I'm looking for a really good plain tea.

I have two yixing pots, one large one that I use for spicy herbal teas, and the other one I have yet to season. I want to season that one with a good green/oolong/white. So far this is what I’ve tried:

+Gave me that pure green tea taste I was looking for
-But that taste only lasted for the first steep
-Every steep after the first tasted awful
-Extremely expensive

Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong
+Could be steeped 5 times
+Gave me the pure taste again
-Why is is $25 for 2 ounces?

So seeing as though the main problems have been either price or re-steepability (which plays off of price, I guess), I’m waiting until I get some insight before dumping more money on a tea that might not satisfy me. Anyone have a good, moderate priced, straight tea that I should try?

One last point is that I prefer either Adagio teas or Teavana (although more adagio). Thanks for all help!

12 Replies
Dexter said

I’m not an expert at this but Verdant has 5 samples for $5.00 for new customers. You might want to check that out, see if you like one of them. They are a great company that sells high quality straight teas.


I’d like to second the Verdant recommendation. The 5 for $5 is a great introduction and a painless investment.

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I would say play around a lot more, not to sound pretentious, but you can get better tea than those two companies, and Teavana is way to expensive. Try teavivre, den’s tea, butiki and verdant!

ifjuly said

super agree with trying any and all of those for plain, really excellent tea!

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JusTea said

My go to store for really good yixing pot style Chinese tea is the Chinese Tea Shop. Daniel the owner would be really good at a recommendation based on the flavouring you want. Most of his teas seem to get 10-15 steeps from what I have tried. I have an iron buddah oolong of his which is great, but I am not quite sure which one it is.

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Try your gyokuro at a way lower temperature! http://yunomi.us/4832/gyokuro-steeping-technique/ I felt the same way with gyokuro until I steeped it at 120F, then I have a 4 steepings that all tasted really good!

IMO, Teavana is over priced and Adagio’s bases were flat to me. Verdant, Butiki and Teavivre are excellent choices!

For greens, I’d try Den’s, much cheaper and they have a $3 sampler http://www.denstea.com/bnew-to-dens-teab-c-377.html
Their gyokuro is almost half the price of Teavanas.

Though, if you want the ultimate resteeping tea, I’d try a pu’er.. maybe a raw pu’er if you like greens/oolongs/whites. Say, something from Mandala tea. I got over 10 steepings from their wild monk cake http://shopmandalatea.com/raw-pu-er-tea/mandala-wild-tree-sheng-pu-er-100-gram-2012.html
they also sell it in loose form http://shopmandalatea.com/featured/new-products/mandala-wild-tree-tea-mao-cha.html

I liked that Den’s sampler. The sencha was great! I love your blog, by the way.

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OP, I personally like the oolongs. So based on your information, I would try to find options that would fit that. I also prefer Adagio to Teavana in most cases so I would choose their tea first. The Monkey Picked Oolong that Teavana offers runs $25 for 2 ounces. With Ti Kuan Yin out of stock right now, I would look at a Pouchong or Jade Oolong. Both of these will be several dollars cheaper than what you would be paying for the Teavana oolong and be similar to it. Adagio also offers a sampler where you can get these two teas in it along with two other oolongs. Hope this helps.

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ashmanra said

Teavivre’s oolongs are excellent, and the price is fantastic!

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Uniquity said

Try Teavivre or Verdant. Teavivre offers a free tea tasting activity on their site which could allow you to try a couple for free to get a taste for the teas.

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Kittenna said

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t yixings best for pu’erhs and oolongs, as the flavouring of whites is too subtle and greens just don’t have the re-steepability? I could be wrong though; I don’t own one. Too fancy for me, haha.

Also, I second the recommendations of Teavivre and/or Verdant for sampling great straight teas. Teavivre is probably the most economical choice (without quality compromise), but I’d highly recommend giving Verdant’s sample packs or the 5 for $5 deal a try.

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