Internet Tea Sourcing

Hello all! I usually purchase my teas from any of the great tea shops in my area but I have noticed many people on here getting teas from online sources, something which I have been apprehensive about and maybe wrongly so. I have looked at and… just wondering what sites other people use and their experiences before ordering something that I can’t smell or sample. Thanks!!

26 Replies
mrmopar said

Mandala, White2tea, Crimson Lotus and from ebay Berylleb King Tea.

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Angrboda said

Those two you mentioned both have excellent quality. I have bought from Teavivre a couple of times before and recently from YS for the first time. You have to wait a while before you get it, though, because they ship from China and it just takes time to travel. :) If you like Chinese teas, is also worth a look, even though they’re not a very common sight on Steepster. I’ve had good experiences from them as well. They carry my most favorite ever Tan Yang. They also ship from China.

Many companies allow you to order only samples, and some will also include a random free sample with your order. Teavivre also had a program at one point where you could sign up to occasionally receive a free sample and then you would “pay” for it by reviewing it on their site. I don’t know if that program is still going, I never signed up for it myself.

Thanks for the info guys… I have a real spending problem so this will help! hahaha… I just want to make sure that I don’t order $100 worth of tea and not really like any of it. I am also a very “tangible” person and like to look and touch and smell things before I buy them… that’s why I have been reluctant to try ordering. I prefer records to CDs and CDs to MP3s for the same reason… I like to hold the album in my hands and read it, etc.
I will look at all of these sites and blow a bunch of money and hope for the best! haha… thanks again for your responses :)

mrmopar said

Berylleb sells samples of most from 20 grams and up. They just about always toss something in extra.

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Anlina said

I’ve been really pleased with the teas I’ve bought from The shipping is very reasonable, you can get 10g samples and the teas have been very nice quality.

I’ve found ordering stuff online only slightly more hit or miss than buying stuff in store. There’s some correlation between how a tea smells and how it tastes, but often enough I’ve bought a tea in store because of how it smells but been disappointed in the flavour.

I agree with that.. so I guess its really not that much different than buying from a shop thinking that way. I hate when that happens… or when a tea monger, whom you know and trust recommends something that is kinda boring. Its awkward!! haha… thanks for the response I will check out the site you recommended.

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AllanK said

I have found good tea from Mandala, Yunnan Sourcing, and Berylleb on Ebay. Also great with a caveat are Puerhshop and Dragon Tea House. They both sell so much that it is easy to buy something you will not like. Mandala in particular sources their teas well and are a US seller. Puerhshop has some excellent teas (and some not so excellent) and are also a US seller. Yunnan Sourcing has two websites, and The latter ships from the US.

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Dr Jim said

Upton and Harney and sons are two good on-line stores with a broad range of teas at many price points. They both offer reasonable shipping and a wide variety of samples. If you are patient, Harney offers free shipping for orders over $25 several times a year, which is a great opportunity to buy samples.

If you go to the “teas” section of Steepster you can select a single vendor and read the reviews for their teas. This can reduce the potential for buying teas you won’t like. When I’m placing an order I often keep one tab of my browser on Steepster and the other on the store, switching back and forth to check the reviews of teas that look good on the site, or checking prices of teas that rate highly on Steepster.

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boychik said

Yunnan Sourcing, Mandala tea, Tao Tea Leaf, Jing Tea Shop, Teavivre.

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I have ordered from Butiki and Teavivre and both are excellent quality and good customer service. Still exploring though and waiting on an order from whispering pines and Harney and Sons. Can’t wait!

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cookies said

I will +1 Harney & Sons, Tao Tea Leaf, PuerhShop, Teavivre, & What-Cha
And I’ll also add Yezi, Tao of Tea, & Den’s Tea.

I’d definitely recommend signing up for newsletters for stores you think you may like, as there are often sales going on. I’m also subscribed to the “Miscellaneous Sales” thread which is a good way to find sales at shops you may not follow.

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yyz said

I’ve had really good service from Capital Tea Ltd and Tao tea leaf. Capital Tea sells most teas at a 20g sample size and Tao tea leaf has small one-e serving sample sizes. often has well catered teas and often has great prices for tea ware. I can second many of the companies listed above. The places I have purchased most often from are Capital Tea and Aliexpress ( various stores, admittedly at times risky, but I’ve got some great teas through the site).

sherubtse said

I can whole-heartedly second yyz’s recommendations for Capital Tea and Camellia Sinesis. I would also add Mellow Monk and Maiko to the list for senchas et al. (If you go with Mellow Monk, let me know as I have a few discount coupons.)

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Thank you all for the help! I put all of these together on a page and am going to go through each of them and then place a few orders :)

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