If I had an Unlimited Budget for Tea

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Recently, the US dollar has appreciated so much against my local currency that imported goods are more than twice as expensive as before.

It’s very depressing.

But dreaming is free, so I’ll go ahead and have fun with this mental exercise.

Naturally, I would keep drinking Japanese green tea for the most part.

Quality over quantity

This is the principle for me to follow.

More than having a lot of tea at hand, I believe that having the right teas is better.

So I would have to drink the highest quality ones each day for maximum pleasure.

A good reserve of shincha each year

One thing that comes to mind is to make sure that I always have plenty of the tea from the first harvest of the year.

Shincha has such a wonderful aroma. I must have some at hand, specially in spring.

The problem is to actually buy it before it’s gone.


Therefore, I would reserve at least a kilogram of it, and refrigerate it so that it lasts as long as possible while I drink it during the year.

Yes, it’s decided. A refrigerator for tea only.

I wouldn’t mind drinking this green tea exclusively if I had to. Which brings me to the next tea.

Single cultivar sencha for sure

I already drink a lot of sencha.

It’s the most popular tea in Japan.

But an unlimited budget with limited time means that I should choose very high grades of sencha.

Competition grade and all that.

Besides that, I also enjoy to taste sencha from different cultivars.

So the plan is to keep my favorite cultivars in my tea stash, while reserving some time to try the ones that I’ve never tasted before.

I would also add hakuyoucha (white leaf tea) to the list.

An increase in gyokuro consumption

Gyokuro is considered to be a luxury tea.

That’s why I don’t drink it so often.

But if money wasn’t a problem, then I would buy more.

The best that I could find.

Still, I would keep drinking sencha because most of the single cultivar teas are sencha.

Ceremonial grade matcha

To be honest, I don’t drink as much matcha as before.

I ended up preferring loose leaf tea instead, for some reason.

But having a great matcha at least once a week is a good idea.

My wife likes matcha very much. She drinks one almost every day.

Rarity is also important

There are some Japanese teas that aren’t particularly luxurious, but they can be rare.

For example kancha, and Japanese fermented teas.

And a good kamairicha and kamaryokucha might be good every once in a while.

You can never have enough teaware

What good is the best tea if I don’t have an equally beautiful teacup and teapot?

Let’s just say that I would expand my collection 🙂

What would I eliminate?

I would prefer a higher grade tea than a bancha, unless it was rare.

Same for houjicha and genmaicha. They would have to be of exceptional quality, such as houjicha made from high quality sencha or genmaicha with a very good rice and sencha (or gyokuro) tea leaves.

It goes without saying that I would never drink a tea from a teabag.

That’s something that I’m already doing. Life is too short for bad tasting tea.

I would throw more tea parties

Sometimes I wish that I could share the very special teas that I have with more friends, but I have a limited amount.

Well, at least for the few local friends that actually care about tea.

I do believe that tea is best enjoyed with company.

Tea tourism

I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t visited Japan in many years.

The pandemic, work, and financial matters haven’t let me.

Anyway, if I was able to I’d visit a lot of tea stores, tea fields, and tea factories in Japan.

Other types of tea

Finally, I would start trying other types of tea from different countries.

I do that already, although at a very limited scale.

Since my focus is Japanese tea, I tend to put my time and money there.

But I had more resources, I would start drinking other high quality teas.

How about you?


  1. Sharon
    November 8, 2022

    Love this article I would do the same thank you for your writings

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      November 8, 2022

      Thank you for your kind comment Sharon.

  2. Lissa Blood
    November 8, 2022

    I agree with you completely. Tea can be expensive. So either save up or wait for the best to go on sale but get the best you can.
    Right now I am trying everthing and making a list so I can just buy my favorites once I have educated my palate. I have had a lot of fun sampling and experimenting with the wonderful varieties of teas. Latest discovery is 15year old pu ehr….outstanding. that was a pretty brave purchase for a little old retired English teacher out in the middle of Illinois. But the amazing taste was worth it

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      November 8, 2022

      Hi Lissa

      I’m still educating my palate on many types of tea.

      I don’t know much about puerh, precisely because it can be expensive. But it’s worth exploring, I have tried some that I thought were very good.

  3. Bill
    November 8, 2022

    Interesting idea. It would be Gyokuro every day for me also along with very high grade matcha.

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      November 8, 2022

      Hi Bill.

      I’m sure that gyokuro everyday would be great, same as matcha.

  4. Areek
    November 8, 2022

    Hi Ricardo,
    Your article made my day! To be exact it made my sleepless night (after gyokuro tasting event) much more fun. Thank you!

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      November 8, 2022

      Hi Areek

      I hope that you can sleep better next time. But I imagine that the event was a success, so it was worth it.


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