prices have exploded - this is the wrong time!


We're always open to a little constructive criticism.

prices have exploded - this is the wrong time!

Postby pugetmarco » Mar 3rd, '09, 19:58

I have been a loyal customer and ardent support of Adagio for over 5 years. Why?
Adagio sells a broad selection of good teas. Some are Ok but most are very good, and a few are superlative. Also Adagio prices their teas fairly.

Upon visiting the website this week for another order, I was shocked to discover that prices have exploded in just a few months!!! This after prices had remained fairly level for some time...

For example the per ounce price for Ooh Darjeeling has increased over 60%. And the price for Darjeeling #1 has increased per ounce over 80%!!

Hello - please wake up and look around you. This country is in a deep recession. Many are out of work. Discretionary spending has been slashed. And much as I love the tea you sell, your products are discretionary spending.

Please reconsider your predatory pricing increases, immediately. Until I see Adagio get in step with the economic times, I am afraid you will be calling me a PAST customer.

Sadly in Seattle :(
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pricing explained

Postby ilya » Mar 3rd, '09, 20:57

I think there is a bit of confusion in the prices that I hope I can explain. The price of Oooh Darjeeling has gone from $27 for 8oz to $65 for 16oz. I think the price jump you are seeing does not take into account that you are getting twice the amount of tea. The real cost increase is closer to 20% when comparing apples to apples and is a result of this specific tea estate having converted to organic tea.

As for Darjeeling #1, the price was increased from $44/lb to $49/lb, an 11% increase from last year. Each year we sample a wide selection of teas from various farmers and make the selection that we think offers the best value. This year, we decided to bring in a higher grade of Darjeeling tea and that is the cause of the bump in price.

We are well aware of the price pressures that most people are experiencing and have kept the vast majority of our tea prices constant. In fact, we have not raised prices on our flavored teas in the last 8 years while continuing to increase quality each and every year. I think if you compare the value we offer versus our competitors, you will see that you do get a superior product.
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Postby beecrofter » Mar 3rd, '09, 21:05

And on a cost per serving basis even expensive tea makes coca cola or bottled water appear very expensive.
When money is tight go up a step or two in quality and down in quantity and you will appreciate things more.

Tom
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prices of teas

Postby pugetmarco » Mar 3rd, '09, 21:07

While the prices you quoted per pound are not doubt correct, your website indicates that 16 oz quantities are NOT available. When purchased in 6 oz quantities, the price increases I calculated are accurate.

So is Adagio going to make these teas available in 16 oz quantities at the lower per cup price you quoted below???
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Postby bsteele » Mar 3rd, '09, 21:45

If money truly is an issue, perhaps purchasing luxury goods right now is not the right thing to be doing.

Feed the pig.

... I'm just saying.
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Postby silverneedles » Mar 3rd, '09, 22:19

tea withdrawals can be rough tho :D
and tbags just dont hit the spot ...
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Postby woozl » Mar 3rd, '09, 22:30

Good tea can be pennies per cup.
Luxury?, I guess perspective is relevant.
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Postby bsteele » Mar 3rd, '09, 22:34

well i don't mean $100,000 car luxury... just not a necessity, if you get my drift. Though some will no doubt disagree ;)
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Re: prices of teas

Postby ilya » Mar 3rd, '09, 23:42

pugetmarco wrote:While the prices you quoted per pound are not doubt correct, your website indicates that 16 oz quantities are NOT available. When purchased in 6 oz quantities, the price increases I calculated are accurate.

So is Adagio going to make these teas available in 16 oz quantities at the lower per cup price you quoted below???


We are temporarily out of the 1lb bags in our California warehouse but should have be restocked by the end of next week.
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Postby Intuit » Mar 4th, '09, 00:48

Like the well-known tune, prices will rise inevitably, for the following reasons:

West Bengal tribes are in foment. Last year, and early this year, they demanded a change in the Darjeeling brand logo, and the implementation of a tax on buyers.

While the government and planters rejected the call for an excise tax, it's clear that the Gorkhaland (Sikkim hill tribes) are wanting autonomous control over local government policy and funding, calling themselves the '29th Indian State'. They have twice attempted crippling strikes of services and tea plantation harvest within the last year. I don't think this political problem is going to quietly go away.

Meanwhile, India and the UK/Europe have begun negotiations to develop and ratify quality 'definitions' on Darjeeling teaa. For every pound sold, three more pounds are labeled as 'Darjeeling', even though the content is a blend with lower quality teas or with Nepalese teas that taste similar to Darjeeling hills teas. India wants explicit definitions to protect brand name (Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri) because they fear loss of revenue from illegally labeled teas. A Japanese research institute has also reportedly isolated signature flavor/smell of Darjeeling teas, provoking fears that other tea growing areas may attempt to produce Darjeeling-like teas in the future.

And then we have the present issue of climate effect (prolonged drought) that will impact first and very possibly 2nd flush crop yield and quality.

This climate anomalie, 2007-08 cold phase ENSO, depressed ocean temps in the North Indian Ocean and altered general precipitation patterns in IndoAsian subcontinent. The ColdPhase ENSO reformed in Fall 2008 after having subsided in summer to net neutral conditions. This influx of cold water resulted in excessive wet and cold in the south (where cold and wet air masses collided). These storms adversely affected Autumn harvest in Sri Lanka. Ethnic warfare disrupted commerce as the government brought down heavy military strike action on the Tamil Tigers.

In Fall 2008, the resulting movement of drier air along the Indian east coast towards the north into the Lower Himalayan foothills; this dry air caused a drop in seasonal precipitation in October, producing daily shortages by late November that persist to the present.

