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Who has wonderful TEA to order online?

  • l

I am searching for really good green teas - Chinese and Japanese - to order, probably online. Has anyone had really great experience with this?

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  1. Imperial Tea Court in San Francisco is a great place for tea and they have a wonderful website. My brother and I have both ordered tea from these folks and the service has be great.

    Here's the link:

    Link: http://www.imperialtea.com

    7 Replies
    1. re: Nancy Berry

      THAT IS, "The service has been great."

      1. re: Nancy Berry

        Thanks! I appreciate this suggestion!

        1. re: lmn

          I really like mighty leaf. they have loose, or put the loose in bags. check it out. Not online, I have recently been purchasing it at Teavana.

          Link: http://www.mltea.com

          1. re: pamd

            Thanks...and I like Mighty Leaf teas, also. I recently purchased several boxes at Bristol Farms, and the silk tea bags are so ... lady-like and elegant! Their tea is good, also. I especially like the Jasmine and the Tropical Green Teas.

            1. re: pamd


              You gave the link:


              But a quick google search gives


              The two websites are different - the content is similar but not identical (different descriptions, some items are available on one but not the other).

              Any idea which is "correct"?

              O.k. so maybe I'm paranoid but I fear one is perhaps a clever fishing site.


              1. re: Boris

                that's interesting. the one I've tried is MLtea.com because I actually got the website right off of the tea bag cover when I have it in one of my favorite restaurants. I've only tried the green.

        2. re: Nancy Berry

          In our area, Whole Foods will sometimes carry Mighty Leaf Tea - but not all the types. We also shop at www.carolinacoffeeandteaco.com
          They have good prices and super fast shipping ! Mighty Leaf has excellent quality teas - try the Green Tea Tropical.
          Enjoy - All Healthy Living

        3. r
          Robert Lauriston

          There's nothing you can get online that you can't get locally, which has the big advantage that you can taste a pot before you buy in bulk. Far Leaves, Imperial Tea Court, Samovar, Teance.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Robert Lauriston

            Oops, sorry, thought I was on the SF Bay Area board. But they're all online vendors as well:


            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Thanks...This is very helpful! I will check out these various sites that you have suggested.

          2. Upton. Extensive catalogue. Great website. Good prices. Fast service.
            One nice thing about Upton is that they sell, for real cheap, little sample
            packs of each of their teas, which is really useful at the high end
            so you can try out the real expensive ones without committing to
            a real expense.

            Link: http://www.uptontea.com

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jef

              Thanks, Jef...this is confirmation for me because they were first on my tea list. I have seen previous posts about them and I have been wanting to order from them. I, too, like the idea of the sample sizes because I do not like to commit to the huge quantities unless I am sure! Thanks, again!

              1. re: lmn

                Someone rec'd to me on these boards a few years ago and I have been very happy with them. Fast service, excellent quality, good turnover, and low prices.

                1. re: JudiAU

                  Thanks, JudiAU. I have read you for a long while on these boards (I think we live and travel the same geography), so your word has a great deal of credibility with me! I will definitely try Upton...perhaps some small packets at first.

            2. teabay.com is the best I have found. I totally live on their Green Tea Powder. It is an antioxidant BOMB!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Just Larry

                Teabay is new to me, so thanks! I will check it out soon. I, too, live on green tea all day!

              2. Since you are looking for high-end Chinese and Japanese green teas, let me direct you to the ItoEn website. It is a high-end Japanese tea store here in NYC. I have tasted and bought tea in the store, and they are highly professional and selective (and a little expensive).

                Also the website has good preparation and history tips, in the section called About Tea.

                Link: http://www.itoen.com/leaf/index.cfm

                1 Reply
                1. re: Pupster

                  Yes, I do know this company. I drink their green tea from the bottle all the time, and I have seen their loose-leaf teas in packages in some of the Asian markets that I frequent in Los Angeles. However, I have never bought their loose-leaf packets, so I will search their website for these. Thanks for this info.

                2. Harney & Son have many wonderful tea blends and accessories, but their green tea was one order I did not think worth repeating. Others may not agree.

                  Link: http://www.thetea.com/

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Don Shirer

                    Yes, Harney & Sons teas are quite good. I just recently ordered several small sample packs (each enough for just a couple of cups). Their service was quite attentive, and I loved trying different kinds every day. I think my favorite was their "Superfine Lung Ching." I also tried several Japanese green teas.
                    I would definitely order from them again.

                    1. re: Don Shirer

                      i love harney's teas and have actually visited their storefront in egremont, ny. they are very helpful and they'll brew you any tea you want (i even had a cupt of $110/lb sencha)!

                    2. My favorites are Specialteas.com and www.uptontea.com. I prefer Chinese black teas and have been happy with purchases from both.

                      www.plymouthtea.com sold me some wonderful jasmine pearls once.

                      I am now looking at some ebay vendors from Yunnan, China, for high-volume ordering. Excellent prices and good feedback. But then I am addicted to Yunnan teas. They have both black and green by the way.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Sir Gawain

                        Please report back on how you did with the Chinese e-bay vendors. Yunnan tea is my favorite.

                        1. re: Sir Gawain

                          I also have had good success with Specialteas.com

                          1. re: Sir Gawain

                            I have checked out SpecialTeas and Upton, but I have not yet tried your other suggestion of Plymouth. Also, I will be sure to focus on some Yunnan teas. This is so much fun...thanks!

                          2. For the highest-end Chinese greens, I've had good results with these two:


                            Link: http://eatingchinese.org

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Gary Soup

                              Thanks! I will try both of your suggestions. I have not heard of either, so I am anxious to check them out.

