With an uncountable number of teas in my stash I decided to have a little buy stop the last couple of months. I broke this promise to myself twice, for the new shop ISSHIN in The Hague and for a small Mei Leaf order because my mom wanted some new teas and it was impossible not to order a few Wuyi teas for myself, but overall I was able to control myself.
It is, however, tempting to order seeing all these great teas from other tea lovers on social media. To deal with my urge to shop and because I just love to share with you the places I like ordering my teas, I’ve come up with the Tea Leafster Shopping Guide, in which I will tell you about the companies or people that fill my tea stash. The next couple of days I’ll ask you on Instagram your favourite places to shop specific kind of teas. Please join in on the spreading of good teas and where to find them by sharing your shopping guide in the comment section on the Instagram posts or below this article.
I’ve divided the list in a couple of categories.
Hau Ying Chen
My absolute favourite place to go to for Taiwanese oolongs. Mr. Chen is a tea grower and producer in Taiwan that shares his teas with people all over the world who contact him through Facebook or Instagram. Best Bug Bitten 2016, Alishan Jin Xuan, Mucha Tie Guan Yin, Shan Lin Xi… They’re all there and they’re all extremely good. Please contact Mr. Chen for the latest price list and teas available.
I’ve had only good experiences with Eco Cha, a Taiwan based company selling Taiwanese oolongs. I can recall a great Dong Ding that was finished before I knew it and currently in my stash are some winter oolongs and a great Lishan I’m very fond of. They ship cheap, fast and well-packed, and they provide a lot of information on the tea and tea growers on their website.
This shop could be in both the Taiwanese and the Chinese section. I had two oolongs from Formocha and it was enough for me to say that this is a must-go-to-place when you’re in Amsterdam looking for a great oolong. The Dan Cong I had from Amanda was just amazing, and the traditional Tie Guan Yin I just finished is worth breaking the buy stop for. And that is what I might actually do. Formocha is specialized in Pu’er tea as well and is top-notch when it comes to quality.
I know a lot of people out there have encountered Sharon from the Instagram-account @wudongtea. She sells and sends samples all over the world with tea made by her parents on Fenghuang Mountain, where Dan Cong is made. Based on the samples I had this is a good recommendation for your Dan Cong teas. I’ve also let Shannon send a couple of teas to a Chinese friend who was very happily brewing them.
Crimson Lotus Teas
A seller I really like is Crimson Lotus Tea. So far every single cake or sample has been outstanding and I also purchased some tea ware that is on the same levels as their tea. Jingmai Love is my favourite so far, Midas Touch my favourite for flying high on my Pu’er cloud.
White2Tea is tea made hipster. Very nice wrappings for cakes, funky names, good teas as well. White2Tea offers next to Pu’er other kinds of tea as well like a few Wuyi teas, but I’ve sticked to the Sheng and Shou so far, and had a go at the Hot Brandy, a white and black tea pressed together.
The place where I ordered to learn more about Pu’er. They offer a wide range of cakes, but most importantly for someone completely new in the Pu’er world, they offer 10g and 25g samples as well. This way you can get a taste of the many differences in Pu’er relatively cheap. I’ve also had a couple of great Dian Hongs from Yunnan Sourcing.
Thee van Sander
I enjoy the green teas Thee van Sander, a (web)shop based in Delft, is selling. Especially their Zhu Ye Qing, roasted and unroasted, is one I love because of its vegetal, sweet character. There are always some good finds in the store of Sander.
I’m through my stash of Obubu Tea by now but I had a lot of them and loved them for their unique characters. They sell Aracha, tea in the state before wholesalers blend teas from different farms. Selling Aracha means selling single farm teas like the ones from Obubu. In Holland these teas soon will be sold by Liset, who featured in My InstaTea Friends Book this week!
A very recent discovery are the teas of ISSHIN in The Hague. I was served some tea that was outstanding and the ones I brought back home were mind-blowingly vivid, fresh, vibrant, sweet. Thumbs up for this Japanese tea shop.
Of course, as a big fan of MEI LEAF and Don Mei, MEI LEAF had to be included in the list. An all-rounder because they offer high quality, extremely delicious teas in pretty much every tea category. From Wuyi teas to Pu’er to green teas, I’ve had so many good ones from Mei Leaf I can’t even remember how many there were.
My absolute favourite all-rounder in Amsterdam. For me, their Sacred Lilly Wuyi Tea together with a 20 year old Pu’er tops the list of the tea house. You can’t order online here, so another good reason to come to Amsterdam.
Something different, and something good. Tea Side sells teas from South-East Asia and you’ll be surprised with what you get. I’ve had the chance to taste great oolongs and Pu’er from Thailand and Myanmar, teas I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered.