Verdant Tea Offerings?


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby puerhking » Oct 3rd, '12, 12:32

Part of the problem, I think, is that there are some dyed in the wool puerh drinkers that have a pretty high level of expertise. I have been drinking it for about six and a half years and am by no means an expert, yet I had problems with this site.

Before this controversy I had looked at the Verdant site. As others have stated I noted the language and the lack of cake details. No clear view of the wrapper or, for example, of the brewed leaves so we can get some idea of the oxidation and wok treatment. For higher priced cakes this is important. Also, another example is on the 03 Banzhang puerh where you call it a ball in the 1k form, then turn around and call it a brick in the description. For someone well versed in pu nomenclature this seems somewhat amateurish.

After perusing the site I thought, "I can check this one off my list." However, if you can get passed all of this, lick your wounds, learn from the criticisms, understand what your knowledgeable clientele expects, you will have a much better chance of carving out some real estate in that market.
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby dzrogers » Oct 3rd, '12, 13:33

Mr. Reiff,

Since you linked to one of my posts. I figured I might as well reply.

Yours was a very thorough response, thank you for that. Unfortunately, your response wasn't changed my opinion.

It seems to me that your teas are quite expensive as compared to even your US competitors. I'm not sure if this is because of an unreasonable markup or if you are being taken advantage of by your supplier(s). Either way, I cannot fathom spending over $150 on second rate Pu. It doesn't really matter how you arrived at your retail price.

What's more, I think it is quite unfair to accuse hster and marshaln of inappropriate behavior when your website gives the wrong name for the product you are selling. With such misinformation, it is quite understandable when one grabs a hold of the wrong end of the stick. Further, I would think the appropriate response from Verdant Tea would be to apologize for the inaccurate information, and to make a commitment to correcting the mistake (it seems you are doing that at least in part). However, demanding a retraction is printed with an implied "or else" seems highly inappropriate in this instance.

At any rate, I'm glad to read that you intend to address at least some of the criticisms of your marketing strategy. The more ACCURATE information the better!
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby edkrueger » Oct 3rd, '12, 18:25

Dzrogers made me reread the response for the call for retraction and implication. I've reproduced it here. I wouldn't have noticed it without Dzrogers' more careful reading. It was lost in the sea...

"If after reviewing what I've presented, you are satisfied with the evidence, and are willing to acknowledge that this question of our price markup has been a misunderstanding, I kindly request that you honor us with a respectful retraction of your claim that we have applied a markup of 900%-1000%+ on the pu'er cakes in question. We would deeply appreciate, at the very least, a willingness on your part to revise what you have said about us in your blog entries to reflect the prices on Taobao that are listed for the actual pu'er cakes we have sold or made mention of. If you are willing to honor this request, we would readily forgive any grievances we have suffered and be happy to move on from this."


I find it quite shocking.
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 3rd, '12, 21:20

edkrueger wrote:Dzrogers made me reread the response for the call for retraction and implication. I've reproduced it here. I wouldn't have noticed it without Dzrogers' more careful reading. It was lost in the sea...

"If after reviewing what I've presented, you are satisfied with the evidence, and are willing to acknowledge that this question of our price markup has been a misunderstanding, I kindly request that you honor us with a respectful retraction of your claim that we have applied a markup of 900%-1000%+ on the pu'er cakes in question. We would deeply appreciate, at the very least, a willingness on your part to revise what you have said about us in your blog entries to reflect the prices on Taobao that are listed for the actual pu'er cakes we have sold or made mention of. If you are willing to honor this request, we would readily forgive any grievances we have suffered and be happy to move on from this."


I find it quite shocking.


Not to mention I never talked about this controversy on my own blog. The only time I mentioned Verdant was in connection with Steepster's rating problem. So I don't see why I should post a retraction on my blog for something I didn't talk about on my blog in the first place.
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby Chip » Oct 3rd, '12, 21:43

I do not see this as an implied "or else" ... nor do I see anything highly inappropriate. Reading between the lines can certainly lead to false or at least ambiguous conclusions.

From Dictionary.com:

griev·ance
   [gree-vuhns] Show IPA

noun
1. a wrong considered as grounds for complaint, or something believed to cause distress: Inequitable taxation is the chief grievance.

2. a complaint or resentment, as against an unjust or unfair act: to have a grievance against someone.

Given the length of the postings and the desire for clarity, I would think that if they intended otherwise, they would say so ... which I would have then likely pulled the plug on the request to post.

I see two divergent PoV's and hope something positive comes out of it. Hopefully there is some middle ground that can be found.

And do not read into this post that I am choosing sides. I am endeavoring to be neutral in this instance due to my position as moderator of the forum at this point in time.

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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 3rd, '12, 21:52

Chip: I think it's a matter of semantics here. You can't "forgive" a "grievance". You drop one. You forgive a transgression. So by mixing the two, depending on which word you focus on, you'll get a different take from it.

