Ordering from HOJO


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Ordering from HOJO

Postby blairswhitaker » Mar 31st, '12, 22:00

Ok, so I have gone back and forth between the hojo hype for some time now and finally decided I needed to let MY taste be the judge. I mean if you have ever been to the hojo site you will find some pretty substantial claims being made. Far be it from me to judge a product on second hand knowledge. So I decided to take the plunge and order some of his japanese green tea, (the only reason I am posting here is because it was green tea and I didn't know where else to post this, so if there is a better place please move it, thank you!) and it took me a WEEK to get my order submitted. between the back and forth e-mails, the "oh i just need one more bit of info, and the lack of response it actually took me a week to place an order. actually eight days if you count the wait for the price list. So is this the norm with this vendor or does it get "easier" with time?
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby brlarson » Mar 31st, '12, 23:02

I have never had a back-and-forth email conversation when ordering tea from Hojo. I have told them what I want, where to ship it, where to bill it (PayPal), and that was the end of it.

Akira did engage me once when I ordered a high-end teapot. He was travelling at the time and was able to email me only sporadically. He had re-measured the volume of the pot and he was making sure that it still suited me.

Hojo's prices are a little high, but his quality is impeccable and I have found his service to be impeccable too.
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby David R. » Apr 1st, '12, 09:32

Akira may be visiting the Darjeelings gardens right now, if I remember well. Anyway, he's thinking about upgrading his website into something from which you could directly buy his teas.
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby Chip » Apr 1st, '12, 10:53

If he is as serious about his site as he is about his tea and wares ... he definitely should upgrade his site. I suspect this would be as beneficial to him as it is to someone interested in what he is selling ... which currently requires the secret "available now" url. :mrgreen:
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby Ambrose » Apr 1st, '12, 14:51

Definitely one of my most favorite vendors, price can seem a little high on some teas but then again his selections are some of the best I have tried.

I agree with the other posts, his response time can vary depending if he is traveling and has access to his email.

Hojo is a very knowledgeable and kind person, one of the best people to interact with :D

Actually I just received a recent hojo tea order yesterday, a banko kyusu and the last of the deep fermented dong ding :mrgreen:
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby dnick » Apr 1st, '12, 15:23

So his tea is of highest quality than other vendors, or is this just hype?
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby blairswhitaker » Apr 1st, '12, 15:31

the cost of the tea was no surprise, the shipping was a bit high compared to other vendors I use in JP. As for quality that is was I am trying to determine for my self.
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby Ambrose » Apr 1st, '12, 15:52

dnick wrote:So his tea is of highest quality than other vendors, or is this just hype?


Depends on personal preference and the type of tea. Other vendors can and some do have equal or even greater quality.

Only one way to find out :D
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby David R. » Apr 1st, '12, 19:20

blairswhitaker wrote:the cost of the tea was no surprise, the shipping was a bit high compared to other vendors I use in JP. As for quality that is was I am trying to determine for my self.


Did you ordered the Tsukigase Zaïraï ?

Ambrose wrote:...and the last of the deep fermented dong ding :mrgreen:


:)
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby blairswhitaker » Apr 1st, '12, 20:12

I did indeed order the Tsukigase Zaïraï, have you had it?
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby JohnnyChai » Apr 1st, '12, 21:14

Have had the Tsukigase and Kasuga Zairai Senchas from Hojo. Both of these teas were of superior quality(distinct, strong flavor and aroma) especially the Kasuga which had a deeper steam. These teas complement each other well hence why they are in Hojo's lineup. Having not read the details of the tea on Hojo's website until after buying the tea, found it to be spot on; especially for the price even after factoring shipping in.
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby David R. » Apr 2nd, '12, 08:29

blairswhitaker wrote:I did indeed order the Tsukigase Zaïraï, have you had it?


It is an excellent tea from my point of view, easy to miss at first but so deep. The sencha I prefer from Akira's selection. But I am more into his chinese/taiwanese teas in general.
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby Tead Off » Apr 2nd, '12, 11:28

David R. wrote:
blairswhitaker wrote:I did indeed order the Tsukigase Zaïraï, have you had it?


It is an excellent tea from my point of view, easy to miss at first but so deep. The sencha I prefer from Akira's selection. But I am more into his chinese/taiwanese teas in general.

As someone who has always appreciated Hojo's sincere interest in tea and teaware, a buyer has to get past the simple fact that the exchange rate for Yen is really prohibitive and puts them at a disadvantage unless you don't care about spending more than you need to for good teas. As someone who has bought teas from him, (not a lot), the quality always remained good. But as long as the exchange rate is unfavorable to me, I feel I am overpaying for some of his teas. But, this is a very subjective decision that every buyer must make for themselves.
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby Bakkoi » Apr 16th, '12, 16:21

I have also had some frustrating experiences ordering from Hojo with the back-and-forth email exchange. I don't know why he doesn't just have an online checkout like everyone else. I remember e-commerce was like this up until the end of the 90's.

Hojo-san, please join us in the 21st century ;_;

His tea is excellent though, and I have confidence in it being low in pesticides, especially a concern after Greenpeace's findings. One of the reasons I'm willing to tolerate the sometimes onerous ordering process is that the man has a trove of detailed, expert information in his head about tea, the brewing of tea, the growing of tea and just about anything else about tea you could think of. He's willing to take the time to answer questions in detail that other vendors just wouldn't bother with, and he does it with remarkable detail.
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Re: Ordering from HOJO

Postby David R. » Apr 19th, '12, 08:01

Bakkoi wrote:I don't know why he doesn't just have an online checkout like everyone else. I remember e-commerce was like this up until the end of the 90's...


There are some technical issues regarding his business which are a problem for that. It is not my place to go into details, but once again, a "real" online shop may be on its way.

He told me that discussing with tea enthousiats is really a part of his job that he loves a lot and he doesn't want to loose this.
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