What is the best green tea for the price?

Another blogger inspired me to create this new discussion topic: thank you Tea_is_wisdom!

“Money doesn’t grow on trees,” they say; but thankfully Tea does!

I’m sure there are others of you who are bargain shoppers and are on the lookout for the best tea for the best price. So how about posting them here so others can grab that bargain as well? : )

I would like this thread to focus on green tea (the noble leaf that comes from the camellia sinensis plant). If you are interested in other classes of tea (or tizanes, fruit tea, etc.) then by all means, please start another thread (I know I’d have a few to give regarding Indian black/Chinese red teas)!

I am primarily interested in Chinese green teas, but I would like to include teas from any nation in this discussion thread.

We all have our own ways of defining what a is considered to be a good value. Still, here are a few helpful guidelines in terms of what I think is best to post here (I am open to creating other guidelines, or modifying these as well).

Please include only green teas that (are):
1) you have had at least once.
2) currently available (or will be in the next few months).
3) available to the general public (through a website, mail-order, phone, or even a good ‘ol fashion Brick & Mortar store).
4) include a price based on either two ounce (or 50 grams) or four ounce (or 100 grams) packs (including prices achieved by buying in bulk, for example, gets problematic, as not everyone wants to buy an entire kilo, or even 500 grams, of a tea at once.
5) include a priced based on it’s regular price (not a sale price or a price contingent on using points, coupons, etc.).
I recommend excluding shipping in the price (I know this is a tough one, but I’m trying keep this simple).

For each tea you list (in the order of value, starting with the best value first) please give any (or all) of the following details:
1) The name of the tea, country of origin (region if applicable), harvest date (if available), name of tea retailer, and it’s current price (with the weight included).
2) A link to the tea on the tea retailers website (if one exists).
3) A link to the tea here on Steepster for any reviews of it (if it does not exist, then why not add it to Steepster!)
4) If you haven’t reviewed it yet, why you think it deserves to be on this list (i.e. why it’s a great value), including the virtues of that particular tea (i.e. incredible flavor, yields lots of steepings, very aromatic, beautiful, organic, fair trade, small farm, etc.)

Also, if you are interested please also list how you define a good value in a green tea.

I will follow up with a post of my own shortly. Thanks for sharing your best valued green tea with the rest of us!

21 Replies

I just checked Jing Tea Shop’s website and found out their Bai Sha Lu is gone! How sad; I was going to put that tea at #1!

1) Frosty Spring Yunnan Roast Green, (Yunan Province, China), 2012, Life in Teacup, $15 / 4 OZ
http://www.lifeinteacup.com/green-tea
http://steepster.com/teas/life-in-teacup/26505-1500m-4500-ft-dot-frosty-spring-yunnan-roast-green-first-day-harvest-2012

2) Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun (Jiangsu, China), 2012, Teavivre, $12.50 / 100 grams
http://www.teavivre.com/bi-luo-chun-green-tea-pi-lo-chun/
http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/21800-dong-ting-bi-luo-chun-green-tea-pi-lo-chun

(I wouldn’t use a ‘#’ character, as it won’t show up anyway)

The Frosty Spring Yunnan sounds wonderful! I had put it on my shopping list when I saw your review for it before!

I’m glad to hear it! There aren’t any other tasting notes posted about it, so I’d love to hear what you think of it.

I haven’t actually bought it, just one of those “window shopping” moments. I added it to my shopping list here in Steepster for whenever I decide to buy from Life in Teacup.

goodandy said

http://www.heyheytea.com Chinese Tea Store – Heyheytea.com
Heyheytea sells fine Chinese tea at great prices. Our main categories of Chinese tea are Green Tea, Black Tea, Oolong Tea,

White Tea and Herbal Tea. Our teas are guaranteed fresh as we ship them directly to you from Asia.
Accept paypal,credit card,moneygram,westernunion,webmoney,QIWI,bank transfer,Alipay and other payments
chinese tea, green, black, oolong, yellow, pu-erh, puerh, puer, white, herbal, tisanes, yixing, teapot, gaiwan
http://www.heyheytea.com

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1) Japanese Sencha, (Japan), no date of harvest, Harney and Sons, $12 / 4oz
http://www.harney.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=3742&category=0&secondary=869
http://steepster.com/teas/harney-and-sons/932-sencha
I like this one so much as to not want to search for another Sencha, especially with the lower price it has.

2)Jasmine “Dragon Pearls” Green Tea, Fuding, Fujian, China), March 2012, Teavivre, $14.90 / 100g (3.5 oz)
http://www.teavivre.com/jasmine-dragon-pearl/
http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/21767-jasmine-dragon-pearls-green-tea
I love Jasmine Pearls and this is easily toward the top of my list, the price makes it the best.

There are so many good green teas out there, but so many of them are more expensive, especially for better quality.

Harney has a good Sencha, huh? … I just looked at it; I like that they have lots of options of how to buy it (it gets even cheaper of you buy a pound of it; ooops, that doesn’t count here!).

