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Amount of Tea to include in Swaps

Hello everyone!

I had a question for all you swappers out there! I am new to the process and don’t want to offend anyone or seem stingy, so I was wondering how much tea you usually include when you send a sample for a swap? I have been putting 3-4tps so the person can either make a few cups or a pot, but I didn’t know if that was too little (or too much?) I don’t want to make anyone feel like it’s an uneven swap on either end!

As always, THANKS!

20 Replies
Angrboda said

I had a similar talk with a different Steepsterite over PM a while ago when it was their first time swapping and they had some of the same questions as you. Because I’m lazy, the following is a copy/paste job.

What I usually do is pick a handful of things that I personally enjoy, so I want to inflict it on the other person. :) Sample sizes depend on how many different teas I want to share. If I share fewer kinds, I’ll make the samples larger (at least three or four pots’ worth), and if I’m sharing more kinds, I’ll make the samples smaller (about one or two pots).

I have also sometimes told the other person to take a look at my cupboard and make a sort of wishlist about which of my things they are more interested in trying. Sometimes I don’t have enough of one to share, but if I do, I usually include it. It depends on how many things the other person puts on their wishlist. If it’s long I pick some out of it and throw in a couple of extra things as surprises, things that I don’t think the other person has ever tried, or things that wouldn’t be available for them to try otherwise.

If I have something around that I don’t really like myself, I’ll often throw in a generous helping of that as well, because the other person might like it better than me.

About four to seven different kinds is not unusual for me to pick.

(These things vary from person to person, though. You should never send more to the other person than you feel comfortable with sharing if you feel like you’ve been sent vast amounts. Some people can afford sharing larger amounts than other people and some people have a larger selection to choose from than others. As long as I can get at least one pot out of each sample I’m given, I’m happy)

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Excuse me again for sounding like a newbie, but how much constitutes a pot?

Angrboda said

Pots come in different shapes and sizes. Go by the size of your own. :)

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SunnyinNY said

I’m new to the swapping here & I agree with Angrboda.
I love sharing favorite flavors & will send more than enough for a few pots, if I have that much. If not, then I make a tea filter or two for at least a few cups.

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SimplyJenW said

I think it depends on what you are comfortable with. I brew either a mug or a pot…..but I do have the means to brew a cup, also. Anywhere from 2-4 somewhat generous tsp is great. Sometimes I add more than that if I have a good amount of the tea in my cupboard (there are a few I buy by the pound…). I might even send an ounce or two if it is something that is not one of my favorites.

I sometimes read through shopping lists on here if I have time, and send a few things I have if there is a match up.

I have certainly learned that just because it is not a tea I would purchase again does not mean there is not someone out there who would thoroughly enjoy it.

Wow, you’re nice going through their shopping lists! I’ll have to keep that in mind! I agree that I am more willing to part with more tea in a swap if I have larger quantities or I don’t like it as much. For example, I’m pretty excited somebody wants my guayusa in a swap because I really didn’t dig it. But like you said, doesn’t mean somebody else won’t like it! :)

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Dorothy said

If you’re ever unsure, you can always ask the person you’re swapping with. Personally I would be VERY happy with 3-4 tsps but others may want more.

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Dinosara said

The “I’ll send you a sample” swaps (as opposed to I’ll swap you 1oz of this for 1oz of that, etc) always end up making me feel stingy somehow, heh. Steepster is full of really generous people, and even if I feel like I think I know how much they’re going to send, people always surprise me and send me more tea. Over all the swaps I’ve done I’ve definitely upped the amount of tea I include in packages based on experience, and at this point I welcome it as a chance to offload some excess tea and share favorites.

However, I would say that most people don’t really expect a huge amount of tea to come tumbling out of their swap packages! The amount you mention above sounds just fine, and if you say that you’re swapping a sample of something, I wouldn’t expect any more than that. Like SimplyJenW, if I have a lot of something or it’s something I’m not wild about I’ll include more, but if I have a limited amount of a tea that’s hard to get, you’re only getting a couple of cups worth. :) If that’s the case, I often do look through people’s favorite teas to see what kind of things I have that they might like so I can pad the package a bit.

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Uniquity said

I rarely do swaps, but if I do I try to include 4 + heaping teaspoons of each tea. If a specific tea was requested and I have lots of it or can go get more easily I will send more. If I’m not fond of a tea, you can look forward to receiving whatever is left of it (in the hopes that you will like it more). I try to accomodate requests and look at shopping lists, but I also like to throw in what I think the other person might enjoy, this usually brings the number of teas up to the dozen-ish range or somewhere just below. If the recipient has gone out of their way to get something for me, I like to throw in a bit more, and have occasionally sent out small teaware as well. My American swappers have made more teas available to me than I would have had before, so I think it is worth the shipping expense, though I do try to limit myself.

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Spot52 select said

I try and explain how much I am sending. Some teas are more valuable than others. A tea bag from Lipton does not equal the same amount as Sencha Zuiko from Den’s. Yes, I know that is an exaggeration that would not occur in a swap. The point is, I am prone to swap based on what the tea is worth.

There are many ideas out there, and it is best to ask what people are expecting.

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Thanks everyone for your input! Appreciate it :)

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Kay Kanada said

Another newbie question… How do you package it?

Ricky admin said

I personally package mine in little ziploc bags 4″×3″. I purchased a bunch from eBay a while back. When I didn’t have these I use to wrap the tea in wax paper and then I wrapped that in foil. On occasion I’ll repackage tea in old tins I have lying around. There’s no right way to do it, just do what’s convient for you. Some people use glad tupperware to send tea.

Angrboda said

Earlier on Adagio used to send their samples in these little tins. Those are really practical for swapping, so I tend to use those if I’m sharing a larger amount. I also sometimes use these pouches from Necessiteas (I think it was). I had QuiltGuppy buy some for me as we were doing a swap and they’ve been pretty useful. If stuffed, they hold about 25g, which is about the same amount as those Adagio tins. I have also received lots of swaps packed in small ziplock bags, and that’s fine as well, I think.

Recently I was doing a straight swap for a larger, specified amount, and I used one of my own tins. I’ve received a few tins through swapping, so I can easily afford to send some of my own the other way as well. I can always get more tins. :)

Dinosara said

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130445407385&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
These are the type of heavy-plastic, foil lined pouches that Angrboda and Ricky are probably talking about. QuiltGuppy posted this link to them in a thread a while ago and I recently purchased some recently to use in swaps. They are great because they are heavier duty than a ziploc sandwich bag so very little aroma gets through them and I feel good about keeping my tea in them because they are pretty air tight.

SimplyJenW said

I use those, too….(the ones in Dinosara’s link.) I also got some bigger ones for my own use from the same seller.

Kay Kanada said

Ooh great, thanks all!

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