Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?


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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Skyla Desini » Mar 4th, '13, 23:16

Moderator Edit: Per forum rules, Skyla of Sloane Fine Teas requested permission to post this clarification. After review of the request and the intended post, permission was granted.

Dear sherubtse and Devoted 135 ,

Thank-you for your concerns about the veracity of claims made by Sloane Representatives whether at our Toronto Signature Shoppe or online on our website. At Sloane, we take great pride in the congruency of our principles and to never say anything contrary to the truth. As such, when we see such discussions we like to help provide truthful and factual information so that the tea "community" is better informed and perhaps takes a closer look at the strength of our company's backbone.

In this particular instance, we would like to help you gain clarity regarding the details of exclusivity pertaining to teas from Jungpana Estate in Darjeeling. Sloane Fine Tea Merchants is not the only company that sells Jungpana in North America, however, we are indeed the only company that is permitted to source teas directly from the garden through an exclusivity agreement we have with this and many other gardens that we work with. If other vendors sell these teas, it is either as a result of them purchasing the teas from Sloane Fine Tea Merchants directly, or as a result of them purchasing from a series of brokers and distributors outside of North America, in which case, the teas have not been purchased directly from the garden. In essence, Sloane Fine Tea Merchants is the exclusive distributor of teas from Jungpana for all of North America. In fact, Sloane Fine Tea Merchants is an official partner with Junpana, and you will find our signs in the Junpana garden if you choose to visit this beautiful, and majestic place.

In regards to your confusion as to when this arrangement was put into place - it was since May 2008 that this agreement was struck, particularly with Jungpana. There are other companies who had stock of the Jungpana teas prior to that and continued selling it after 2008. However, we were not concerned with this, as we are focused on our own organizations' mission.

As to the expensiveness of our teas, we can assure you that if you were to compare our grade of teas, alongside a similar tea from a similar garden and flush, you would find actually, we are quite competitive for the offerings we are providing. It would also depend on which format of pricing you have reviewed: whether retail, gift, wholesale, etc. as there are many tiers and clientele to which we cater and service.

I do hope this has cleared up any confusion about the strength of Sloane's relationship with the Jungpana garden. And if you are in further doubt, please feel free to contact the garden directly and speak with the Kejriwal family who owns the garden and they will no doubt dispel any further misgivings.

Sincerely,

Skyla Desini
Customer Service Manager
Sloane Fine Tea Merchants
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby sherubtse » Mar 5th, '13, 08:19

Thank you for taking the time to reply to our concerns, Skyla. I am glad that you care enough about your company and its perception in the tea community to offer an explanation from your side.

I will say that I find the tone of your reply to be somewhat pretentious and patrionising. If some people have concerns with your company, it is best to respond to them as individuals and not as if you are writing a press release for the general public. Also, offer to make things right -- go above and beyond what is expected. (An apology for the confusion re the Jungpana is the least you should have done, in my opinion.) Companies that put excellent customer service first are the ones that get my business.

Re the Jungpana confusion, I would suggest that you instruct your sales associates to be more specific with their explanation to customers of the source and origin of your teas. That may well prevent any further confusion.

As to the price of your teas, that is a matter of opinion, really.

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Devoted135 » Mar 5th, '13, 10:23

Very nice response post, sherubtse. You said everything and more that I was thinking so I will merely reiterate that in marketing, specificity of language is very important.

Claiming that a tea is "exclusive" (per the website) to Sloane when a google search will quickly reveal other vendors offering the same selection leads to questions and loss of trust in Sloane as a vendor. As it turns out, a more clearly stated claim: "we are indeed the only [North American] company that is permitted to source teas directly from the garden through an exclusivity agreement we have with [the Jungpana Estate]" brings clarity and a renewed level of honesty to this marketing strategy.

Thanks again for your time and response, Skyla.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby minor_glitch » Mar 5th, '13, 14:24

Keep in mind, sherubtse, "pretentious and patronizing" is probably the image they're going for. Have you seen their website? Elegant flourishes and embellishments all over the place, elephants wearing hats(seriously?!), and utterly ridiculous, snobby copy such as "a community of friends stewarding tea as gastronomy". Hell, they have their own sommelier "society".
My favourite is the blurb on their main page in which the first thing they mention about their tea is "The stunning packaging", followed by "the taste of our teas". Goes to show the order of their priorities...
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby yshuto » Mar 5th, '13, 15:59

It would add to their credibility if their name was on the Jungpana Estate Website. As it stands now, the only names stated are the one's below. Quote taken directly from the Jungpana Estate website

"A few of our unflinching patrons and outlets where Jungpana teas are sold :-

Fortnum & Mason, U.K.
Harrods of Knightsbridge, U.K.
Mariage, France
Fauchon, France"
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby yshuto » Mar 5th, '13, 16:17

I am drinking the Namring which is exlusive reserved for Mariage Freres. The first available Spring Flush Darjeeling for 2013.

NAMRING-POOMONG UPPER FTGFOP1
Darjeeling First Flush EX1 2013

Very light in taste. Almost no astringency. Comparing it to the Spring Flush Namring 2012, I liked the 2012 much better. Will wait and see how the "normal" Namring SS tastes for 2013.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby sherubtse » Mar 5th, '13, 16:26

Devoted135 wrote:Claiming that a tea is "exclusive" (per the website) to Sloane when a google search will quickly reveal other vendors offering the same selection leads to questions and loss of trust in Sloane as a vendor.


Very well put, Devoted135! :)

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby sherubtse » Mar 5th, '13, 19:12

minor_glitch wrote:Keep in mind, sherubtse, "pretentious and patronizing" is probably the image they're going for. Have you seen their website? Elegant flourishes and embellishments all over the place, elephants wearing hats(seriously?!), and utterly ridiculous, snobby copy such as "a community of friends stewarding tea as gastronomy". Hell, they have their own sommelier "society".
My favourite is the blurb on their main page in which the first thing they mention about their tea is "The stunning packaging", followed by "the taste of our teas". Goes to show the order of their priorities...


Yes, I agree 100%, minor_glitch. In my initial reponse, I consciously avoided the "s- words", viz. "snobby" & "snooty", but I would agree that they apply in this case.

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Tead Off » Mar 5th, '13, 23:00

Jungpana can often be bought online through sellers located in Darjeeling. Check some of the vendors and their pricing.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby sherubtse » Mar 5th, '13, 23:21

Tead Off wrote:Jungpana can often be bought online through sellers located in Darjeeling. Check some of the vendors and their pricing.


Indeed. For example:

http://www.darjeelingteaxpress.com/2012 ... k-tea.html

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Tead Off » Mar 6th, '13, 01:29

Prices seem to have risen dramatically. I found you can buy the teas for less money in Darjeeling than online at the same vendor! Why not fly there to get that discount? :D
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby chado.my.teaway » Mar 6th, '13, 12:18

Sikkim FF - its sweet. and floral;)
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Mar 7th, '13, 22:50

Yunnan gold from Rishi. Forgot I had some left in a can in the back of the tea drawer. Tasty and reliable, enough that I didn't really miss the osmanthus blossoms I usually add to black teas at home.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby sandra » Mar 8th, '13, 07:15

Assam Molkabari FTGOP1
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby AdamMY » Mar 9th, '13, 11:55

Yixing Red from Jing Tea Shop.
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