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The Tea Spot - Online in Boulder, Colorado
5/5
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Dinosara rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I took advantage of a free shipping offer around the holidays to order some samples from this company. I do love a tea place that offers samples for a good price, and at the Tea Spot you can order a sample of each tea, priced based quality. They also offer a variety of other packaging options including 3oz tin, 3oz bulk, and 1lb bulk. The website is well organized with lots of information on each blend.

Like I said, I had a free shipping coupon, but they offer $6 flat shipping rate or free shipping for an order over $50. They shipped quickly and sent a tracking number.

Each sample came in a foil lined plastic pouch, labeled, not resealable but with plenty of room to fold it over and close it again. They included a sample of one of their bestselling teas in the box, even though it was only an order of samples to begin with. Several of the teas are must haves and I will definitely be ordering again in the future.

Ovation Teas - Online in Federal Way, Washington
4/5
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Dinosara rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I recently ordered some teas using an groupon-style deal for this company. The number of flavor combinations that this company offers is mind blowing, so it was difficult to chose. Their website is nicely organized with lots of great pictures of the tea. They do offer a custom blending option, but I didn’t chose to do that this time.

They don’t offer samples, likely because every batch is blended to order, but fortunately they do offer sizes as small as 2oz, for a very reasonable price. I do wish that they would specify the composition of the black tea base for each tea (they do for some, so I assume it’s the same for all, but perhaps it’s not). Shipping was a reasonable $7, and if you didn’t have another coupon you can use a free shipping on any order code.

The tea was nicely packaged in heavy-grade, resealable opaque plastic bags with lables for each tea on the bag. No free samples in the box, and again I feel like it’s probably because they don’t necessarily keep stock of every blend around. I think that they should include a note to let the tea flavors mature for a bit before you drink, because the flavors always change a bit from a fresh blended tea. I’m definitely pleased with my order and would definitely order from this company again.

Sanctuary T - Online in New York, New York
4/5
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Dinosara rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I recently used a groupon-style deal to order tea from this company. Their website is nicely laid out and easy to use, and they offer not only tea but tea-based seasonings, foods and such. They have samples of a very few teas (called “teasers”), but none of them that I was super interested in. Fortunately they do sell 2oz sizes at least, so I ended up buying two teas for the amount of the deal; I thought that was a little steep, but I didn’t realize that the teas would also come in tins as well, which usually increases the price.

Shipping was a bit pricey, although they do have a free shipping code that can be used on any order unless you are also using another code (so if you have a discount code you can’t get free shipping, and vice versa). Oddly I got a shipping notification from USPS, but the tracking number never showed up on the site, and then I got the package today shipped via UPS.

The tea was packaged in a nice box, and there were two tins nestled in some accordian paper shreds. They clearly had put stickers for each tea on the tins, but they had come off. Fortunatley it was pretty obvious which tea was which. The tins are very nice quality and will be useful for a long time, though I would like option for no tin for refills. No free samples in the box. Overall a pretty decent shopping experience, and I would buy there again.

DeRen Tea - Online in Los Altos, California
4/5
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Dinosara rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

When DeRen first opened I took advantage of their free samples offer to get some samples of their oolong teas. They offer four free samples, just pay shipping. I also went ahead and ordered a $2 sample of another tea.

The tea was shipped quickly and the samples were packed in foil-plastic sleeves that had been heat-sealed. Not resealable, which I prefer, but these were packed with plenty of extra room so that if I needed to reseal it temporarily with a clip I could. Each pouch of tea had a label with the name of the tea, but not steeping directions. The samples were good sized, with enough for a few cups of tea.

The tea seemed to be fresh and high quality. I really like their sample policy because I like to try a tea before a buy. Overall a good buying experience.

Dinosara rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I’ve ordered from Verdant Tea a couple of times now I and I can’t say enough good things about the experience. David (the founder) is very responsive and helpful, and you can really tell he is passionate about his teas. I love that David shares Steepster user’s comments with the tea farmers he works with so that the know how much we love their teas.

