Official *What did you get in the mail today?* Thread!!!
In the short time between getting home and taking my cat to the vet, I noticed my Verdant box arrived a day early! Hurrah! I can’t wait to get home and open it.
My verdant box is here, Yay!
My swap with CK came in today! Yay! Lots of 52 teas samples….now where to start first.
I placed an order with aliexpress.com which is kind of like Chinese amazon for a couple Laoshan black teas from a small merchant on the site. It was my first order and came in less than 2 weeks and have tried both today. Laoshan blacks are officially my ultimate favorite teas. It has been decided. If I could only have 1 tea the rest of my life it would be a Laoshan black.
sounds like you’re very satisfied with ali express—good to hear, as a few times i’ve stumbled on their shop pages when i’m looking for something specific tea-wise and always wondered how they were as a place to order from. and i totally agree about LB!
From which small merchant did you purchase the laoshan black? Just wondering if you have a link :)
i’ve been too nervous to order from aliexpress, nice to hear someone who has! I might give it a go
I wonder if it’s from the same family farm that Verdant works with, or if more farmers in Laoshan are starting to try black teas too. (Then again, I’d also have worried about whether it might even have been fake, laoshan black’s newness, soaring popularity, and exclusivity to one seller seem like It’d make it a prime counterfeiting target.)
Awkward Soul, I’ve completed several orders from Aliexpress so far and haven’t had a problem yet. Aliexpress kind of acts like a middle man between you and the retailer your payment is held by them until you confirm that you have received the order and are happy with it. If you don’t receive the order they return the money to you. If you are unhappy with it there is a complaints procedure. There is a ratings system but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Most retailers kind of freak out if they get something less then 5 stars. So 5 star really means that you got the item, it was what you were expecting and you don’t have major issues with the retailer. My advice is to contact the retailer before you buy if they can’t answer your questions then they don’t really know their products. I think I bought some tea from the same retailer as Tasty Brew. I bought from that store because they had a long term history of dealing with Laoshan teas and could actually describe their product. I also paid a really great price at the time ( they have gone up significantly). Some of the other retailers were really unfamiliar with the Black teas and the taste descriptions were really for the green teas. Having said that there are new retailers appearing all the time.
The seller I bought from is http://www.aliexpress.com/store/619772. His name is peng zahn and the prices doubled since I last ordered, but from what i can tell, if you contact him, he’s pretty flexible with pricing. The tea I ordered is definitely not a counterfeit (best LB I’ve had yet), it could be from the same family that sources verdant, but I bet there are several farms that produce black teas as well as green teas in Loashan. From what I’ve read there is a lot of tea produced in that region.
As far as aliexpress as a whole, I like that they withhold funds from the seller until you get whatever you bought and it is in the condition you expected. Then you go online and click that you got it and are happy and they release the funds to them. I also ordered some teaware from another vender. I haven’t received that, but I’ll update when I do.
Same seller! It’s nice to hear your opinion of the tea, Tasty Brew, as I’ve never tried Verdant’s LB. My one other point of advice is the clarify the product description with the realtor as often descriptions can be misleading or unclear. Many sellers are open to varyng their order for you as well. Also it’s worth the effort to look at various shops, prices can very significantly. Some stores are seeking to sell wholesale in small batches and others are attempting to sell for retail prices so some items can differ by more than $20.00 sometimes between stores.
Funny! I saw someone else’s review of the tea and it sounded like someone who would be on steepster. :-)
I’m disappointed how much his prices have raised literally over night. I contacted him yesterday and he said since I’m an ‘old’ customer (I’ve ordered once) that he’d give me a good price. He seems like a very knowledgeable man about tea. Our correspondence can be tough to decipher at times, but you can tell he absolutely loves tea. From what I can tell, his family has been a long time tea grower and it’s been his passion to try and sell it to the world. Most sites on aliexpress that sell “laoshan black tea” also sell undershirts and backpacking tents. I didn’t even consider them :-)
From what he told me they used to produce and sell their teas exclusively to the government and are only now entering the wholesale market. I know that the price that I got was a promotional price. Our correspondence was a little broken as well but he was very well meaning, and professional in my dealings with him as well and he was willing to customize orders. It true that most of the dealers who sell Laoshan teas sell other products as well. Some of them do know their product though. This retailer was actually really knowledgeable about his product and is willing to customize orders to allow one to experience different grades and preparations of Laoshan greens http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/New-Tea-2013-Spring/609999_250599247.html.
I’m also testing a small order from another retailer who I was a little hesitant to buy from at first since the rest of her products are adult entertainment toys, but some of the tea she sells is from her own farm and she sells in small amounts (50g) relative to what is usually available on aliexpress.
Okay, that is hilarious. And serious kudos for bravery.
I checked out that Amall place, but was put off by all the stuff they carry other than tea, but from what you’re saying, I need to get over it. Done and done. I’ve been really curious about the difference between grades as well. I don’t know if I need the top of the top or if that’s just cause it sounds cool. I should contact them. I’d love to get a variety pack of 1 tea in different grades. Very cool idea.
What’s life without a little risk;)! Plus it’s only a small one around $5.00 including shipping.
I got my first boxes from Adagio and The Art of Tea!!! Yay me! The teas smell so good. How bad is it that I ordered more samples from Adagio? lol.
I received an amazing semi-surprise package from Shmiracles, the contents of which have increased my cupboard by 30%! Oh my!! So much tea! Karen, thank you so much. This is crazy in the best way.
My first order from Della Terra!!! So excited to try them!
So sorry for late reply… I got:
Oatmeal raisin cookie
Pineapple upside down cake
Summer spiced plum
Lemon pepper melange
Samples were: honey & spice, rainforest nectar
I’m curious to hear what you hunk about Monkey Bread and Summer Spiced Plum. I want to try both of those. I’ve been really impressed by Della Terra so I hope you enjoy your order!
I got my Sheng from Misty Peaks today which I have sampled before I get around to reviewing properly and fyi it’s very nice. Lasted a solid 6 steeps with 10g and is one of the smoothest Shengs I have tried. :)
I received my birthday order from verdant in the mail! Makes me smile, since I likely can’t afford to buy the other couple of orders i wanted for my birthday since some unexpected expenses came up. SO i have this one…which i’m not allowed to open until my birthday in a week. heh