Tea of the month clubs in Canada

Hello everyone,

Just getting back into the swing of things after a bit of a vacation and was thinking about starting a tea of the month club for Canadians. I remember when I was looking around to join clubs there was either some big shipping charge from the US, Canadians were excluded, or the price seemed to be too high.

With that in mind I am thinking about starting up a tea of the month club but wanted to see if there was interest here as who else is better to dissect tea related ideas :)

I was thinking something like 2 choices at 25 grams each a month at something around $7?

In my mind it was an alright price, or would something like 2 choices at 35grams each for something around $10 work and be more attractive?

I have to play around with numbers but was wondering if there was any input from my fellow Canadian Steepstereers….?

There are a lot of tea clubs out there right now so just trying to find something that would allow people to try out new teas, and not break the bank at the same time.

Any ideas, input, suggestions, requests/demands would be greatly welcomed!

46 Replies

As a Canadian who has been tempted multiple times to put in an order with you, I’d be interested! There are a lot of blends you offer that seem worth a try to me (although, there are two in particular that I want to try more than any of other others).

Personally, I think I’d be more interested in the 25g/$7 dollars option.

How would the choices work?

That is what I am trying to figure out right now. In a small scale it would be awesome if the program would allow you to say sign up for say 6 months, choose 12 teas that you want and then you get them randomly so you know what teas you will get but not which ones are coming. I know I would really like that as I like opening up stuff and not knowing what I am getting.

The other side of it is to have say a white/black/tisane/green tea of the month where you sign up and then it is a preset list of teas that go out, which could also be kept a secret so you don’t know what you will be opening and gets new teas out to everyone.

I think that the reality is that the second choice would be a lot easier to manage, but the first one (in my mind) would be way more awesome as you get to try teas you want to but will always be a surprise?

What do you think you would prefer, or if you have another idea let me know.

Personally, I think I would definitely prefer the first – but I can see the second being way more practical and manageable.

CelebriTEA said

Will you have some sort of gifting option for Americans who wish to
send gifts to their Canadian friends ? :-)

Of course we would have something if someone wanted to gift their teas to a Canadian friend. The final goal would be to not only get it going for a US based club but a worldwide one. However, just concentrating on the Canadian side should allow me to get the program off the grounds and then lay the groundwork for the next (hopeful) round of tea club.

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Uniquity said

The issue that often pops up with Canadian tea shopping is shipping. Either you try to get it in regular post at $1.34 or $2.20 and risk the tea getting smashed, or you have to pay (and charge) $6 – 10 for a small parcel. If you can get around the shipping costs though, I imagine there is a lot of interest for Canadian tea clubs! :)

Cavocorax said

If they use a box similar to what Amoda uses that it should be ok. I think they pay $2 for shipping and I’ve never had smashed tea.

For $7-10 I would definitely be interested!

Yes that is the balancing act that I am trying to figure out right now. It sucks as the smaller amounts of tea are a catch 22, either pay a lot more for shipping or risk the tea getting broken.

I am trying to figure out something that works for both as broken tea isn’t fun, and neither is paying more for tea than shipping.

Uniquity said

Amoda gets a box through Canada Post for $2? Do you have a link to what they use by any chance? Unless they are using specific carriers I don’t know about, the rule is that it has to be less than 20 mm thick (otherwise it’s a parcel). Good for them though!

I was wondering as well how much tea you got from their box? It says 3 teas with enough for 5-7 cups per tea? So possibly they are doing say 60 grams total, maybe 20 grams of tea and it is very flat?

Cavocorax said

TeaaCupany – I think you’re correct that it’s 20 grams each. They used to give us larger samples and charge $15 a month, but from the feedback it sounded like people preferred less so they revamped the box and dropped the price.

And you can see the box here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=292254637581641&set=pb.142758429197930.-2207520000.1386623336.&type=3&theater
It’s basically like a thick envelope.

Cool, thanks for the info. I was looking and didn’t see it so 40 grams a month for $12 including shipping. That gives me a starting point for sure, and if nothing less someone to say hello to when I go to vancouver next :)

Cavocorax said

I think it’s 60g? They put three samples in each box, side by side so they’re nice and snug.

You are right, just saw that they currently have 3. Will be going to the post office tommorow to see what I can figure out with them as the other options here did not make any sense as far as shipping safely and at a good price.

OMGsrsly said

Those boxes would be great for sample swaps, too. I might have to make up a template and make some of poster board.

I’m definitely tracking this thread. :) It would be great to have more Canadian budget options.

Cavocorax said

They DO make great swap boxes! I saved the ones from last swap to re-use and they worked perfectly! (Aside from the one that was bulging just a little in the middle)

Got back from the post office and the last other option and thing I might have found something that could work, fingers crossed. It is looking like 2 packages at 30 grams each will be the sweet spot. Now just have to crunch the numbers and do so tests. The biggest hurdle I see is that the white tea is such a large volume and low weight tea that it might have to be left out but at least it seems like it might work, which is making me pretty happy right now. Will report back probably in a day or so with some updates :) Thanks for everyone for the suggestions, and if anyone has any more just let me know.

