Ya-Ya's Tea Board

Ya-Ya's Tea Blog

Who said chores can’t be fun

 [ IMAGE: Infused Tea leaves ]

This time of the year, our schedule usually gets very busy. Since virtually all tea-growing regions are located in the Northern Hemisphere, February to May is the time for spring harvest. This harvest produces the best tea for most types and makes the bulk of our offerings. Every year from about March to the end of May, we have to work hard and seriously risk our health (if you ever have been tea-drunk for multiple days in a row, you know what I mean).
It’s time for excessive tea-tasting!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve kept our caffeine levels up by sampling a number of teas far exceeding one hundred. Our experiences range from sampling some fantastic vintages from some tea gardens (I’ll post a review of this year’s outstanding Arya Ruby soon) to rather disappointing teas lacking personality and character. I’m planning to introduce a few of the special ones on this blog over the next few weeks.
We were especially interested in white teas this year and sampled about 20 white teas from Africa through India to China. Expect to see some more choices in the near future.

Darjeeling, Assam & Nepal
I, being a confessing Darjeeling man, am always especially curious about the first flushes from this special region in India. This year saw some unusually cold temperatures until relatively late, so that most gardens postponed the start of their harvest by one to two weeks. The outcome was a mixed bag of qualities, a few exceptional teas and a lot of mediocre stuff (which you’ll probably find in most stores). As usual, we rather buy less than compromise quality and therefore, our selection of Darjeeling First Flush teas from 2008 will be rather select.
We’ve put quite some energy into selecting some teas from Assam. Tasting some 30-odd teas, we set out to stock two but were so enchanted with 3 of the blacks and a white tea, that we ended up purchasing 4 teas from this traditional tea-growing region this year.
A new area we’re adding this year is Nepal. We were utterly impressed by the quality of Mr. Madan Tamang’s Meghma Oolongs and want to share these beautiful, bio-dynamically produced teas with our customers. With a honey-like sweetness, almond notes, a hint of smoke and a full aroma of tropical plumeria blossoms, this tea can transport you from your living room into a short exotic holiday!

We’ll restock our popular Genmaicha, this time in an organic version. Especially kids love the popped rice kernels and the toasty flavour. Everybody who’s been eagerly waiting for the arrival of the hugely popular Sencha Fukamushi: it’ll be back in stock in a little while.

A new order of the beautifully floral Bi Lo Chun is on the way, along with some great Yunnan Golden Bud (yes, I know you guys are waiting), a very high grade of Yunnan Black tea and a bunch of other teas that I’ll write about later. And yes, we’re also expanding our pu-erh selection with some aged ripe shou (Menghai factory, produced in the late 90s amongst others) and a bunch of younger raw sheng cakes.

If all work would be as much fun as sampling tea, I think we would have never invented a word that has the association we currently hold with the term work!

2 Responses to Who said chores can’t be fun »»


  1. Comment by Tea Escapade | 2008/06/14 at 13:24:04

    I cannot imagine drinking that much tea! I bet it was fun!

  2. Jo
    Comment by Jo | 2008/06/14 at 13:36:20

    Hi Tea Escapade,
    you might risk some sleepless nights, but I’m not aware of any other negative side effects. But you are right, it is fun.
    Judging by your blog, you get to drink a fair amount of tea yourself.

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