5 Beautiful New Teas from Taiwan, China, and Japan

By Kyle Sollenberger

Passenger’s sourcing team is very excited to add 5 exceptional teas to the menu this week, just in time to enjoy this holiday season, and throughout the cold winter months to come.

In contrast to some of the tea menu’s stand-by offerings that are generally available year-round, these exquisite teas from Taiwan, China, and Japan are limited releases that we were only able to secure in relatively small volumes. Whether you are new to the pleasures of tea, a seasoned tea enthusiast, or looking for something special for the tea connoisseur in your life, we hope these beautiful teas will bring joy.

Gao Shan Cha
High-mountain oolongs from Taiwan rank among the most sought-after teas in the world and this selection, sourced from a master producer in the “Pear Mountain” range of Nantou, offers an incredibly delicate and harmonious representation of this storied terroir.

Bai Rui Xiang and Ye Lai Xiang
These exquisite Chinese oolongs offer intriguing and distinct contrasts to the Taiwanese Gao Shan Cha. While produced in different regions of China, both are named for particular cultivars of Camelia sinensis var. sinensis. Bai Rui Xiang or ‘Scent of Daphne’ is a superb ‘rock tea’ oolong produced in Wuyishan, Fujian while Ye Lai Xiang or ‘Night-Blooming Fragrance’ is an elegant example of the dan cong oolong style, meticulously produced in the Phoenix mountains of Guangdong.

Shincha and Shizuoka Kabusecha
Two stellar Japanese teas from Fukuoka and Shizuoka join the menu as well and, together with Passenger’s sencha and matcha offerings, offer a fascinating and delicious tour of Japanese green tea styles. Shincha, or “new tea” represents the very first picking of the Spring harvest, traditionally harvested on the day before the beginning of Spring. Sipping this refreshing Shincha from the Spring 2020 harvest is an invigorating and meditative exercise as we navigate the winter season and look forward to the promise of Spring. While similar in many ways to sencha, kabusecha is a distinct style of Japanese green tea in that the tea plants are shaded for a slightly extended period of 10-14 days before picking and processing. Shading the tea before picking raises the amino acid content in the leaf, leading to delightful umami qualities in the cup.

5 Beautiful New Teas from Taiwan, China, and Japan