Saturday, March 06, 2010

Newsletter Excerpt

Kanye West is back in the news and is singing about herbal chai. He likes it. We have it. 2009 was a great year for J-TEA and it is all due to your support. Our new packaging has been well received. More and more people are getting into oolong and puer. It seems like the interest in tea culture continues to grow.
Tea tip: Did you know that one way to judge for tea quality is to compare the weight of a tea by volume. For example, if you have two separate one pound packages of oolong tea, the smaller package will typically be of higher quality. Right now, our heavy tea is Tender Leaf aka Shan Lin Xi Early Winter.


  1. I have never thought of this weight / volume question before. I'd be curious to hear a more detailed explanation of why this is the case.

    I assume this is only true for certain types of tea too...which kinds of tea would it be true for? For example, whole-leaf tea takes up much more space than broken-leaf tea.

  2. Most often, when I am making this type of generalized statement about tea, I am speaking of whole leaf oolong. When comparing one whole leaf oolong next to the other, one indicator of quality is this weight to volume ratio. When scooping up a handful of each, the one that feels heavier is better. This is only one indicator of quality. It means that the tea scores better in this category, but it does not mean that the tea is better over all. There are other factors to consider.
    Why this is true is due to how much moisture is remaining in the leaf. My understanding thus far is that the leaf goes through the oolong production process and is "done" while retaining more moisture. I will try to find a more thorough answer on my upcoming trip to Taiwan.