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Elyse said

Tea on a College Budget

Hello Everyone!
I found you’re cool site, and am excited to be here. I’ve recently turned into a big tea drinker from all my late nights studying in college. (Have to drink something warm besides coffee as i can’t stand the taste of it). I’ve started out going to Teavana, but frankly the place is just too expensive for me on a College Budget. Any of you guys know any good stores/sites that have fairly inexpensive teas?
Thanks

45 Replies

Well, not to toot my own horn but I’m currently going out of business, so all of my teas are on sale here: http://liberteas.artfire.com

and the one i have had (chocolate rose) is YUMMY

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Chef8489 said

Well specialteas.com is very reasonable. I have a wholesale account and they are crazy discounts

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If you’re in college, you should look into buying some Lotus Leaf tea – great for detox!
If you want, I can hook you up with a local store that ships

Elyse said

Thanks for the offer, but things are confusing right now with my mom’s house for sale and moving back to school in a month. I’m not sure where to send it.

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Cofftea said

Adagio has samples ($1 for herbals, $2 for most others- and their Pu Erh samples are ~30g!) and has a frequent cup points program- lots of companies have frequent buyer incentives. Golden Moon has a 31 tea (their entire inventory) sampler for just $19! Harney & Sons is featured today, they have samples too. Den’s tea has an AMAZING sampler worth more than the $3 they say it is if you buy $15 worth of product. Here’s a thread you may like: http://steepster.com/discuss/564-online-tea-shops-with-sample-sizes. (I’d specifically like to draw your attention to Upton- a lot of their samples are $1 and they list the weight of the samples which is nice) Another subscribe to e-newsletters and print catalogs of every tea company you can- most of them have great sales and send a sample w/ the catalog. Stick around, there here are some fantastic discounts in Steepster Select. For matcha, I’d like to stear you toward Lupicia- their most economical matcha is $15/100g and they have flavored matcha au laits in several flavors at $8/50g. Their plain matcha isn’t the most earth moving matcha I’ve ever had, but it is SO much better than the price leads you to believe it would be and is an excellent option for a poor person such as ourselves who NEED matcha on a daily basis (at least I drink it daily lol). I have not tried the matcha au laits yet, but they’ve gotten pretty good reviews here and I will be trying them as soon as I have cupboard room. Another plug… why spend your limited $ on something ordinary? Check out www.52teas.com, www.zoomdweebies.com, www.manteas.com

Elyse said

Thanks for all the info, will take me some time to sort thorough it all.
And i feel silly for asking this, but what is matcha?

Elyse: Matcha is green tea… the big deal with it is that the green tea leaf is ground super fine into a powder that you then would whisk with hot water to make the tea. You consume the full leaf this way, so you get the full health benefits of the tea leaf. It’s also extremely tasty!

Cofftea said

I’m not sure I should tell you cuz you’ll be hooked… but then again this whole thread is gonna get dangerous lol! Matcha is wonderful stone ground Japanese green tea (tencha very closely related to gyokuro) used for the Japanese Tea Ceremony called Chado (The Way of Tea).

Cofftea said

One thing I must tell you about matcha- if you don’t like it on the 1st try, please do yourself a favor and don’t give up. The matcha:water ratio is both an art form and a science and the prefered ratio is different for every person.

Elyse said

Thanks LiberTeas!
Cofftea: I don’t mean to be sacriligious to matcha devotion (i’ve seen you around the forums enough to tell that by now), but personally i’ve yet to find a green tea that i’ve enjoyed without having like fruit in it. Idk if it’s the stuff i’ve tried or not. I think I got some kuchi matcha (i know i spelled that wrong) from teavana as a freebie one time. Personally i wasn’t really impressed with it, and had to add some honey into it to be able to drink it. I don’t really want to give up on it yet though. Do you have any recommendations of some i should try?

Cofftea said

52teas has had some killer flavored (orange and strawberry) matchas, but they are of course sold out. Based on what you’ve said I’d say Lupicia’s Matcha au Laits would be the way to start for you- even though I haven’t gotten around to them personally. Other than that I really can’t give you any more suggestions since i’ve never met a matcha I didn’t like lol. You could try flavoring it using herbal or fruit tisanes instead of regular hot or cold water. I also like 1tsp of matcha shaken in 8oz of orange juice. You may want to try other juices as well. There’s also matcha lemonade. I’ve found SoBe Lifewater + lemon juice (2TB per 6oz) + matcha (2.5tsp per 20oz bottle of SoBe water) is AMAZING. And no need to add the sugar you would in lemonade as Lifewater already as a lot of stevia in it.

Cofftea said

Elyse, do you have a Jamba Juice near you? They have matcha. You can try it plain, w/ milk, or orange juice. It’s available in a single or double shot- but be advised “single” and “double” refers to the amount of matcha… so the double has 2x as much matcha in the same amount of water, milk, or OJ, as the single. The whole Jamba Juice and matcha thing is funny cuz I was doing OJ matcha even before I knew Jamba Juice has matcha- or matcha and OJ. You could also go to the “Places” tab here and search for a tea house in your area- maybe one of them has matcha- that way you could try matcha prepared different ways for not a huge $ investment. My 1st matcha experience was $2.50 for an entire bowl (it was served in a traditional matcha chawan, not a shot glass or cup).

