Thanks to the Imperial Tea Court's Newsletter, I was alerted to just how challenging the weather was this Spring in Taiwan for harvesting oolongs. Torrential rains were immediately followed by intense heat (causing vegetative growth) and therefore the window for harvesting oolongs was tiny to non-existent.
As a result, most of the tea I purchased from companies this Spring was remarkably non-descript, very mild, and without much aroma or depth.
In fact, not a single Alishan -- my favorite oolong -- from any company was worthwhile!
I decided that I needed to find another source of oolongs, to see if I could find a company that actually had high quality teas harvested in the Spring of 2012.
As if by magic, I was led to the company Tea Needs.
Tea Needs is unique in several aspects:
1. The tea they carry is all organic!
2. They pay shipping fees for all orders of $50 or more.
3. Even in a harvest year like this one, their teas are exceptional.
I tried many of their teas, and found their Da Yu Ling, Wuling, Fushoushan, and Yushan teas incredibly superlative!
In fact, their Yushan tea has become my favorite oolong tea of all time!
I encourage you to try their teas, and enjoy their magic, incredible fragrance and taste, and the lovely places they will take you to.
p.s. one of the teas I also love from teaneeds.com, which I drink by the cup (instead of doing multiple infusions) is their Pao Zhong, a delightfully fragrant less-oxidized tea that is simply excellent. It is the best Pao Zhong tea I've ever tasted, by far.
In 2014, I have added a new Part Five of this article here. Enjoy!