Countries from overlooked countries
Have you ever tried teas from Georgia, Azerbaijan or Iran?
yes; no; yes.
i’m going to disagree that these nations are overlooked—at least by me. :)
just because news media chooses the most discouraging global events to examine doesn’t speak for us all (good thing).
i was looking to see if i could find the georgian tea—it was very specific. i can’t. a black tea with fruit. like a prickly pear that smells like green grapes and a few cousins away from litchi? i don’t know the name, sorry i’m not being specific.
iran; very sugared green tea with mint.
however—i have not tried tea from azerbaijan. an adventure to look forward to, along with the foods and the traditions that go with it.
Well, I am just relating to my own experiences. When people talk about teas, especially good teas, they automatically mention Ceylon and China. Rarely Georgia, Azerbaijan. It is good because the world consumption isn’t that big which produces higher quality tea. Georgian teas are grown on a small local, private farms not huge plantations like in Ceylon.
true. there are ‘favourite’ places where teas come from… also many places where tea comes from that is not clearly expressed: ugandan tea is bought and resold as kenyan undermining the honour workers previously associated with the job; some of the best black teas come from taiwan and vietnam though they don’t get nearly as much press as india and china; one of the greatest (my opinion only) secrets to asian terrace tea farming is flavouring teas by the crops planted between the rows (litchi…orange… all through the roots? so amazing!)
the things we talk about and do not talk about is interesting. also sometimes a bit favouritist and leaves facts out.
may i ask—do you have knowledge of a georgian tea vendor you would recommend? i frequently buy in december or january—do you have a link i can follow?
Look up Renegade Teas. I believe a group of people resurrected a tea farm/factory in Georgia and their online shop just went up recently.
Otherwise, try What-Cha. They have, at some point or another, carried teas from all the places mentioned and a bunch more.
thanks very much Yatra Tea Co—i will investigate.
thanks much AJ… i have concerns my internal tea data base may have lapsed! i look forward to getting to know What-Cha :)
I’ve only had tea from Georgia related to that list. Turkey would seem to go along with that set; they’re a main producer nation and their teas never get mentioned. A tea vendor I knew from Turkey said the teas are terrible from there, only commercial, CTC versions, but it’s not usually that simple, there are usually exceptions.
Or maybe not. I’ve been looking for better teas from Malaysia for years (based out of Bangkok) and haven’t ran across even mention of any.
Beyond the theme of picking places teas are produced but aren’t commonly found SE Asia offers a lot of alternatives for unique finds that aren’t just rare, they’re different. The Thai teas that are more commercially available aren’t unique (Taiwanese style rolled oolongs), but there are rarer versions made in older styles, along the lines of sheng, and some better black teas. Vietnam offers more what I’m talking about.
I just ran across a something different, trà chít, a bundled Vietnamese tea that seems to be in between sheng pu’er and snow tea in character. I compared it with a local Laos version of sheng in this recent blog post, which is how those usually are, warm and earthy flavored, not bitter or astringent, moving from tree bark and spice into pine.
Myanmar also produces local versions of sheng that aren’t exactly like those found in Yunnan. They tend to be a bit bitter and intense, most versions probably better if aged a good bit. Indonesia makes some nice teas too, but better producers there seem to be borrowing from processing methods elsewhere. The older Dutch-originated production usually just standard, modest quality black and green tea.
I just got Georgia Wild Black Tea (summer, 2018 harvest) as my mystery pick from What-cha in the mail today. It arrived after my morning tea, though, so I haven’t tried it yet. It smells like a lovely, brisk blend. Will report later. :)
If that is the tea I think it is, the summer 2017 harvest won the Gold prize for hongcha at a competition in Taiwan last year. Wonderful tea. I picked mine up in Georgia but I think What-cha get theirs from the same source.
It is not a cheap tea which is why it might not have found a place in What-cha’s current offerings.
The Georgia Davit’s Phoenix from What-cha is also a very good tea.