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Loose Leaf Tea Vendors?

Hello,

I am enjoying my dive into the deep end of the pool with loose leaf teas, including black (red actually) and Oolongs, from mostly China.

But, I am also drawn to Oolongs - the bridge between Black and Green teas (from my previous life years ago, drinking them with a woman from China while having Dim Sum).

Henrietta, the Rare Tea lady, has a lovely personality, and she drew me in to sample hand crafted Chinese Keemun, Lost Malawi - and I threw in an Earl Grey.


I also could not resist Chinese Tieguanyin with a name like 'Iron Goddess' Oolong, and Da Hong Pao Oolong, aka 'Big Red Robe.'

Henrietta's breathless presentation of making Oolong with a Gaiwan nailed it:


I also bought Tie Guan Yin 'Iron Goddess,' 'Mi Lan Xiang' Honey Flower Dan Cong, Bai Lin Gong Fu 'Golden Monkey' Black, and Qimen aka Keemun Black teas from Yunnan Sourcing.


Do you have preferred vendors for loose leaf tea?
 
This depends a bit where you are in the world. Take this all as my personal impression:

We've been buying from TeaSource for a long time, first in person and then online when we moved away. They have a good selection and pretty good prices overall I think. If you're looking for something very specific you can probably find a deeper selection in a given category elsewhere but for a general purpose tea vendor in the US they're pretty good.

We've also bought a lot from Upton Tea and Harney and Sons, especially the former. Upton also has a good selection and some really fantastic value teas, although I think over time the quality of the tea has kind of gone down slightly. I still happily buy from them though. Harney and Sons I think has excellent tea, although the prices are sometimes a bit steep. I've noticed their prices fluctuate and sometimes are extremely good for what you're getting and other times overpriced.

The past couple of years I've been into Japanese greens. Yunomi is an excellent marketplace for that, and I've had great experiences with Hibiki-An as well (also TeaSource).

There's a lot of various vendors I've bought from over the years, and I don't remember all of the names. Some I've bought directly from farms, and there are many other vendors I've had excellent experiences with, but the ones above are the ones I've returned to, especially TeaSource.

Oolongs can be a little tricky in my experience to find a wide selection of, especially lightly oxidized oolongs. TeaSource sometimes has an excellent selection of oolongs, including oolongs from India and Africa, although I've noticed over the decades that the number of offerings of oolongs seems to wax and wane with time in cycles.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
I been buying from Harney & Sons for over a year. They have a big selection of not just black teas but white, green, herbal, medicated, etc etc etc.


My current selection from them. I’ve just about tried everything they offer.

IMG_0719.jpeg
 

Chef455

Head Cheese Head Chef
I live in the USA and highly recommend Adagio Teas. I'm usually a Rooibos drinker, but I have tried a couple of their Oolongs and White teas and several of their black teas as well.

They have over 20 Oolong teas available and they sell great sample packs of all varieties that come in bags.
 
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garyg

B&B membership has its percs
Thanks for the tip on Arbor Tea Malocchio - they are almost local, but not close enough to get their free in-town shipping. I've ordered from Adagio a couple times but despite charging handsomely for shipping they suffer from the usual New Jersey postal problems every time.
 
I buy my loose leaf tea from a local store here in Wichita called The Spice Merchant (photo). Oh, hey, look, I'm not the only one.

But, I am also drawn to Oolongs

One of my two "must always have on hand" teas is Black Pearl Oolong. There's this wonderful something about its flavor that reminds me of coniferous trees—without actually tasting piney in any way at all. Just lovely.
 
I buy from a number of online stores. atellinco.com. sugimotousa.com. silkroadtea.com. ccfinetea.com. I also belong to a tea of the month group at beingtea.com which provides lots of great teas.
 
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