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mewakeling said

Depending on what shipping looked like, I would be super interested in an option like this! I would pay either seven dollars for 25 grams or ten for thirty five, would that include shipping though or would shipping be more?

I am trying to figure out the numbers here and am waiting for a couple of calls back to see what I can work out to lower the shipping, while still providing protection for the tea.

I know that I was prevented from signing up for a couple tea of the month clubs because either the samples were too small for the price, or the shipping cost that was adding it in was making the monthly payment around $25-$30.

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Adora said

I would be interested as well, but like others said it all depends on shipping. I’m dying to try the 52teas sub but the extra $100 for shipping just kills it for me.

I hear you! I was looking at theirs too for a while as it has great reviews, but I just couldn’t sign up for it as it was a lot of money which I am guessing was the shipping aspect of it that has to be included.

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mewakeling said

I think it would be really fantastic to have an economical Canadian Tea of the Month Club option! It is a really great idea in my opinion. I hope it works out!

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keychange said

I’d be interested in this as well. I too would prefer the first suggested option, that of picking your own teas and having them sent to you at random, but like others said, I can see how that might be complicated also.
Definitely interested though!

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MissB said

Also following this conversation, and glad to see it’s happening. I’m happy to support Canadian companies, and would do so for $10-ish a month. I’d prefer the option where I didn’t know what was coming, with some sort of allowances for folks with allergies (i.e. if something with ingredient X is in it, please swap it for teas 1, 2, or 3, so noted when signing up).

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Uniquity said

Just a heads up that Canada Post shipping rates are going to go up drastically in March of 2014. Rather than the scheduled 2 cent increase in January, stamps are going from $.63 to $1.00 (or $.85 in a roll) and all other rates are going up similarly. This MAY not get approved but seems pretty likely since they’ve sent all the info to the media. This will change the cost of shipping for sure!

https://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/aboutus/news/pr/2013/2013_action_plan.jsf
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-post-delivery/article15868531/

Lala said

I read this this morning and was disgusted at how much the shipping costs are going up. They keep raising the price with the reason that not enough mail is being sent to be profitable. But the more they raise the price the more likely I will not use the postal system anymore.

Uniquity said

I work in the document centre of a law firm and the impact on our costs is going to be extreme. I imagine that as a consequence a big push will be made to decrease the amount of physical mail we send out which will reduce Canada Post’s incoming profits even more. That sort of a rate increase certainly pushes me to communicate through other means when possible. My only incoming mail at the moment are our magazines (National Geographic and The Walrus) and odd papers from the CRA that Canada Post loses half the time anyway.

Sil select said

holy crap….

Cavocorax said

Huh. And they’re moving away from home delivery too. (Which makes sense…)
Man, you know what would make that decent? If there was a sensor in your mailbox that would feed back somewhere and let you know if you have mail or not…

OMGsrsly said

This is going to suck. I moved all my bills from epost back to paper because the epost system messed up so many times. I think I have 5 accounts on there now, one of which I actually created.

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That is no good to hear about the rates and just another example of how the prices get so high so fast. With shipping we also have to pay for the shipping to us as well as out so it goes up on both sides of the equation. Just got internet back up and will hopefully have something figured out by the end of the weekend just in time for holidays if people are interested.

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Alright guys and gals, it is looking like I can do something around 2 teas at 30 grams each in a bubble wrapped plastic style envelope for about $11 a month and just wanted to see thoughts/responses to that.

I think that for the time being, if there is positive response, I will provide the ability for people who want to join the tea of the month club to either choose their entire picks for the year and have them sent out randomly or just choose a cateogry(ies) of tea and have me choose :)

Thinking about a 6 month period and would love to hear any responses/comments!

Cavocorax said

I think that might be ok?
That’s basically $5.50 per oz with shipping included and when I look at it that way, I’ve paid that for other teas. It’s a little more than I’d normally like to pay, but with the shipping included it’s still justifiable.

Ditto. Now to work on finding something that can get billed to on a monthly basis. Usually I just go with prepaids (so every order comes from a different source of payment).

Yes that was pretty much the best pricing that I could get to with shipping and everything. I was using any of the other clubs that I could find as a guide, with the goal of being a bit under the posted pricing as well as the flexibility of the clubs. I will hope to get the program setup this weekend just have to figure a couple of things out. Will keep everyone posted and really appreciate the comments.

This is exactly why I love steepster as it allows people to provide open and quick feedback( good and bad) which I think is the only way for improvements to be made with anything.

OMGsrsly said

That’s 60g of tea which is about what you get with an Amoda box. I think using a bubble envelope is a great idea.

Dexter said

the TeaCupany
Question: Are you going to be just using the teas currently available on your website, or will there be new/different teas available for the subscription?
If you chose a “category”, would one expect to get teas listed on your site – or something different?

Hey Dexter,

Everything will be based on teas on the site. That also means that if I get new teas, and they are added to the site then they would/could be added to the tea club. I think that would work best because if there was a tea in the tea of the month club that was a huge hit then members might want to re order that again independently of the monthly club.

We are trying to add more teas all the time, but need to also keep the numbers somewhat reasonable, as I think we are around 85 different teas right now.
Dexter said

Thanks for the reply. Good luck with the subscription, I hope it works and you do well. :))

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