What can you recommend me?
I’m new here and although I am, truly a lover of tea, I find myself kind of short of options. I live in Holland, and we have some shops specializing in coffee and tea, and then there’s Pickwick, pretty much the biggest tea brand here. But, aside from that I have no idea what kind of tea I should try.
I love strong, full-bodied black tea but I’m not very fond of Earl Grey.
Can anyone recommend me some tea? Because I’m a little reluctant to just randomly order tea online without knowing if I’ll like it (I’m a student, I don’t have a lot of money ^^") but I would love to try some new teas.
Teavivre has some excellent black teas – I love the Bailin Gongfu and Dragon Pearls. They also have a free tea tasting activity which is a great way to try some teas and make sure you like them before you commit to the full size. www.teavivre.com
I’m not sure where else ships to Holland for reasonable rates so I’ll leave it there for now. Hopefully Angrboda will see this and make some suggestions, she seems very well versed in international shipping. : )
Are you looking for just straight black teas or are you wanting to branch out and try white, green, herbal, etc?
Welcome to Steepster!
I also recommend the free tasting samples from teavivre.
Roughage is listed under my followers and lives in the U.K.
He travels lots and knows of tea shops and resources for buying tea in Europe. This might save money. Same with Angrboda.
Some online tea vendors ship for a good price internationally.
Tea swaps are fun to do but can be expensive so you have to keep the weight down. (3 Lb.s recently cost me $25 U.S. so you could do much less weight in a tea swap and have some nice tea’s to try out for just a little money)
Hope all works well for you. This is a great group of people who will help all they can!
@Darby I am not overly fond of green teas, to be honest, although I’ve tried them they don’t appeal to me very much. As for white teas, and the rest of them, I am not sure I’d like them, but I’m willing to try anything. I’d rather have recommendations for black teas, because I think I’d like those better than green teas or herbal teas.
@Uniquity Thank you so much, I’m definitely taking a look there. I am so glad I found this site, because I don’t really come across a lot of people that seriously love tea, and I must admit I’m kind of a noob.
@Bonnie Thank you so much for the useful info
The following companies ship internationally and are good companies. Teavivre and Verdant are great for Chinese teas. Upton has a huge number of teas from many countries and is a reputable company. All of these offer samples, so you don’t have to invest too much. I have tried many new teas after reading reviews on Steepster first to narrow things down. There are probably some English tea stores that might be good for you but since I live in the US, I’m not very knowledgeable about that.
@Donna Oh thank you so much, that’s very useful. I think it would be wise to look at some English companies indeed. Also, I think it might be a good idea to look at some reviews, the first time I tried looking things up was just very overwhelming as I’m not well versed in tea jargon.
You’re welcome. It takes a bit of getting use to working around the site. Check out In Nature in the UK. Their reviews seem good and I noticed their Pure Black Tea/Ji Hong Men got some outstanding reviews on Steepster. I can’t emphasize enough that if you want to try some good Chinese teas at a good price, Teavivre is great-they ship from China, but their rates are reasonable to the US, so hopefully would be for Holland too. If you have time to review their teas on their site, you can get points that add up to some discounts. For black tea drinkers, darker oolongs are worth trying if you want to experiment a little. Good luck.
Ohh, Verdant. They have excellent quality tea, but it can be tough for a student. If you sign up for their newsletter you’ll find out when they have deals which can be a great time to try new tea.
(I found the reply button YISS) Ah definitely taking a look there then. Yeah it’s just a lot easier and cheaper to buy supermarket tea(Pickwick), but I think I’d love to explore this whole good quality tea and every hobby/lifestyle/anythingreally costs money so I guess, this is no different.
If you are looking for flavored teas that ship internationally, 52teas is pretty great! :)
If you are in Europe, within Europe shipping is cheaper! I can think of a few ones
Nothing but Tea – in the Uk. Never ordered from them, but huge selection, and reviews seem good.
Yumchaa.com – in the Uk. They don´t have a lot of varieties, but everything they blend just works so well for me. I have ordered from them several times, the shipping to Europe is reasonable ish (IIIRC, around 4£ for 3 or 4 100 gr packs of tea.
Whittards, UK http://www.whittard.co.uk/ I am not crazy about their teas. But they ship internationally and got a nice selection.
Le Palais des Thés – http://www.palaisdesthes.com/en/ (if it redirects to american site, look for the link for the european shop) plenty of varieties, some nice mixes, and shipping is reasonableish if you are ordering plenty, 8€ for up to 5 kilos. I have had their teas, though never ordered, it´s going to be the next order I do!
Mariage Freres – it´s a bit like Palais des Thés, except a bit more expensive, more varieties and well, also better teas. They are probably my favorite tea company. shipping is similar-ish to Palais des Thés, it´s maybe 10 euros up to a lot of weight, better if ordering a lot (if ordering from them, remember you can buy almost anything loose, without the tins, makes it a lot more affordable).
If ordering from outside the EU, check first what are your custom limits for TEA. I found out the other day in my country there are special fees for alcohol, perfume and tea/coffee, and everything above 100 grams is taxable – and my problem would not be just the tax on the tea, but the extra fixed fees you pay whether buying a 1000€ piece of electronics or 15€ of tea you might have to pay 10 or 12 euros or so for the priviledge of them inspecting it, checking the correct tax and the mail service fee for charging me the money. My out of EU tea orders so far have all escaped being inspected, but now I know of this rule I am pretty wary of large tea orders from outside the EU. Check your national laws about it.
About what teas to order, you say you like strong full bodied black tea, well check breakfast mixes. Do you like flavoured teas (apart from Earl Grey)? Can you find Twinings in the supermarkets around there? Twinings is not pricey, and some of their blends might be to your taste – you can check for example their Irish Breakfast or their Lapsang Souchong (warning, 90% of people loathe Lapsang Souchong. But I think all tea lovers should try it sooner or later, the 10_% who love it really love it). Or even their Lady Grey tea – it works for a lot of people who do not really like Earl grey.
I had already thought of Twinings’ Irish Breakfast, but as it is not a very big brand here, it might take me a while and probably more than a little effort to find it here.. You’re full of good ideas
Oh and try Ahmad´s as well, they are not a favorite of mine but they tend to do those strong teas, and they are usually a bit like Twinings. If you have those huge supermarkets, maybe they carry any Twinings or Ahmad´s ? Or british shops maybe, or a hint, indian grocery stores often have a lot of british teas.
And just to add, I think this company
http://www.mrjones.org (site instantly playing music, hate that)
is dutch. I think they sell mostly organic teas, in teabags wrapped in hermetical foil (that makes a difference), not too cheap (5 or 6 euros, a box of 20 teabags), but the teas of theirs I have tried were good and seemed good quality ingredients. And maybe being dutch you might be able to find those!
wow, that’s very useful, all of it thank you so much! I’m astonished by all the replies, you people are amazing ~
You are welcome, have fun shopping. Just be careful, tea shopping can be addictive :)