@Victoria I certainly agree that the Winter 2018 harvest was excellent and that people should get some while they still can. I can't speak for others but I have very little of this tea still available.Victoria wrote: ↑Sat May 18, 2019 2:25 amI highly recommend you get plenty of winter 2018, across the board a very good season. I’m starting to think that because it was a warm winter in Taiwan tea trees didn’t have a change to rest with cooler winter cycle, leading to less than desirable Spring leaves.
This spring has been a difficult harvest and the tea is spotty. There are some very good examples (I have encountered some good Muzha TGY) and some not so good (I haven't yet found a bao zhong that I will stock.) The problem with harvest was not so much the warmth but the lack of rain. This actually delayed the development of the leaves and the harvest was 10 days to 2 weeks behind "normal." This in turn reduced the size of the crop. I know that most of my growers are just now getting their pesticide free certifications. I'll then need to taste the approved samples to confirm (or not) my initial impressions. Getting the tea onto the market here is still a couple of weeks away.
I want to emphasize that the harvest was "difficult" - not universally poor (see e.g. the comment about the apparently very good SLX from Floating Leaves - perhaps it was in the oolong section.) For those who are careful there are some very fine teas to be had. They are going to be a bit more expensive, however, due to the shortage.