If any of you get up to northern California wine country, may I suggest that you stop in at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, California and check out Tillerman Tea Company.
I have known one of the partners for years, David Wong. David is one of the most thoroughly knowledgeable tea people I have ever met (and that includes publicly-acknowledged "masters"). For years he managed the original Imperial Tea Gallery store in Chinatown, San Francisco. In addition, David is a grad-school scholar in Chinese Cultural Studies, an accomplished qujin musician, painter and calligrapher (he teaches all of the above). David Campbell I've had the pleasure of just getting to know, but I have been so impressed with his extensive travel and knowledge of tea producing regions, and thoroughness of their sourcing for teas. David's also spent decades in the wine business (which Napa is famous for, of course) - he knows agriculture and trades knowledge with tea farmers and has a thorough knowledge of what processes create fine wines and teas of complexity.
David & David have sourced out specifically traditional farming methods where organic products are created by people who care deeply about the quality of their teas. Anyway, I was impressed with everything I tasted - which included a wide range of blacks and greens. I was very impressed with the complexity and freshness of what I tasted, and it was a great afternoon, so they come highly recommended.
Since I personally know David & David, I'd encourage anyone to check out their website and/or contact them about teas you think you might love.
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