Medley Tea House Café in Portland, Oregon
4/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I went to Medley Tea House Cafe this afternoon with my daughter for their afternoon tea. We ordered the “Medley Tea Time Platter” which included four different types of sandwiches (two finger sandwiches of each variety), crepes, a large scone, two pieces of tea cake and a cookie. The cookie was an Earl Grey chocolate chip cookie and it was amazing.

The platter was plenty for the two of us, in fact, we needed a to-go box for some of it because there was just … so much food! We could have easily had a third person there and the three of us walk away content.

Tea is not included with the platter, but the prices are reasonable for a pot of tea. You get to choose your tea pot and tea cup too, and that’s fun. They have a nice selection of tea and they will also sell tea by the ounce. (Watch for my review of their “Top Earl” tea on http://sororiteasisters.com/ coming soon!)

It was a nice afternoon … a really nice place to visit.

Myrtle's Tea House & Herbery in Ridgefield , WA
5/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I absolutely love Myrtle’s Tea House! I lived in Ridgefield when the Tea House first opened several years ago, and I would visit regularly. They have since moved to a larger facility and they’re booked solid most days that they’re operating!

First, a pot of tea is brought to you (they have a nice selection of teas) and then the afternoon tea menu includes a starter of sorbet to cleanse the palate, then a cup of homemade soup, an assortment of finger sandwiches and a bowl of fresh fruit. Once you finish the soup, sandwiches and fruit, a plate of dessert and scones are brought to you. The scones are always freshly baked when you order, and the desserts are also homemade.

A lot of love and attention to detail is paid to each of the sandwiches, and every item that you’re served at Myrtle’s, which is why I love it so much. It is an exceptional experience. If you are in Ridgefield, you MUST visit Myrtle’s!

Just Add Honey - Online in Atlanta, Georga
3/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

First the good: This company has a few very intriguing flavors of tea which is what drew me in and convinced me to buy from them. I haven’t yet tried the teas, please check out my tasting notes for reviews on those. I ordered three different teas, they were fairly reasonably priced. And the shipping was VERY speedy, I was very impressed to receive my box today when it seems like I just placed the order.

The order was wrapped in tissue paper inside the shipping box, and I like little touches like that. Instead of a free sample, there was a honey straw inside … I’d rather have a free sample, but, I guess the honey straw is better than nothing.

Now for the not-so-good: I’m not particularly impressed with the packaging. They are the Kraft tea bags that are resealable with a wire closure (not a zipper pouch), but, the bag is just way too big for the amount of tea that I ordered. It is a bit too roomy for the amount of tea that I ordered. Not really a complaint but more of an observation. But here is where the “not so good” comes in to play, the labels are incomplete … they do not offer any kind of steeping suggestions on the label. I do like that the label has a date on it but the date appears to be the date that it was packaged and not the date that the tea was harvested. This doesn’t tell me how old the tea is inside, it only tells me when they packaged it.

And the label is at the top of this very large bag, so if I decide to roll down the top of the bag (there’s a good six to eight inches of empty bag here) I will fold over the label and I won’t know which tea it is. And if I don’t fold it over, it’s going to have this huge empty flap of a bag in my tea storage.

This stuff is minor, really, and I don’t think that it would keep me from ordering from this company again if I enjoy the teas. The package did not include an invoice, no free sample of tea as I mentioned already, and no personal thank you. There is a little card that offers some brief information about the company, but even that doesn’t say “thank you” on it… it is more or less like a business card in a postcard size.

The average rating is based upon the experience, which is just average. I’m happy with how quickly the order arrived, and this would make it just a little above average, but the lack of personality brings it back down a notch.

NM Tea Co. | Online in Albuquerque, NM
4/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I am rating this company based solely upon the experience of placing the order online and receiving the shipment. I haven’t yet tried the teas, however, I have previously tried a tea from this company – http://steepster.com/teas/new-mexico-tea-company/13488-roasted-kukicha – and that experience was pleasant.

I experienced some difficulty in placing the order, because I kept getting an error when it came time to do the final check out. The error message stated that I needed to enter my phone number, but, there was no field in which I could do so. This is apparently a problem that occurs for those who pay via paypal and do not set up a customer account, but it is easily fixed when an account is set up. Before I realized this, though, I did call the company to try to figure out the issue, there was no answer BUT they did call me back almost immediately after I ended my call.

