest info.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Chip » Mar 30th, '12, 09:49

Oni wrote:My best guess is middle of May, by that time most of the spring harvest is done, and it had enough time to be bought by the tea merchants, and any tea merchant who does not specify the harvest date, and sell 2011 teas in may 2012, is a dishonest merchant.

Dishonest? Maybe in some cases. But most who do not are really not being dishonest. It has just not been a priority for them, or they do not have access to this information possibly because the middlemen they deal with either do not or will not provide this information.

It is up to us to make it a priority by asking for the information directly on their sites.

Most vendors are quite open to comments and suggestions on how to improve.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Proinsias » Mar 30th, '12, 09:56

Have to agree with Chip, dishonest is pushing it. Most consumers and suppliers of tea seem content with a "use by" date.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Chip » Mar 30th, '12, 10:05

Proinsias wrote:Have to agree with Chip, dishonest is pushing it. Most consumers and suppliers of tea seem content with a "use by" date.

Ah yes, the use by date ... :roll: For most of us, this is worthless information, but since tea is a food item, many countries require this date to be on the packaging ... that is seemingly pulled out of a hat by many vendors. :lol:

I think educated consumers of finer tea would prefer the hard facts at least on the company's site?

So, what are the hard facts?

For me, I want to know what flush the tea is and hopefully approximate harvest dates. Some sellers will really nail this down ... but this is not always possible. For instance, many Japanese teas are blended. So it should be possible to indicate the flush/year, it is not likely an exact harvest date would be possible since the tea might contain several or even many teas.

I also want to know more precisely where the tea was harvested.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Kevangogh » Mar 31st, '12, 00:40

The use by date in Japan is decided by each company. Some go 2 months, some go a year. That said...

I don't really think there is a "best" month to buy green tea, so long as it is stored correctly and packaged very recently within purchase (within a week or three.) You can get it year 'round, and sometimes the tea actually tastes better after a bit of storage.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby sherubtse » Mar 31st, '12, 08:12

Chip wrote:For me, I want to know what flush the tea is and hopefully approximate harvest dates. Some sellers will really nail this down ... but this is not always possible. For instance, many Japanese teas are blended. So it should be possible to indicate the flush/year, it is not likely an exact harvest date would be possible since the tea might contain several or even many teas.I also want to know more precisely where the tea was harvested.


I agree fully with all that Chip has outlined. I would only add one more item: cultivar.

This info is fairly common with Japanese teas, and to a certain extent with subcontinental teas, but much less so with Chinese teas. In fact, I can think of only one co. selling Chinese teas that lists the cultivar of each tea (Seven Cups). But there are likely to be more.

Best wishes,
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby JRS22 » Mar 31st, '12, 08:36

+1 on Seven Cups, plus Tea Trekker and www.jingteashop.com/
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby sherubtse » Mar 31st, '12, 09:07

JRS22 wrote:+1 on Seven Cups, plus Tea Trekker and http://www.jingteashop.com/


Thanks for the link to Jing, JRS22. I love the detail they give for each tea. To my way of thinking, that is one of the signs of a quality tea shop! :)

Best wishes,
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Xell » Mar 31st, '12, 09:50

sherubtse wrote:I agree fully with all that Chip has outlined. I would only add one more item: cultivar.
...

Best wishes,
sherubtse


I wonder if cultivar is actually important information, since taste can vary greatly depends where and how it was grown, how well processing was executed. For example i had tamaryokucha from Ureshino and Nagasaki, both were yabukita and similar in quality, but they had very little in common, only some flavor that you will most likely meet in tamaryokucha.
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Chip » Mar 31st, '12, 10:39

Xell wrote:
sherubtse wrote:I agree fully with all that Chip has outlined. I would only add one more item: cultivar.
...

Best wishes,
sherubtse


I wonder if cultivar is actually important information, since taste can vary greatly depends where and how it was grown, how well processing was executed. For example i had tamaryokucha from Ureshino and Nagasaki, both were yabukita and similar in quality, but they had very little in common, only some flavor that you will most likely meet in tamaryokucha.

I think many TC Japanese TeaHeads want the cultivar information so we can judge apples to apples, etc. I always like to compare different Yutaka Midori selections, and while they can be quite variable from one vendor to another, this hek=lps me to figure out where a vendor is on my list. :wink:

But is also just interesting to know. :mrgreen: There are just so many things going on in the processing of green teas, any information is an added bonus!
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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Xell » Mar 31st, '12, 10:50

Chip wrote:
Xell wrote:
sherubtse wrote:I agree fully with all that Chip has outlined. I would only add one more item: cultivar.
...

Best wishes,
sherubtse


I wonder if cultivar is actually important information, since taste can vary greatly depends where and how it was grown, how well processing was executed. For example i had tamaryokucha from Ureshino and Nagasaki, both were yabukita and similar in quality, but they had very little in common, only some flavor that you will most likely meet in tamaryokucha.

I think many TC Japanese TeaHeads want the cultivar information so we can judge apples to apples, etc. I always like to compare different Yutaka Midori selections, and while they can be quite variable from one vendor to another, this hek=lps me to figure out where a vendor is on my list. :wink:

But is also just interesting to know. :mrgreen: There are just so many things going on in the processing of green teas, any information is an added bonus!


Well, at least there is something to choose now, though still yabukita is far far more common :) What i personally would like to know, is the age of tea trees, but think this is rather impossible for most teas.
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