THURSDAY TeaDay 5/15/08

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When selecting a Tea vendor, how much of an emphasis do you place on price?

Price is the number one consideration when selecting a vendor
2
4%
Price is a high consideration when selecting a vendor
18
32%
Price is a consideration when selecting a vendor
23
40%
Price is of minor consideration when selecting a vendor
8
14%
Price is not a consideration when selecting a vendor
6
11%
 
Total votes: 57

Postby TimeforTea » May 15th, '08, 10:49

Right now, price is a high consideration when selecting a vendor. I've often read on posts that you do not necessarily have to pay a lot to get good tea. However, as I am experimenting and learning which teas I like, I wouldn't necessarily not purchase a favorite tea due to price.

This morning, I tried oolong #8 for the first time. I think I like oolong #18 and #40 better. However, I am excited to say that I had my tea out of my new bodum glass cup. I absolutely love it! It really adds to the tea experience.

Lovely photos, Salsero and Henley!
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Re: Wowsers!

Postby henley » May 15th, '08, 10:52

Salsero wrote: What kind of flower is that? Wisteria??? The real one I mean. It matches the one on the pot perfectly. Life in your house must be like a dream! (at least breakfast)

Yeah, the wisteria finally bloomed in my back yard. It's one of my favorites.

Regarding "SuperMom" & "Dream"--that's the wonderful thing about photos & the internet... you can't hear my 19 mth old & Sesame Street in the background or see the laundry that needs to be put away while mommy's off playing! :wink:

Tea is my little escape.
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Postby Selaphiel » May 15th, '08, 10:57

I usually don`t look too much at prices when buying tea and teaware, it depends a bit I guess, I usually try to find out their reputation instead if possible. I`ll gladly pay a bit for my tea, I don`t find tea very expensive (except a few extreme pu erh cakes and some oolongs). I see that some consider the tea I drank today expensive, Uji Kirameki a bit high priced, I dont think so, especially not reading about how much time it takes to produce it, the rolling and steaming process (not including drying and picking) of 600g of that tea takes 4 hours. But of course I compare it with the price levels in Norway, which are very high.

As I said, been drinking Uji Kirameki shincha today. Really really good, low astringency, aromatic, I found that it was important to drink it nice and slow to allow the full aromatic profile of the tea to express itself, the taste is long lasting after the last sip and it revealed a few surprises long after I finished the cup when I was working on the next steep. Did 3 steeps, the last one had an unique aroma which reminded me of the wet grass/earth aroma you find in the chinese tea Gu Zhang Mao Jian, will be interesting to see if that shows up the next time I make it.
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Postby chamekke » May 15th, '08, 10:58

I said that price is "a" consideration. Quality and reliability are at least as important. I'll always willing pay more for high quality and superb service.

There is one other cost consideration, which is shipping (not the same as "price"). It is often more expensive to ship to Canada; always so, in the case of U.S.-based sellers. Not for us, that "shipping free for orders over $50" offer! We foreigners never get that free shipping... {snif}

But of course, shipping from Japan is the same for both U.S. and Canadian customers.

If the seller (e.g. Ippodo) only ships EMS, the order has to be sufficiently large to be worth the expense. There's a complicated cost-benefit ratio involved, though - if the value of the order is too large, it gets slowed down by Customs and whacked with charges.

So I always have complicated feelings about shipping :?

Lastly, like everyone else, I want to know what that flower is in Henley's beautiful photo of the morning. The colour is lilac-y, but from the ragged shape of the flowers I don't think that's quite it...
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Postby witches brew » May 15th, '08, 10:59

Price isn't a consideration for me. I select my vendors based on quality and customer experience.

I'm willing to pay a bit more if it means I have a better experience. I prefer to shop locally whenever possible, because that is one of the joys of being in Manhattan. I enjoy having a choice of good things at my fingertips.

In the grand scheme of things, tea and teaware are not expensive in comparison to the pleasure that they bring.

Once again, I'm having genmaicha for breakfast. This is becoming a routine. A friend gave me some Makaibari Estate darjeeling samples yesterday. I have so much tea to try that I will have to set up appointments for each of them over the next few weeks. I don't like to hurry my way through new teas.
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Postby Ron Gilmour » May 15th, '08, 11:00

auggy wrote:Price isn't a big consideration for me. Ultimately, even expensive tea is generally not that expensive and even cheap tea can be really good.


