Need a reputable online tea source

I hope I don't turn this thread into advertisement for online tea websites, but I'm looking to buying my loose leaf teas online. I just can't trust the tea and herbal shop near me since the turnover of their bulk teas is not that high. Whole foods market has a pretty good selection, but I've seen better prices on Amazon.com
However, I've noticed teaspring.com has harvest dates which is great information to provide in my opinion. I"ve also liked Adagio. Other attributes like customer satisfaction, online security, and product consistency are preferable. Thanks for your help.
Reply to
Tea Sunrise
I've ordered from adagio, uptontea.com, specialteas.com and inpursuitoftea.com. I really liked adagio's oolongs. Both upton and special teas have very decent inexpensive teas like assams, keemuns, etc, but they also have more expensive teas as well. Upton in particular has several hundred types of tea to offer, so it can be a little intimidating when you're trying to pick something, but there are reviews and you can get samples.. Lately I've been buying from inpursuitoftea.com and the teas are amazingly good, especially golden yunnan and yinzhen silver needles, both are beyond description, but both are expensive. These are the more expensive teas I've bought so far so it may be that similar offerings from other stores are as good or better, but I can at least guarantee that these are top notch. You can search this group and there were many discussions about this.. In particular there is an imperial tea court that's well regarded and they offer samples, too, unlike inpursuitoftea. I've been eyeing puerhshop.com lately because I want some puerhs but haven't got anything there yet.
HTH..
Reply to
andrei.avk
HouDe is my favorite domestically as far as quality goes. Other faves: Teaspring, Jing's Tea Shop and Yunnan Sourcing and Dragon Teahouse (both on eBay). Shen
Reply to
Shen
I've stayed with Upton for awhile, and most of the tea I order is organic. I've had a problem with my local shop also, and I have three Japanese greens from there, but I think they're all stale. They kept them in glass jars and scooped from the middle of the pot. Upton's teas have always seemed fresh., and come in air tight envelopes. Toci
Reply to
toci
I'm basically right with Shen there, although I've never used Dragon Teahouse. Teaspring is in my opinion a mid to high grade vendor and the prices are perfectly in line. HouDe and Jing are certainly very high quality and again the prices are in line. Yunnan Sourcing is good for a few specific items and not much more in my book, but for some they would be fine all around.
Adagio is off my list completely. Upton's is still around my radar occasionally and for some of their lower priced offerings. O-cha and Hibiki-an for some Japanese greens since I'm not totally with Chinese greens yet. Beyond that I sometimes buy tea from a local shop who as in your case doesn't have the high turnover, but is fairly priced and never poor quality or stale.
- Dominic
At the risk of being a SpaceCowboy :) now for a totally unrelated aside. I brewed some Kona coffee in my Gaiwan today and it worked perfectly. It was just one of those moments when I wanted a cup of coffee but we have no office coffee pots and refuse to buy the garbage from Starbucks.
Reply to
Dominic T.

Try out
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Its a genuine site offering Black (CTC, ORTHODOX) , Green, White, 100% Darjeeling, 100% Organic (Darjeeling, Darjeeling Green & Assam CTC), is ISO 9001-2000, HACCP and NOP - NPOP - USDA certified. Regards.
Reply to
teapandya

I was homeroasting for a while a few years ago using a popcorn maker with a crank handle. Recently I bought a new supply of green beans and an electric popcorn maker for roasting. It's a million times easier and I always make freshly roasted/ground coffee now. Can't recommend it enough. Coffee is not nearly as good as the best teas but it works better with milk and is an interesting diversion sometimes. I use a plastic cup filter holder, put it above a carafe and pour water over it. It's a decent way to make coffee.. a french press is a step up and a vacuum maker is perhaps the best way to make coffee..
Reply to
andrei.avk

I like finding websites not mentioned here for rare Chinese teas in the sense nobody else seems to carry them. If the vendor can send me the Chinese characters for the tea name and takes PayPal I'll take a chance. I'm not a repeat customer. There are plenty of teas on sites mentioned here I've also never ordered. I still enjoy the hunt like my 'forever young' from SF Chinatown. It's the teas you don't know much about that taste the best. Pedigree is preferable but not a prerequisite in my case. I've also noticed if one vendor is charging that much more than another its not worth it. There are many intangibles like it may be a year old, but last year was better. My final advice if you can't speak to the owner don't even bother.
Jim
Reply to
Space Cowboy

