In the past year, my pursuit of the best teas has resulted in some great successes. I've discovered two new great websites with incredible teas.
Norbu tea is located in Texas and run by a wonderful man named Gregory Glancy. His prices are excellent, and he has very fine teas.
Among his top teas are his Winter Alishan Oolong, the new versions of which should be available very soon. They have a truly magical, pure and sweet flavor and are very uplifting.
I am also amazed at the quality of his darker "Dan Cong style" teas, which he calls Fenghuang Oolongs, these have amazing flavors at an incredible price, and can be infused many, many times. You can peruse these teas here.
Many of his other teas are great buys and very worthwhile too, and since you can get inexpensive samples of all of his teas, you can have a ball trying many of them out.
When I stumbled upon the T-Oolongtea.com website, a company located in Taiwan, I was immediately impressed by the wide selection of teas, the many impressive customer reviews, and the availability of inexpensive samples.
After purchasing many samples, and then ordering larger quantities, I discovered that this site offers many of the best oolongs that I've ever had. Truly transcendental teas!
I was immediately impressed with the Alishan Shi Zhao Oolong Tea which is phenomenal time-after-time both by the cup (1 teaspoon, 3 minutes, 200 degrees) and using the Gaiwan method. Truly lovely flavor, very uplifting, amazing!
Then I purchased the tea the President of Taiwan serves at banquets: Fushoushan Veteran's Farm Oolong Tea. Wow! Wow! Wow! I could not believe the perfection that this tea is. It has everything, an incredible taste, a lovely aroma, and a consciousness that is beyond the beyond!
As if that weren't enough, the next tea brought me even higher! Twice a year, over a thousand tea growers from my favorite region of Taiwan, called Alishan, enter a tea competition. Among the first place winners is one offered by T-oolongtea.com called Awarded Alishan Oolong (1st Place Award). This tea is the best oolong I've ever had, silky, smooth, gentle, profound, with a subtle pure flavor that is perfectly complemented by the longest lasting and exhilarating tea experience I've ever had. Beyond words.
Many, many of the other teas offered are also outstanding, and I strongly encourage you to try several samples and enjoy the magic. I prefer the High Mountain Oolongs, but many other oolongs are offered too, including some very inexpensive ones.
You do have to pay a little more for shipping, and wait a week or two to receive the teas, but their teas are definitely worth waiting for.
I recently visited one of my old favorites, J-tea.
I ordered more of the Da Yu Ling tea I recommended in section two of this article, and Joshua sent me a free sample of another oolong that was so fabulous, I immediately ordered more. It's called Ming Jian Spring 09 and it's available about 2/3rds of the way down the page. The taste and experience of this tea is incredibly worthwhile.
A final note: readers of this column will often hear me say that "this is the best tea", so I did an experiment. I tried some of the earlier teas to see if the quality of the later teas I've been finding is better, and in fact it is. I've been finding better and better teas as my search has continued, and the teas on this page are clearly the very best.
By the way, another incredibly great tea from T-oolongtea.com is their WI11 Shanlinxi Yang Zi Wan Oolong Tea. It wins the "Trifecta", having an incredible aroma, taste, and effect. I feel very privileged to be able to drink a tea this outstanding.
In October 2012, I have added a new Part Four of this article here. Enjoy!