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How do you decide where to buy?

16 Replies
SimplyJenW said

I usually like to get reviews from others. If I see a company name popping up frequently, I tend to take notice. Value and good customer service are extremely important to me. If I see the same bad/marginal reviews over, and over, I tend to skip the place altogether (looking at you, Teavana). I also like companies that are well established (thinking Upton and Harney-for US customers), but I will try a new vendor if there is a reasonable deal on samples or a review of a remarkable tea from those who like similar teas. I do notice that as my tea journey progresses, I am less interested in the flavored varieties, although I still appreciate a well blended flavored tea on a complementary tea base. Sometimes my tastes don’t line up with the general consensus out there, and those teas I just ‘rehome’.

SimplyJenW: Reputation certainly comes into play when I decide which shop to buy from (and this is a great place to find that out, as you pointed out).

btw, I haven’t tired Upton yet, but they are still on my radar. I am currently enjoying a number of teas from Verdant Tea and Den’s Tea. Culinary Tea also has some great flavored teas for very reasonable prices (I ordered a bunch from them recently, and my wife and I are both impressed. I plan to write a review for them as an online shop sometime soon).

It is interesting how tastes change, or evolve, over time. I started out a green tea purist, then branched out into other teas (I am currently exploring blacks, and rooibos/honeybush, along with my unflavored greens). Over time I have seen the value in flavored teas, but I am still pretty much a purist. I think it’s because I enjoy searching for all of the subtle flavors and other nuances in an unflavored tea, which seems more, … challenging to me than trying to discern the the flavors that are more ‘upfront’ in flavored teas. I think it’s also that the flavors in straight teas occur naturally, rather than being manufactured. But whatever the case, they all have their place, and all teas are fun!

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joelbny said

Try the vendor guide on teachat
www.teachat.com/viewforum.php?f=60

I actually discovered most of my sources through that forum years ago. As for the criterion, obviously, i buy from the vendors who sell tea that i like at decent prices. When trying new vendors, I order small amounts.

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