                              1. re: Gary Soup

                                These are wonderful recommendations...thanks, again! I just spent some time on both sites and I want to try everything they offer! These are the types of teas I have been looking for and I am glad to have your rave reviews before I order.

                                1. re: Gary Soup

                                  OK, I have to say that Todd-Holland is just about the most overpriced seller of teas there is, and they are most certainly not a top-of-the-line connoisseurs' company. Their teas are on par or in some cases inferior to what many other vendors offer, while their prices are in the realm of the amusingly aburd - $45 for a 1/4 lb of Mao Feng Keemun, which costs about $16 at Upton, same quality (yes I have tried)!!! Of course, they also offer cute little accoutrements and have a color catalog and lots and lots of tisanes and flavored teas...

                                  But those prices are simply laughable.

                                  1. re: Sir Gawain

                                    Correction: That amount of Mao Feng would actually run closer to $12-$13 at Upton...

                                    1. re: Sir Gawain

                                      Thanks for watching out for me! Do you think the same of Gray-Seddon (http://gray-seddon-tea.com/index.shtml) ????

                                      1. re: lmn

                                        No, but you can do your own math :D

                                        Those prices seem much more in line with what I'd expect. I'm not familiar with the quality of their teas though.

                                        I just got the new Todd-Holland catalog in the mail last week and I got really ticked off by the astronomical prices. But hey, they must have customers. It's an old business idea: Charge three times as much as your competition and at least some people are bound to believe that you must therefore be that much better.

                                      2. re: Sir Gawain

                                        You may have an agenda here, but to say that Todd-Holland's teas are not top-of-the-line is totally ridiculous. Bill Todd himself travels to China to be involved in the bidding for the pre-Qing Ming greens instead of entrusting it to a broker (for good reason). Two years ago he came back with the third production day of Dongting Lake Biluochun and always has the earliest Longjing I'm able to find in the U.S. Can you even name another dealer who has pre-Qing Ming Long Jing and Biluochun? Good tea is good tea, and mass-market crap is mass-market crap.

                                        Link: http://eatingchinese.org

                                        1. re: Gary Soup

                                          My "agenda" is simply not paying a ridiculous markup. I can tell you that I have had superior red Yunnan from multiple sources, including www.inpursuitoftea.com, the Imperial Tea Court and, yes, SpecialTeas. I am not saying that T-H's teas are bad and undoubtedly some are very good (green tea bothers my stomach so I don't drink it, so I can't speak to your Pi Luo Chun), but charging in excess of $20 per 1/4 lb for FRUIT FLAVORED TEAS (please! just how good do those have to be so you can infuse them with "natural plum flavor"?) is just ridiculous. Come on!

                                          By the way, do you really think that Mr. Todd is the only tea vendor in the US who goes to the tea exchange? Well, I'll let you in on a secret: He's... not. And those flavored teas are most certainly very expensive mass market crap. "Mango and marigold petals" - yum! Sounds almost as good as Celestial Seasonings ;D

                                    2. l
                                      Low Country Jon

                                      Try Tea Rex, a small shop in Charlotte, NC that also sells online now. Because we used to live nearby, my wife and I can attest to the high quality of just about their entire catalog of green and white teas. They also sell sample sizes and rare hand-tied teas. Plus, it's easy to call them directly and talk to one of their knowledgable employees if you have any questions. Enjoy!

                                      Link: http://store.tearex.com/

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Low Country Jon

                                        Thanks! I love that you can order samples. I am afraid of commitment (!!) and I do get bored. It is nice to have several types to rotate. I will call them.

                                      2. I just tried a nice tea (as "iced" tea) at the Park Hyatt in Philly. I was told it was the ginger peach (they added fresh mint & topped it off with sugar water). It's by T, www.tealeaves.com out of Vancouver

                                        Link: http://www.tealeaves.com

                                        1. I have had Mighty Leaf Tea - it is wonderful whole leaf tea. Since I am unable to buy it locally, I have found www.carolinacoffeeandteaco.com to provide both excellent service and very good prices.

                                          1. i used to get a senche flavored with quince, but in the past couple of years it has disappeared. can't find it anywhere. it was my favorite green tea and i'd love to find it again. if anyone has any leads, please let me know.

                                            1. Here in Portland is a lovely tea shop called Tao of Tea. If you appreciate organic & fair trade, give them a try.

                                              1. You can also try: www.timelessteas.com- I LOVE tea- I used to live in the Boston area where they are located and luckily I can order it online :)

                                                1. My two favorites: Japanese--Hibiki-an in Uji; Chinese--Seven Cups in Tucson. Neither of them EVER disappoints me, both carry some of the best teas of their kind that you'll ever drink. Hibiki-an grows their own and sells direct, Seven Cups imports direct from producers in China and Taiwan (the owner's wife is a certified Chinese tea master). If you order from Seven Cups, make sure you join the free tea club beforehand; you'll get an automatic 10% discount on non-sale items every time you order and a $10 coupon for every $100 you spend.
                                                  Keep in mind that neither place is cheap; there are very few bargains to be found in high-end tea. However, remember that everything from both places is good for at least three infusions. :)
                                                  The Tao of Tea has some really cool Vietnamese green teas.

                                                  1. I really like the website: Adagio Teas. http://adagio.com

                                                    1. I purchase all of my loose leaf teas and tisanes from Kalesia Tea Lounge in Tampa, FL. The owners source the teas themselves and go on yearly buying trips. I have had nothing but success when dealing with the owners - Kim and Lan.


                                                        1. I like www.designatea.com although I can't speak to their green tea as I've only had the black and rooibos varieties. You can custom blend your flavours which is nice, they offer both loose and bagged teas and Brian's customer service can't be beat.