So far, the experience was fairly mediocre, so what gave this company four stars instead of three or two are these factors: FREE shipping and FAST shipping. My order was processed almost immediately, and I received my order three days after I placed it. That is impressive. Sure, New Mexico is a bit closer to me than say, New York, but the fact that the order was processed so quickly so that I could receive it in a timely manner is what impressed me the most.

I was also impressed with just how quickly they responded to me when I attempted to call with a problem. Although they did not answer my call, the call was returned before I had a chance to put the phone down. As I said, it was an immediate return call! I like that.

Probably the only thing keeping me from giving this company five stars instead of four stars are these factors: no free sample (although, in my opinion, free shipping DOES trump a free sample) and primarily what holds me back is the initial difficulty in placing the order. Under most circumstances I would have ended the order without trying again (there are just too many companies out there to waste my time with one that requires extra effort like that) but I really wanted to try more of this companies teas. Watch my tasting notes for those reviews.

Edited to add: Since writing this review, the owner (David Edwards) has contacted me via email to explain the few issues that I did have with my ordering experience. He did mention that after I called him with my concerns regarding the error message I received while trying to place an order using paypal, he did some research and this issue has been resolved … I have to give props to a company that steps up to fix a problem immediately like that.

Also, he did mention that New Mexico Tea Company does offer free samples, and again this was an issue connected with paypal orders. If I had placed my order using my credit card, I would have reached a screen that asked me which free sample I wanted. When paying with paypal, it unfortunately skips that screen, but I could have put a note in the comment field with my choice of free sample. Unfortunately, I did not know that, so I still didn’t get the free sample … but it is good information for all future orders (including YOURS!)

I do very much appreciate the effort that this vendor made to reach out to me. I think it says a lot about the company that they care what their customers think and DO something about it when something goes wrong. This gives me a lot of confidence in this company, enough to say that I’ll be shopping with them again. Oh… and their COCONUT DREAM tea is amazing!

Zenjala Tea Company - Online in Carnelian Bay, CA
3/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

I have not yet had a chance to try the tea I’ve ordered as I only just received the tea, so this review is based upon the ordering process, customer service and shipment of the tea only. You’ll have to watch my tasting notes for my thoughts on the tea I purchased.

I placed an order after hearing about a recent 40% off sale. The order was shipped promptly and packaged with care. I received my order within a couple of days after placing the order, which was expected since the company is in California and I’m in Washington, so the order was received within an acceptable time frame.

My only real complaint is that there was really nothing personal behind the order. No personal, hand-written note of thanks. No free sample. Nothing that really made me feel like I was special or important to them. Will I order from them again? Possibly, but then again, possibly not. I don’t feel any sort of a need to order from them because of the lack of personal touch … they’ve given me no real NEED to order from them.

When a company does something special – be it a handwritten note of thanks, unique packaging, a free sample – you feel special, and you want to feel that way again, so you order from them again to get that special feeling again. If a company leaves that something special out of the experience, it just becomes an ordinary transaction … and that is exactly what my experience with Zenjala Tea was. Rather ordinary. Not bad, but nothing special, either.

Red Leaf Tea - Online in Rolling Meadows, Illinois
5/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

Well, it usually goes against the way I am to give a full five stars to a company that doesn’t give free samples with orders, BUT … I made an exception with Red Leaf Tea because instead of giving free samples, they have an amazing FREE MATCHA incentive program which more than makes up for the lack of free samples.

Basically, you have to start off by buying some Matcha. Write a couple of reviews, one on their website, one on Amazon.com and one here on Steepster. Then you get a gift certificate for more Matcha! This deal of theirs will keep you swimming in Matcha! Yummy!

And their customer service is excellent. I place an order and receive the order three or four days later. Only in rare cases is it longer than that, and usually it is because it was delayed in the postal system not because of a delay on the part of the vendor.

I love Robert – the owner of Red Leaf Tea – he is funny and personable. He has a sense of humor and gets my sense of humor. I enjoy communicating with him. I love the tea, I love the service. And … even though my first order didn’t come with a free sample, after that, I got LOTS of free Matcha … which more than makes up for it.

English Tea Store - Online in New Stanton, PA
3/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

English Tea Store offers a variety of different brands of teas, including some Harney & Sons, Twinings, Davidson’s, Golden Moon Tea, and many others … as well as their “own” teas (which I believe are Metropolitan Teas that have been repackaged).