Hi to all, I have bought tea online from all the afore mentioned as well. Also depends on whats your cuppa... Shanshui teas have very nice very quality teas, limited but a little bit expensive.. really good. Grand tea has some wonderful offerings seasonally as well as a web page, Yunnan sourcing seems to be well liked by most and me too, Tea Source fast good quality, Tea Embassy also fast and good quality, Holy mountain anything you may want and my very first chinese tea vendor..Kam at fun alliance with every tea pot you could ever want (china style). Of course Jings, high quality, and teaspring ofen recommended. I bought some very nice oolong from teafromtaiwan, And who doesnt love hou de... Jenn
Reply to
Jenn
Wow. I've never heard of some of these. Gotta go check them out. I'ld like to add a couple of sites, though their tea quality is only ... average. And, these are some VERY commercial sites to boot. But they do have some interesting offerings. The one that introduced me to the widest variety of teas in the beginning of my tea explorations was
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Later I found teavana.com, tazo.com, and infusion.com. In fact, I have local Infusion and Teavana stores (they also have brick-and-mortar) where I stop in to smell teas and try pots of new (to me) varieties, and occasionally purchase from them. Also, some Republic of Tea cannisters can be found at Books-a-Million, Borders, and Barnes and Noble (though selection is now usually limited to flavored teas, rooibos, and herbals mostly in bags).
I also visit a local Asian quarter (Little Saigon) in Orlando. There are several Asian grocers, but many of these teas are, well, cheap with strange flavor additions. Beyond the ginger, jasmine, and ginsing stuff.
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Reply to
yunomie
Tea Sunrise
I can see you are spoilt for choice here...
If you are interested to see which tea site attracts the most visitors, check out the link below...
Alexa has ranked the tea sites by traffic.
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Guess which are the top 3 tea sites?
Popularity is no guarantee of quality!
Julian
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Reply to
juliantai
I'll put in a plug for Sevencups.com. I've never bought from them mail- order since they're in town, and I haven't spent much time comparing prices, but I trust the owners and staff and that goes a long way for me. That is, I believe I'm getting what they say I'm getting.
Shout out to Yunnan Sourcing on ebay!
Alan
Reply to
Alan

well you got to start somewhere, and tea bag -> crap looseleaf tea --> better looseleaf tea --> the really good sh... stuff if you dont know how crap tastes... how do you know you have a good tea?
Reply to
SN
Two good vendors that I haven't seen mentioned yet:
Theteatable.com - They sell by the ounce at reasonable prices and with every order, they will give up up to five free samples (or a very nominal charge for the pricey teas- like white).
Enjoyingtea - Excellent prices, even though they don't sell anything less than 4 oz. They send them in air-tight, opague resealable bags. They also send various gift with certain purchases.
And while I haven't ordered from them, yet, I've heard wonderful things about dragonwater, too. The tea shop I goes to likes and uses them often. I plan to order a bunch when I get the chance.
Why are some people hating on Adagio? I was pretty impressed with their service and products.
Reply to
adverb
I wouldn't say hate, just that Adagio is simply outclassed and outperformed by many of the sites listed in this thread. They are a mid-grade vendor with prices that are mid to high. It's not a reason to hate them, and in some instances and niches they are viable, but just not for me and the tea and accessories I buy. I have also had down-right terrible teas and tisanes from them, so that combination means I can (and do) better elsewhere. That's all.
Also, just an FYI, Alexa rankings are basically useless outside of the SEO crowd/fad. A high Alexa rating is probably the best way to *rule out* serious tea vendors. Real tea is not what the average (non- teabag) person is seeking and buying online. They range from the cureall/health nut tea believers, to the trendy types who believe expensive and fancy websites equals "the best" tea... but not so much the true enthusiast. You'll never see Yunnan Sourcing, Houde, Jing, etc. on Alexa...
- Dominic
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Reply to
Dominic T.

I order lots of tea online - I find that local places frequently don't have the freshest tea.
My favorites and more: Ito-En - good size but not huge selection of high quality teas of all types, not cheap but always good quality. It is always fun to visit their store in NYC too.
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Well known, supposed to be very good, some teas very expensive though. I haven't tried them Imperial Tea Court (San Francisco based)
ShanShui - good Japanese and Taiwan green teas
Hou De - very good oolongs and sheng (green/raw) pu-erh
TeaMasters - based in Taiwan so good oolongs
Upton - huge selection, all price ranges. I find that while some of their Chinese greens are very good, they have many just ok teas (but reasonably priced). Can't beat their selection and quality/price ratio. Only once out of at least 30 teas did I get one that I thought was a bit old.
In Pursuit of Tea - looks interesting but haven't tried it.
Jing Tea - this is based in the UK and is different from Jing Tea Shop in China.
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They have good organic greens and their teas meet EU standards which are more stringent in terms of allowable pesticide residues than US requirements. Just received an order from there but haven't tried it yet.
Good Luck!
Reply to
dragonwelltea

Might I suggest Nothing But Tea Ltd in the UK
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I must declare an interest - which I do with pride - as it is my daughter's site. However, it has some interesting and unsusual teas (all loose, all orthodox) some of which I have had a technical involvement with the development of - and at last count it had more than 150 Camellia teas and herbals from 19 different countries/ regions. Nothing But Tea sells globally and is FDA registered (in fact the USA is our third biggest market). Worthy of a try.
Nigel at Teacraft
Reply to
Nigel

Is there a particular vendor that you feel is comparable to Adagio but with better prices? One thing about Adagio that I like is that they get their teas directly from the region. While there are other websites that do this, they charge a LOT more (like Rishi Teas).
And with the exception of Adagio, I agree with the comment about the top-ranking tea websites on Alexa. There are a lot of websites that unfortunately people have to find word of mouth. A lot of those popular vendors have a lot of presence in the marketplace and on grocery store shelves; something these internet-only places can't get.
Just like real coffee drinkers probably don't buy coffee at Starbucks. Heck, I try to avoid that whenever I can. Unfortunately, as they are buying up more places, this is becoming increasingly more difficult.
Reply to
adverb

waswww.republicoftea.com. Later I found teavana.com, tazo.com, and
Republic of Tea buys a great deal of their Chinese teas from Imperial Tea Court, San Francisco (wholesale). Shen
Reply to
Shen

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