What are your favorite stores to buy Tea from?
So I am trying to find out new places to buy tea from. (mainly i shop at teavana since it is convenient). I have tried adagio but i was really disappointed with the teas I bought there… and I don’t want to blindly try another online store just to be disappointed again.
So please, let me know what your favorite companies to buy tea from, and specifically which type/kind of tea? Are they reliable?
edit: I tend to love flavored white teas, but also love greens and oolongs… actually, I think that i’m willing to try anything!
second edit: I just want to say that even though I may not be replying individually to everyone, I have checked out allof the sites mentioned by everyone here. I have already made purchases from Golden Moon Tea and 52teas, and will probably make a purchase to Den’s in the future. I have to control myself, can’t order too much at once!
Thanks so much!
If you like Japanese greens, you gotta try Den’s Tea and O-cha.
delicious root beer tea!
thanks for sharing! 52teas sounds great, i love blends, and just from looking at the teas they have it looks like i could potentially have a lot of fun with their teas. root beer tea sounds interesting as well :P
Kathryn Ann, 52 teas has my favorite chai of ALL time. While a lot of blends are not my personal cuppa, I’m almost always glad I’ve tried them and am rarely actually disappointed.
I definitely second the Life in Teacup rec!
I mainly drink flavored teas, but I’m quite partial to black teas and Japanese greens.
I very much second the Den’s suggestion! You can get a sampler from them for $3, too, which is a nice plus. That way you get to try some things out first. :)
I just got an order from Lupicia, and I’m REALLY happy with what I got! Very smooth and tasty!
I also recommend Golden Moon and Kusmi. :)
All of the companies I’ve ordered from are quite reputable and reliable.
thanks ! I’ll look into them. I love places with samplers, it’s always nice to be able to get a feel for whether you like it or not before buying a huge amount!
Den’s sampler isn’t extensive, but it’s very reasonably priced and you don’t have to pay shipping! :) They include two tea bags, and 4 loose tea samples, along with a catalog and some info on brewing and stuff.
Lupicia also has a couple samplers, more like Golden Moon’s 31 tea sampler. Lupicia has a 15-tea sampler (currently out of stock, unfortunately) and a 30-tea sampler. They don’t list what’s in them on the website, but you can always email their customer service and they’ll promptly reply. (I know this because I did it! :) )
I just noticed your edit about loving flavored whites and just wanted to mention that Golden Moon has my favorite flavored white tea EVER: White Persian Melon. :)
I agree the quiet life’s comment on the Den’s Tea sampler not being extensive… well, kinda. There are several teas (I’m not sure how many, I didn’t count) and the loose samples (it’s a mix of bagged and loose) make more than one 1st infusion. While the sampler size is by no means huge or even a majority of their offerings, considering it’s labeled as a $3 value for free w/ your 1st order of $15 or more, I’d say it’s a great bang for your buck. It just depends on what your definition of “is” is I guess lol.
Hmmm, I like the sound of that 15 tea sampler as well, maybe i’ll just wait for it to get back in stock!
And after taking a look at the Den’s Tea sampler, it really doesn’t seem that much, but I think I’ll still give Den’s a try, since after living in Japan for 4 months, I’m starting to miss the teas that I drank there daily!
Kathryn Ann, just out of curiousity, what size sampler were you expecting for free or even $3?
I wasn’t really expecting much from a $3 sampler. Actually, I thought that would be the price for sampling one tea, similar to how adagio teas does samplers, and not just very small servings of a lot of teas. Also, the tea filters and brewing instructions are nice, but a little unnecessary in my opinion.
I guess “very” small is another one of those relative words. I get enough for at least 3 cups from the loose samples. Some of Golden Moon’s teas in the sampler are only 1.8g. For someone just getting started w/ loose teas I find filters a nice touch. I personally hate when a company doesn’t tell you to how to steep their teas. I’ve found their brewing instructions quite useful- I refer to it every time I steep Japanese greens. Few companies treat Japanese greens as unique teas and this way I can, even when the company I purchased from doesn’t.
