FRIDAY TeaDay 5/16/08


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Your ideal Tea vendor would have...?

Over 1000 teas of every type and region...a virtual world tea supermarket
3
6%
100s of teas many types and regions
9
18%
50-100 teas of multible types and regions
10
20%
25-50 teas of limited types or regions
6
12%
Less than 25 and very specialized
17
34%
Other
5
10%
 
Total votes : 50

Postby Katrina » May 16th, '08, 11:35

I picked 50 - 100 (although I almost picked 25 - 50.) I like to have a good variety to choose from so there is always something new for me to try. Where I do also have some degree of price sensitivity, I like to be able to get a few different teas from a company in order to combine shipping costs. It always irks me to pay some crazy base shipping charge to order one tea. BUT I like the number of teas to be small enough that I believe the company is showing some selectivity.

I just spent some very happy time re-organizing the tea cabinet and labeling containers. Found a few samples I haven't tried yet. Hooray!
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Postby Pentox » May 16th, '08, 11:48

I went with 100's for a rather complicated reason.

One really important factor in freshness of a selection is turnover, so a tea company would need a rather large customer base to have good turnover. I do enjoy having a variety of teas at my selection, so the selection base would have to be rather large. But to meet my desires for rather specific teas, single estate darjeelings, special senchas, etc, they would need a large selection to cover them all and well. Invariably though they would also offer the not so special teas to maintain their customer base, flavored CTC's and the like. Also a larger selection means more to choose from in order to achieve shipping minimums. My ideal tea vendor would have a nice shipping minimum 25-35 dollars is good in my opinion.
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Postby witches brew » May 16th, '08, 11:49

I'd like a small and specialized boutique most of all. Rather, a pair of them. One for tisanes. One for Japanese green teas.

Aphrodisia almost meets my needs for tisanes, except that they are a purveyor of all sorts of herbs and spices (TOO MUCH STUFF), and I can't make up my mind if the shop cat or the shop owner is the most ill-tempered.

Perhaps I am a bit naive to believe that a good shop can present the best of the best. It may be subjective.

Once again, a genmaicha morning (it's all I have with me).

Tomorrow morning I will be home, and I have a date with Den's Shincha Premiere.
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Postby TimeforTea » May 16th, '08, 11:54

I would like a vendor who specialized in a type of tea and offered less than 25. That way, I could buy Chinese greens from 1 vendor, light oolongs from another, etc.

This morning I had Pre-Ming Premium Milan Danconj 2007--part of my package I won from ScruffMcGuff's contest.

And the best part of all...

I BREWED IT IN MY NEW GAIWAN!!!

Thanks to the guys on IM last night!
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Postby chamekke » May 16th, '08, 12:00

I voted for 25-50. There are a couple of tea shops in my town that sell up to 100 teas, but I find that freshness is sometimes an issue - and the staff aren't always sufficiently knowledgeable about their products. Which is understandable: it could indeed be a challenge to try every single one of them, to have formed a clear impression of each, and to be able to make personal recommendations on the spot when requested. Since most of the counter staff are employees rather than owners, I also suspect that they're not given a free taste of all teas as part of their training :?

A smaller, more specialized shop is likelier (I think!) to be careful about their products, to educate themselves about them, and to ensure that what they're selling is appropriately stored and always fresh.
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Postby Dizzwave » May 16th, '08, 12:02

My ideal tea vendor has hundreds of types of pu-erh. :)

Sal, great photo again! We may need to just create a TeaDayPhoto sticky for you.
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Postby TimeforTea » May 16th, '08, 12:16

Salsero wrote:Image


Salsero, your photos are so stricking. You should really consider putting together a coffee table tea photography book.

I get mesmorized by the wood grains of that coaster. I see why you like it so much, it really is beautiful! What type of wood is it?
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Postby Jagori » May 16th, '08, 12:31

I only really drink Puerh, so I voted for small and specialized.

Salsero wrote:The Puerh is Nanqiao Menghai Jewel 2007 with its Engrish birth certificate.


I tried to keep a serious tone while reading that note aloud to a couple friends who hadn't heard it yet. I made it to the end, but couldn't keep it together after "Drink acup of this. refreshing. It also aids your ." :D
Last edited by Jagori on May 16th, '08, 12:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tenuki » May 16th, '08, 12:32

I find specialized vendors are best. There are so many teas and so many regions that it is essentially impossible for one vendor to keep track of it all to the lvl of attention that is required to excel. The vendors that offer a large array always do so at the expense of paying attention IMO. In my experience, what emerges from the picture over time is that each vendor is best for one type of tea anyway, and that is what they should have just specialized in.
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Postby tenuki » May 16th, '08, 12:48

Dizzwave wrote:My ideal tea vendor has hundreds of types of pu-erh. :)


Jagori wrote:I only really drink Puerh, so I voted for small and specialized.



