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Help Me Review Online Tea Retailers!

87 Replies

This is such a cool idea – I’ll definitely work on some. :)

Awesome. Thanks! The more, the merrier!

Let me know if you need any help creating a new place (it can be a challenge w/o any address). : )

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Great idea!

I just added Stone Leaf Teahouse’s Online store. If anyone has ordered from us, feel free to write a review, and if not, give us a try.

thanks!

FYI – for some reason, Steepster kept rejecting the correct address (111 Maple St, Middlebury, VT 05753), so the marker is in the wrong place on the google map.

I just checked out your website. It looks fantastic! Well laid out, and lots of great pictures.

I can’t find any information about who you are on your website, though; some page marked as something like ‘About us’ (that is the first place I look when I first visit a new website as I want to know with whom I am interacting). I just noticed you have a mission statement on your home page. Yet, I would like a little more info about who you are and why you got into tea, for example.

Some of the links are not working properly, though (http://www.stoneleaftea.com/?wpsc_product_category=green this is supposed to take me to the Yunnan Cui Ming description, but it instead takes me to Anji Bai Cha Spring 2010) so you might want to check that out.

I started following you, so, if you would like, you can send me a message with some information about who you are, or you could simply just post it here.

Thanks for adding your online ‘Place’.

I really like that you provide harvest dates for your green tea.

And maybe I am missing it, but I don’t see any shipping info.

Thanks! We are trying to add new things all the time, so check back soon.

The Yunnan Cui Ming is there, you just have to scroll down a bit. The Anji is listed first and the Cui Ming is the third tea down.

The shipping is done by weight. When you add something to your shopping cart, the shipping will show up on the top right of the page.

As far as who we are…
My business partner and I are simple tea lovers. We have a strong interest in knowing exactly where our tea comes from, so we decided to source our own high quality, sustainably grown teas. We have both been in the tea business for over 8 years. Three of those years, I spent living, traveling, and sourcing tea all over Asia. My partner opened the Middlebury store in 2009 and we just recently expanded the website to include teaware, a tea atlas, and our full selection of tea.

I hope you enjoy what we are doing!

Let me know if you have any other problems using the site.

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I have added a new online place named, “tea place photo test – online” (http://steepster.com/places/2924-tea-place-photo-test-online-anthony-kansas) to help test out how photos look before you submit them in the “add a photo” section of a new online Place you create. (I also placed a link to it in the original post topic). I just used it to test out the photo for Den’s Tea.

The user interface seems to like photos of a certain pixel size (although I don’t know what that is). So if it’s too ‘big’ it crops it so that it ‘fits’ in the space provided (that happened to a few places, like Teavana and Verdant and DeRen). Unfortunately, once you add it, you can’t delete it; you can add another photo but the first is the default when someone sees the listing of the Place (unless they select one of the alternate pictures—if one is available—once they navigate to the specific place). So, to help test the photo out first I added the new place I mentioned above (“tea place photo test – online”) so you can see what it looks like before you submit a final one on the actual online Place you created. If it doesn’t ‘fit,’ then you can try another size there before so submit your final photo. Not a great solution to this problem, but at least it is a work-around, for now.

Happy reviewing!

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Dorothy said

Since reading this thread I’ve added a few places:
http://steepster.com/places/2922-davidstea-online-mont-royal-qc
http://steepster.com/places/2890-camellia-sinensis-online-montreal-qc
http://steepster.com/places/2937-tweed-and-hickory-online-timmins-on

Just thought I’d mention it since I’d like to see more online reviews being written. I think this is a really cool idea and helpful since ordering online can be very hit or miss.

Thanks, Dorothy! I still have a few to write myself (once I get most of my backlogged tea reviews completed, that is).

UPDATE: I never heard of Tweed & Hickory. I’ll have to check them out. I love how you told us they actually called you to leave a message to let you know they were holding the shipment due to one tea they were waiting on. Impressive.

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I am so glad to see a number of new online places, and a number of new reviews!

Dinosara, your review of SanctuaryT inspired me to finally write one of my own for them: http://steepster.com/places/2940-sanctuary-t-online-new-york-new-york?visit=1642

Happy reviewing!

Dinosara said

Thanks for your review! I just had one of the teas I bought there this morning, and I was thinking about the experience and whether I’d order from them again. Sorry to hear about your shipping nightmares!

Thank you for your reply.

The reality is, it could have been much worse, as I got some free tea, and at least the tea I ordered eventually came. I wouldn’t necessarily let my singular experience stop you from ordering from them again, though. The way I look at it it’s a lot about risk, and what matters most to you. Customer service is important to me, but as long as I eventually get the tea I ordered, I am usually satisfied (we both got the tea we ordered). My experience was more strange than anything else (I don’t feel it was anything personal), and everything else they do seems to be very professional. Someone just dropped the ball on the shipping; well, twice I guess. Still, in the end, I will say I have enjoyed every tea I have had from them (including the sent to me by accident, which was non-returnable).

