New Century Tea Gallery samples


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New Century Tea Gallery samples

Postby RussianSoul » Sep 4th, '08, 10:31

Has anyone ordered samples from New Century Tea Gallery?

What is the size of them - an ounce? a half an ounce? How much tea do you get for $4.99 a sample?

I sent NCTG an email, but they are being poky about answering.
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Sep 4th, '08, 10:35

Good luck with that. I put in an order with them and never heard anything back-- pretty disappointing, as I heard good things about their teas. At least they didn't charge me.
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Postby RussianSoul » Sep 4th, '08, 12:29

This doesn't sound very promising, scruff! :(

Anyone had a better experience?
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Postby tenuki » Sep 4th, '08, 13:56

I would guess calling to order may be a better strategy. Also, some of their best tea isn't listed on the internet site. If you do call ask for their recommend, tell them what you like. I'm lucky, I'm in Seattle. Always had good experience with them, great source for chinese tea.

BTW RS, was in Chicago last weekend for the jazz festival. I love that city!
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Re: New Century Tea Gallery samples

Postby wyardley » Sep 4th, '08, 15:17

RussianSoul wrote:Has anyone ordered samples from New Century Tea Gallery?

What is the size of them - an ounce? a half an ounce? How much tea do you get for $4.99 a sample?


Is this the one in Seattle Chinatown? I stopped by there when I was in Seattle (hadn't heard of it, but saw it and decided to stop in since I needed a caffeine fix). They wouldn't bargain with me on price, so I didn't buy anything, because I didn't really need anything and was just going to buy something so as to not try and run.... anyway, they have some decent-ish mainland teas there. Their Dan Cong was pretty decent to my taste for the price. I tried their Menghai gong ting loose ripe pu'er, which they claim has been aged for 16 years. To me, it was Ok, but not the greatest example of this genre, and I'm not even that picky about shu pu'er. Their Da Hong Pao wasn't expensive, but the dry leaf had an odd off-smell to me. I didn't like most of their teapots; they had some Ok porcelain, but a lot of it was overpriced. I asked Shiuwen at Floating Leaves about them and she said they were pretty good.

I guess they used to be a furniture store, but they've been doing only tea for a few years. The people who run it are older Cantonese folks, so I would try just calling them on the phone.

Some pics from the shop:
Image
Image
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Postby RussianSoul » Sep 4th, '08, 16:01

Thanks, tenuki and wyardley! I will try to call them.

wyardley - great write-up and photos! Thanks for sharing!

tenuki - I suppose time was tight with the Jazz fest and family. But next time do let me know. We'll have tea... or go the Art Institute... or somethin'.
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Re: New Century Tea Gallery samples

Postby Geekgirl » Sep 4th, '08, 17:12

wyardley wrote:
Is this the one in Seattle Chinatown? I stopped by there when I was in Seattle (hadn't heard of it, but saw it and decided to stop in since I needed a caffeine fix). <...snip...>

The people who run it are older Cantonese folks, so I would try just calling them on the phone.

Some pics from the shop:


I have to say this did not jive with my experience of the shop at all, which I found really fantastic. Also, the people I dealt with both days, who said they were owners are a younger couple (late 30s, early 40s) with a young son. Some of the teawares were expensive and some were quite reasonable.

I did not attempt to dicker on the price, it wasn't a flea market, and the prices were in line with what other fine tea places charge. I didn't feel it was gratuitous. I'm unsure of mail order or phone order with them, as I have been able to visit the actual location twice. (And plan to do so again.)
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Re: New Century Tea Gallery samples

Postby wyardley » Sep 4th, '08, 17:33

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote:
wyardley wrote:I have to say this did not jive with my experience of the shop at all, which I found really fantastic. Also, the people I dealt with both days, who said they were owners are a younger couple (late 30s, early 40s) with a young son. Some of the teawares were expensive and some were quite reasonable.

I did not attempt to dicker on the price, it wasn't a flea market, and the prices were in line with what other fine tea places charge. I didn't feel it was gratuitous. I'm unsure of mail order or phone order with them, as I have been able to visit the actual location twice. (And plan to do so again.)


Did I say anything bad about it? The way you said that makes me think you thought I did, but I certainly didn't intend to say that I had a bad experience there.

As far as saying some of the porcelain was overpriced, I saw the exact same set of a gaiwan, cha hai, and 6 cups that costs $55 at Wing Hop Fung in LA for $100. That's a pretty big difference in price.

The "value" of tea is difficult to determine, since unless you have an incredible palate and a lot of experience and knowledge about tea, it's often difficult to determine if a tea is worth what someone is selling it for. Also, some vendors are closer to the source than others, and some have more overhead (depending on location, how much business they get, etc.). I didn't think their prices were unreasonable, however, bargaining is pretty normal, even if a vendor claims they don't inflate their prices or that they can't afford to sell you something cheaper. I think it's reasonable to expect that the listed prices at most tea shops, especially a tea shop in a Chinatown type area, will be inflated a good bit above their actual value. If I had really wanted the teas, maybe I would have bought them anyway, or at least offered a little more. And if the owner had really wanted to sell the tea, she would have given me a better price.

