Good News - Benoy Thapa from Thunderbolt Teas http://www.thunderbolteas.com/ tells us that First Flush Darjeelings are being picked - the lower slopes, that is. Tea Season is beginning! Oh Happy Day! Over at http://teatrekker.wordpress.com/ there is a schedule of when teas are generally picked and processed. It all depends on the weather, of course, and other things, like workers striking and all the things that go into farming.
Life in Teacup http://www.lifeinteacup.com/ is taking orders for the earliest of the China greens, which may be pre-Qing Ming, depending on the weather. I am getting a small amount of Da Fo Long Jing (Dragonwell). Check around the different merchants if you want to be first or if this is something you really like. I am also going to get some Arya Estate from Upton's http://www.uptontea.com/ I have been looking through my tea notebooks and have found time and again that the Darjeelings I have given the highest marks to have been the ones from that Estate.
World Tea News has been keeping track of tea trends and there are six - three have to do with green tea, one is more interest in tea-enhancing wares and the best, as far as I am concerned is that more people are interested in better quality teas! They also are more interested in tea shops where they can see and taste the teas before they buy. I wish we had some around here. I love living in a small town/rural area, but I do miss some of the advantages of a large city.
World Tea Expo is coming! June 1-3 in Las Vegas. go to http://www.worldteaexpo.com/ and check out the offerings. It is the 10th anniversary year, so I am sure it will be very special. Some advance notice - World Tea East will be October 2-3 in the Philadelphia Conference Center. I am hoping we won't have another flood this year so I can go to it.
That's all for today - I am going out to garden! I'm not taking off my snow tires until the end of the month, though - just in case!