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VegTea said

http://www.steepnbrew.com/catalog/index.php – Steep & Brew has good teas at really great prices ($4 for 4 oz, $5 flat rate shipping). I haven’t ordered online, though, so I can’t vouch for that part of it. I’ve been working my way through the black tea varieties, and I haven’t yet met one I don’t like.

Cofftea said

Steep N Brew’s prices are amazing- but their inventory is tiny:( I’m also massively concerned by the fact that they consider Formosa Oolong a black. That’s even worse than Adagio considering Pu Erh a black.

VegTea said

It is a small selection, but there are a few more varieties available locally in their stores. Maybe they’ll expand their online store soon?

I did think that was a little funny about the oolong – I think it is only classified as a black because they don’t list any other oolongs – in the shop, they have a separate section for oolongs, so I think they do know the difference! :)

Cofftea said

Then they should prove it on their website. I’d rather see a category w/ 1 offering than something just thrown into another category. It shows they don’t know, don’t care, or don’t think we know or care.

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Elyse said

Thanks everyone.
Perhaps i’ll have to send myself a care package for me when i travel back to school in a month (12 hour drive is terrible).

Cofftea said

Or tell people you want tea instead of other items in care packages:)

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Cofftea said

Another note- whatever tea you do decide to get, don’t forget to steep multiple times… why waste precious tea and money? :) The only tea I found that doesn’t resteep well is blacks (but then again I don’t like non chai blacks all that much). The one exception is Manteas’s Beer Black Tea… I can get 12 infusions out of it!!!

Cofftea said

Also check out brick and mortar shops close to both your home and school- if you can factor out shipping costs, you may save money- I always figure out the price per cup (1st infusions, no resteeping unless I’ve tried it before and know how many I can get), by price of tea+shipping/amount of tea I’d use in a cuppa. That way I know the most I’d be paying for a cup (of course it would be less if I purchase more products so the shipping cost can be spread out further) then compare it to the price/cuppa at the physical location.

Elyse said

Whats a brick and mortar shop?
Again to make my noobishness horridly apparent.

Cofftea said

It’s a physical building (not necessarily made from bricks) where you can walk in and purchase your teas and take them home w/ you right away instead of buying them online and having them shipped to you. A lot of tea shops/stores let you sample and/or smell at least some of the teas they sell. Even some companies have locations you can walk in and purchase tea. My local tea shop has 300+ teas, all available to smell, offers 7 samples a day, and you can get a 16oz cup of tea of any sample for $1.

Elyse said

Oh i thought it was a special kinda store. I feel silly now.
So far I havn’t really seen any tea shops, except teavana. I shall have to keep an eye out.

Cofftea said

Teavana may be good for tasting/smelling teas (Someone here even said they bought a bowl/cup of matcha there) then buy from SpecialTeas where it’s cheaper. It’s ok, I just commented on tasting note that her serving size of 7tsp of tea was a crap load of caffeine… not looking at the name of the tea she was logging- it was a rooibos, definitely always caffeine free. LOL:)

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Don’t under estimate tea bags!
PG Tips are absolutely wonderful and you can get two infusions from one pyramid tea bag!
Stash teas have some good choices. Bigelow Vanilla Chai is in my top 10 teas:)
Don’t know where you are going to school, but I can find all of these choices at Krogers.
52 teas offers free shipping, which IMO makes them TOP NOTCH to order from.

Cofftea said

ManTeas does not, but if you want to buy large amounts of 52teas’ Mayan Chocolate Chai (I kid you not I buy this buy the pound), it’s still cheaper from ManTeas (by $11 a pound I believe).

Caitlin said

I just tried Bigelow Vanilla Chai for the first time recently – it is completely amazing!

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TeaParT said

I use this outfit – Anna Marie’s. Started there because it it right by my brother’s but since I’ve been following other stores, I’ve come to realize its a gem. I pick up my own tea because I like their shop but use their online ordering for gifts frequently. Most of the tea blends that I purchase are around $5 for 2 ounces while they do carry less expensive and much more expensive choices. I’ve always felt like there was something for all price brackets.

http://annateashop.com

This topic made me ponder about different shopping habits in the store vs. online. I always look at the price when I’m checking things out in any store – be it tea or even groceries. I would get frustrated pretty fast if I had to ask about every product BUT when you think about it very few online tea shops provide a tea price list on one web page. Most of the time we have to determine we are interested in a tea by clicking prior to knowing the amount. LiberTEAS shop is a nice exception to this. What is it that they say about each click required from a marketing standpoint? I’ve read several articles but never applied it to my own tea shopping habits. Guess I better go get a cup of tea to sit and ponder some more.

Elyse said

Cute shop. Many yummy choices.
Ya know i have notice that too with online marketing. Maybe they get more money from ads to fund their sites the more people have to search around?

TeaParT said

I had a hard time finding this link but it might be something that you want to try. I’ve gotten their sampler several times and then broke it up for individual gifts. In fact, that is how I built up my tea tin collection.

http://annateashop.com/3145.html

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I have started my own online tea store and have fairly good prices :), great quality and you dont have to buy a HUGE amount of one type of tea. Check out my site :) http://www.specialteabrew.com Let me know if you are looking for anything in particular that I don’t have on my website and if I can order it I will.
Ami

Cofftea said

Great site Ami! I love that even though your inventory is small right now you still have, not one but 2, sizes of matcha at a great price! I would love to see organic matcha though, both unflavored and flavored varieties. Also an organic Sheng Pu Erh would be nice.

Thank you for the input Cofftea, I will look into that asap and get some more flavors up and going !

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