Teas That Are Worth the Splurge

Since I’ve started drinking tea, affordability has ALWAYS been one of my top priorities. I try to find the best balance between quality and price. Since I’m limited to about $30 dollars a month, I don’t really have opportunities to try high-end teas, but this month I want to experience the best of the best. I would like some input on a tea that is expensive, but will truly be worth it. I’m particularly looking for a high-quality Japanese tea (I’ve been extremely interested in trying a gyokuro for a long time), and I’m also interested in a high-quality black.

The teas I’m mostly considering splurging on at the moment are:
Arbor Teas Gyokuro
American Tea Room’s Honyama Sencha
American Tea Room’s Yunnan Golden Needles

So yeah, I’m mostly looking for a Japanese green or a chinese black, but I’m open to any suggestions. Thanks. And as a side note, I’d like to say that if anyone has any teas that they don’t want, I’d be glad to take them off your hands. ;)

20 Replies
Annie said

Arbor Teas gyokuro is delicious- and I’ve tried several other organic, straight from Japan gyokuros (For more $$) and Arbor Tea’s is by far the best available- definitely worth the splurge!

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Thanks, your opinion is really helpful. I’ve also been looking at gyokuros from O-cha but now that I’ve read a few praises of Arbor’s gyokuro, I think that’s what I’ll go with if I decide for sure that gyokuro is what I want.

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Of the three you listed, I’d go with the Gyokuro, but then, I’m not the best person to ask that question, since I am not American Tea Room’s biggest fan. But, I do love Arbor Teas and have always received nothing but excellent service from them.

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Yeah, that’s what I’m leaning towards. From what I see, American Tea Room’s prices are beyond even calling just a “splurge”.

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Another excellent source for Japanese green teas is Den’s Tea. http://www.denstea.com

I love Den’s! Seriously consider them! Seriously.

Geoffrey said

For quality Japanese green teas, I will third the suggestion of Den’s Tea. I very much enjoyed their Gyokuro Suimei. Another option that I really, really liked was Mellow Monk’s Shaded Leaf (fukamushi kabusecha).

Yes, I love Mellow Monk as well. Their Top Leaf is superb! I rated it 100. http://mellowmonk.com/

Tamm said

Den’s greens are AMAZING. They were my intro to early harvest sencha (shincha?) and I’ve never looked back.

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Is Arbor Teas still basically a reseller of Tea Gschwendner? If so, it might be cheaper to buy directly from Tea Gschwendner. Just a thought ;)

I agree with the comments about Den’s Tea — I have one of their gyokuros right now and I like it very much.

Also, one of the best Chinese blacks I’ve ever had is from Rishi Tea:

HI Infusin_Susan -

Aubrey with Arbor Teas here! I think you might be confusing us with another Ann Arbor-based tea supplier, TeaHaus. Arbor Teas is not associated with Tea Gschwendner, however I believe TeaHaus is associated with Tea Gschwendner or at least was associated with them when they opened their cafe in Ann Arbor.

Happy Shopping Kwinter! I, of course, will keep my extremely biased opinion to myself! : )

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Dorothy said

I’m not sure how much you’d want to splurge on fine black teas, but I think Teavivre’s Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tips (teavivre.com $16.90/100g or 3.5oz) and Jing Tea Shop’s Ying De Hong Cha (jingteashop.com $15.90/100g) are a great value for their quality, plus you can resteep them (eastern or western style) many times which really makes them a bargain.

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I loved the gyokuro from Arbor Teas (but I haven’t had a lot of gyokuro from other places) and you can also get a sample if you don’t want to buy the regular size. I haven’t tried the other ones you listed.

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smartkitty said

Do try Verdant Green’s Yunnan Golden Buds! Their Autumn Laoshan Black is just as delicious. I’m such a fangirl.

smartkitty said

Oh, and as for Japanese greens, I love Yuuki-cha and Sugimoto USA :)

Mike Jutan said

Both of those are SOOOOOOO GOOOD

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DukeGus said

Well for high quality whole leaf black I would go with
2011 High Grade Organic Oriental Beauty Tea / Dong Fang Mei Ren from zen8tea at ebay. I have tried other blacks that a friend of mine send me but this one was too good…

Though I don’t buy expensive tea too, this tea just send me straight to heaven because the quality/price is too good to be true. I think she has smaller parcels.
I got just 3 gr left and I keep it like a precious jewelry.

I have a review here

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