Free Shipping on Continental US Orders Over $35
Cart 0

Seasonal Tea — mingqian

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....

Read more →


2018 Yunnan Purple

Doug Palas 2018 Black Tea China mingqian yunnan

2018 Yunnan Purple

Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, is thought to have originated in South Central Asia, around Myanmar, Yunnan, China, and Eastern India. The indigenous peoples there have produced tea for thousands of years. Numerous cultivars of the assamica variety have been developed by both trial and accident. One of the most unusual is zi juan. It is a cross between Camellia sinensis and another member of the Camellia family, Irrawaddy sinensis, which produces purple-veined leaves and buds. Traditionally used for making fermented tea, it is prized in Central Asia because it is thought to possess great health benefits. For the past...

Read more →


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...

Read more →


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...

Read more →


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 →