What do you look for in an online tea retailer?

101 Replies
chadao said

I completely agree with Zeks. Another thing I might add is that I want my online company to be as transparent as possible about their sourcing, buying, and infrastructure. Any questions that the website leaves unanswered should be easily be addressed by the owner of the company.

As I have mentioned in another thread, I hold teas that are produced in a just and sustainable manner for all involved in very high esteem.

I’m with you on the transparency. That’s an issue for me I have decided to speak up more about in the hopes I am doing something that will make a difference. Here is my response to a query for input from one tea retailer http://steepster.com/discuss/2641-feedback-on-asha-tea-houses-online-store?page=2

I am interested to see if he chooses to respond.

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Zeks said

Oh, and I totally forgot to mention consistency in tea quality. May a time I ordered a tea from ebay that I liked previously and, despite the shop and description being the same, what actually came was either totally different in taste or, worse, tasted like it was 2 grades lower than the previous purchase.

Do you remember the name of the shop, so those of us whom shop on E-bay can keep this in mind?

I used to look at tea on E-bay, but I haven’t for some time now, in large part because I also had an unpleasant experience with a tea retailer there (who is no longer on E-bay ).

chadao said

I may have to disagree with this need for consistency. High-grade tea is like fine wine. Every crop is different, reflecting the growing conditions of each year’s harvest. If you are looking for consistency in flavor, then stick with Lipton or Teavana. If you are looking for consistency in quality period, then it is good to appreciate the subtle nuances that each tea harvest brings to the cup!

Zeks said

http://stores.ebay.com/China-Tea-Herbal?_rdc=1 this one. It has great reviews, but honestly, looking back to the time when I still bought from them and comparing to the places I buy tea at now, they really are not that great.

From what I can remember:
– a batch of pretty much stale ginseng oolong even though the previous one was great… In the mail exchange seller told me that it “is very much the same tea” , but it is either me going senile or tea being not so very much the same :)
- generally incorrect tea photos. I had a lengthy mail discussion about their dian hong having much less golden tips (mere 10% of the overall quantity ) than how it looks like on the photo. The result was the seller saying something like “this is the best dian hong we can buy here and it is cheap anyway so live with it”

Btw, this is the shop that has TOP,BEST… etc confusion I mentioned.

Still, they have rating so positve that I can only wonder if I am especially unlucky O_o

Zeks said

Chadao, I want the tea be consitently good, that’s all :) Not good-stale-good-good-stale… :)

Shipping a batch that has gone stale to me means that the seller does not care for their tea and should be avoided.

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