I agree, as you mentioned in your review, that it would be nice to be able to order a 2 oz refill without the tin.

In the end, their teas are good, the brownies were great, and I simply love those tins!

OMG I love their brownies. It’s been a while since I’ve had them. I will need to place an order with them again soon. I miss those brownies. Here’s my full-length review of them: http://sororiteasisters.com/2010/10/10/white-tea-brownies-from-sanctuary-t/

Dinosara said

Haha I think when I need to reload on their Dragon Flames I will have to submit to temptation and order some brownies!

Yes, the brownies were about as good as they get (my wife and I both loved them). As you said in your review, LiberTEAS, they have more of the fudge-y like consistency rather than being cake-y and dry (I prefer fudge-y brownies over the cake-y ones). And I don’t think I have ever made any better either (although my wife made some recently with mint chocolate chips in them that were pretty awesome).

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SimplyJenW said

I added Upton Tea Imports…. and the one from Fortnum & Mason is essentially over for me.

Thanks for adding them.

You profile is very succinct and still tells us a lot about how your brew your tea. I really like that (I work on mine off and on and I really struggle with putting enough relevant information in as small a space as possible).

Awesome reviews of Upton Tea Imports and Ovation Teas. Come this summer (once I actually get anywhere close to needing more tea), Upton Tea Imports is one of the companies I plan to check out.

I like how you broke down the rating at the end of the Ovation Teas review. Great idea!

I just read you updated review of Fortnum & Mason, and I’m sorry to hear things didn’t work out with them. It is really sad you had to get your credit card company involved.

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I just added a review about Steven Smith Teamaker, and I added one about Damn Fine Tea earlier this week.

Awesome! I’m off to check them out. Thank you! : )

Those boxes of Steven Smith Teamaker tea look very cool. And the pictures of their B&M shop look beautiful. I love that exposed brick look (is there a name for it?).

I love their B&M shop. It is so quaint and beautiful, and the service is wonderful. The boxes of tea house their bagged tea, which I’ve not tried, I’ve always purchased the loose leaf tea which comes in the mylar packaging. However, I am probably going to end up purchasing some of their bagged tea very soon because I want to give some to my daughter, who enjoys tea but hasn’t become quite the tea snob that her mother is, and wants the simplicity of a bagged tea. I have, at least, taught her that not all tea is created equal and that if one must purchase bagged tea, to purchase it from a reputable location, and to purchase a reputable brand. :)

I’m glad to hear you have a daughter to enjoy tea with! We don’t have kids, but I am hoping at least one of my nieces will get into it, someday (they are all still a little young, yet). Sharing tea with others is at least half of the fun of tea (at least for me)!

Seeing those pictures makes me want to go visit a shop like that. How wonderful that you have such a great shop nearby!

Yes, I love going there. Unfortunately, I have severe vertigo, so I don’t drive (being in a car or other enclosed space aggravates it) so I am reliant upon my husband to take me to the shop, and he really believes that I have enough tea and that I do not need to be purchasing more… so he is very reluctant to take me there because he knows I will buy tea. LOL

So, the last time that I was able to get him to take me there was about this time last year, when the Steelers had earned their spot in the Superbowl. I suspect that the next time I am able to go is the next time the Steelers earn that spot.

So, I am forced to order the teas, even though I am so close. sigh

Sorry to hear about your vertigo.

How close? Could you take a bus (if it’s not too small of an enclosed space), or ride your bike, or get there some other way? I believe that if I/you want something bad enough, I/you can make it happen.

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I wanted to bump this since I noticed a new question about online tea purveyors… also, I just reviewed Zen Tara Tea since I placed an order with them in the last couple of weeks.

I just read your review, and checked out Zen Tara Tea’s website.

I really like their about us page: http://www.zentaratea.com/about/who , as it gives pictures and actually tells me something about who they are, as opposed to making some general statement like, they sell the best tea for the best prices. I looked at their green Tea, and unfortunately there are no harvest dates. Yet, they do have dates on a few teas from their ‘Teas Direct from Grower’ selection. It looks like the have a wide selection of both Teas and flavor-added teas. Nice looking website. A few of those tea pots are very stylish looking.

I added a link to what I thought was the most appropriate picture I could find that represents them as an online shop.

Their B&M shop looks pretty awesome. Here are a few pictures: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/G5e2ezB40YYtVCWUxHhOGg?select=cdX_2ZL79918Uw2NVEUVMg

Thanks for introducing me to them!

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I created a few new online ‘Places’: http://steepster.com/places/2981-culinary-teas-online-milford-indiana
http://steepster.com/places/3030-yunnan-sourcing-us-online-portland-oregon
http://steepster.com/places/3023-art-of-tea-online-santa-cruz-california

I also added reviews to a few online places already created. The number of online places (and the number of reviews for each) continues to grow!

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i like the idea of online tea shopping i never knew i will give it a try , thanks

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