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Best Online Tea Retailer?

sanangel Dec 10, 2008 11:35 AM

Hi All,

I'm looking to buy my girlfriend's father some high quality gyokuro (Japanese green tea) for Christmas, and am hoping to buy it from a reputable online retailer known for high quality tea.

Any suggestions?

I'm familiar with Upton Tea -- and they may well be a good source for this -- but I'd like to hear other recommendations.

Thanks in advance!

  1. a
    adamshoe Dec 10, 2008 04:11 PM

    Here in Oakland, CA, ther's a tea company called "Nummi". I'm not a tea person, but they are reputed to make some killer products, including a "blossom" tea that unfurls into a flower when you pour the water over it. Don't know if they have a website. Adam

    2 Replies
    1. re: adamshoe
      adamshoe Dec 10, 2008 04:12 PM

      Sorry, it's spelled NUMI....Adam

      1. re: adamshoe
        emerilcantcook Dec 10, 2008 07:13 PM

        Numi is good for what it is, but majority of their products are tea bags. It is the tea I consume when I need to use a bag (mostly when traveling), but not sure if their rare loose teas will be the highest quality.

        Rishi is very decent and they do partner with actual growers and conduct "fair trade" deals.

        Ito-En specializes in Japanese teas, and I was fairly satisfied with their matcha and genmaicha.

      2. l
        Laine123 Dec 11, 2008 08:11 AM

        Numi does have a website, it's www.numitea.com. I have ordered quite a lot from them and have had nothing but wonderful experiences. They have very close relationships with their farmers as well to ensure that the fair trade label isn't just a label, but something that is actually true.
        If loose tea is what you are looking for, again, i have bought from Numi and their loose quality is just as wonderful as their teabag quality, they actually have some really good flavors loose that aren't available in teabag form!
        hope this helps!

        1. PamelaD Dec 11, 2008 08:23 AM

          I like Mighty Leaf:

          1 Reply
          1. re: PamelaD
            omotosando Dec 14, 2008 01:21 PM

            I just read the reviews of the Mighty Leaf gyokuro. http://www.mightyleaf.com/loose-tea_g... Sounds promising.

            Nummi tea doesn't have a gyokuro that I can see and to the poster above, suggesting a blossom tea for someone looking for gyokuro -- well, you might as well suggest they buy some coffee instead (tea is not tea).

            I was disappointed in the last tea I ordered from Ito-En (an organic sencha, not a gyokuro). I am just about to order some expensive sencha from Mariage Freres in Paris - seems kind of silly that you have to order Japanese tea from Paris, but I have been a bit disappointed in most of the Japanese teas I have ordered recently, so maybe Mariage Freres is getting all the good stuff. Mariage Freres sells even more expensive gyokuro. But the Mighty Leaf sounds interesting.

          2. omotosando Dec 14, 2008 01:38 PM

            Just found this online review praising Palais des Thes' $160 gyokuro. http://www.yelp.com/user_details?user... Haven't tried it myself.

            Don't know how much you were planning to spend :) Palais des Thes in Beverly Hills doesn't sell online, but you could call up and order by phone.

            401 N Canon Dr
            Beverly Hills, CA 90210
            (310) 271-7922

            1. FrancaV Dec 14, 2008 02:11 PM

              Hi! Upton Tea is by far my favorite online tea source overall, but I also have had excellent service from Mighty Leaves tea and they have some very tasty teas and herbal infusions that Upton does not have. I don't even bother ordering from anyone else any more but am always open to new suggestions. :)

              1. jandazza Dec 15, 2008 10:38 AM

                Adagio has some great tea, but I'm not sure it's the best for green tea. Adagio has a forum: http://www.teachat.com/ , which might be a good place to look for tips. Good luck!

                1. a
                  Alfred G Dec 16, 2008 10:13 PM

                  I've had great success with Teavana. Wonderful teas and excellent service.


                  1. w
                    white_bundies Mar 3, 2012 05:00 PM

                    I have a couple suggestions for you...

                    Tea Trekker - http://www.teatrekker.com/main.htm
                    Located in Northamton Mass they have a surprising and Incredible asian tea selection including the Japanese gyokuro you are looking for. They carry a great selection of oolong teas , I recommend the Himalaya Jade Oolong. The Chinese Longevity Black tea is also great.

                    Mariage Freres - http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/UK/welcome.html
                    Famous world wide for their tea selection, they will most certainly have a selection of high end Japanese Green teas. Also their Marco Polo, Early Grey Imperial, and Bourbon Rouge are great.

                    Whole Leaf- http://www.mightyleaf.com/index.cfm
                    Havent tried them yet, but have heard decent reviews.

                    1. AmyH Mar 13, 2012 03:42 PM

                      I have not tried their gyokuro, but I had some amazing tea from Harney and Sons


                      They have gyokuro and a number of other Japanese green teas. The tea I had was "hot cinnamon spice" flavored tea and it was delicious.

                      1. p
                        Puffin3 Mar 14, 2012 07:14 AM

                        Murchies teas. Always excellent fresh teas. Lots of 'expensive' teas. I mean REALLY expensive but worth the price once in a long while.

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