Nicest vendor web site ?


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Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby skilfautdire » Nov 27th, '10, 19:48

So, what is the nicest vendor web site ? By nice I mean it: nice. Might not have everything. might not be most functional, and there's no need to have bought from that vendor. Only the style, colours, layout, and general aspects matters. The web site that makes you go whoa the first time you browsed it.
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby Victoria » Nov 27th, '10, 20:43

I really like Camellia Sinensis. I like their search function, so many ways to search, by a tea name or by variety or by country. I also like their vivid pictures of the dry leaf but some descriptions are missing. The only thing better would be soup pics too.

But their check-out needs some work, it goes to French and can be confusing.

http://camellia-sinensis.com/tea/
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby Proinsias » Nov 27th, '10, 21:04

Always liked the look and simplicity of Tim's:
http://www.themandarinstearoom.com/
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby David R. » Nov 28th, '10, 03:27

Definitively Ippodo.
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby gingkoseto » Nov 28th, '10, 16:16

David R. wrote:Definitively Ippodo.

I love this design! I actually waited for a couple of minutes to see if the black cat would walk back, after it went out of the scene. :D
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby rhondabee » Nov 28th, '10, 17:52

gingkoseto wrote:
David R. wrote:Definitively Ippodo.

I love this design! I actually waited for a couple of minutes to see if the black cat would walk back, after it went out of the scene. :D


Any site with a black cat gets my vote :D Thanks for the link.
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby Chip » Nov 28th, '10, 17:56

Really, Ippodo? No leaf photos, very limited individual product info with no harvest info ... :mrgreen: The cat is cute however ... and they do have some good general info including videos.

Seems when I am viewing sites, I see more things I do not like versus the positives ... perhaps a good addendum question would be what things do you like to see on a site.

Fast loads and easy to navigate, lots of individual product info including harvest information, lots of general product information, specialized product listing.

On the Japanese side, O-Cha seems to have these things, perhaps a good reason they are my fave vendor?

On the Chinese side, I have always like TeaSpring's.
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby rhondabee » Nov 28th, '10, 18:10

Chip wrote:On the Chinese side, I have always like TeaSpring's.


I really like TeaSpring's audio link to hear how to pronounce the names of the tea.
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby exquisite » Nov 28th, '10, 18:16

My definition of "nice" includes : tonal harmony of colors, simplicity, easy to navigate, and hi-res pics of products.

Haven´t met the perfect tea vendor website with that criteria , but found
one good candidate today :
http://www.gokotea.com/

Never heard about them until now , prices though seem to be somewhere "up there" :mrgreen:
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby debunix » Nov 28th, '10, 18:37

Things I like on a vendor site:

Simple, clear, moderate use of simple graphics
Comprehensive descriptions of the teas
Tea photos
Brewing suggestions and general tea info
Minimal flash or animations (mostly slows me down)
Easy checkout
Good search engine
Mobile-friendly

Things I dislike on vendor sites

Insufficient descriptions
Most flash and animations (unless it's a demo of how to brew or something equally relevant)
Graphics that are pretty but not very legible

Some sites I like for simple user-friendliness and good tea info

Norbu
Jingteashop
JK Tea Shop
HouDe
Den's

Not in any way meant to be comprehensive, and I haven't actually ordered from JK Tea yet to test the checkout.
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby skilfautdire » Nov 28th, '10, 19:00

exquisite wrote:Never heard about them until now , prices though seem to be somewhere "up there" :mrgreen:

Hmm... That would be 'celestial prices'. As in squarely out of the stratosphere. Reminds me I'm but a minstrel singing coarse peblum songs on the streets. Nope, no Stradivarius playing for me ! I mean, $70 for 20g of Japanese pan-roasted green tea ?

But the web site looks nice. Not really easy to see where they are based although it could not be Japan, but the USA.

My nicest vendor web site has to be Hojo Tea. For the cleanliness of the design and the wealth of information given on the teas they sell. They surely do not have the largest selection, but through their clean design and the informations given they do come across as people passionate about what they are doing. Looks like no prices are given, needing an initial contact I presume (haven't bought from them yet) and that would be a drawback on the functional side.

http://hojotea.com/indexe.html

Apart from not showing prices (most do), a pet peeve of mine is when the quantities are not shown. Sure. $20, but $20 for how much ?
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby edkrueger » Nov 30th, '10, 13:41

I think the Ippodo site is pretty good. I disagree with some of the descriptions of their teas. Not having pictures is really no problem. Everyone of their teas is unbroken sencha, I am not really going to be able to determine anything from the pictures anyway. IMO the Ocha site is just pain ugly. On both the Ocha and Ippodo sites, I don't like the first page. The Ocha one is ugly. The Ippodo one is pretty, but I don't want to load a flash app every time I go to the site. Both Ippodo and Ocha have a cart, but Ippodo's often has problems with credit cards, so that counts against it. The Hojo site is completely unnavigable and doesn't even have a cart system. It really shows the power of the Hojo cult that people suggest Hojo as a good site.
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby Chip » Nov 30th, '10, 14:13

Pictures of the tea are a must! Color, leaf form, etc. Ed, I recall you had an issue with a Den's tea not matching the photo.

So photos are helpful IMHO. They help to "sell" me on a tea ...
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby nickE » Nov 30th, '10, 15:17

Chip wrote:Pictures of the tea are a must! Color, leaf form, etc. Ed, I recall you had an issue with a Den's tea not matching the photo.

So photos are helpful IMHO. They help to "sell" me on a tea ...

Yeah, I agree. I believe YS reuses the 2005 Dehong brick pic for both the 2008 & 2010 versions. While I realize they look pretty similar, this is a pet peeve of mine. :?

As for vendor websites, my favorites include the Tea Gallery, Floating Leaves, and Essence of Tea (though it's pretty slow to load). Simplicity and ease of navigation are most important to me.
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Re: Nicest vendor web site ?

Postby edkrueger » Dec 1st, '10, 21:01

Chip wrote:Pictures of the tea are a must! Color, leaf form, etc. Ed, I recall you had an issue with a Den's tea not matching the photo.

So photos are helpful IMHO. They help to "sell" me on a tea ...

Exactly, the photo was deceiving.
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