How can I support my green tea habits in a financially prudent manner?
July 17, 2010 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Green tea iced tea, I love it. Two questions: do you know a website where I can order loose-leaf green tea on the cheap? Secondly, do you know a store in NYC as well where I can get it in bulk on the cheap? Bonus points if it's in the midtown area.
posted by helios410 to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There's a big grocery store in Koreatown on 32nd Street that will definitely have what you want. Koreatown. I don't remember the name of the store, but I think it is on the left side of the street if you are walking north.
posted by vincele at 10:54 AM on July 17, 2010

Sorry, I am an idiot. "Walking north" makes no sense. Google Maps shows Hanahreum Asian MartAddress at 25 West 32nd Street. I think that's the place.
posted by vincele at 11:03 AM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

What is "bulk", to you? Are you tired of cutting it out of tea bags and are now looking for a store that sells loose green tea? Or more than a couple ounces of it? Or do you want pounds and pounds?

Any grocery in a predominantly Asian neighborhood will have loose green tea packaged in substantial sizes. Vincele's suggestion is a good one. There's also a few Japanese supermarkets in the East Village, and of course you could always go to Chinatown.

Kalustyan's, on Lexington in the 20's (27th maybe?) will carry it, as well.

If you mean you want, like, a commercial supply of it (pounds of tea instead of ounces of it), you might have to go out to Flushing for that. Or order online.

I wouldn't buy tea in huge bulk, though - it eventually goes stale. And you only need a teaspoon or two per cup. A pound of green tea would probably last you a year. A friend of mine drinks far more loose black tea every day and buys a box or two every few months.
posted by Sara C. at 11:16 AM on July 17, 2010

I get all my tea from Upton Tea Imports, and they definitely sell in bulk. I don't know what grade of tea you're looking for, but depending on the variety you can get up to a kilogram at a time for around $40. (Or, you know, spend that much money on an eighth as much tea if you're looking for fancy stuff.)
posted by KathrynT at 11:35 AM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Not sure what kind of green tea (or price point) you're looking at, but one recommendation is Ten Ren Tea, which has several locations in the NYC area.
posted by needled at 11:42 AM on July 17, 2010

This will vary a lot depending on which type of green tea you want - for example, Chinese gunpowder is WAY different from Japanese Gyokuro or Matcha.

My two favorite stores for general tea orders are Upton Tea Imports, as mentioned above, and SpecialTeas.

Finally, I always take my tea questions to Steepster (independent) or TeaChat (affiliated with Adagio, a good but sometimes slightly overpriced tea store).
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 12:19 PM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Tea is always way cheaper in Chinatown, and is the tea that people actually drink in China (as opposed to the overpriced stuff at Teavana, for example.) You might need to bring someone with you who can read the labels on the boxes if you can't read Chinese yourself.
posted by twblalock at 12:37 PM on July 17, 2010

I really like teaspring for green chinese teas.
posted by rainy at 1:14 PM on July 17, 2010

We get our green tea from Amazon - if you're an Amazon prime member it's free shipping.
posted by bonsai forest at 2:02 PM on July 17, 2010

I order from Two Leaves and a Bud. Their Jasmine Petal tea is my favorite tea ever. Don't know your idea of "cheap" but they have a nice range of prices.
posted by fresh-rn at 2:54 PM on July 17, 2010

Response by poster: UPDATE: I went to Hanahreum Asian Mart, and it had what I needed. Cheap prices for a lot of loose-leaf. Thanks vincele.
posted by helios410 at 12:11 PM on August 11, 2010

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