I may have been in a more skeptical mood than usual since I hadn't heard of any places worth visiting in Seattle besides Floating Leaves before the trip, and just happened upon the shop. But like I said in my post, I was pleasantly surprised with the stuff I tried there, and the woman I spoke to was pleasant enough, though I think we had some communication issues / cultural barriers - I think she misunderstood a couple things that I said. I don't know if I would mail-order from them specifically, but I would certainly visit them to try teas if I were in the Seattle area.

I don't mean older in the sense of old old... I guess I meant that they weren't from the super computer-savvy generation. I would have pegged the woman who was there when I visited (I believe one of the owners) as a bit older than you described, but age is always hard to peg. One son was there too, maybe 8-12ish?

Anyway, I just got the sense that one might have more luck calling them on the phone, especially since the OP said they hadn't had any responses from their email.
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Postby tenuki » Sep 4th, '08, 19:42

Here are a couple tea related places worth visiting in Seattle since we are on the topic, forget if I've posted this or not before:

Of course Floating Leaves Tea - at a new location, small shop, no tables, but you can sit and talk to Shuiwen as she brews you tea, which is better anyway. :) Shuiwen is a Seattle tea treasure, be sure to ask her about western brewing styles and what her suppliers have to say about that.

New Century Tea Gallery - discussed above. It's my preferred source for chinese tea. Very important to ask them for specific stuff and make sure to sample everything. They get a lot of disinterested tourists killing time and it takes a half hour or so for them to figure out that you are serious about tea.. ;)

Uwajimaya - if you don't have one in your town. 2 blocks from NCTG and Panama Hotel and Tea. Japanese grocery store, has very good tea section and also find the matcha/cerimony counter for decent and reasonably priced chawan and utensils. Even their store brand matcha is decent.

Panama Hotel and Tea (two blocks up the hill from NCTG) - Good place for a light lunch, their paninis are decent and their teas are good. Mostly it's a pretty cool historic place.

Miro Tea in Ballard. You have to ask them for gong fu service, but their regular service is nice bodum lechine with a timer and tealight warmer, so that's ok too. Some of the staff isn't trained very well, but the tea is pretty good and the selection is great. Go on Sunday and get the bonus of a great farmers market on the street in front of it. They have some fantastic teas, my usual order is their gold standard yunnan, but most of their higher end teas are good.

Remedy Tea in Capital Hill. Again, you have to ask for gong fu service and sometimes explain it to them and half their menu is tissanes and flavored tea, but there are some very good teas too there amongst the new age crap. Unexpected selection of puerh, some of it even good. Their WuYi is my usual order. Be sure to specify the water temp, the amount of tea etc.

Teahouse Kuan Yin in Wallingford. Not the best trained staff, but the teas are good and reasonably priced. Again, you have to ask for gong fu service and then explain what to put on the tray. ;) Eat there too, you might be suprised.


The tea ceremony in the Japanese Gardens -


In general:

A ferry ride, don't leave Seattle without one! My recomend is to take the ferry to Paulsbo, there are some britishy tea shops there, a bit touristy and not top quality tea, but beautiful and fun. If you can figure out how to return after dusk coming into seattle on a ferry at night is awesome, but the shops close early at Paulsbo, so beware of that.

Pikes Place Market - 3 girls bakery, Beecher's Cheese, Market Magic Shop, The Great Windup, (there are more, but if you hit those places you will walk by most others, there is a tea shop in the alley, but I'm not a big fan.)
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Postby hop_goblin » Sep 4th, '08, 21:21

Looks interesting!
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Postby henley » Sep 4th, '08, 21:39

tenuki wrote:Here are a couple tea related places worth visiting in Seattle...
Wow!!! I need a trip to Seattle! No wonder you had so many great teas to add to the oolong box.

tenuki wrote:I would guess calling to order may be a better strategy.
Thanx for the advice on ordering from NCTG. :wink: Plan on getting some teas from them w/i the next few weeks. The Shui Xian from them is one of my favorites!
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Postby chamekke » Sep 4th, '08, 22:08

Thank you, tenuki, for listing all those wonderful Seattle tea sites!

I am going to bookmark this thread in preparation for my next visit :D
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Postby Geekgirl » Sep 4th, '08, 23:16

chamekke wrote:Thank you, tenuki, for listing all those wonderful Seattle tea sites!

I am going to bookmark this thread in preparation for my next visit :D


AAAAAANNND... You're going to let me know when the next visit is, right? I'm just a cheap train ride away from Seattle - one of my favorite cities, and I almost don't need an excuse to visit, but that would be a good one. :lol:
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Postby chrl42 » Sep 4th, '08, 23:27

One of the coolest tea tray I've ever seen..
thnx for posting the pic.
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Postby chamekke » Sep 4th, '08, 23:27

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote:
chamekke wrote:Thank you, tenuki, for listing all those wonderful Seattle tea sites!

I am going to bookmark this thread in preparation for my next visit :D


AAAAAANNND... You're going to let me know when the next visit is, right? I'm just a cheap train ride away from Seattle - one of my favorite cities, and I almost don't need an excuse to visit, but that would be a good one. :lol:


Sure thing, Geekgirl!
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