Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

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Sep 12th 18 1:40 pm
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Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by Slop » Sep 12th 18 1:40 pm

Hi all! I'm new to this forum but have been indulging myself in the hobby for a few years now. Much to my misfortune, good tea is relatively hard to come by in where I live (Indonesia), with the closest to a high-quality tea brand that's available here being TWG Tea; the infamous MF ripoff.

Truth be told, much as loathe them for the ludicrous price tags they put on their products, I feel as though they offer genuinely good-quality leaves. Moreover, I'm actually rather fond of several of their blends. In short, I feel like they a good handful of their selection are genuinely good and somewhat worth buying (albeit an equally good lot of them are overly-perfumed, nauseating excuses of blends).

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Sep 13th 18 3:51 am
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Location: bangkok

Re: Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by john.b » Sep 13th 18 3:51 am

Oddly I've not tried TWG teas, in spite of writing a blog about teas based in Bangkok for the past 5 years. I guess I'm not curious enough about whether their products are completely mid-range or slightly above average.

I can easily pass on sources to do better. Lets's start with within Indonesia since two producers come to mind there:

http://www.tobawangi.com/products/speciality-tea/

http://www.harendong.com/

I like Toba Wangi's teas better but I've only tried a little from Harendong, and what I did try was pretty good. I have no experience with blends from Indonesia, besides trying out grocery store jasmine black teas, but both of those producers make great single type orthodox versions, good quality teas that don't need flowers or flavors added. It probably stands out those are not exactly sales websites, but it can't be that hard to sort out how to buy what they sell, it's not as if they're trying to restrict that as an option.

I'll mention two other vendors within SE Asia worth considering, one of my favorites from Vietnam, one of the best value vendors on the market, and an interesting option from Thailand, since I live here.

https://hatvala.com/

https://tea-side.com/

Both are sales websites. Hatvala actually does some blends, just not many. Their Earl Grey is the best I've tried, and their version of jasmine black tea is a couple of levels better than Indonesian grocery store versions. Basic oolongs they sell really stand out, in a broad range of types. As for Tea Side they sell a range of different things, including more pu'er options (Thai versions--a bit different), but a lot of that wouldn't appeal to anyone into blends. And they don't emphasize value quite as much, the pricing range is normal online retail level.

I'll mention one Chinese source I like, since it seems obvious enough that when ordering tea online it wouldn't make that much difference to buy it from China versus those other two countries just a bit further south:

https://www.farmer-leaf.com/

Again no blends being sold from them. Their black teas are probably slightly better than Tea Side's, at slightly lower cost, so per my experience they'd be a better option there. Tea Side stands out for selling teas that just don't come up, and it's not as if they're priced anywhere near the level TWG would be likely to be, for what is almost certainly much better tea.

I've reviewed a lot of options from all those vendors, in this blog:

http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot.com/

Sep 13th 18 4:05 am
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Re: Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by Slop » Sep 13th 18 4:05 am

Thanks ever so for your reply John! I'll most definitely check the sites you mentioned out. It would seem that my post was cut in half as it was too long, I'll post the other half here;

I was thinking of investing my loyalty and money in a brand more deserving of them. Do you lads have any suggestion as to where I can find equally good if not better tea that's readily available in Indonesia?

P.S I'd love to make online purchases, but my country is pretty much the quintessential geographical manifestation of poverty... As such, they generally charge exorbitant import taxes and I'd rather not spend more than I would buying TWG Teas...

Thanks in advance for your replies!

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Sep 13th 18 4:07 am
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Re: Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by Slop » Sep 13th 18 4:07 am

Also, have you by any chance tried Dammann Freres? Much to my surprise, they actually have one outlet in Jakarta.

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Sep 13th 18 4:44 am
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Re: Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by Slop » Sep 13th 18 4:44 am

One last thing, if you were to take budget out of the picture? What tea brands/vendors would you recommend to me? I'm willing to drop a good amount of money if it means I'm getting a bang's worth for my bucks.

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Sep 15th 18 1:39 am
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Re: Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by OCTO » Sep 15th 18 1:39 am

Slop wrote:One last thing, if you were to take budget out of the picture? What tea brands/vendors would you recommend to me? I'm willing to drop a good amount of money if it means I'm getting a bang's worth for my bucks.

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Hi Slop,

There are many quality tea that you can get your hands on when budget is not the main consideration. Especially where I come from, Penang, Malaysia.

Feel free to contact me and I’d be glad to show you around.

Cheers!

“Friendship over a cuppa.”


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Sep 17th 18 8:35 am
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Re: Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by 12Tea » Sep 17th 18 8:35 am

I've had several TWG teas. When you're looking for blends and when you're buying a gift, I think TWG is a good choice. For pure teas, they're somewhat overpriced, however, as a gift its ok, because they've better packaging. When I buy tea for myself, I usually get it from Teasenz or Teabox. Their shipping time to South Asia, should be about 1-2 weeks. So if you can wait, it's a good and affordable alternative to buying local.

Sep 17th 18 8:39 am
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 10th 18 10:45 am

Re: Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by Slop » Sep 17th 18 8:39 am

Thanks all for the response - I've decided to settle for Yunnan Sourcing for the time being though. How reputable are they?

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Sep 17th 18 12:51 pm
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Re: Good Tea Brands/Vendors in Southeast Asia?

by Louie Tuboro » Sep 17th 18 12:51 pm

Is it True that Red tea is much better than other tea?
I found a blog about this African red tea.
You may wanna check it here:
https://blogbuzz.guru/f/why-red-tea-is- ... -green-tea
:) :) :)