For Tough Times, Good Values in Traditional Chinese Tea

In our Customer Survey one of the most frequent requests has been for fresh, high-quality tea at moderate prices. In these tough economic times no one wants to give up good tea and we sympathize! In the past we haven't made a lot of noise about our affordable teas, but there are some great choices that we're pleased to recommend. You'll find that our mid-grade teas are better than many of our competitors' top-of-the-line; the fact that we also carry some of the world's finest tea shouldn't obscure the many good values among our tea offerings. Whether you're on a budget or just learning about Chinese tea, these suggestions from our teahouse staff are a starting point for deeper engagement with the fascinating world of fine Chinese tea.

And remember, we've just lowered UPS shipping rates in our online store. Shopping for tea values and shipping your finds to your home or office has never been more affordable!

Green Tea: Our Longevity Green is an excellent bargain, offering the rich, green flavor and substantial mouth feel that you usually associate with far more costly teas. Hailing from Zhejiang Province, the home of many of China's best green teas, Longevity Green features small, furry, jade-green tips that are tightly rolled to extract extra flavor. The fur, which indicates the tea was grown at a higher altitude, adds an extra dimension of texture. Only $17 for a quarter-pound package that will make 30 gaiwans of tea; each gaiwan can be shared and infused several times. Or try a 1-ounce sampler for just $5.

Another value-priced green tea: our Organic Everyday Green, also from Zhejiang, is the top-selling tea on the web site this year. Only $15 for a quarter-pound package or $4.20 for a 1-ounce sampler.

White Tea: Our Organic Everyday White is a deliciously sweet, fresh selection from Fujian Province, which is famous for its white tea. Unlike lower-quality white teas, our Organic Everyday White is patiently sun-dried, maximizing flavor and nutrients. This tea is a mix of downy buds and newly opened leaves. The lack of uniformity lets us offer it at a better price and may even give the tea more dimensionality than a meticulously sorted version. Only $20 for a quarter-pound package that will make 30 gaiwans of tea; each gaiwan can be shared and infused several times. Or try a 1-ounce sampler for just $5.60.

Oolong Tea: Oolong lovers on a budget will enjoy our Fancy Tie Guan Yin. This Anxi tea is richly roasted without being overfired, resulting in a pleasingly balanced brew that's as aromatic as it is flavorful, a delight to savor as the tightly rolled leaves unfurl and evolve through multiple infusions. Only $22.50 for a quarter-pound package that will make 25 small pots or gaiwans of tea; each can be shared and infused several times. Or try a 1-ounce sampler for just $6.75.

Green Oolong Tea: If you enjoy Taiwan's fragrant, floral green oolong teas our Superior Four-Season Spring Green Oolong will be a welcome discovery. Sweet and richly aromatic, this high-mountain-grown tea will infuse many times. You can drink it all day long! Only $20 for a quarter-pound package that will make 25 small pots or gaiwans of tea; each can be shared and infused several times. Or try a 1-ounce sampler for just $6.25.

Puerh Tea: If you prefer loose-leaf puerh, try our Superior Puerh, an earthy brew that has attained the depth and sweetness only found in well aged puerh. Made from small, twisted leaves and abundant golden tips, it yields a substantial, dark-red brew that's flavorful and satisfying. Only $22 for a quarter-pound package that will make 25 small pots or gaiwans of tea; each can be shared and infused several times. Or try a 1-ounce sampler for just $6.50.

If you like puerh bing cha, our 2007 Spring Tip Puerh Bing Cha is an outstanding bargain. This shou ("finished") cake features small, early leaf tips and a mild, sweet taste with only hints of earthiness. It's ready to drink now but will also age well. The entire 13.5-ounce cake is only $35.

Coming tomorrow: good values in traditional Chinese teaware!

No comments: