Fantalicious and awesometastic. That’s this tea in a nutshell, really.
A short while ago I alluded to having been exposed to some really awesome customer service and I’ve been sitting on that story until I actually had some tea from the company in question. See, here’s the thing. I have been priviledged enough to have Steepster friends who have shared with me samples of Shang Tea’s products. Each and every one I’ve tried have impressed me. (This may have something to do with their teas being Fujian teas, which have I ever mentioned is my favourite tea producing area?) Anyway, it was only natural that I should go and look up their website, just on the off chance that shipping to Europe wouldn’t be horrible. There was a mention of a flat rate which sounded cool, but not about which area that covered.
So I sent them an email, asking about it and what it would cost to ship something to Denmark. Unfortunately their reply said something in the vicinity of $40… I coughed, hacked and resigned myself to the fact that I would have to use kindly disposed Steepsterites as middle men if I were to buy any of their stuff. This is the reason I have a tendency to not bother looking up American companies before automatically assuming them out of my reach. $40 was on the high end yes, but in general American companies who can ship at a for me reasonable shipping fee are few and far between. No tea is good enough for me to want to pay more than $15 for shipping as the very most.
Time passed. I got over it. I forgot about it. Then one morning I woke up to an email from Shang Tea saying ‘o hai, in response to your previous question two months ago, we looked into it and can now offer you shipping at around $13 dollars to Denmark. Would you like to buy some tea? Email order, paypal money and so on and so forth.’ Or something to that effect.
That was quite a shipping fee difference! And just the fact that they answered my question and still proceeded, without my begging or prompting or wheedling or anything, to see if they couldn’t do me one better. I’m very impressed with this, and I’m going to come back for more if they will let me shop that way again. (The order form on their site wouldn’t accept a non-American address).
I picked up the package yesterday from the post office and have tinned two of them this morning. There are still two other pouches in there that I’m not allowed to open until I’ve freed up tins, but I can deal with that.
And that is how I came to share a pot of Golden Needle King with the boyfriend this morning. Isn’t this just a wonderful tea? It’s all smooth and slippery and dark in flavour. It’s almost ever so slightly milky. Lots and lots of that Fujian-ness that makes it my favourite area. Grainy with dark fruity and spicy notes to it. Lots of cocoa notes as well and a caramel-like aftertaste.
Steepsterites, go try this one out for yourselves. I implore you. It’s pricy, but you will NOT regret it. And on the off-chance that you do, feel free to punish me for leading you astray by making me use up the rest of your leaves. :)