I wasn't offended by the request, but I don't see the need since as I mentioned, I didn't talk about it on my blog. Also, dzrogers' point stands - you can't fault someone for finding the wrong cake when Verdant were the ones using the wrong name (or are they actually the same thing?). I still maintain the points I made in my response, of course, that the prices they found are hardly representative and there's more than meets the eyes.
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby dzrogers » Oct 3rd, '12, 23:05

Chip,

I respect your perspective, and I accept that there can be differing interpretations of what is said, but that last part about the retraction is left open.

It begs the reader to ask: "and what happens if Hster doesn't post a retraction" and "if you won't drop the matter than what will you do". And, from a legal perspective, when one starts talking about grievances, financial damages and amicable resolutions the "L" word comes to mind. I just don't think this sort of thing is appropriate in a situation where the company's marketing created the conditions for a misunderstanding.
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby Chip » Oct 3rd, '12, 23:15

Let's just not speculate what he may mean in this instance and interpret based upon extrapulation and in turn deem it highly inappropriate.

Because that is ... inappropriate.

If you have a question about what he has posted, what he means ... then simply ask. That would be appropriate.

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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby hopeofdawn » Oct 4th, '12, 11:18

Boy, I have to admit that when I started this thread, I didn't expect it to get all the responses it has! :shock:

Speaking as someone who is not a puerh drinker or buyer, knows next to nothing about it, and has only made a single order of dragonwell and roasted oolong--of which the dragonwell, at least, has proved to be excellent (haven't opened the oolong yet)--from the company in question, I would have to say that I don't find Geoffrey's request for Marshaln and hster to retract/amend their statements threatening or out of line. As he points out, they have spent a lot of time and money trying to establish their reputation as a reputable tea importer, and posts that accuse them of price gouging are actively detrimental to this. Speaking for myself, I know that when I went looking for reviews on Verdant tea offerings (as I do on most new vendors I'm thinking about ordering from), Marshaln and hster's blogs were one of the first hits that popped up on my Google search, and their reactions to Verdant's puerh offerings certainly gave me pause.

In the end, the high number of apparently satisfied customers for their non-puerh offerings convinced me to order anyway, and I'm glad I did. And if Marshaln and hster aren't convinced by the information that Verdant's reps have provided, and want to stick to their positions, that's certainly their prerogative, and I can't fault them for that. But IMHO, I don't think requesting a retraction from bloggers, *if* it turns out they were mistaken, is out of line or domineering, given how much a negative review from a popular blog can affect someone's business.

In any case, hopefully this thread will shed some light on the debate to future Google-ers looking at Verdant teas!
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 4th, '12, 11:42

hopeofdawn wrote:But IMHO, I don't think requesting a retraction from bloggers, *if* it turns out they were mistaken, is out of line or domineering, given how much a negative review from a popular blog can affect someone's business.


And I agree! Except, as I said already, I never talked about this topic at all on my blog, so it's kinda weird to ask me to post a retraction for something never mentioned there. My post on my blog is about Steepster's problematic rating system, which involves Verdant, but is quite separate from this issue of puerh prices. It's like a newspaper issuing a retraction for a story it never printed - doesn't make sense, does it? The discussion took place elsewhere, including here, so let those responses stay where they belong.
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby wyardley » Oct 4th, '12, 15:06

While we're on the subject, does "shu nuggets" refer to lao cha tou?

For example:
http://verdanttea.com/teas/yanxins-rese ... u-nuggets/
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby TeaStudent » Oct 4th, '12, 19:45

yes, i had purchased shu nugget from verdant tea and i thought it was lao cha tou.
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 4th, '12, 21:41

Is it possible to move this stuff to the puerh forum? I don't see why this should be in the green tea forum when it's clearly 95% about puerh. Chip?
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Re: Verdant Tea Offerings?

Postby Chip » Oct 4th, '12, 22:17

Agreed ... to a degree. This topic went on a major tangent. But it was borne on discussion of green teas from VerdantTea. Thus I must allow the topic to remain where it is.

Therefore, henceforth please post further pu-erh discussions relating to VerdantTea to the Pu-erh category of TeaChat.

I may ultimately split the topic so this would be a pure green topic instead of what it has become. But this is not as easy as it sounds as there are grey zone posts, and I am not about to split posts.

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Final Statement

Postby hster » Oct 5th, '12, 00:28

Geoffrey and David,

I highlighted three red flags about Verdant Tea's puerh sales and marketing that I and many other puerh drinkers have noticed:

1. Lack of transparency
2. Misrepresentation
3. Incredibly high prices for low-end factory brands

I have updated my blog with findings about the 2007 Bulang Qing Bing going for ~$6 which would make your markup on the 2006 version potentially higher than the Star of Bulang.

It appears that you are changing some of Verdant Tea's practices based on the feedback presented here. I fully stand by what I wrote in my blog.

Sincerely,
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