I agree about the brewing instructions. Before I ordered from Den’s, I had no idea that green teas were so sensitive. All I knew about green tea, I learned from my Japanese host family: dispense water from Zoujirushi hot water dispenser and drink. lol. But I’ve since learned that it’s a bit more involved than that. (I really would like to get my hands on whatever tea my host family used, though. It was always delicious. :P) Like Cofftea, I also use the Den’s instructions for other Japanese greens, and they get perfect every time! :)
And really, when compared to a single Adagio sample, Den’s $3 sampler really does seem quite involved! Kinda puts it in perspective. :P
I ordered all my teas in my cupboard online (except for one tin of Rishi which I bought at a local store). Golden Moon (31 sampler – a great hit here in Steepsterland), Kusmi, Harney & Sons, Den’s Tea, tavalon, Art of Tea, 52 teas, amazon (I ordered Tao of Tea from them), Samovar, Teas’ Etc, Rishi, Teavana and Adagio (some of these companies were already mentioned in the above posts). For me, all these company had great/prompt service and I never had any problems with my orders plus, most of them included one or more samples (for free) when filling my order, which was nice. As to favorites, I’m new to all this methodical tea drinking/posting so my cupboard at home is still filled with teas just waiting for me to try though I’ve posted some tea-notes here on Steepster of some of my favorites. Good luck on your tea adventure!
that 31 sampler is really tempting! so many teas to try! I’m new to the whole tealog thing too, but thanks for your input on some sites to try.
Good luck – and oh, on that 31 sampler from goldenmoon, I think if you use coupon code “steepster”, the shipping & handling is free! Yup, still works, just checked it out!
I didn’t mention Golden Moon because I haven’t actually tried them (except for their Moroccan mint a couple years ago that I totally screwed up in steeping), but come on- you can’t go wrong w/ a sampler like that when trying a new company so they’re at least good for a 1st purchase, then you can decide if they’re worth a second.
Kathryn Ann, Art of Tea has something I’ve only seen one other place (which was unfortunately 52teas and it’s sold out)… flavored matcha! Their’s is ginger. This is another one I have yet to try (but will very soon), but I love companies that have products that aren’t offered anywhere else.
free shipping on the sampler?! wow , now i really have to get it for myself! Thanks for the tip Lauren.
And Cofftea, i’ve never heard of flavored matcha ! sounds really good. Thanks for all your responses in the thread, so much input from you it’s been really helpful!
Kathryn Ann, there may be free shipping on the sampler, but you’d still need to pay shipping on the rest of your order.
Thank you Lauren! for the tip about free shipping from Golden Moon. I just placed my order for French Breakfast tea.
@threewhales – oh, good! Glad you were able to use that coupon code – people have been posting great leads/coupons of sales/discounts on steepster:discussions:tea companies and promotions that you may want to check out prior to buying online!
So far, for me (all online of course) it has to be Golden Moon, Samovar, and Rishi. SerendipiTea is climbing the charts as we speak, though!
If you’re looking for a yixing pot, you can’t go wrong w/ Samovar’s pu erh set- $29 for the pot and some cooked pu erh (not sure of the amount) or it’s $25 for just the pot. Mine’s on the way! Bana Tea Co. looks really good for pu erh as well- they have a $10 sampler that has a total of 56g of tea! I haven’t been able to order it yet, but other people here have and I haven’t heard anything bad about it.
You might find this thread interesting and helpful for buying teas online.
I began shopping in their actual store but I have ordered online quite a few times for gifts. I usually get a tea assortment deal that is about $17. It works out well for me since you get 6 choices. I like to pick a few for myself along with a few to use as gifts. Don’t you love my logic. It also includes a free tin so I can add to my tin stash at the same time. As a matter of fact, I slipped over there this morning after attending their Celtic tea party. My excuse today was that I needed some new blends for tea postings! Ha Ha
Recent orders that have arrived promptly and perfectly and very well packaged are from:
Andrews and Dunham
Indigo Tea Co.
The Simple Leaf
Bird Pick Tea & Herb http://www.birdpick.com/index.html (close to home)
Damn Fine Tea http://damnfinetea.com/
Fresh & Easy http://www.freshandeasy.com/
Whole Foods Market http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
Yogi Products http://www.yogiproducts.com/