Overall Experience: POSITIVE. I made one purchase from them during their Black Friday sale, 2011.
According to their http://www.thepuritea.com/pages/about-us webpage, this company is run by a mother and son team. “We source all of our teas and teaware directly from China, Taiwan and India to ensure the maximum quality, value and freshness for our customers.” For their selection of loose leaf teas they have a reasonable number of black, oolong, green, and white teas; it looks like they are (almost) all pure (I just checked their website and they do have a few flavor-added black teas along and a few scented teas; still, most of their teas being ‘pure’ must be one reason why they are called ‘The _Pur_itea’!). They offer a very limited number of teapots and other tea accessories. I like that they don’t have too large a selection of items, as that gives me the impression they carefully choose what they carry. They have a reasonable description of each tea (no information on location and year of harvest). They had at least one sale that I am aware of during Black Friday, 2011. They offer samples and 4, 8 and 16 ounces sizes for most teas, such that the price per ounce decreases for larger quantities.
My order was processed relative quickly and came within a reasonable amount of time. There were a couple of samples included with my order. Each Tea was reasonably fresh. I ordered mostly samples (see Packaging); the amount in each sample was smaller than I was anticipating (most had only 3 -4 TSP of dry Tea, and yet from something stated on their website I had the impression it was going to be twice that size); this was disappointing to me. On one of the discussion threads on Steepster I remember reading that they were ‘revamping’ their website, including how they package their samples (I hope they are larger and come without the unnecessary packaging that I mention below). To me their prices on their Tea seem reasonable.
The overall presentation of the site is simple and elegant (although, to me, the ‘Hellobar’ at the top gives the site a somewhat cluttered sense), it is very easy to navigate, and they have decent enough pictures of each tea. The use of a cart when purchasing items and during checkout seems fairly straightforward. They have a blog, but it doesn’t look like they post there very often (less then once a month).
Straight from their homepage: “Free Shipping Over $50, Free Samples w/ Every Order, $7.50 Flat Rate Shipping, We Ship with USPS Priority Mail”
Everything I ordered was in stock and shipped (and included a couple of free samples).
(This may have changed) Their samples were sealed in tiny thin silver-colored bags, which were enclosed inside another thin collapsible cardboard box with their company logo on it. Although the ‘boxes’ were somewhat stylish, I thought they were unnecessary, and thus wasteful.
Would I buy from them again?:
Nothing really stood out about the tea or my experience with them. I thought the samples were very small, and yet I did like that they sent a couple of free samples with my order (although they weren’t really Teas I care for). There would have to be some special event (like another big sale) or some other reason for me to consider buying from them again (especially since they don’t include harvest dates on their green Teas). If there were ‘half’ ratings, I would rate them 3 1/2 stars.