I shopped with them because I have a neighbor who doesn’t really like tea, but, was interested in some fruit tisanes. She told me some basics of what she’d like in a tisane, and I located something that I thought she’d like based upon my memory of Metropolitan Teas from back when I used to sell tea – Metropolitan Tea has one of the most extensive catalogs of any tea company that I’ve seen, and I’m willing to bet that most of the US tea companies out there purchase from Metropolitan Tea and rebrand the tea as their own. Finding a company that actually flavors their own teas is a rare thing.

I ultimately chose to shop with English Tea Store because they also had some other products I was interested in (Honey Sticks for yet another friend that I was swapping with), and they have some pretty interesting honey sticks (specifically, they have peach flavored and cinnamon flavored honey sticks and these were the two that I thought my swap partner would enjoy).

I rate this company as average. The prices are decent and the quality is there. The tisane I purchased tasted fresh, and my friend quite enjoyed it. However, they don’t really seem to go the extra mile for their customers. No free sample in the box and no thank you note.

In addition, I found that their shipping seemed a bit slow when compared to other tea companies that I’ve shopped with recently. While other companies may have a 24 – 48 hour turnaround time, or even 72 – 96 hour turnaround time, it took me more than 2 weeks to receive my order, and there was no communication from the company to inform me of delays.

As I’ve said before, I understand that things happen and 2 weeks really isn’t all that long in the main scheme of things, however, I tend to expect that kind of wait time when I’m ordering something from out of the country, but not when it’s within the continental US.

So it is a combination of the long ship time and the lack of communication and other non-essential niceties that have earned the “just average” rating from me. I got what I paid for, but nothing more than that. I probably won’t shop with them again unless there is something that they have that I can’t find elsewhere.

LiberTEAS rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

What’s not to love about Verdant Tea? I mean, seriously? Their teas are absolutely top-notch … some of the VERY best I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried a lot of different tea.

They offer fast order turn-around time (I placed my order on Wednesday, received shipping notification on Friday) and I got my package in less than a week from the time I ordered it. (Ordered Wednesday, received the package on Tuesday … would have probably received it on Monday but it was a postal holiday).

But for me, it’s not about fast shipping as much as it is about customer care. David from Verdant Tea included a handwritten thank you note and a free sample. Now that’s what I’m talking about! My order was a small order – just big enough to be able to get free shipping on it – but I still got a free sample. I like that David treats all customers – big and small – well.

I really can’t say anything bad about Verdant Tea, because there is nothing bad for me to say about them. It’s not a case of “if you can’t say something nice…” it’s a case of “I have nothing BUT nice to say.”

They have AWESOME – beyond awesome, really! – teas, fast shipping, and excellent customer service. Everything I want from a tea company.

Kaleisia Tea Lounge - Online in Tampa, Florida
4/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I placed an order with this company because I had read some enticing reviews of the tea, so I decided to give them a try. I was impressed with the prompt shipping – I received my order within a few days of placing it, and the company is in Florida and I’m in Washington State.

The prices were fair, and they have a nice selection of teas. Everything was packaged safely and arrived soundly and in a very timely manner. The only thing that affects the rating is that there was no real “personal touch” – no personal thank you, no free sample, nothing that made me feel special or appreciated.

Having not yet had the opportunity to try the teas this review is based only upon the experience I had shopping with them, and it was above average, but, not exceptional. I might shop with them again, if they have something that sparks my interest or if I read a review that captures my attention, but, I probably won’t go to their website looking for teas to buy.

Butiki Teas - Online in Hamilton Township, New Jersey
5/5
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LiberTEAS rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I placed an order with Butiki for a gift for a friend, and I’m very impressed with how quickly the order was sent out to me (within 24 hours), and how quickly I received it – less than a week from my order time. Impressive especially since Butiki Teas is in New Jersey and I’m in Washington State.

The package included two free samples, which makes me happy, and I received emails from Stacy before the package was sent asking me which samples I’d like (I didn’t check my email in time though, so she chose for me), and then another with the shipping and tracking information.

I’ve always been impressed with the quality of the teas from Butiki, but, I am now also quite impressed with the quality of service I received as a customer. I will definitely be shopping with Butiki Teas again in the future and would recommend them to anyone!

Profile

Bio

I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:
http://sororiteasisters.com

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My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination.

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I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes. I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. If you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.

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Most of the teas that I record in my notes here are going to have a fairly high rating from me. This is not because I am not discerning, but because I do not usually waste my time on drinking tea I do not care for, nor will I waste my time on writing about it.

Location

Vancouver, WA

Website

http://SororiTeaSisters.com

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