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Green tea recommendations?

Green tea is starting to really grow on my boyfriend and I, but we have no idea where to start.
What are some great green teas out there I could order? What are your favorites?

9 Replies
Jason admin said

I haven’t had many of their teas, but I always hear amazing things about green teas from Den’s Tea: http://steepster.com/teas/dens-tea

Maybe someone else would recommend a specific one…?

Jessie said

Den’s $3 sampler is the perfect place to start! Generous samples and a nice little selection.

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Thank you!

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I normally like to ask questions (below) before giving any recommendations for anything (I waited tables for years, and did not like giving out “blanket statements” about what was or wasn’t good). So for now at least, I glanced through your reviews to get an idea of what you like. I see you reviewed lots of flavored teas, and I saw that you liked Teavana’s Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls.

- Please ignore these if they are too overwhelming :-} -
- What is your price range?
(I have experience with the lesser expensive teas: $1/oz – $4/oz).
- Where do you want to buy your tea (local, big teas shop or small, or on-line)?
- Do you want to try flavored or unflavored?
- Does it matter if it’s a blend, or do you like single origin or estate teas?
(I prefer single origin, or estate teas.
Here’s a great link to help explain these terms:
http://ratetea.net/topic/single-origin-teas/29/).
- Does it matter if it’s organic? Fair Trade?

Unflavored:
DRAGON WELL (or Lung Ching, or Longjing) can be a good place to start (that’s where I started). I have had three different Dragon Well’s and they were all tasty: Green Hill Tea’s Organic (the sweetest I’ve had), Prince of Peace (got at Asian grocery store, my first), and Jing Tea Shop (their $2/oz. version; I’m happy with it). In my experience, the Dragon Well that‘s out there seems to be pretty standard across all the vendors (hand picked, pan fried, flat leaf, sweet and nutty flavor), and just about every tea vendor seems to have one (except the health food and spice ‘mom and pop shops’ around here, that is). Unlike some other teas, I get the impression it is hard to get a ‘bad’ Dragon Well (although I have seen the greatest price range with this style of tea: from $2/oz up to $30/oz).

Some say GUNPOWDER is a good place to start, but it can be pretty smoky tasting, and I don’t think it is a good representative of what green teas taste like, as most of the green teas I’ve had aren’t smoky (having tried 25+ green teas so far). Yet, there are a few good things about gunpowder: every tea retailer seems to sell it, it’s easy to brew (since it is pellet shaped it is very forgiving in regards to steep time and temperature), and it has a strong, almost unmistakable, flavor.

Flavored:
I have only tried one local JASMINE GREEN, and I didn’t like it, at all (But, It may have been a low quality one. I hope to try a better quality one sometime in the future :) ). Clearly, many like this tea (I see you liked the one you tried). Every tea vendor I know has some version of a Jasmine green tea. But it may be best not to try from a local shop (as I have), and instead buy from a vendor where you know it will be fresh and good quality (For me that means Teavana, or going on-line, so that’s your call).

MANDRINE ORANGE is a popular green tea (all of my local shops have it). The flavor is light, not too strong (as gunpowder can be).

I have never tried it, but if you like mint, MOROCCAN MINT is popular (and Teavana has it for a reasonable price).

I’ve heard lot’s of good things about Den’s PINEAPPLE SENCHA (I plan to buy the next chance I get).

We like Teavana’s CITRON SONATA, but unfortunately they discontinued that line.

Tea vendors:
Tea Trekker’s green teas are good (http://www.teatrekker.com/shop/green/); I’ve had four, and many are reasonably priced ($3.75/oz.). But now that I think of it, you have to buy a sample for an outrageous price ($5-8 for half an ounce!), or you have to buy 4oz.. :( One thing I like about Tea Trekker: they tell you the season and year of the harvest (and the province). And in my experience, freshness is more important with green tea (and yellow and white) than with black/red, oolong, or herbal teas. They sell Jasmine Green Tea (http://www.teatrekker.com/shop/jasmine-other-flower-scented-teas/). They also have a few organic teas (http://www.teatrekker.com/shop/organic-tea/).

