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Seasonal Tea — earlyspring

2019 Organic Snow Buds

Doug Palas 2019 China earlyspring green tea mingqian yunnan

2019 Organic Snow Buds

Our first offering from the 2019 early spring harvest is Snow Buds. It comes to us from Yunnan, China, located in the southwest where the warm weather means that tea typically harvests a few weeks earlier than most of China, even at an elevation of 1400 masl. This year Snow Buds was harvested during the week of March 25. Being able to taste a tea like Snow Buds within the first several months after harvest is a pretty special experience. Teas harvested in those first few days after a dormant winter slowly develop their flavors in the cool spring weather....

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2018 Early Spring White Peony

Doug Palas 2018 China earlyspring Fujian mingqian whitetea

2018 Early Spring White Peony

Drinking freshly harvested tea is a completely different experience than drinking tea even 6 months later. Fresh tea is sweeter, less astringent, and has a subtle complexity. Our commitment to offering a rare glimpse into the flavor of fresh tea is best exemplified by our Early Spring Collection. Each year I select small lots of tea from the very first harvest of the year. I choose a variety of small production China and Japan green teas, an occasional high elevation black tea, but the style of tea that benefits most from an early harvest is white tea. White peony, or...

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2018 Early Spring Green Needles

Doug Palas 2018 China earlyspring green tea Hubei mingqian

2018 Early Spring Green Needles

China celebrates the Qing Ming festival on April 5th to honor the passing of friends and relatives. For tea growers it represents the deadline for the first harvest of the year. Tea harvested before April 5th is called Ming Qian or Pre-Qing Ming tea. Kilogram designates the earliest harvested tea as “Early Spring” since some tea won’t make the April 5th harvest deadline, but will still have the Ming Qian quality.Harvesting early is important for several reasons- tea plants are harvested several times a year, but allowing the leaves a long layoff during the winter will create healthy, nutrient-rich and...

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2017 Kanenaga Shincha

Doug Palas 2017 earlyspring green tea Japan

2017 Kanenaga Shincha

Shincha is the seasonal expression of sencha. Sencha is blended from various lots of green tea, regardless of whether they were different harvests, vintages, or steaming processes. In total contrast, a shincha is sencha from the earliest spring harvest of one particular year. This year we found three different types of shincha that represent the varying flavors of different growing regions, cultivars, and processing. Kanenaga comes from Kagoshima Prefecture, the most diverse tea-producing prefectures in Japan in terms of types of cultivars and processing styles.  It is the southernmost prefecture so the warmer weather allows the tea to develop faster...

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2017 Early Spring Green Needles

Doug Palas 2017 earlyspring greentea mingqian

2017 Early Spring Green Needles

China celebrates the Qing Ming festival on April 5th to honor the passing of friends and relatives. For tea growers it represents the deadline for the first harvest of the year.  Tea harvested before April 5th is called Ming Qian or Pre-Qing Ming tea. Kilogram designates the earliest harvested tea as “Early Spring” since some tea won’t make the April 5th harvest deadline, but will still have the Ming Qian quality. Harvesting early is important for several reasons- tea plants are harvested several times a year, but allowing the leaves a long layoff during the winter will create healthy, nutrient-rich...

Read more →