I haven’t had many sencha’s, but I like Den’s Sencha Fuka-midori and it’s a reasonably priced one, too (although it’s gone up in price since I bought it last: $7.25 / 2 OZ). Still, the H&S’s one is a little cheaper (at $3 / OZ), so I’ll keep that in mind the next time I order from H&S.

I’m glad to hear you like Teavivre’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls. After having at least three different Jasmine scented teas (two green, and one black) I have decided they’re not for me (although I have a Jasmine Silver Needles white tea of Teavivre’s still to try out, so maybe that one will change my mind about Jasmine). Still, I’m glad you have found some Jasmine Dragon Pearls for a great price!

Thanks for responding!

I’ve never tried any of Den’s teas, but I get the 4oz tin from H&S and it lasts quite a while for me. Plus, once the tea is done you can easily remove the label from the tin and reuse it for another tea.

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I’m adding another tea to this list, one I tried just yesterday:

3) Organic Tian Mu Mao Feng Green Tea, Zhejiang, China, 2012, Teavivre, $10.90 / 100 grams
http://www.teavivre.com/organic-tian-mu-mao-feng/
http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/27493-organic-tian-mu-mao-feng-green-tea

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I’m in love with Teavana’s Dragonwell:
http://tea.teavana.com/?keyword=dragonwell
http://steepster.com/teas/teavana/3010-dragonwell
10.20/2oz
Zhejiang Province, China

I just glanced at all of the reviews (about 20, not counting the re-posts) and they all seem pretty solid. I have yet to see this one go on sale during their ‘Heavenly Tea Sale’ at the end of the year, or I probably would have had it by now ($5 / OZ is on the steep end for me). I would still like to try it someday, though.

Thanks, Michelle!

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This is a great topic – I am currently on a (slow, low budget) quest for a great reasonably-priced seasonal green. So far Verdant has my favorite greens (Laoshan, sun-dried Jingshan, Dragonwell-style, etc), but the prices for me are too high for regular drinking.

Still waiting for orders from Teavivre and Norbu, but so far the best everyday green for the price was Adagio’s Gunpowder. Seriously!!! Every other green from that place was underwhelming/probably old, but this tea was solid for well under $2 an ounce.

It’s strong with a thick body and a very “green” vegetal taste. Many of the reviewers said it was smokey but I didn’t think it was, especially when compared with their “Sleeping Dragon” tea. As long as you are very careful not to overbrew, I find this tea satisfying my green tea craving on a daily basis.

mbanu said

Gunpowder is probably the most affordable of the widely available greens. (This is one of the reasons it is so popular in West Africa, I think.) It travels well, and is very forgiving in preparation. However, it is not a subtle tea, so it may be an acquired taste for some.

Missy said

That is very interesting. Gunpowder is my favorite green because I think it has less vegetal taste and more roasted goodness. I’ll have to try out Adagio’s and see how it’s different from the other versions I have.

mbanu – Great point about the tea traveling well, very interesting topic.

Missy – I think people mean different things when they say something is vegetal-tasting, so don’t take my word for it. I’ve been out of this tea for a little while, so I will probably order a new batch soon with my reward points and see if the taste is how I remember it. It was very strong though, so it’s probably not for everyone.

I agree about gunpowder, it’s a good value for the price and I like most of the versions I’ve had.

wokeupfuzzy: I’m glad you like the topic!

I will admit, I am not a big fan of gunpowder (having had a few of them). I agree with mbanu that it seems to be “the most affordable of the widely available greens,” and that “it is not a subtle tea.” I feel about the same with Chun Mee style green teas. I tend to avoid both of those style of green teas as they don’t seem to have a flavor profile I prefer. Still, I am willing to believe there are some good ones out there, and Adagio’s Gunpowder may be one of them.

Teavivre definitely has some very competitively priced green teas (and some quality Dragon well, most of which are beyond my budget, though), and I’ve noticed Norbu has a few that are pretty inexpensive: here is a list sorted by price http://www.norbutea.com/green_tea?sort_ord=2&sort_dir=asc

As you pointed out, Missy, I think gunpowder has a flavor profile that is strongly roasted (and can be even smoke-y, and I think that’s a big reason why I don’t prefer them (I love tasting those veges, though!).

Amy oh I agree that gunpowder style green tea can be one of the best values in a green tea—IF you like their flavor profile, that is.

SimpliciTEA – I have been going through my new Teavivre green tea samples and hope to post some reviews soon. I’ve been trying them side by side and will probably go back to each again before reviewing (I try not to base my impression on just one or two sessions).

After trying their gunpowder, which definitely tasted like a basic traditional version with its strong dry smokiness, the Adagio gunpowder I received last year was definitely different (as I remember it) – strong green taste but barely smokey at all. I will do a side by side comparison when/if I reorder it.

Missy said

I look forward to your review. I’m going to follow you. I really like Teavivre’s gunpowder but I’m interested in how Adagio’s is different.

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does anyone know about resteepable Japanese greens such as some of the Sencha and gyokuro? or about the steamed green teas?

Grace said

I would like to know this too!

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