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Current Favorite Suppliers of Tea Samples?

47 Replies
looseTman said

If you’re looking for a tea supplier that provides free samples before you place an order, check out Teas Etc. http://www.teasetc.com/shop.asp

“(May we suggest that you take advantage of our “free sample” policy to try before you buy.)"
http://www.teasetc.com/returns.asp#tea

Beth Johnston, Founder & CEO, told me:
“Teas Etc has been in business for 15 years and we have always provided try it before you buy it samples. I believe that we were the first to take that approach.”

Kudos to Beth & Teas Etc. for this common sense approach to online tea order satisfaction!

Hopefully, their leadership in this area will inspire other tea suppliers.

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looseTman said

When tasting new tea samples for the first time, it’s obviously important to prepare them properly to prevent forming an inaccurate first impression: The right quantity of water & tea, correct water temperature, and the appropriate steep time.

A recent tea sample tasting proved this point to me. Please see the 1st tasting note for the following tea:
http://steepster.com/teas/the-tea-merchant/35666-english-breakfast-tea-organic

We have the following infusion aids:
1. Clear Pyrex measuring cup that’s easy to read.
2. Teavanna teaspoon
3. Spring-loaded mesh ball infusers
4. Teavanna tea timer
5. But, we don’t have a tea thermometer.

Some tea suppliers, such as TeaVivre, provide very specific brewing instructions to include an exact water temperature such as 194*F (90*C) or 185*F (85*C).

What tea thermometers are recommended?

The only one I’ve seen recently is the Upton Tea Imports AR2:
http://www.uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?from=catalog.asp&itemID=AR2&begin=0&parent=Accessories%3ETeaware%3EInfusion+Aids&category=Thermometers&sortMethod=0&categoryID=182

lteg select said

I tend to use whatever food thermometer is lying around the house as long as I can trust it has been very well cleaned since last use. Meat thermometers, milk-pitcher thermometers, and even a candy thermometer will all do the trick.

looseTman said

Iteg, Thanks for the quick reply and your sugestions.

We have an alcohol (not mercury) type meat thermometer that goes from 130*F to a max of 190*F in 5* increments.

We also have a dial-type candy thermometer (similar style to the Upton) that goes from 100* to 400*F also in 5* increments.

Of these two, I guess the candy thermometer will work.

A lower max temp. and smaller increments would probably be better suited for tea brewing. For example, the Upton model goes from 60*F to 220*F in 2* increments. Are there any other recommendations?

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How would one go about taking advantage of the “free sample” policy at Teas Etc.? I didn’t see anything else about it outside of the tiny mention on the Returns page… Thanks!

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yyz said

Capital Tea Limited offers a 20g sample size for most of their teas. Starting at about $2.50. Some samples are 10g. This store has a really great selection of straight teas from the Indian subcontinent as well as an expanding range of teas from China and other regions of the world. They offer some blended teas. They Ship worldwide. They have occasional sales, and have one item on special promotion each week.

http://www.capitaltea.com/shop/home.php

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