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How to Buy The Best Tea Online
If you’re a tea lover whose been unsure about buying good quality tea online, then here are a few tips to help you source the best.
Buying tea online can seem like being stranded in the middle of an ocean. Maybe, not that extreme, but pretty much. You’re not able to see the seller, neither the shop, nor the quality of it’s offerings. But, it isn't that bad actually; you just need to keep a few things in mind when shopping for tea online.
Buying the best quality tea online
Shopping from the big brands doesn't necessarily mean quality - The names that you commonly get to see at the malls and tourist shopping joints, are the ones you need to steer clear of. More often than not, the tea available with these brands are brought in bulk through brokers and middlemen, mixed with flavors and spices heavily, and sold at standardized rates. The heavy flavoring often makes it difficult to recognize the underlying flavor of the tea. Though they can be better than the tea bags, they are definitely not anywhere close to the best stuff.
Look for smaller sellers instead - The best quality teas are the ones that have been picked by the shop owner, or in his presence from individual tea farms. These are typically small propriety websites, that store a few selections of tea, and in limited quantity. They don’t engage in advertising much and are passionate about their offerings. In fact, some of the best teas available in the world, are sold through private deals, and never really make it to wholesale sellers. These shop owners, though operating in a small scale, are proud and passionate about their offerings, and love to share their knowledge and experiences through their blogs mostly. When looking for product descriptions, consider reading about the farming methods and techniques that have been sued to harvest and process the tea.
E-stores that change their offerings as per season - Tea is a seasonal herb, and should be consumed within a few months. While there are many teas that taste better with age, consuming them within a year at maximum is always recommended. Hence, when buying tea online, consider shops that change their offerings on a seasonal basis.
Inquire - By far, talking to someone experienced is way better a way to learn more about the tea that’s being offered, than reading through a stereotype, limited-in-scope, FAQ page. When buying tea online, you should definitely consider this. Most such stores, will have people willing to share their tea experiences and knowledge with you. Some may not be as willing, but will definitely answer a few quick questions.
Be prepared to pay more - Take it for a fact that all expensive tea is not necessarily good, and all good teas are not necessarily expensive. That said, good quality tea will cost you considerably more than the rates offered at the malls and tourist stores. Understand that there’s a cost for the care and skill with which that tea has been grown and processed. And, hence, paying those extra bucks shouldn't pinch you that hard.