2014 Longjing Tea Has Arrived

https://i1.wp.com/www.teatrekker.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/gr-longjing_wen_jia-14.png

This year we are quite pleased to announce the arrival of the first two of our 4 Longjing (DragonWell) offerings for the season. Our ShiFeng and Weng-jia Shan Longjing shipments arrived on Saturday and are ready for drinking.

These geographically-highly-controlled selections are made from pre-Qing Ming leaf (plucked prior to April 5, 2014) and represent some of the most elegant and sought-after teas of eastern China.

To read more about Tea Trekker’s Longing here or to place an order visit:

http://www.teatrekker.com/

Stay tuned for additional Chinese spring green teas arriving soon.

1st of the 2014 Chinese Spring Teas have Arrived !

What a nice surprise we had yesterday – the 1st of our 2014 Chinese Pre-Qing Ming Spring Teas arrived. On the 1st day of Spring…. so we take that as an auspicious sign of a good tea season to follow.

Yunnan Sweet Green Threads green tea

Yunnan Sweet Green Threads

This is what arrived:

All are sweet, fresh, vegetal, fragrant and delicious, just as fresh tea should be. Very satisfying with lots of straightforward, seasonal goodness in the cup.

Drink the Jingdong Wuliang now or put some aside in a storage container for a few years down the road.

Additional new 2014 PQM teas from Sichuan Province will be arriving in the next two-three weeks. Followed in April thru early May with tea from Anhui Province and other eastern tea producing regions.

Stay tuned for new arrival updates and drink heartily.

Yunnan Jingdong Wuliang Golden Threads black tea

Yunnan Jingdong Wuliang                       Golden Threads

NOTE: Pre-Qing Ming (MIng Qian) teas are the earliest teas plucked in China. Some tea producing regions in Western and Eastern China experience end-of-winter / early spring weather sooner than other regions. So bud-break comes earlier and tea production begins first in these regions. The earliest plucked teas hold a special significance among Chinese tea drinkers for their small leaf-size, tenderness and gentle sweetness in the cup. In order to be designated a Pre-Qing Ming ( MIng Qian ) the pluck and manufacture must be accomplished between middle-March until April 5th.

2012 New Harvest Tea versus ‘New’ Tea

It’s the time of year when fresh tea from the new harvest in China and India begins to show up in the US. It is also the time when some tea vendors add new teas that are not from the new harvest. So it is important for tea enthusiasts to pay attention to harvest dates and know what they are purchasing. Some of you may know this information, many of you will not, so it is worth repeating.

It is helpful to know in what part of spring certain Chinese teas are made: some teas are made from the end of March into early April; many teas are made in mid-April; and others are made from the end of April into early May before the spring tea season comes to an end.

Tea production times follow the same pattern each year, so this information tells us that it is not possible to have certain teas ahead of their usual production dates.

The only 2012 China spring teas available now in the US are a handful of Pre-Qing Ming ( Ming Qian ) green and black teas ( tea plucked before April 5th ) that have been air-shipped over to a few eager tea vendors like Tea Trekker.  Teas from the 2nd seasonal plucking time (April 6th to April 20th) such as white teas, yellow tea, some black and early oolongs will be here soon.

2012 green teas from Japan and Korea have not yet been made – the tea harvest in these countries begins in late spring. These teas (with the exception of Japanese Shincha) are still 4+ weeks away from being harvested (depending on the region and location of the tea gardens).

Right now many tea vendors are introducing ‘new’ teas to their store and websites, and tea wholesalers are looking to move out last years tea at reduced prices. The important thing to realize about that is this – simply because a tea is ‘new’ to a store or website does not mean that it is new tea from the 2012 harvest, and tea enthusiasts should not fall into the trap of thinking that it is.

If the tea is not dated, it may be last year’s tea ( or tea from anytime, really ) that is simply ‘new’ to that merchant or tea vendor. Which does not mean that last year’s teas should be avoided – that is not the point.  Some of last year’s teas are still tasty. My point is two-fold:

  1. one should be an informed consumer and not assume that a ‘new’ tea is fresh, new harvest tea unless that tea is clearly identified as such
  2. do not  stock up heavily on last year’s green, white or yellow tea unless that is what you mean to do. Some of these teas will keep quite nicely for several more months or even a year if the weather in that place of production had all of the right elements going for it. But in general, one does not want to purchase large quantities of green, white or yellow tea when the new harvest teas are so close to being available.

Tea vendors who bring new harvest spring teas over in early April send this tea by air so that the tea arrives when it is just days old and super-fresh.  (Shipments of these same teas sent via sea cargo arrive at the historic ‘normal’ time in late July and August). Any tea lover who has had a chance to drink tea this fresh knows what a thrill it is!

So plan your tea purchasing accordingly and make sure that you understand what you are purchasing regarding the dates of harvest.

At Tea Trekker we have begun to list the season and year of the harvest on our green, white, yellow, and oolongs, and some black and Pu-erhs, too. We believe that when dating matters, it matters alot, and that tea enthusiasts who know what these differences mean are better able to make the right choices when purchasing premium tea.

Awaiting the 2012 New Tea

It’s early March and we are suddenly just a few short weeks away from receiving our first deliveries of new tea. New tea from Darjeeling, India and China, to be specific. In this period of high expectation we are emailing our contacts about the teas that we want/need, awaiting samples, and generally fine-tuning the details of the upcoming new season.

Last year we had first of the season pre-Qing Ming Longjing teas tea in our store before the cut-off-date for seasonal teas bearing that designation, which is April 5th. It’s a bit of a wait-and-see game right now, hoping that the weather keeps to a steady course and that strikes do not erupt again this year in the Darjeeling region of India.

More information will be posted as we have news to share.

Meanwhile, our Korean Jungjak green tea is still on sale and it is nearly sold out.

Also, be sure to try our 2011 winter gao shans and the 2011 winter Fenghuang Dan Cong Yulan ( magnolia fragrance) oolong. This dan cong may be the most aromatic tea that I have ever tasted; it is quite stupendous, and something with a fresh, floral fragrance to drink while awaiting spring.