Originally Posted by swinchen
Anyone have some good sites bookmarked to buy high quality loose leaf teas? No dust of fannings, looking for GFOP, TGFOP, or FTGFOP Black Teas, High quality Oolongs, Green and White.
hi! my name is chris. i just joined the DC after this site came up while i was searching for tea. i got into loose tea two years ago (i'm 43) and after drinking bagged tea for over 20 years, i now have 38 POUNDS
of loose tea in my cupboard(s)! i have everything from white, yellow, green (japan and china), black (assam, darjeeling, nilgiri, ceylon, china, blends, etc), oolong, estate teas, and more.
i went to england 3 years ago and went to india this january, and tea is really so integral to my life right now. i have searched the web high and low for good, high quality tea and here's my 3 faves:
enjoyingtea.com (specifically for greens and whites) they are in San Francisco, and i imagine due to the high number of Asian and Asian American backgrounds there, there is high selling so they have excellent prices (the best of green prices anywhere). tell them the guy in vermont sent you! <grin>
specialteas.com (for my decaf sencha, decaf eng. breakfast, ceylons and others.
also: the teatable.com lori (in colorado) is excellent, and you can get free samples with a purchase.
harney and upton are very good quality, but i think a bit overpriced, not too much though.
i'm in no way connected with any of these, just a tea lover. i'd be happy to email my spread sheet of teas i have (i just organized and cleaned my tea cupboards, and was shocked at how much tea i have!)
one lesson i learned was to try the tea black first, then add a bit of sugar, THEN add any milk if needed. i only add milk to black teas, and not all of them. and, just a splash, otherwise it tastes like tea with milk instead of just tea. also, a bit of milk neutralizes the acidic or tannic taste.
green teas: i bring the water to just a steam, below 175 degrees. never hotter. teas like dragonwell (lung ching) can be even cooler water. 1-3 mins. 1 min for sencha: i get 3 pots out of 1 tablespoon. 2 mins for others.
one's i'd recommend:
malty, but not too strong, flavorful: tarajulie or golden tips (3-4 mins, boiling water) good with a bit of rock or natural sugar and a splash of milk.
somewhat malty, but with a wonderful almost chocolately scent. lover's leap is the best and most economical, other excellent ones just a bit more, but also affordable: nu' wara eliya, dimbulla, adam's peak, pettigalla, st. coombs. same steeping as assam.
anything but castleton. puttabong and tukvar are the best and hardest to find first flush. 2nd flushes are more lively and have that muscatel flavor instead of really fruity. 1st flush is like a beaujolais wine, fruity and light. 2nd flushes are like a mild burgundy. 1st flush: below boiling point, 1.5-2 mins steep, NO milk, no sugar, or just a tad to bring out the flavor. 2nd flush 2-3 mins.
emporers red if you can afford it! actually has a chocolately flavor and smell. keemun, yunnan and qi hong are good, organic panda is cheaper and just as good. boiling water. 3-4 mins. 5 max. bit of sugar, milk okay.
oh! endless choices! dragonwell
is affordable, 160-175 water, rinse leaves first in hot water ( i put my filter in a cup and pour about 1/2 cup of hot water over the leaves first, and let sit 5 seconds. this works for oolongs and greens except for sencha) to get rid of dust and impurities. dragnwell has a chestnutty flavor and delicious smell that get lost the hotter the water is.
maofeng and imperial maofeng
are to die for! more expensive, but 4 oz as a special treat will last. yummy. i am not a purist, and i put about 1 teaspoon of honey in a 5 cup (5 x 6 oz) pot.
gunpowder is pretty basic, cheap, pingshui is smaller pellets, more expensive, better flavor. takes less per cup than other teas as it unfurls quite large.
fujian jasmine is wonderful, as are 3 cup fragrance, mao jian
sencha is it! there are many grades, good and bad, and costs. gyokuro is beyond my pricing, but worth a sample. i drink sencha (stands for everyday tea or ordinary tea) every day. 1 tablespoon in a 4 cup pot i min 195 water. reuse 2 more times. (1.5 mins second steep, 2 mins third steep)
shou mei is cheapest, but at least 3 grades of it. i have 3 types i got in NYC, and two online, all different sizes, color and flavor. enjoying tea has the best and cheapest shou mei.
twinings prince of wales: original flavor is ceylon and oolong. there are many other blends of this, but they put in gunpowder and other things. twinings has the best flavor.
canadian breakfast (metropolitan tea of canada through jollygoodtea in vadar, washington) best "breakfast". english is weakest, then irish, then canadian, then scottish.
decaf cinnamon orange (special teas)
good decaf green and ceylon are hard to find.
feel free to respond here or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
and i'd be happy to share more about tea, including pictures from my trip to england and india!