As Jason mentioned, I’ve heard great things about Dens, and they have a green tea novice sample for $3 (as Jessie mentioned: http://www.denstea.com/bnew-to-dens-teab-c-377.html).

Seven Cups has good organic tea, but it’s expensive (I’ve only had their older tea that has been discounted).

I’ve enjoyed all the teas I’ve bought from Jing Tea Shop (but the time and cost of shipping from China is a down side).

You could go to local shops and look at and smell their green tea, and buy the smallest amount you can. Or go to an Asian/international store and buy some of their green tea (the ones in my town have a great selection, but the freshness is always questionable, in my mind).

Personally, I don’t have a favorite green tea (I have about six or seven, such that I brew a different one every day). But a few things I will say experience has taught me: if I don’t like something about it (smells weird, too pricey, off flavor, tastes stale, too fussy, etc.), I won’t keep brewing/drinking it that is to say, it’s not sustainable. So I advise trying small amounts here and there (no more than two ounces) before you buy too much (I have a few ounces of many green teas I will probably never drink on their own, so I use them to add to later steepings of other green teas, just to use them up, since I don’t like wasting things). And if I have a bad experience with my first go around with it, I may not come back to it any time soon (or ever). So I recommend starting with something you think you will most likely like, first (for example, you already seem to like Jasmine and flavored teas), then think about being more adventurous and trying other green teas.

Thank you for asking. Writing this helped me to collect and organize my many thoughts I have had since I started drinking green tea. It helped me; I hope something I’ve written helps you.

Take this for what it’s worth (one perspective amongst many).

I would LOVE to hear other’s opinion/take on how to begin with green tea. :)

Cool, by accident I just learned that “**” (two asterisks) on each side bolds the text, * like this! *

Even cooler, putting this “*_” on the left and this “_*” on the right of the text bolds it, and puts in in italics, Blah, blah, blah Oooh, what more can I do! I’ll post it when I find out!

Thank you for your reply!
Well, since I signed up on Steepster I’ve really only reviewed flavored teas but that’s not fully representative of my tastes. I just went on a huge dessert tea buying binge lately haha. I have a palate that can appreciate all teas. Just like when it comes to food – I love to cook and as so appreciate all sorts of flavors, and there’s really nothing I don’t like as long as it’s not bad quality. So as long as a tea is of a decent quality, I will most likely find an appreciation for it.
I just ordered some dragon well/long jing teas, so I’m glad to hear good things about that tea.
When it comes to price range.. I’m willing to pay for a good quality tea. I’d like to find some every day drinkable green tea, as well as some for special occasions.
Currently I am only ordering online, as there are no local tea shops where I live at present moment sadly. (Can’t wait til I’m off to Seattle!)
Also tea that’s challenging to brew correctly isn’t a problem for me as I bought the Breville One-Touch a little over a month ago.. don’t know how I lived without it!
I was too looking at Den’s Pineapple Sencha. Sounds interesting.
And I was just wondering how to bold text! So you unintentionally answered another one of my questions, thanks! haha. And thank you for the recommendations!

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That is sad that you don’t have any shops near you (although I now buy my tea almost exclusively on-line).

The Breville One-Touch sounds like a great way to take some of the troubleshooting problems out of brewing tea.

I’m beginning to eye some of those dessert teas myself (I think I’ve already sold my wife on some of Frank’s teas. We’re just waiting for the ‘right time’).

Let us know how you fare with that Dragon Well!

When Frank reblends the Cinnamon roll Honeybush soon you should really try to jump on that! My favorite I’ve tried of his. Coconut Cheesecake Honeybush is another favorite of mine that I just ran out of.
Also for dessert teas I’m really loving Davids Teas at the moment and a few of The NecessiTeas blends like Orange Marzipan and Vanilla Cola; surprisingly really great iced.

DaisyChubb said

I think right now might be the “right time”!
He just reblended some fan favorites and I made my first order last night ^^

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I have heard lots of good things about Davids Tea. They are definitely on my radar.

Thanks for the info about dessert teas. My wife loves Cinnamon Rolls (and I do like them) so that’s a big one. And I love cheesecake.

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