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GREEN TEA ...who should I order from next?

  • l

I am on a quest to find some wonderful GREEN TEAS, both Chinese and Japanese (especially organic). I have been pleased with some of the on-line mail orders; I can ask for sample sizes of a dozen or so and try the best that the dealer has to offer.
To date, I have tried Harney & Sons, Rishi, Upton Tea Imports, and The Tea Company on-line, and I have tried several other stores in the Los Angeles area. I have even purchased some restaurant teas (from Amandine, for example).
Who should I mail order from on-line next? I want only GREEN TEAS (simply my preference to date), and I prefer the higher-end suppliers who specialize in their own teas, rather than store-fronting for several other brands.
Thanks -- in advance -- for any suggestions you might have! Although I have been to a lot of the tea places in Los Angeles, I am certainly open to your suggestions for our local shops as well.

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  1. Is there a big range of difference? Any green tea I've ever had has been pretty flavorless.

    8 Replies
    1. re: xavier

      Yes, I can distinguish between some various green teas. Words that are used to describe them are: smokey, earthy, vegetable-like, crisp, sweet. I know this sounds very esoteric and perhaps a little pretentious, but there really IS a difference, however subtle it might be at times! I am not a wine-drinker, so I might not be able to differentiate in ways that are obvious to someone who enjoys wine.

      1. re: liu
        m
        Michele Cindy

        I've had a green tea that was on the spinachy side, it was really tasty, how would I go about finding that one? Does it have a particular name? thanks!

        1. re: Michele Cindy

          "Spinachy"...perhaps you might try a high quality Japanese Sencha. The ones I have had tend to be very green, with larger leaves, with a vegetable taste.

          Perhaps someone else can jump in here with other suggestions????

            1. re: The Hungry Traveler

              WOW! I am glad I asked the question!
              I have not heard of any of your suggestions, but I appreciate all the choices and will have a lot of fun examining their websites.
              Thanks for all the new tea sources!

      2. re: xavier

        Wow Xavier, are you drinking premium teas? If you are drinking green tea bags or cheapo green teas, you are right, there is very little difference.

        However if you are drinking top of the line teas, it is not just sublte differences, but as mentioned by another poster a whole range of tastes.

        Anyway, here's one of my favorite tea shops. There's another one that I'll post later when I have time. These folks are outstanding.

        Link: http://www.teance.com/

        1. re: rworange

          Thanks, rworange, for your suggestion of teance.com. Someone else who just posted highly recommended them, too, so I will definitely check them out!

          I also appreciate your confirmation that there really IS a difference in the various green teas...usually!

          1. re: rworange

            rworange -- And once again, thanks!
            A year ago you mentioned Teance, in Berkeley. It has become my single favorite tea shop. I am a little bummed that Alyce just left for other ventures, but I still love their teas.

            Since originally posting here, I have begun my love affair with oolongs, and at this moment I am sipping my favorite: Teance's Yellow Gold Oolong (Spring '07). It has an amazing color and heavenly lingering perfume-y taste...I am on my third cup!

            I also like Teance's Monkey Picked Medium Custom Roasted Oolong, their Phoenix Single Grove Orchid Fragrance Oolong, and their High Mountain Light and Dark. I know I will be putting their kids through college with all my orders!

        2. I don't know much about who does their own tea and who just "fronts", but I like the teas from Ten Ren Tea (SF, LA, Chicago, NYC, Houston, Toronto, and more). I haven't tried their organic teas (yet), but they do have some. And they seem to have several web sites, too. The link below goes to what looks like the "main" site.

          And, to my unsophisticated palate, the green and white teas from Stash and Republic of Tea are pretty good, although neither is organic. I'm currently drinking lots of Fusion Geen and White Tea (Stash) and Emperor's Asian Jasmine White Tea (RofT) in the morning, when I'm too groggy to make loose-leaf tea. (I know, I know - it's not that hard, but I'm REALLY out of it in the morning.)

          Anne

          Link: http://www.tenren.com/organictea-orlo...

          1 Reply
          1. re: AnneInMpls

            Anne - thanks for your response and suggestions. Yes, I am familiar with Ten Ren teas and have visited one of their Los Angeles shops. They have a wonderful array of various teas!
            I also know of Stash (not my favorite) and Republic of Tea. I do like some of the latter.

          2. m
            Morton the Mousse

            Teance is an excellent resource. High quality, small farms, organic.

            www.teance.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: Morton the Mousse

              Thank you for the teance.com suggestion. "Green, high quality, small farms, organic"...just what I am looking for!

              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                A few posters of about a year ago mentioned Teance. During the past year I have made a career out of tasting from various purveyors. In that time I have moved from green tea to oolongs, and my favorite shop at this time -- having tried many! -- is Teance. Indeed, they have some wonderful oolong teas. Thanks, Morton the Mousse, for this resource.

              2. O-cha.com, below is a very good site for Japanese green tea.

                Also, Maeda-en is a "new style" tea that is really tasty. I've bought this at the Mitsuwa in NJ before they closed down their fine internal tea store. I dug up this site, but I've never ordered from them:

                http://www.maedaen.com/store/productd...

                Link: http://www.o-cha.com/

                2 Replies
                1. re: applehome

                  Thanks! I know about Maeda-en teas, but I don't know about O-cha.com. Thanks -- I will check it out!

                  1. re: applehome

                    Although I mostly prefer oolongs these days, I really do like the quality of Maeda-en teas. They have an iced tea (about 60 bags to the pack) that is amazingly refreshing and green. Just pop a few bags in some really good water and place in the fridge overnight. You will not need sugar because the flavor really comes through.

                  2. To be honest, I've never liked green tea. But recently my wife brought home a box of Stash Green Chai Tea, and I liked it enough to ask her to buy some more. Has hints of spices like cinnamon or nutmeg in it.

                    Link: http://www.stashtea.com/