Auggy sums up my feelings exactly. When you start looking at price per cup, tea is just so darn cheap that even the good stuff isn't that much of a splurge. I'm not going to spend $100 for a pu-erh cake, no matter how much I like it, but other than that I'm willing to spend a bit for good tea from a good vendor.

Drinking some excellent Ceylon this morning.
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Postby TimeforTea » May 15th, '08, 11:02

olivierco wrote:I don't believe in low prices. If you want some quality, you have to pay for it.


I've always admired that about the French. Quality over quantity. :D
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Postby Victoria » May 15th, '08, 11:53

henley wrote:Bfast just looked too pretty this morning not to share. It's not a professional shot but still thought it turned out pretty good.
Image


Wow! That is gorgeous henley, I love it.

I'm having a nice cup of Adagio Oolong #18 this morning at work. Busy day ahead!
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Postby olivierco » May 15th, '08, 12:22

Teasweetie wrote:
olivierco wrote:I don't believe in low prices. If you want some quality, you have to pay for it.


I've always admired that about the French. Quality over quantity. :D


:lol:

Kaburagien sencha before dinner.
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » May 15th, '08, 12:29

Price is definitely a high consideration, but not my top consideration when looking at a tea vendor. It will turn me away if prices are unreasonably high compared with another vendor that has similar offerings. I would rather have quality tea for a slightly higher price that bad tea for cheap.

This morning, I got brave and retried the Gemaicha Extra Green sample that I got from Den's a few months ago. It still reminds me of rice crispies, but it is a little more pleasant tasting this time around.
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Postby Pentox » May 15th, '08, 13:14

Price is always the #1 concern for me when selecting a vendor. Most importantly though it's the consideration of markup %. Mostly I look for teaware which can sometimes be cross vendor. Those are a good sign of markup. Thee small glass gongfu serving pitchers are a great example. I've seen them range in price from 10 to 40 dollars. So if you assume that they get them at relatively the same price, assume standard retail margin of 50%, the store that sells theirs at $10 gets them for probably $5.00. Unless the one selling them at $40.00 has 4x the cost of obtaining them for some reason (if they did they might as well go get them from the other store), they have a markup around 400%. So i figure if there is that big of a markup on teaware it might carry over to the tea itself. So I factor in that when looking at a tea at each store.

Also when looking at the extremes of price it will either make or break a decision for me. For instance if I found a vendor which had tea at something ludicrously low like $1.00 / kilo I probably wouldn't buy because I'd be afraid of what ultra cheap tea would be like. And on the other hand high prices are enough to scare me away as well. There is always a line for me where it is either too cheap or too expensive that I won't cross because you get what you pay for.
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Postby Chip » May 15th, '08, 14:49

Price is in the mix initially as I try to assess the vendor, looking for hard items that I can use as a comparison, some vendors are just all puff...all hot air. Discerning who is real and who is a figment of their own wild imagination is the challenge we all face.

Ultimately, the tea has to sing or I will walk away grumbling. I have other criteria that come into play...look for more polls related to this subject over the next several days!

Hashiri shincha session two today. I am beginning to understand what this one is all about. This one is all about being the first leaf picked. It has a higher level of astringency as a result. To some this may seem imbalanced, too much astringency and not enough other elements, to me, it is what it is.

Den desribes this as "naive bitterness" of its youth as he discusses the ultra early picking.
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Postby Chip » May 15th, '08, 14:59

Victoria wrote:
henley wrote:Bfast just looked too pretty this morning not to share. It's not a professional shot but still thought it turned out pretty good.
Image


Wow! That is gorgeous henley, I love it.

I'm having a nice cup of Adagio Oolong #18 this morning at work. Busy day ahead!


Henley is too modest. I agree, gorgeous, and so inviting even with the girly cups! :wink:
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Postby olivierco » May 15th, '08, 15:05

I opened another of my 2008 Darjeelings: Risheehat SFTGFOP1. Very good floral taste and the level of astringency just as I like it. I didn't find the fruity taste it was supposed to be in this tea.
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Postby auggy » May 15th, '08, 16:22

Well, this could go under the "icky tea" thread from yesterday? day before? Anyway, one of the pastors came in with a ton of change to be counted but he also brought me a root beer and a Green Tea Ginger ale as a bribe.

Yes. Green Tea Ginger ale. I had a bit of morbid curiosity, so I cracked it open. It is ginger ale with honey and if you squint really hard and hold your tongue just right, you can taste a little bit of really really really horridly sweet green tea. But then, what do you expect from a "Tea" beverage when tea is the 6th ingredient out of 8?

So that was my little adventure today. Fun, huh?
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