IPT wrote:Welcome Max,
I am in the tea business, so I feel I can answer this for you. There are a lot of factors why websites don't name their sources. Generally it is because they simply don't know. They buy it from middlemen who travel around China and bring it to them. A lot of those middlemen don't know either because they go to a main tea selling area and buy in bulk where teas often get mixed. Generally tea is made by individual families or groups of families who just put all their teas together and sell it in a market. It is actually very rare for a tea retailer to personally go and pick out their teas from the producers, because tea is produced in all corners of China and it takes a great deal of time and money to do that. A lot of the areas are not too accessible and it can take days to get there and sometimes once you get there, you find out that they sold out their inventory earlier in the day.
For those that do know their sources, it is usually a highly guarded secret because if they reveal their sources, others will go in and buy the tea out from under them. The very high quality producers only makes a small amount each year, and generally it takes a lot of wheeling and deeling and meetings and dinners to source a tea. They can be extremely selective of who they sell to because their product is rare and hard to come by. It can take years to get a source and a lot of money of visiting and purchasing before they will sell to you, and that relationship has to be maintained with regular visits and communications. After so much time invested, you don't want others to know where you get your tea because if they outbid you, then you've lost all that time and investment. It's happened to me a couple of times and it is infuriating. To personally source a tea also means that you would have to live in China because otherwise it is viably impossible.
Other dealers don't want you to know where they source their teas because it is not of the highest quality and they don't want you to know this. Even if a retailer told you where they source their tea, you'd never know if it was true, because there's no way for you to verify it. They could say anything and consumers would never know if it was true.
I hope this answers your question. If you have any more, let me know.
chittychat wrote:Why would we want to be so particular on tea when on most everything we consume basically no producer is mentioned or known. From which battery-egg-laying-machine-hen does the egg come from? Who produced that pork chop? One can go on and on.
chittychat wrote:Pity you can't try the eggs from my own happy, free roaming chicken.
debunix wrote: because I don't eat eggs. ]