Really pricey tea :( What's the most you have ever paid?
I think my biggest splurge so far is David’s Gyokuro Yamashiro @$19.50 for 50g (1.76oz).
Verdant’s 1998 Xingyang shu pu’er at $19.95/oz… The frugal part of me still feels sad when I think about it, but the tea-lover in me feels it was totally worth it.
i paid 20 euros for a first flush darjeeling (DEVINE :)! (40 gr.)
and I often spend same amount or (very much!) more buying gyokuro and sencha (high(est) grade. I don’t smoke, drink or buy silly thing for my home, and use that as an excuse to spend it on tea :)
I had a tea breakdown and bought 2 reserve teas from Verdant about a month ago…the Early Spring Fuding White ($22/oz) and the Mi Lan Xiang Reserve Dancong ($19.95/oz). Yes, it was lots, and I still haven’t tried them, I want to be in the perfect mindset for such fancy teas, but I’m positive they will be worth every penny haha. Although I don’t think I will get any that expensive again lol.
A 1990 puer for $20/50g, and I just picked up 100g of a Mariage Freres tea at Holt Renfrew for $24. The puer is an amazing treat, and resteeps multiple times. The Mariage Freres one is a masala chai. A very nice one, but possibly not fancy or special enough to warrant the price tag. :)
$48 + shipping for 20g Tenju matcha
I’ve spent $25 for roasted mountain oolong. We had just had an amazing tea tasting at Fang Gourmet Tea (which was $5). I had selected an Alishan oolong. I wanted to purchase it, but at $95, it was more than what I wanted to spend, so I opted for a less pricey oolong. The tea tastings we did were so informative, it was worth it.
Speaking of pricey teas, definitely a fan of Tea Wing. May seem like a lot but it’s worth it. http://shop.teawing.co/collections
FF Castleton from Mariage Freres 40 euros and all the other premiium FF Darjeelings costing 30+ euros. They are always superb except for this year.
2013 FF was not a good season for Darjeelings due to the lack of rain.
I heard the opposite about FF darjeelings this year. That the lack of rain was supposed to stress the plants, but that stress was supposed to make the muscatel notes much more pronounced. So stress = good (as long as it doesn’t kill the plant).
Some day I dream of going to Darjeeling and trying to drink tea from every tea estate there.
I actually haven’t bought as many this year because all of the ones I’ve been finding are way too green for my taste.
I tried so many 2013 FF Darjeelings.
IMHO, they were all less than Stellar and this is the response I received from Mariage Freres after tasting most of their Spring Flush Teas:
“I am following up regarding your email on the 1st of November in which you made some comments on our 2013 Spring Flush Darjeeling which would lack the full flavour expected from our Darjeeling teas.
Unfavourable weather conditions have hit the production of the first flush Darjeeling tea this year. Unseasonable and persistent cold, dry weather followed by a hot spell has put the first crop of this year’s Darjeeling tea at risk. The region got its first rain in February after almost three months and, thereafter, there has hardly been any rainfall. Some tea bushes were wilting and the leaves had defoliated. The overall production of first flush dipped by around 30 per cent.
As you may know, unlike the Darjeeling crop for rest of the year, a large portion of the first flush tea is sold through private auction. While Mariage Frères has a first right of choice, we have worked with planters for tea gardens to be turned to artificial irrigation and selected the very best crops available, no matter whether DJ1 or latest harvests. Please be sure we focus on quality and aroma.
As a matter of facts, weather in 2013 had some impact on the taste of the tea: while the liquor is light, delicate, youthful and much flavoured in taste, with a grape appeal in the top note and middle, it is light-to-medium bodied and the barest hint of typical first flush briskness. I believe that, according to your taste, which tends towards a more full bodied, muscatel-flavored cup, you may increase the amount of tea and pour near boiling water."
Try the Vintage 2012 FF Castleton from MF and you will notice the tremendous difference in taste from their FF Darjeelings of 2013.
Even after so many months have passed from the time they were picked to my shipment I received in October, the tea is still excellent.
Wow, thanks for transcribing the letter. I’m very impressed.
Here are some of my tasting notes from when I visited MF in 2012 and tried their teas.
Balasun FF 2011; Very light oxidation, resulting in a delicate briskness of green peppers and freshly cut grass. Faint smokey aftertaste leading into a metalic finish.
Namring FF 2012; Green first flush with a subtle sweetness. Light muscatel with a distinct walnut aftertaste. Brew is light amber color with little aroma. I would have brewed longer. Low astringency
I tried the Balasun SF 2011 as well and found it more to my liking.
Where do you order your MF from?
(I’m right now drinking an Autumnal Marybong Darjeeling, and am not enjoying it as much as the FF from Marybong, but I guess autumn flushes are rarely as good as the earlier ones)
MF 2012 FF Namring was possibly the best Darjeeling I have ever tasted. Although I wrote a tasting note on it, I should have waited until I had finished up the first batch, 100g, to give it a proper review. Changed up some parameters and it brought out the ever so slight floral aroma from the tea. Full bodied, little to no astringency, with all the flavors present in what I consider a fine Darjeeling to be. There was also the slight nuttiness which finished up the flavor on each and every sip.
Huh, it must have been the water but I wasn’t that impressed with the tea there. They also brew the teas for you at MF, so I couldn’t watch and observe the brewing, or smell the leaves (my favorite part). I wouldn’t rank the tea I drank in Paris as great, or even as good, I guess I should have bought some and then made it at home.
I’ve been to the MF Tea Salon in Ginza/Tokyo and I feel this is often the case with the teas they brew. Their basic rule is 2-3 minutes, 195F. However, the stated time on the 2012 FF Namring Package was 4 minutes, 195F. That one minute made all the difference in the flavor, taste, and aroma of the tea.
Wow! Up to now id say £12.95 for 50g silver needle tea but I get three or four pots out of each scoop.
As I’m learning and my tastes grow I aim to progress onto more pricy teas but as a beginner I dont want to spend loads on something I don’t like.