White tea in Time


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

White tea in Time

Postby Trey Winston » Jan 17th, '09, 10:05

I just got the latest Euro issue of Time today, and imagine my delight at seeing a little article about tea on page 50. Here it is:

http://www.time.com/time/travel/article/0,31542,1871630,00.html

It's entitled Storming the Teacup, and it's about a company called the Rare Tea Company, which imports and sells "unusual teas". The story is illustrated with a decent photo of their Silver Tip tea, and white tea is mentioned throughout the half-page story. There's also a short list of tips for brewing, and it recommends steeping Silver Tip for 4-6 minutes :shock:

The story makes a big deal out of loose leaf teas, as if they are some sort of novelty. Here in Europe, it's probably accurate.

It's rare to see white tea mentioned in mainstream media, so I just thought I'd share :)
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Postby Victoria » Jan 17th, '09, 10:16

Thanks! It is strange for us to see it as such a novelty, but it's great that the word is getting out nonetheless.
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Postby Sydney » Jan 17th, '09, 10:55

If more people discover tea, won't the price go up?

Maybe we should really be trying to convince people that it's tasteless at best, health food tasting otherwise, and causes nerdism.
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Postby Drax » Jan 17th, '09, 10:56

el padre wrote:If more people discover tea, won't the price go up?


Yeah, that's what I'd be worried about! Popularity increase often = drop in quality and increase in cost.
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Postby Trey Winston » Jan 17th, '09, 11:45

el padre wrote:If more people discover tea, won't the price go up?

Maybe we should really be trying to convince people that it's tasteless at best, health food tasting otherwise, and causes nerdism.


Shouldn't be a problem, because all those things are completely true for white tea :D
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Postby Beidao » Jan 17th, '09, 13:24

I don't think loose tea is a novelty in Europe, really. Not more than in the US. Of course there's a lot of people drinking only bagged tea, but there are lots drinking low quality loose leaf tea too. It's expensive unscented tea with strange names that is a novelty, at least in Stockholm.
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Postby Shelob » Jan 17th, '09, 13:49

Trey Winston wrote:
el padre wrote:If more people discover tea, won't the price go up?
Maybe we should really be trying to convince people that it's tasteless at best, health food tasting otherwise, and causes nerdism.


Shouldn't be a problem, because all those things are completely true for white tea :D


Trey, I like your sense of humor, it is refreshing to see someone joke about 'teas' they really enjoy! Thanks for the levity :wink:
.
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Postby Salsero » Jan 17th, '09, 17:32

Beidao wrote: I don't think loose tea is a novelty in Europe, really. Not more than in the US. Of course there's a lot of people drinking only bagged tea, but there are lots drinking low quality loose leaf tea too. It's expensive unscented tea with strange names that is a novelty, at least in Stockholm.
I think the level of ignorance is about the same in US and Europe. Our European friends get an unrealistic picture of US tea habits when they spend time in this forum. The people in this forum are a tiny, tiny percent of the general US population.
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Postby gingkoseto » Jan 17th, '09, 20:53

Drax wrote:
el padre wrote:If more people discover tea, won't the price go up?


Yeah, that's what I'd be worried about! Popularity increase often = drop in quality and increase in cost.


Price should go down. Tea price (not including tea bags) is very high in the west, partially due to the small market. Every customer pays a share of manufacture fix cost (which is fix no matter how many customers are out there). The more customers, the smaller amount of fix cost each customer shares.

And if the market is larger, more sellers will be more confident to carry tea and more varieties of tea. Customers benefit from competition too. :D
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Re: White tea in Time

Postby gingkoseto » Jan 17th, '09, 21:05

Trey Winston wrote:There's also a short list of tips for brewing, and it recommends steeping Silver Tip for 4-6 minutes :shock:


The top grade silver needle (which I can't normally afford :P ) can take even longer (about 10min) in brewing. It was made with very gentle process and cells are not as torn as cells of most other teas that went through much rubbing. So it takes longer time for the leaves to receive hot water. If two silver needle products look the same from the appearance, usually the one whose leaves take more time to sink and take more time to turn the tea water yellowish, is the better one.

Actually I heard Europeans has got long history of having white tea. What I heard is, even though silver needle was very expensive in 19C, royal family or whoever can afford it would put some in black tea, mainly for its decoration effect because it looks gorgeous in the cup. It was also a way to show the guest that he was well treated. Is this true?
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Postby Pentox » Jan 17th, '09, 21:06

gingko wrote:Price should go down. Tea price (not including tea bags) is very high in the west, partially due to the small market. Every customer pays a share of manufacture fix cost (which is fix no matter how many customers are out there). The more customers, the smaller amount of fix cost each customer shares.

And if the market is larger, more sellers will be more confident to carry tea and more varieties of tea. Customers benefit from competition too. :D


Hm, I wonder about that though. It becomes a much higher question of supply though. Price would go down if supply can keep up with demand. If a larger demand ends up driving more production, then I worry about quality. It may be that production goes up, but in it's mass production quality is lower for mass produced product. This would cause high quality product to go up in price, but mediocre product would drop in price.
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Postby Drax » Jan 17th, '09, 21:19

Pentox wrote:
gingko wrote:Price should go down. Tea price (not including tea bags) is very high in the west, partially due to the small market. Every customer pays a share of manufacture fix cost (which is fix no matter how many customers are out there). The more customers, the smaller amount of fix cost each customer shares.

And if the market is larger, more sellers will be more confident to carry tea and more varieties of tea. Customers benefit from competition too. :D


Hm, I wonder about that though. It becomes a much higher question of supply though. Price would go down if supply can keep up with demand. If a larger demand ends up driving more production, then I worry about quality. It may be that production goes up, but in it's mass production quality is lower for mass produced product. This would cause high quality product to go up in price, but mediocre product would drop in price.


Yes, this is what I worry about. You might have seen some of the articles floating around about the 'burst bubble' in the pu-erh market. An article claimed 1/3 of the pu-erh companies went out of business (numbering around... 1000 i think?). That increase in the number of people selling pu-erh was due to lots of people rushing in to make money off of a fad. Given that pu-erh is not something anybody can pick up in a year or two (let alone ten) and create a good product, what was the likely quality of all that stuff flooding the market? Meanwhile, everybody jacked up the price because... well, people were paying for it! Normally competition can drive down prices, but when demand skyrockets to... um, "irrationally exuberant" levels, then watch out :D

It's probably one of those situations where -- if you know a good vendor and a good source, then hang onto it, because you're about to become awash in hundreds of (lower quality, most likely) imitators.
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Postby Beidao » Jan 18th, '09, 13:44

I looked through the Rare Tea Co. site and I would not buy there usual teas, only the limited editions. They have teas called "oolong" and "green tea" without any information expect saying it's high quality and good for your health. Not even the pages with extended information says what it really is. It bothers me lots.
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Postby Shelob » Jan 19th, '09, 11:59

Beidao wrote:I looked through the Rare Tea Co. site and I would not buy there usual teas, only the limited editions. They have teas called "oolong" and "green tea" without any information expect saying it's high quality and good for your health. Not even the pages with extended information says what it really is. It bothers me lots.


I agree and good advice. :wink:
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