Dry conditions thwart the setting of new leaves on tea plants during the cooler and wetter conditions of Fall/Winter in the foothills of Darjeeling.

So we have: a government/international trade crack-down on illegal marketing of the Darjeeling brand, tribal worker unrest, falling government tax revenues and support of utilities and consequent shortages of water and power to tea plantations, and climate-induced crop failure.

Be very, very glad if prices don't climb precipitously, shortly.

Since Ilya mentioned flavored black tea, another observation:

The VAST majority of new consumer interest in teas has centered on flavored black and on healthful green and oolong teas, to increase market share among unsophisticated consumers who are unfamiliar with quality teas, have zero palate conditioning towards teas in general, and thus prefer 'doctored' (flavored) teas, that function like tisanes. Low quality oolongs and green teas have been marketed specifically for weight-loss and health-improvement, respectively.

These teas are 'blender' types, average-to-lower quality than those of single source (gardens. estates, farms) teas. Synthetic and natural extracts, flowers and berries provide the majority of perceived flavor signature. Thus, flavored teas now dominate sales volume within the retail trade.

This ramp in interest in flavored teas has ultimately hurt quality tea sales, by encouraging tremendous growth in planting and production of inferior plants to meet impressive consumer demand for "heathy teas", especially after the post 9/11, Katrina, and Eastern Europe stability drain/recession began to fade in the US and Western European markets, and demand began to also rise in Asia (economic boom of the past decade). In recent years, dozens of reports of beneficial effect of tea drinking on body fat, cancer and chronic disease risks, including neurodegenerative respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Aggressive marketing of 'health teas' has played a significant role in expanding tea consumption throughout the world.

We also have an underlying issue - that which will not be spoken in public - of middlemen, and in some cases colluding vendors, that seek to manipulate the market, to keep supply low and demand up, even during tough economic times. This observed trend is true mainly for quality teas. Supply of some of these teas would be expected to be abundant due to increased production of mainstream cultivars and drop in consumer discretionary income in the past two quarters.

As I have alluded to in the past, this pattern is true for many products, mainly food commodities, paper and plastic products, oil and gas.

Need proof?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7924743.stm

Gas futures remain at very low pricing as of this week due to very weak demand and cashflow shortages. Lo and behold, gas prices at the pump have recovered 30% in the last month due to cut in global production, necessary to "stabilize eroding price" (read: gouge the West to shore up "falling revenues" for oil producing nations and the oil production cartels).

Meanwhile, finished oil products (lubes and diesel) have mysteriously gone UP, ins ome cases by >40% in the past 6 months. The cause? Distributor collusion to fix prices. No government has the balls to even investigate, their hands being full propping up a criminally negligent investment and banking industry.

Wasn't that JUST DUCKY that the US government dumped nearly all of its massed oil reserve supply in early 2008, and again in winter 2009? That helped boost oil prices to exorbitant levels by mid-2008 and a more recent return to higher pricing in early 2009. This pattern is of serious concern to consumers, as the price of food and home heating/energy has failed to drop with declining crude futures in late 2008 and early 2009.

Each and every major oil producer posted record profits in 2008, with a very modest decline in the fourth quarter, a telling sign of just how BIG the profits were in the first 3 quarters.

Going back to tea:

So we also have: suspected excess of teas that store well, sitting in cheap warehouses in the distribution grid, waiting for cash and credit market recovery. Demand has declined, and supply has yet to slow as farmers bring in crop under contract. Tea retail pricing has risen steadily, despite record supply, 2005-2008, suggesting a decoupling of demand from supply, clouded by dominant sales of flavored and 'heath' teas.

Welcome to the world of globalized supply and demand.

"On paper, it looked good".

Edited on 3/4 to improve readability.
Last edited by Intuit on Mar 4th, '09, 23:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Hard Times

Postby boywoodhe » Mar 4th, '09, 01:00

Times are hard for many people at this time.
If you do some reserch, you can find some websites that have discount prices and very good quality teas. I love adagio teas but the ones I like are a bit expensive. ( I will always be a adagio customer) :) So, What I do is, look at other websites that are competing with other tea sites. What really gets me most sites are asking for alot of money on shipping. Adagio is the second lowest on shipping on any amount of tea you buy. I wish adagio would have coupon codes that would have free shipping like other tea sites. ( without buying $50 of tea) :cry: When you are hooked on loose leaf it is hard to go to tea bags...in my opinion. :wink: My advise is to cut corners when you can and you can pm me and I can let you know the cheaper tea websites.

partea forever :wink:
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Postby kkthxby3 » Apr 29th, '09, 02:57

This thread seems pretty aged but I must say I'm impressed by the prices. I've only bought samples and ordered once since I started to drink tea for reals (As opposed to just on occasion just because) and well, the prices are good.

The nice tin can alone feels worth the $2 or however much for the sample sizes and I noticed some of the higher quality teas being more pricey but based upon what I'm drinking now from Adagio, you certainly get what you pay for.

Considering the large selection available as well as the nice packaging it's still a bargain than buying anything at the store AND we get rewards for writing reviews, 's crazy!

But yeah, times are rough and they ain't gonna be getting better anytime in the next four years but at least tea is one luxury the most of us can afford to keep. Which is another reason I started to drink tea, since not working at a coffee shop anymore and refusing to pay money for an espresso based drink where the "barista" can't steam the milk properly for adequate foam for the life of him and lets the shots expire well pass 15 seconds and me being too lazy to always clean up my own espresso machine at home, tea is the next best thing and I'm starting to think perhaps a better thing as there are so many options that I'm starting to discover.
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