Leafhopper said

Your experiences with spring 2019 teas

I’ve read on various blogs and tea vendors’ websites that droughts and other weather conditions have adversely affected the quality of the spring 2019 harvest. As I recall, this goes for puerh, Darjeelings, and Taiwanese oolongs, though it might apply to other tea types as well.

Have you heard similar things, and have the spring teas you’ve tried so far been decent? (I’m thinking of loosening my no-buying rule to let in a few Darjeelings, Taiwanese high-mountain oolongs, dancongs, and anything else that’s especially good.)

16 Replies
LuckyMe said

Man, I hope that isn’t true because I’m going to be ordering some Taiwanese high mountain teas soon.

So far I’ve been drinking mostly green tea this spring. The ones I ordered from Yunnan Sourcing were pretty good with the exception of Tai Ping Hou Kui. My shincha from Japan were good but not mind blowing.

I did have a pretty lousy baozhong from Taiwan but it’s a cheap one not from the Wenshan area.

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Ubacat said

I am finding some of my greens this spring were kind of lacking. I thought it was just me. All the Teavivre greens have been really good though.

Also agree with LuckyMe that the shincha is good but not mind blowing. That goes for even my favourites. I’m hoping the kamairicha’s are just as good as last year.

I haven’t tried oolongs, whites, or blacks yet

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Leafhopper said

I don’t drink a lot of greens, though I sometimes pick up some samples from Teavivre. I’m more concerned about the oolongs and Darjeelings. Where are you ordering your Taiwanese high mountain tea this year, LuckyMe? I was going to do a big order from What-Cha, but their Taiwanese selection is small at the moment.

LuckyMe said

Still figuring that one out. I tried some new Taiwanese tea vendors recently but wasn’t terribly impressed by any them. Taiwan Sourcing and Mountain Stream Teas were disappointing while Tillerman Tea was decent.

Like you, I’m going to be cautious and do a small order first. TTC is my old standby and I might just roll with them. They have free shipping at $25 if you’re buying samplers.

What-Cha’s Taiwanese oolongs have been a mixed bag for me. Some of them like Li Shan are awesome but others didn’t pan out. I would like try out some of their more exotic oolongs from Nepal and Vietnam.

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From what I’ve heard from various vendors, the droughts shouldn’t affect the quality of the tea so much this year as it will the quantity. If you’re buying from a bigger company and/or someone who was smart and had their orders placed w/ farms ahead of time you should be fine – it’s just that there’ll likely be less tea leftover for the people who didn’t have the foresight or funds to secure their tea w/ farmers and suppliers in advance.

Unfortunately, LuckyMe, one of the areas that seems SUPER consistently reported on as having been affected pretty bad by the drought (again, in terms of supply) was Taiwan – specifically the higher mountains.

Of course – it’s ultimately up to the consumer to decide if the quality/taste is the same as normal (which is what we’ve been told should be the case). I just placed a bunch of orders today for Spring teas, largely Yiwu Sheng, so I’m anxious to see what I think of my bounty.

LuckyMe said

Thanks for the heads up on Taiwanese tea. I was planning a large order, but now I’m thinking I’ll test the waters first by ordering samplers and go from there. Fingers crossed…

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Leafhopper said

Interesting! Sad to hear that Taiwan has been badly affected. I hope this doesn’t mean that these already expensive teas will go up in price.

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Leafhopper said

@LuckyMe, I’ve heard What-Cha’s Li Shan is good, though it’s currently out of stock. yes, those Nepalese oolongs are tempting, as are the Nepalese black teas. I had the Red Buffalo oolong several years ago and it was great.

Ordering samples from TTC might be a good idea. I’m also thinking about Tillerman and Golden Leaf Tea.

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LuckyMe said

Golden Leaf Tea looks interesting, I’ll have to check them out again after the spring oolongs are in stock. I do wish they (and other vendors) offered tea in smaller quantities. 100g is a lot of tea to commit to especially when you’re drinking solo!

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Leafhopper said

Agreed, especially if you don’t end up liking it. They seem to do this for their less expensive offerings, so maybe it’s not economical to sell less? Still, it would be nice if they included these teas in their sample packs.

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Elleder said

West Lake Longjing has a great taste for me, especially the one before Qingming Festival! Have you ever tried that?

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Leafhopper said

I’ve tried and enjoyed a few Dragonwells, though I actually prefer the later harvests because the ones I’ve had were more nutty and easier to brew. However, I’m more of an oolong and black tea drinker.

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