Garden Direct 2024 Spring Harvest

Garden Direct 2024 Spring Harvest

The 2024 tea harvest season, though delayed due to varied weather conditions, promises exceptional quality. Delays in high elevation and organic gardens mean late delivery but heightened taste and aroma. Stay tuned for Mingqian Silver Needles and White Peony King batches. Explore the vibrant Yunnan spring tea harvest and anticipate Organic Pu’er and Silver Needles white teas. Witness the journey from Japan's mountainous regions to Thailand's old tree roots, crafting unique blends like Rishi's Earl Grey. Amid Darjeeling's drought, our tasters await the limited first flush picks, ensuring only the finest teas reach discerning buyers.


April 11, 2024


Rishi Tea



The 2024 tea harvesting season is underway and our sourcing team has been traveling in Yunnan, Hubei and Fujian. Overall, the season was delayed due to various weather conditions, from drought and cool conditions in Yunnan to extended cold and rainy conditions in Central and Eastern China. The quality has been very good so far but the total 2024 Mingqian harvest season quantity of tea is less this year. 

the slow and steady growth of the tea bushes during this season has provided a later crop with a boosted vigor of aroma and taste expression

We saw delays in the high elevation gardens and organic gardens where most of the teas that we source are grown, so the delivery of the teas will be a bit late but well worth the wait. In many cases, the slow and steady growth of the tea bushes during this season has provided a later crop with a boosted vigor of aroma and taste expression.  

The Organic Fuding Silver Needles farm that we work with only had one week of optimum weather from March 22-March 29 to produce Mingqian Silver Needles and only 3 days to make Mingqian White Peony King from March 29-March 31. Both batches are coming soon. Similar stories of extended cold weather and a delayed spring season can be told regarding our organic green teas from the high elevation gardens in Hubei but we did get some stunning micro-lots of Long Jing 43, Long Jing 108, Hubei #1 and Hubei #10 Jade Buds, Yulu and Green Needles.

The Yunnan spring tea harvest season has been in full swing across many areas. We are now in Lincang seeing really nice high elevation maocha for our Organic Pu’er and Silver Needles white teas. Our base organic green and white teas for flower scenting with Magnolia, Jasmine, Rose and Osthmanthus have started in Pu'er County and are showing up on the tasting table with nice sweetness. Our Organic Dian Hong and Gong Fu Red Teas will be made in the next 2-3 weeks and we are really excited to share the sun-dried and oven-dried comparison lots when we release them later this year. 

Cold and heavy rains in Kyushu, Japan coupled with reports of floods and landslides where most of the organic Japanese green tea and Matcha in the world market is cultivated had everybody on alert. Thankfully the rains have subsided but we are expecting the overall mountain grown Shincha and first flush organic teas to be delayed this year. We have booked our hand-picked tea and special lots from the Nishi Family Organic farm and other growers, so once the quality starts springing up, we are sure to deliver our favorites and some special lots produced by some of our new friends in Kagoshima and Nagasaki. We will be in the Hon Yama tea region located in the Southern Japanese Alps of Shizuoka during the peak of production time at the end of April to select some of the best light-steamed and fragrant Sencha from the highest elevation farms in Japan. 

Our first flush organic black tea production in Northern Thailand and Myanmar is just waking up with a delayed start from drought and cold windy conditions through March. Our core black teas are finally underway and are showing up with lots of depth for milk tea and chai. So far these lots are fragrant, brisk and bold red cups perfect to blend with the robust and deeply malty Monsoon teas coming up. We expect the volumes to tick upward after the Thai and Burmese New Year celebrations close in mid-April and some rains come through the region to saturate and nourish the old tree roots. We are also seeing some of our first batches of sun-dried and oven-dried red teas coming from one of our dear producers in Doi Mae Salong in Chiang Rai, Thailand. We collaborated with a 5th Generation tea farming family to collect fresh leaves from old assam variety tea gardens in various regions of northern Thailand. They apply their traditional Chinese Gong Fu Hong cha and oolong processing techniques to create a new type of tea for Rishi's Earl Grey and Breakfast teas. Late April through June will be key months for us in Thailand once the fresh leaf volumes increase. 

As we write this report, it is the first week of April and the prime estates of Darjeeling have still not produced their first flush. Darjeeling has suffered from a 5 month drought and the result has been a delayed flush. We are watching for the first flush and our tasters are there in Darjeeling waiting to grab the best of the first picks. The quantity is expected to be very low so we have to pick the teas at the garden before any samples are dispatched to Japan or the major European buyers.