Courtesy of Kevin Moore, president and founder of O-Cha.com, here are a few things you should know about purchasing green tea.
Green tea from the first harvest is always superior to subsequent harvests.
Most green teas available to North American consumers, both at the store and on the Internet, have spent considerable time in storage and transit. Freshness is very important with green tea; know when it was packaged and when it expires.
Green tea should always be consumed within a relatively short time period after contents of the package have been exposed to the open air. Once exposed to oxygen, its shelf life drops to three months or less.
Avoid flavored green teas. High quality green teas do not need added flavorings or herbs to make them palatable, and most such teas are rarely going to be fresh.