Our first 2012 China teas have arrived!

March 30, 2012

Yesterday the delivery man lugged 5 large boxes of tea into the store. When he asked us what was in them, and we said TEA he looked unimpressed. I didn’t have the heart to tell him how many more of these boxes he will be bringing us in the next few weeks.

So, now, finally, the long winter wait is over! The China spring tea harvest is beginning in earnest.

In Western China teas from Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces are coming to market quickly and in great abundance. Eastern China tea regions are beginning to buzz with energy as the demands of the harvest increase each day.

Our first teas to arrive again this year are from Yunnan. Our ever-popular, fresh, sweet-tasting,and slender Yunnan Spring Buds are back (did I mention reasonably priced ? ) and this year we will have a sweet, flavorsome modern-style Yunnan Bai Mudan white tea once again. This is one of the prettiest we have ever had, and something delicious for the fans of last year’s Yue Guang Bai. We have missed this tea so it is good to have it back again.We expect our first shipments of eastern China green teas about April 5th, or early the following week. All will be pre-Qing Ming teas (early harvest teas that have been picked before April 5th).

Watch for:

  • Longjing: Meijiawu Village, Xi Hu Region
  • Longjing: Xin Chang County
  • Fo Cha
  • early Fujian whites
  •  Gan Lu
  • Mengding Mountain Huang Ya (our stone-sweet, mineraly, sensational yellow tea from Sichuan)

And, our first shipments of 2012 1st Flush Darjeelings should be in the store by the tax day!

Fresh Korean Green Teas have arrived !

We are delighted to announce that our Korean spring green teas – Ujeon, Sejak and Jungjak – have arrived and are now posted for sale on our website teatrekker.com.

Additional tasting notes and other bits of information will be posted in a few days, but we wanted to post the teas ASAP and alert everyone that the teas are here. The tea is as delicious and sound as we remember it to be when we tasted it in Korea.

Our selections are organic and grown close to Ssanggye-sa temple in Hwagae valley, which runs into the south-west slopes of Mt. Jiri. We have held the prices to a very reasonable level ( ie. prices – in – Korea – prices ) so that those interested in experiencing these premium teas can do so.

Click here to read more and to purchase Korean tea:

http://www.teatrekker.com/2010_korean.htm

2009 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing Teas are here !

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It was our goal to have 2009 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing teas here as early as possible, and we made it. Even after our local Post Office sat on our package for 5 days before we knew that it had arrived.

Needless to say we are thrilled to have this very special and historic tea at the peak of it’s perfection. While I wish that all of us could be in the tea fields in China right now, being able to drink this splendid early-harvest tea is the next best thing. And being able to bring it to all of you as well makes our sipping even sweeter.

Chinese tea enthusiasts believe that the earlier the pluck, the better the tea. And tea enthusiasts in the know are eager for this time of the year as the opportunity for purchasing these special teas is fleeting.

In China, the earliest plucked tea leaves are known as Pre-Qing Ming or Ming Qian teas. Early spring plucking begins in late February to early March ( depending on the province, region, and weather ) and ends on April 5th. Only teas that are plucked during this short time can be sold as Pre-Qing Ming tea.

Longjing is one of China’s Famous Teas. At one time, the teas on the list, including Longjing tea, were exclusive ’tributes’ or honor gifts bestowed upon and drunk only by the Chinese Emperors. Longjing is perhaps the most famous of these legendary teas, in part because the city of Hangzhou and West Lake became the epicenter of refined and expressive artistic tea culture during the Song dynasty.

The Southern Song ( 1127-1279 ) located its capital to the city of Hangzhou, in Zheijang Province. This cosmopolitan city became the artistic center of a blossoming tea culture and the associated arts in China. Hangzhou attracted a literati crowd who found the pagodas, tea drinking pavillions, tea houses, restaurants and local cuisine to be the perfect locale for their leisurely pursuits of painting, poetry-writing, tea drinking contests, and tea wares collecting.

Hangzhou was also the locale of Longjing tea: sweet, slightly nutty pan-fired tea from tea bushes nurtured in the hills surrounding the dreamy mists of West Lake and watered by the pure spring waters that fed the DragonWell. Today, Hangzhou is still famous for its architecture and still exudes an old-fashioned tea culture based on the artistic, pleasurable and restorative nature of tea drinking. Hangzhou draws on the natural beauty of West Lake and all of the lovely pavillions, temples and gardens located along the shores. There is also an abundance of tea houses, tea shops and many fine restaurants that still incorporate fresh Longjing tea into their regional dishes.

