HELP!!! Empty Cups in Palm Springs! Darjeeling Advice Needed!

It finally happened. We’ve polished off all of our Assam, and the Sencha is running thin too. It’s time to make a substantial tea order.

As far as the Sencha goes, we’ll probably just get a kilo of Upton’s Japanese Sencha. This is because the price is right and shipping is within the US. Also, it’s of sufficient quality for what we’re doing with it – which is making Sencha ice cubes and drinking Iced Sencha all day.

Now, when it comes to picking a black tea, things get much trickier. We’d like a kilo of Darjeeling this time around, but we can’t decide which one! @peter suggested Lochan Tea Limited a few weeks ago, and we were just browsing their site today. We only found two teas that are within our price range, and (having never tried either one of them) we were wondering if they are decent teas for the price.

1) First off, there’s the First Flush, Organic Sourenee FTGFOP 1 CH selling at $4.50 per 100 grams.

2) Second, there’s the Second Flush Giddpahar  SFTGFOP 1 CH SPL selling for $4.00 per 100 grams.

Please comment below if you’ve ever tried either of these or know anything about them. Also, if you’ve ever ordered from Lochan, because we were having a hard time figuring out how shipping works and how much it costs.

The other option for us is to just order the Darjeeling from Upton Tea Imports with the Sencha, because their shipping is always $4.20 within the US. However, when you search Upton’s website for Darjeeling, over 60 different teas come up and four of them are within our price range (none of them we’ve ever tried before).

 1) TD06: Orthodox BOP Darjeeling selling for $40.40 per kilo

2) TD20: Orthodox TGFOP Darjeeling selling for $37.80 per kilo

3) TD22: Steinthal Estate TGBOP First Flush (DJ-25) Organic selling for $44.20 per kilo

4) TD23: Rohini Estate FTGFOP1 Cl. Second Flush (DJ-79) selling for $44.20 per kilo

Please comment below if you’ve tried any of these Darjeeling from Upton or Lochan. Also, let us know if there’s any other Darjeelings that you can recommend for $50 or less per kilo including shipping. We’re really having trouble making a decision here and could use some advice!

Big, Round Sencha Ice Cubes

The big, round ice cube tray was a gift from a member of a country club where I used to tend bar. He used to bring his own, personal thermos full of round ice cubes to cocktail hour for his Chivas on the rocks. He specified that we put only one, single, round ice cube in a rocks glass and pour the Chivas over it. Once, I asked him about it, and he explained that it was a superior design. The larger, denser ice cube melted slower; therefore, not watering down his drink as badly. Also, the single, round cube made it easier to drink. He went on to say that fancy bars in Japan and China would use some kind of device to apply heat and pressure to similar round cubes, and that doing so would make them perfectly round, seamless, and crystal clear. So clear, that when added to a drink, it looked as if there was no ice at all!

Iced Sencha over big, round Sencha ice cubes. Smart.