Manipulating tea

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Manipulating tea

Postby bagua7 » Dec 19th, '10, 05:24

Do you think that most of the teas we Westerners get online are manipulated in a certain way in order to increase sales. For example adding scents to simulate the real aroma and/or taste, making fake puerh cakes or selling fake vintage teas. Many variables are manipulated in order to stimulate business profit, but as we know this only creates a negative effect which eventually backfires the businesses involved in these sort of illicit trading practices and slows consumer demand. And because of the slowing consumer demand it would undermine business and consumer confidence.

As tea consumers we have the right to protect ourselves against this and it would be interesting to see if the Chinese, HK, Taiwanese Governments are willing to implement effective policies with that regard, for instance, a Chinese Office of Tea Fair Trading.

I'd like to hear your opinions and experiences.

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Re: Manipulating tea

Postby mbanu » Dec 20th, '10, 17:08

Questionable tea has always been exported in some quantity. However, it is not in the best interests of the industry of that country, so there is often some degree of oversight in both the exporting country and the importing country. Shady practices aren't necessary anyhow. There's no need to add synthetic floral fragrances on the sly when Westerners will buy flavored teas upfront. Most Westerners don't expect tea to naturally smell like fruit or flowers or anything like that.

A lot of shady Pu'er was probably sold during the Pu'er boom, but I'd imagine the biggest risk with buying online would simply be that it had been stored under improper conditions.

A good rule of thumb is that if you don't have the background knowledge to determine the quality on your own, you should try to borrow the service of someone who can and who has no interest in cheating you, such as by buying from a small shop whose livelihood is based on repeat business due to their honest reputation.

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