Clinical Diagnosis: Monomania. Commonly found on teachat, usually in the form of Senchamania, Matchamania, or Puerhmania ( also called Pumania, not to be confused with Poohmania which is the obsession with honey trees and red vests or Poopmania which is considered deviant in most situations)

Common Treatments:
Sadly, most of the afflicted are untreatable. In rare cases a small but steady dose of High Grade Oolongs can temporarily relieve the symptoms, but most regress eventually. There are some experimental and highly controversial methods currently being explored in Argentina involving Lipton Tea bags, chlorinated tap water and microwaves, but these are considered more in the realm of torture rather than treatment by the larger psychiatric community.

Suggest Course of Action:
The only human course of Treatment would be a continuous consumption of the desired tea.

Gong Fu Up Bruthas and Sistas!
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Postby Pentox » May 16th, '08, 13:01

The more I think about this and read everyone's responses, I keep thinking that this is getting answered more in terms of what your preferred vendor is like as opposed to an ideal vendor.

There always has been the trade off between variety / freshness / knowledge, but in an ideal world one could have all of them. The more I think about it, I would think the ideal store (if it were a B&M) would be more like a tea food court, where there would be a huge variety of teas to be had, but specialized knowledge for each genre of tea.
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Postby Ron Gilmour » May 16th, '08, 13:02

I'm not sure I really have an opinion on this one. I've ordered from companies with enormous selections (e.g., Upton's) and from very specialized vendors (e.g., Puerhshop) and have been very happy in both cases. I think it's just a matter of learning what each vendor is good at. Upton's may be huge, but they really know their stuff. In short, there are good vendors that are big and small and I order from both types.

Enjoying some sencha kenjyo from Tao of Tea. The description says "hints or edamame, milk, and coriander." I definitely get the edamame and the milk, but not sure about the coriander. I love Tao of Tea, but I sometimes find their tea descriptions a little over the top.
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Postby Salsero » May 16th, '08, 13:04

Jagori wrote:I tried to keep a serious tone while reading that note aloud to a couple friends who hadn't heard it yet.
Yes, Engrish is my favorite alien language. There is actually a whole website devoted to it.

http://www.engrish.com/

My favorite Engrish document is the Bejing menu that Hobbes posted in his The Half Dipper Blog at http://half-dipper.blogspot.com/2007/09 ... ijing.html

Image
Last edited by Salsero on May 16th, '08, 13:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Victoria » May 16th, '08, 13:14

tenuki wrote:
Dizzwave wrote:My ideal tea vendor has hundreds of types of pu-erh. :)


Jagori wrote:I only really drink Puerh, so I voted for small and specialized.



Clinical Diagnosis: Monomania. Commonly found on teachat, usually in the form of Senchamania, Matchamania, or Puerhmania ( also called Pumania, not to be confused with Poohmania which is the obsession with honey trees and red vests or Poopmania which is considered deviant in most situations)

Common Treatments:
Sadly, most of the afflicted are untreatable. In rare cases a small but steady dose of High Grade Oolongs can temporarily relieve the symptoms, but most regress eventually. There are some experimental and highly controversial methods currently being explored in Argentina involving Lipton Tea bags, chlorinated tap water and microwaves, but these are considered more in the realm of torture rather than treatment by the larger psychiatric community.

Suggest Course of Action:
The only human course of Treatment would be a continuous consumption of the desired tea.

Gong Fu Up Bruthas and Sistas!


Hysterical!! I know at least one person on this board with Senchamania. Recently his condition has worsened and developed into Shinchamania, which is virtually untreatable. It's a sad thing to see. Oolong therapy has proved ineffective.
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Postby chamekke » May 16th, '08, 13:23

Salsero wrote:My favorite Engrish document is the Bejing menu that Hobbes posted in his The Half Dipper Blog at http://half-dipper.blogspot.com/2007/09 ... ijing.html


Some of that is actually quite poetic.

Mix a golden needle mushroom,
Exquisite article fatty cow.
O, sweet potato slice,
O, gold glazed date!
The sugar vinegar in the mind is beautiful.
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