Best months to receive fresh tea?

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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Chip » Mar 31st, '12, 10:55

Xell wrote: 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.

Yeah, like I said, so many things going on in the processing!

It is interesting to note, that while Yabukita is by far the most used tea for sencha throughought much of Japan, Kagoshima uses much less. Yutaka Midori and other varietals are much more common there. I feel this is possibly part of the attraction for me to teas from Kagoshima. And yes, for many years, for Westerners it was Yubukita or nothing until O-Cha opened the door!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Yabukita done right, but there is much to be said for variety in cultivars/varietals!

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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Xell » Mar 31st, '12, 11:11

Chip wrote:Yeah, like I said, so many things going on in the processing!

It is interesting to note, that while Yabukita is by far the most used tea for sencha throughought much of Japan, Kagoshima uses much less. Yutaka Midori and other varietals are much more common there. I feel this is possibly part of the attraction for me to teas from Kagoshima. And yes, for many years, for Westerners it was Yubukita or nothing until O-Cha opened the door!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Yabukita done right, but there is much to be said for variety in cultivars/varietals!


My experience with other cultivars is not that big yet, for now different cultivars are more associated with convenience of growing them, rather than some specific aroma character. Hope i will have far more opportunities to try different teas, need more practice :wink:

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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Chip » Mar 31st, '12, 11:23

Xell wrote:
Chip wrote:Yeah, like I said, so many things going on in the processing!

It is interesting to note, that while Yabukita is by far the most used tea for sencha throughought much of Japan, Kagoshima uses much less. Yutaka Midori and other varietals are much more common there. I feel this is possibly part of the attraction for me to teas from Kagoshima. And yes, for many years, for Westerners it was Yubukita or nothing until O-Cha opened the door!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Yabukita done right, but there is much to be said for variety in cultivars/varietals!


My experience with other cultivars is not that big yet, for now different cultivars are more associated with convenience of growing them, rather than some specific aroma character. Hope i will have far more opportunities to try different teas, need more practice :wink:

There is a degree in truth in the ease of growing more cultivars in Kagoshima versus Shizuoka and Uji, etc. which due to climate are more limited in what they can reliably grow.

But it goes much further than this. There are absolute differences in flavors and aromas of these cultivars when compared to the traditional Yabukita. I am sorry to continue mentioning YM, but it is the classic example of this.

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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby entropyembrace » Mar 31st, '12, 15:46

back to the OP...

Simple answer is don´t buy from vendors that do not provide you with harvest date information. There are so many high quality vendors that do it´s not worth wasting time with the ones that do not.

Many great vendors are discussed on this forum...

Here´s my personal top picks for Chinese greens http://www.jingteashop.com/ and Japanese greens http://www.o-cha.com/

But there are lots of others worth checking out too :)

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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby dnick » Mar 31st, '12, 18:29

I bought some from Dragon Tea House, I really loved their selection and product descriptions and I liked that the shop is based in China.

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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby Splinters » Apr 5th, '12, 15:58

My favorite sellers of Chinese green tea are Tea Spring, Jing Tea Shop, and Dragon Tea House. I've ordered from each of them many times, and always gotten excellent quality, fresh green tea from them. I have favorites for each store that I come back to year after year (though Jing's selection varies more year-by-year).

In terms of time of year to buy, I agree that the best time for most varietals is late Spring. At that point, several teas will have come in from the most recent harvest and will be very fresh. To my taste, many green teas will slowly degrade over the year such that I switch almost entirely over to oolongs by the Winter and early Spring.

There are exceptions to this, however. How a vendor stores the tea makes a huge difference in terms of freshness. I just opened a Dragon Tea House Mt. Meng Cloud Mist from last year's harvest, and it's wonderfully aromatic and fresh-tasting. It was stored in a heat-selaed vacuum-packed baggie with an oxygen absorber, so the year of storage has made only a slight impact on its flavor.

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Re: Best months to receive fresh tea?

Postby dnick » Apr 5th, '12, 22:10

I bought some stuff from DTH, but it's going to take a month to get here......have you contacted them about faster shipping quotes? Other than that by all the reviews and selection, DTH might be my favorite tea house for bulk teas.

In the mean time I got some teas from NorbuTea which is based in Dallas,TX. I purchased some Pu Erh, 2011 Jasmine Pearls and 2012 Ya Bao(One of the Sheng Pu Erh's is a 2005 cake made from Ya Bao so I get to taste the difference of aging :)).

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