I have taken advantage of a few special offers but in general they offer good deals, including free US shipping on orders over $10 (only $2 for orders under $10) and free international shipping for orders over $25. They also usually send out two free samples, which you can choose if you send an email to David (usually I just reply to the order confirmation email) after you place your order. The teas are packaged in nice, heavy resealable bags that have steeping directions for every tea on the back of the pouch. On my last order I purchased a Ruci teacup, which was well padded and in it’s own box within the larger box. Also, David includes a handwritten note in each package thanking you for your order; a nice touch.

The teas are absolutely wonderful quality and are very special since they’re sold by the individual picking. I love that you can order as little as one ounce, which is a good size for sampling (and only slightly more than the samples you get). I expect to be ordering tea from David for years to come.

On a final note, I have tasted a few of David’s new Alchemy Blended line teas and have reviewed them on Steepster. David has commented to say that he is adjusting the blends as he gets feedback on them, which I think is quite a testimate to his devotion to the customer and getting everything just right.

thepuriTea - online in Los Angeles, California
3/5
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Dinosara rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

I ordered for the first time during a Cyber Monday sale where they put all of their teas on sale and free shipping without any code needed. That meant that I was able to also use a coupon code that hadn’t expired so I got an amazing deal on the tea.

Their website is nice and easy to use, and I like that they offer a “build your own” sampler set where you can get samples of any of the teas that they offer. When you buy a large number of samples you get a discount depending on how much you order, which is also nice. Normally they offer free shipping for orders over $50, but like I said they had waived shipping for Cyber Monday anyway. The shipping was incredibly fast—I’m pretty sure it shipped less than 24hrs after I made my order—and I got my order very quickly even all the way across the country.

The samples came in little lightweight cardboard containers that had foil-plastic heat sealed pouches in them. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of the pouches because they are not resealable, so I had to find some other container to put them in. They were very full of tea such that once I cut them open I wouldn’t be able to close them up with a clip or anything, and more than one of them was not completely heat sealed so that some tea escaped from the packages into the box. Also, I thought the samples would be larger; on the website it states the samples should contain 10-12 cups of tea, but my samples each contain a variable amount of tea; the smallest one probably won’t make more than 4 cups of tea. I did get three free samples with my order (which was only samples to start with, so that was quite nice), but one of them doesn’t have a label so I have no idea what kind of tea it is!

The tea is high quality and tasty, and they do have a 100% customer satisfaction policy so if you disliked a tea you could potentially return it. I would order again for some teas I can’t get elsewhere, but I do wish they sold an amount between a sample and 4oz (2oz is perfect!).

Naivetea - online in Burlingame, California
5/5
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Dinosara rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I made my first order from Naivetea over Black Friday weekend this year. I don’t usually email tea companies about things before I order, but I had occasion to interact with them for this order. I wanted to order the infused tea sampler but they didn’t have their lychee oolong as one of the options, so I emailed about this and one of the owners, Lawrence, emailed me back and said that it was a mistake and that they would try to fix it before the black friday coupon expired, but that if it wasn’t fixed I could just email after my order and they would make sure it shipped correctly. When I tried to order on Saturday, the lychee oolong still wasn’t an option and the coupon code wasn’t working, so I emailed back. Lawrence was very apologetic and extended the coupon so that people would have an extra day to make an order. Buggy websites can happen to anyone, but they were really great about fixing things. His emails were always prompt and I really got the sense he would make sure everything turned out right.

They have a lovely website that is easy to use. They don’t provide photos of the tea itself, which I do like seeing, but because these teas don’t include other ingredients in them, they do tend to look very similar, so I understand using other images. Shipping charges were reasonable (seems to be a $5 flat fee within the US).

