From when I first sample a new harvest loose leaf tea, to receiving my first shipment of it in the UK, during that period of waiting I always feel a real sense of childish excitement as I imagine the journey it's making half way around the world.
Drinking new harvest teas at this time of year, in the UK, is still fairly astonishing. I find it remarkable to think that 10 or so years ago, when I first started sourcing loose leaf tea - and perhaps up until even 5 years ago - that outside of Asia it was rare that you were able to find or drink loose leaf leaves this fresh. Quite literally only a couple of week after they have been harvested and crafted into their delicate final product.
The internet, along with far cheaper international air freight, has exponentially increased people's awareness of, and their access to, better quality and fresher products. Our own online tea shop is now able to offer what I consider to be examples of some of the world's best tasting teas - that are updated with every new harvest - and this was something that was simply unimaginable when I first started searching out alternatives to the loose leaf leaves that I could readily buy in the UK 10 or so years ago.
The springtime harvest in China and Taiwan generally produces some of the finest teas of the year. Drinking them now, especially the green and silver needle white tea and the lighter oolongs, when they're at their absolute freshest and possess their maximum flavour, is truly something that should be enjoyed an appreciated.
The first of the new season's harvest began arriving from Taiwan and China today and we're expecting more to arrive over the coming weeks. We will definitely try to put these online as soon as they arrive with us. As I began breaking open the shipping containers this afternoon I could't help but feel like a child opening presents at Christmas with fresh Dong Ding oolong a most welcome gift!