And of course, hangzhou is most famous for Longjing tea. If one is lucky, one might encounter a tea processor pan-firing some fresh leaf in a local tea shop. Longjing tea became famous in the Song dynasty because of the terroir: the combination of good soil, cool air and clean, natural water that are the necessary conditions for excellent tea. It remains famous today because of the dedicated efforts of the tea farmers and tea producers to protect the integrity of Longjing by maintaining careful cultivation and production standards for China’s most famous tea. Visitors to this area can visit some of the tea gardens and processing factories, and of course, drink Longjing tea.

We proudly announce the arrival of our 2009 Pre Qing Ming Longjing teas, both of which are fit for a Chinese Emperor:

2009 Pre-Qing Ming Meijiawu Village tea

2009 Pre-Qing Ming Meijiawu Village tea


2009 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing Meijiawu Village, Xihu District, Zhejiang Province

Longjing is China’s most famous green tea, and it is the most important of the pre-Qing Ming teas. Longjing tea is originally from tea gardens located in the vicinity of West Lake ( Xi Hu region ) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The most prized Longjing still comes from the original regions, which historically were called Lion, Dragon, Cloud ( Meijiawu Village), Tiger, and Plum. Today, the names have changed, but authentic Longjing tea must come from a place located within the National Designated Protected Zone. This zone is a scant 168 kilometers in area, and all Longjing tea from here is sold under the name of the region or village where it was plucked. The most important places in the Xi Hu region are:

• Shi-feng Mountain

• Meijiawu Village

• Weng-jia Mountain

2009 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing Dafo Village


2009 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing Dafo Village, Xin Chang County, Zhejiang Province 

Delicious Longjing tea has been made here for many centuries. This fine Longjing is made just outside of the Xi Hu designation in Xin Chang county. There is a long history of tea cultivation and tea drinking in this region: much of it began centuries ago to supply the needs of the resident monks and visiting scholars at the Dafo Buddhist Temple ( constructed 4th century BC). Chinese tea enthusiasts seek out Dafo Longjing for its clean, refreshing flavor and lower price. 

Spring 2008 Tea from China & Japan

  

After much anticipation, we are thrilled to say that our air shipments of freshly plucked, early spring 2008 green teas have arrived from China and Japan.

In Asia, the spring green tea harvet kicks off the beginning of a new season of tea production. These teas possess sweet, mouth-filling flavors that are influenced by the specific terroir ( the essence of the soil, rocks, rains, late spring snow, clouds & mist, etc. ) of the place where they grow.

In China, spring green teas from high mountain elevations such as these teas are only plucked for a short season of about 6 weeks. During this time the developing leaf on the tea bushes is small and tender. But soon it will grow larger and by June will be classified as summer tea.

In Japan, the first tea of the new season is called Shincha. The tiny leaves and buds of Shincha are only plucked for a short 10-or so day period before they grow too large to be so classified. Shincha is intensely aromatic and vegetal, and in a class by itself. Each spring, Japanese tea lovers eagerly await the arrival of Shincha in the tea shops throughout Japan. It is a time for celebrating the new tea season and for enjoying the flavor of the first tea of the new year.

Those of us living in the West do not often have the chance to experience new tea this fresh. So this is a wonderful opportunity for you to become familiar with such splendid teas. We have a limited quantity of these teas – you won’t want to miss out.

  • Sichuan, China

Mending Mt. Clouds & Mist

Mengding Mt. Sweet Dew

Mt. Emei Bamboo Tip

  • Zhejiang, Chjina

Bamboo Sea Tea

  • Shizuoka, Japan

Hashiri Shincha

Please vist our website – http://www.cooksshophere.com/products/tea/green/2008_swsp_grn_tea.htm – to read more about each of these extraordindary teas and to place your order.

Note: we have been told by our sources in China that these teas from Sichuan province were in transit before the devastating earthquake occured in that region of China. Since then, the problems caused by broken, impassible roads will mean that transportation of goods out of Sichuan will be cut to a trickle. Further supplies of tea will be delayed for perhaps as long as several months. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of this region of Sichuan whose lives have been so devastated.