The order shipped out quickly and I got it no problem. When I got my order the sample set was just as I had wanted (lychee oolong included). I ordered two sample sets which came in beautiful watercolor-print boxes. The tea was packaged in small resealable pouches that are nice quality and I think they will keep the tea fresh. The pouches are labled with the tea name, and each sample box came with a small card that has steeping instructions (both hot and iced) for all of the different teas. They also included one free sample (same amount of tea as the teas in sample sets). The samples are a good amount of each tea such that I will have enough for quite a few cups. The tea is extremely high quality and I have been nothing but pleased with my order. Will definitely order again!

teapod in London, Greater London
5/5
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Dinosara rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

This tea room opened in the same storefront that was previously occupied by BouTea. It is primarily a nice cafe where you can enjoy lunch or afternoon tea, but they also sell pre-packaged bags of their loose-leaf tea blends. They don’t have a ton of blends, but a few nice representatives from across the spectrum of teas. I wasn’t there for afternoon tea but only had a pot of tea and a cookie myself. The tea came out with a small instruction card giving you some background on your tea and telling you how long to steep it for, but no timer. A pot of tea was enough for twoish cups, and the tea pots were equipt with steeping baskets to prevent oversteeping.

It was a nice, cosy little cafe, and I ended up buying a package of the tea to take home with me. Their prices seemed reasonable, and I would recommend it as a respite from running around Covent Garden.

Tea Palace in London, Greater London
5/5
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Dinosara rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

The Tea Palace shop in Covent Garden has a deceptively small storefront since they have a large basement area full of tea. The first floor is dedicated almost entirely to the counter at which you order teas by weight, whereas the pre-packaged tea is downstairs. Also downstairs, in front of each pre-packaged tea, is a sample of the tea for smelling. There were also 5 different teas brewed for free samples, which definitely sold me on at least one tea. The employees were very helpful and were very willing to help you find a tea you might like if you didn’t know what you were looking for.

At the counter for tea by weight, they had three different tin sizes that you could order. It seems like they must have also had a paper pouch available too, but I can’t really remember; I just remember when I asked about the minimum tea amount to purchase I was given the options of the tins. There was a 100g, a very large tin (unsure, possibly 250g?), and small, 30g sample tins. Which is really a more volume based system, but they fill the tin and then charge you a set price in the system, presumably based on the actual weight of the tea in the tin. This is actually the only shop I visited that sold sample sizes, which I appreciated a lot. The sample tins are very cute, too! I initially ordered 3 samples, but they were having a promotion (for the anniversary of the company, I believe) where if you spent £20, you got a sample tin for free. So I obviously then had to (by my logic) order two more samples, so I could get a third for free. The employee getting my tea was very helpful in suggesting other teas to sample, and she even rang it up so that the most expensive tea (a white peony with rose) would be the free one!

I definitely suggest visiting this tea shop if you are in London; they have a lot of very nice teas, are very helpful, and I definitely dig the 30g sample tins!

The Tea House in London, Greater London
4/5
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Dinosara rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

This tea shop was definitely bustling when I came in! The smallish storefront in Covent Garden is packed full of tea. They offer some tinned “souvenir” tea (of unknown origin) and various boxes of tea bags, but the real focus of this store is their own loose-leaf tea. All of the tea is pre-packaged into shiny metallic 100g bags (some red, some silver), and there are stoppered jars for smelling for every tea. They have a wide range of teas from unflavored blacks and greens to fruit tisanes. The shop was busy, so I was pretty much left alone, but I’m not sure if more help would have been offered if it was less crowded, and I didn’t ask for any. The tea was very reasonably priced, and seems to be of good quality.

A nice tea place to stop into, especially if you’re in the Covent Garden area going to other tea shops already!

Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: I’m in LOVE with these teas.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Tasty teas that I enjoy, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but wouldn’t seek out. They don’t quite do it for me in one aspect or another; often just not quite my style
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.

Location

Ohio, US

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