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Newsletter #81: Green Tea Season 2016 - Best in Five Years!
May 02, 2016


Solving Problems Every Tea Drinker Faces

2 May 2016 Issue #81:


>> Green Tea Season 2016 - Best in Five Years!
>> Jasmine Needle King and Pesticide Testing
If you are a long time readers of this newsletter, you know I don't use the word "vintage" lightly. Almost every year is a good year, but occasionally we get a vintage.

The last time this happened was 2011, and before that 2007. We think 2016 is shaping out to be another vintage year.

The commonality is, of course, a long and cold winter. To quote from Newsletter Issue #41 (April 2011):

"Rich taste goes hand-in-hand with nutrition, and it is the theanine (sweet and calming), antioxidants (astringent) and caffeine (bitter) that makes tea tastes good and feels good."

"But tea nutrition don't appear out of vacuum. They are the by-product of rich soil, clean air and pure water."

"A unique characteristics of Authentic Chinese Tea is that tea buds are only harvested once a year - for 6 weeks in spring. Incredibly, it takes 46 weeks of "doing nothing" to nurture these delicious tea buds!"

"A long winter gives more time for tea nutrition to form. [This] year is special because of the long winter and the lack of frosts during harvesting!"

This is especially significant on the highest grade tea as they are harvested the earliest and therefore benefited most from the long winter.

Longjing, Anji Baicha & Silver Needle

These three are our highest quality tea and they are all exceptional this year, with high fragrance and amazing after-feeling:

1. Tribute Longjing (Dragon Well Green Tea)

The King and Jipin grades are harvested on the 18th March. A rare snow erupted for a week, which caused the AAA grade to be harvested on 25 March. This resulted in exceptional quality in the three higher grades.

Michael from Singapore, a long time customer from my tiny tea shop remarked:

"I received my 2016 AAA Dragonwell 2 days ago. As soon as I opened one packet, I knew that this year would be another exceptional year! :) 2016 is one of those vintage years again. I have been buying your teas for many years so from one whiff , I could immediately tell. This year's crop is full of Dragonwell goodness with the Chestnutty good taste ( even more so than previous years and is naturally sweet. Even though I bought the AAA grade, this year it had more of the characteristics of the King grade, which I purchased from you a couple of years ago."

2. Anji Baicha

Ken from Barbados praised Anji Baicha highly:

"I just tasted the order I received this morning: IT IS DELICIOUS! My Thanks to You and Your Group in China!"

3. Baihao Yinzhen (Silver Needle White Tea)

Our Silver Needle white tea is probably the highest quality you can find anywhere in the world, and certainly at this price tag anyway. It is the cream of the crop - a first day harvest.

As you would know, white tea is not heated to high temperature and therefore some tea enzymes do remain on the tea leaves. It is therefore suitable for ageing.

Aged white tea is less fresh but it is more mellow and harmonious with much more complex flavors. The previous year crop is now available for 20% discount and represents excellent value for money.

Xinyang Maojian & Lushan Yunwu
4. Xinyang Maojian
5. Taiping Houkui (Monkey Chief Tea)
6. Liuan Guapian (Melon Tea)

We continue to improve our offerings on the highly fragrant green tea from Anhui and Henan provinces.

Many customers have remarked that our 2015 crop is much improved for Taiping Houkui and Liuan Guapian.

Well, I am very pleased to say the same is happening to Xinyang Maojian this year, the 2016 crop is a lot better than 2015.

7. Lushan Yunwu (Cloud & Mist)

The external appearance is longer and more messy this year but the taste and after-feeling is excellent and better than last year.

Jasmine Needle King
The Moli Jinzhen jasmine green tea needs no introduction.

Out second lowest priced green tea, we believe it is the highest quality jasmine tea available in the marketplace. The customer feedback we have been getting from customers have been phenomenal. Here's the latest from Julie from Tacoma:

"I've always loved Jasmine tea, and will pay more for it, if it's better. I've tried the well known national chain stores for tea, and living in the Pacific Northwest I'm lucky enough to have access to small 'boutique' shops that import teas. So I have to admit I was a bit skeptical this tea would be that much different."

"But I'm a believer now. Tea is no longer just a drink. It begins with the wonderful aroma - it's aromatherapy in a cup each morning as I savor the smell for a while before taking my first sip. And the flavor is fabulous. I'm surprised by how little time the first infusion takes - literally seconds. Each time I steep it after that it takes more time - but I always get 3-4 good cups! of tea each time, so the leaves do last longer. And it takes fewer leaves."

"Even so, your best grade Jasmine tea is not more expensive than other teas I've bought locally, but the quality is far superior. I'll be ordering more for myself and also as gifts for friends. Now I'm eager to try your other kinds of teas as well, as I no longer have any reservations about the quality. I also received the tea in less than the two weeks I was told it could take."

"On a five star rating system I wish I could give it ten stars! lol"

Pesticide Testing
We have recently sent the Jasmine Needle King for pesticide testing and it gets all clear. The Cambridge based laboratory tested for 400-500 pesticide residues and no residue was detected up to 1 part in a million. I will make the report available vshortly.

Pesticide is a sensitive subject so I will explain a bit more here. Let's be sensible and do the simple thing, okay? We take a three-pronged approach here.

First, always drink in moderation: 3 to 6 cups a day. My tea is very potent and all my tea buds can be infused several times. If you are only consuming a few grams of tea buds a day, it should never cause any problem.

Also if you are drinking my oolong and black tea, these teas are highly durable and can be infused 3-5 times. In that case, it never hurts to rinse the tea in hot water first.

Second, if you are concerned, stick to my AAA graded lightly oxidized teas, as they are highly naturally organic. These tea buds are harvested from the first few days of spring where the weather is cold and there are few insects around. This is discussed in full here:

Organic Tea - Frequently Asked Questions

Third, the world is moving on and consumers are demanding more transparency. That's why I am sending my teas for pesticide testing but this is impractical for most teas due to the large sample of tea leaves required. So I would only do it for my best-sellers and the Jasmine Needle King is one of them.

What pleases me most is that this is my second lowest priced green tea. An encouraging start, no doubt more positive results will follow.

Amazing Green Tea Shop

I hope this helps? Any thoughts on this matter? Reply to this email!

Amazing Green Tea Facebook

Julian Tai

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