Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

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Aug 27th 17 12:08 am
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Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

by debunix » Aug 27th 17 12:08 am

I've occasionally come across loose leaf tea packaged in 7 gram sealed packages, including vacuum sealed oolongs; I remember being shocked to see employees at a brick & mortar tea shop cutting open small vacuum packs of Taiwanese green oolongs to pour into their large jars from which tea was scooped and bagged up for customers. I am content with larger quantity packages for myself because I can go through most before they go ‘off’, but I recently visited my sister, and sadly finding a small amount of fine 2010 TGY that had been opened for all that time, and was obviously a faint shadow of its original self.

This would be a perfect situation to get some of those 7 gram packages for her, because she enjoys sharing tea with visitors, but does not drink enough to go through delicate greens and oolongs before they fade if not carefully sealed.

Can anyone suggest a good source for such sealed teas, without resorting to tea bags? I’ve made sure she has a proper tea pot, so bags aren’t needed.

Aug 27th 17 1:55 pm
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Re: Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

by Bok » Aug 27th 17 1:55 pm

How about just getting a vacuum sealer? Might come handy for other things as well. Do not see the point for a seller to offer such small packs. For rolled oolongs 75g is the smallest amount I find reasonable. That is maybe 5-6 gong fu sessions tops, depending on the pot of course.

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Aug 27th 17 5:11 pm
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Re: Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

by debunix » Aug 27th 17 5:11 pm

I asked because I have seen such packs, and can't remember where besides the shocking experience watching them be cut open at WHF years back, and it would be more convenient than using my own vacuum sealer (I have one) if the tea comes that way. I'm not expecting to purchase 7 grams of each tea, but to buy a box of 20 or 50 packs that size. I'm thinking not just of the rolled oolongs, but of more delicate tea shapes that can be crushed by vacuum sealing, and which might be nitrogen-flushed like many japanese teas. I don't have the equipment to flush the teas with nitrogen before sealing either.

Aug 28th 17 9:54 am
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Re: Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

by Bok » Aug 28th 17 9:54 am

debunix wrote: I asked because I have seen such packs, and can't remember where besides the shocking experience watching them be cut open at WHF years back, and it would be more convenient than using my own vacuum sealer (I have one) if the tea comes that way. I'm not expecting to purchase 7 grams of each tea, but to buy a box of 20 or 50 packs that size.
I see. I just remembered one shop which is unfortunately not launched yet, but they will have single serve tea boxes with 8g x 12 packs.

I’ll give you a shout once it is open. Too pricey from my out of Taiwan perspective, but maybe it won’t shock you if you buy online often.

All teas are from Taiwan only though. So far they will have Lishan (green, roasted, black), Alishan, Shanlinxi, Dayuling and Oriental beauty.

(disclosure: not my shop, but a client’s I have worked for)

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Aug 28th 17 4:18 pm
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Re: Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

by victoria3 » Aug 28th 17 4:18 pm

You might just put a special order in, with a smaller artisanal vendor.

Aug 28th 17 6:06 pm
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Re: Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

by abnyc » Aug 28th 17 6:06 pm

debunix wrote: I asked because I have seen such packs, and can't remember where besides the shocking experience watching them be cut open at WHF years back, and it would be more convenient than using my own vacuum sealer (I have one) if the tea comes that way. I'm not expecting to purchase 7 grams of each tea, but to buy a box of 20 or 50 packs that size. I'm thinking not just of the rolled oolongs, but of more delicate tea shapes that can be crushed by vacuum sealing, and which might be nitrogen-flushed like many japanese teas. I don't have the equipment to flush the teas with nitrogen before sealing either.
Tea Urchin sends their Yancha in 7g packs. Not sure if they do the same for all types, but they do sell Taiwan & Guangdong oolongs as well.

Verdant Tea offers 5g samples for most of their teas, sometimes vacu-sealed, though I've yet to encounter one high-quality enough to really need this treatment.

There must be others around, too, that do this.

Aug 28th 17 7:00 pm
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Re: Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

by MarcusReed » Aug 28th 17 7:00 pm

My vendor can supply WuyiShan tea like this.

Aug 28th 17 11:07 pm
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Re: Source for individually packaged loose leaf tea?

by OldWaysTea » Aug 28th 17 11:07 pm

In Wuyishan most tea is sold in those bags. They have two standard sizes a small and a large. The small one is said to hold 5g and is used for black teas. The large size is said to hold 8g, but depends on leaf size and packed amount can range from 6g to 10g. About 8g is most common. The bags can be purchased at tea packing stores in China and cost about 10 RMB per 100 bags. I don't know the prices off hand for sealing machines. I can describe that there are a few levels of sealing and packing machines available. The lowest would be a simple press heat sealer. Nobody uses those for production. The next step up is to manually open the bags, use an automated scale to fill them, then pass them to a continuous feed heat sealing machine. Finally, in the last year or so high volume fully automatic machines have reduced in price to the point that small shops will have them. I've heard prices in the low tens of thousands of RMB for a basic machine. None of the machines I've seen in Wuyishan provide vacuum sealing capability, since Wuyi teas are not well suited and would get crushed.

Hope this can provide some info, if you have any questions please reach out to me. I know a good amount about tea packaging, and could possibly help source bags or machines.