Bang for the buck
I’m sure this discussion has been had many times; so sorry about that. But, I am looking for suggestions for places you guys think sell good tea at a decent price. I drink a lot of tea, and am pretty cheap. I love Laoshan black, but would have to take out a second mortgage to drink it all the time. I think upton does pretty good with their blacks at a decent price point, but am looking for different suggestions. Gracias.
Yunnan Sourcing’s blacks (and greens, etc too) are really great value and really great, especially if you order in bulk quantities from the .com site in china (though get smaller amounts first to find which ones you like)
Tealux has blacks in a range of prices, some very inexpensive, and I’ve been pleased with the quality of the teas I’ve sampled http://www.tealux.ca/buy_loose_leaf_black_tea_store_online
I also find What-cha to be very good quality and quite affordable. Not nearly as inexpensive as Upton, but they do have good sales every now and then. http://what-cha.com/categories/black-tea.html
Harney & Sons also has a wide range of prices, with some very inexpensive black teas.
+1 for checking out What-Cha & Harney
I’ve also been happy with the blacks I’ve had from Dragon Tea House http://dragonteahouse.biz
Simpson and Vail is very well priced and offers a pretty decent selection http://svtea.com
Tea Chai Te doesn’t have a huge selection, but they have great prices. And their Zhen Qu is one of my favorite teas http://www.teachaite.com
I would also recommend Capital Tea Limited, I’ve been very happy with their Assam and Ceylon teas and they’re quite inexpensive. They also have a wide selection of Chinese and Darjeeling black teas.
Ebay and Aliexpress have some sellers with very good tea and free shipping. I’ve had good tea at a good price from Royal Tea Bay on Ebay.
Teavivre has a very good selection of teas with a range of prices and good shipping options. They’ve also had ~2 pretty big sales in the last half year so you might want to wait for one of those. They also sell small samples so you can try what you like first.
I love Teavivre, though their prices go up about 10-20% every year on most teas. I presume they will have a Chinese New Year sale shortly though, so that is a good time to stock up!
*edit: changed my estimated price increase from 5-10 to 10-20 after comparing some of my orders with current prices.
^ What VC said! When I was first trying out different unflavored teas from China, I ordered sample packs from them to figure out what I liked. I’ve been happily drinking their tea ever since.
Uniquity: I don’t know what currency they use to set their prices (I assume it’s either the yuan or USD) but if you’re paying in CAD, the price increase probably comes in part from exchange rate fluctuations. I use GBP to buy from Teavivre, and the pound has gone down quite a bit against USD since July (and from what I understand the Canadian dollar has too), so I’m sure that accounts for the higher prices I’m seeing on their site now when I select GBP as my currency.
That’s fair. I have been noticing this in the three years I shopped with them though, and even when CAD was strong (at par or above) the price increases were still in the 10+% range on the teas I purchase (primarily black teas). I believe the growing conditions recently were a strong factor in this for all tea businesses. Sadly!
I am surprised no one mentioned Upton Tea Imports http://www.uptontea.com/
They have sample sizes and really good price on large sizes, also a range on quality too if you want a cheap tea or a high quality one. I’d suggest buying a buncha samples to see what you like. IE, right now there’s an Yunnan Golden Monkey Imperial black for $12 for 100g.
The website is kinda terrible, but hey, the tea is decent.
I too am a huge fan of Laoshan Black and am always looking for similar qualities in other teas.
I just wanted to mention a specific tea I just tried a sample of that I thought was inexpensive and went a long way. Harney CTC Assam is 13.00 for a 1 lb bag and makes a dark brew that resteeps well. I drank it super strong with milk and thought it was very tasty. I remember it having a lot of the malty sweetness I like, though, probably not as complex as Laoshan Black.
So, Laoshan Black is 5.75 per ounce if you buy enough to avoid shipping. (that would be 9 ounces to go over $50).
Shipping costs sort of hang me up, especially if there isn’t a cheap sampling option. That’s why I got kind of excited when I found out that a place I like has online ordering and free shipping.
I think you have to buy at least 100g, but many of the teas are reasonably priced and decent. (though, again, not Laoshan Black :). I’ve tried the Monk’s Blend and the English Breakfast so far and just ordered the Frisian Blend, which is $7.00 for 100g.
Anyway, the place is called Cha-Ma-Gu-Dao and their website is https://southsilkroad.com.
I would love to see a spreadsheet of the relative prices of the highest rated black teas on Steepster.