One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

Comprehensive member driven guide to vendors of all teas

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Nov 28th 13 8:51 pm
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One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by bambooforest » Nov 28th 13 8:51 pm

Not sure if this has ever been asked, but I think it's a fun question:

If you could only get tea from one vendor for the rest of your life, what vendor would that be?

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Nov 28th 13 11:17 pm
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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by Poohblah » Nov 28th 13 11:17 pm

I think the answer to this question depends on your preference for variety as opposed to quality. There are many good vendors for many kinds of teas, but in general, you have to trade selection and price for quality when looking at a single vendor. Here are a few good vendors at various points in this spectrum (listed from more variety/low quality/low price to high quality/less variety/high price):
  • Rishi tea
  • Dragon Tea House
  • Yunnan Sourcing
  • Ippodo
  • NadaCha / Essence of Tea
  • Best Tea House
Ippodo is the only Japanese vendor on this list, but based on my experience, I have yet to find a vendor of Japanese teas that beats Ippodo on price, quality, or selection.

I would probably choose one of the vendors listed here. At the moment I have been drinking a lot of Japanese teas, so I would probably choose Ippodo.

There are many vendors, especially boutique or "indie" vendors, that I have tried recently that have treated me well, but they are mostly too narrowly-focused and I would get bored of having the same kind of tea over and over again.

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Nov 29th 13 4:04 am
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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by Joel Byron » Nov 29th 13 4:04 am

An impossible question. Is it cheating if I say the OTTI?

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Nov 29th 13 12:36 pm
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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by Chip » Nov 29th 13 12:36 pm

Joel Byron wrote:An impossible question. Is it cheating if I say the OTTI?
Ha, brilliant (loophole)! :lol:

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Nov 30th 13 7:44 am
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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by bambooforest » Nov 30th 13 7:44 am

Right this second, I'd probably go with Rishi Tea.

Here's why:

I have deep love for Japanese green tea, but also have intense love for Taiwanese oolong. And, also, I enjoy black tea's such as Darjeeling and Yunnan.

Further, Rishi is an unusual vendor in that they have specially sourced teas throughout the year that are air shipped that they sell for a limited time. These teas are always changing and are often quite good.

They have a good amount of air shipped Japanese shincha's at the beginning of each Spring; I could easily stock up on those. They air ship Taiwanese high mountain oolongs occasionally. They always seem to have good blacks on hand.

In other words: Rishi would allow me to enjoy the entire world of tea with pretty good quality and sometimes really good.

Do I buy from Rishi often? No. I don't. Do I think other vendor's have better selection and variety of other specific teas? Yes.

But if it had to be just one vendor, it would be Rishi.

And there's no way I'd select a vendor that didn't sell Japanese green tea: That's a must.

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Dec 3rd 13 3:51 pm
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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by MEversbergII » Dec 3rd 13 3:51 pm

I am also going to select Rishi. Their variety is good, and their quality is good.

M.

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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by toasterburn » Dec 3rd 13 4:22 pm

Adagio is the only vendor I have tried so far, so I would choose them not having any other experience to go on. That said, I have now tried like 15 of their teas, and all but one have been fantastic. So I'd be quite happy sticking with them.

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Dec 3rd 13 5:39 pm
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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by Devoted135 » Dec 3rd 13 5:39 pm

Oh man, these types of questions are always so tough! If I could have three, I would choose Origin Tea for oolongs, O-cha for japanese greens, and Adagio for blacks. I'm guessing that if I had to choose only one it would be Origin Tea, or possibly either Ippodo or EoT but I haven't tried those two vendors yet so I'm not sure... Thankfully, this is only a hypothetical exercise!

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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by William » Dec 3rd 13 7:19 pm

It depends from what type of tea I want to drink for the rest of my life! :D
Essence of Tea for Pu'er, Taiwan Tea Crafts for taiwanese oolong, Hojo Tea for both.
But I have to try so many teas and vendors that makes this reply only partially complete!

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Re: One Vendor for The Rest of Your Life

by msurads06 » Dec 8th 13 1:09 am

I would probably go with Rishi because I like blacks, greens and puerh, and I need to be able to order some caffeine free tisanes for cold nights.

I normally order primarily from Dens and Norbu. Norbu would probably be my second choice because I like Norbu's selection/quality and I really like the fact that even at "standard" shipping rates I usually get my box the next day since I'm only about 2 hours from the dallas area.