Where to find the best online loose leaf tea? To buy tea online and have it delivered to your door certainly is convenient and a time saver. Usually the main concern is that you do indeed end up with the type and quality of tea that you had in mind when you placed the order with the online tea store. Here are a few tips on how to find some good choices and options when ordering from online tea stores.
Buy Tea Online – Price and Quality
Buying tea is almost like buying wine, in the sense that there is such vast range of varieties, qualities and prices available. So first determine what you are looking for. If it is simply some low cost, commercially produced, loose leaf tea then you probably can’t go far wrong and most of the online tea stores should stock a basic range and it is just matter of finding a suitable priced pack of the particular tea variety you are looking for.
If you are looking to explore some higher end, specialty teas or maybe you are an experienced tea connoisseur and know exactly the tea you are looking for, then price and quality is important. If you already have an idea of the price of the tea you want and you check a few online stores and find similar prices, then it is a good indication that they may have the right grade and quality of tea you are looking for. With reputable and trusted tea stores you will most likely “get what you pay for”. If a store if offering the same tea at a much lower price, obviously the quality would be questionable.
Delivery Time – Buying Locally versus Buying from Overseas
If you are OK with waiting a week or two or three, sometimes buying direct from an online store based in the a tea growing region such as China, Taiwan, Japan, India or Sri Lanka can be beneficial. Shipping costs are usually higher, but if this can be offset by the lower price of the tea and possibly a higher grade and better quality tea, then this can be a good buying option for buying tea online. Some specialty teas and rarer tea varieties may not so readily available locally or the variety it limited in which case ordering from an overseas store is the only option.
Rating, Reviews and comments
Check out the product ratings if the online store has this feature and read other buyers reviews and comments. These can be very helpful in determining if it is the right store for you to buy from.
Samplers and small quantity orders
Some online tea stores can provide inexpensive sampler packs which are a great way to get an opportunity to taste some teas from a supplier without “gambling” on an investment in a bigger package and ending up being disappointed. Or simply buying the smallest quantity package available initially can be a good strategy when experimenting with a new online tea store.
Tea Tasting and Judging Tea Quality
This is a big subject and not a part of the scope of this article, but just a brief note in regards to comparing teas from different stores. Tea tasting can be a bit subjective at times and different things like our moods, our feelings, the ambiance and surroundings, not to mention the water, the tea ware used, slight variations in steeping time, water temperature and amount of tea leaves used can all play a part in the how the tea taste and quality is perceived. Then, of course the actual grade and quality of the tea leaves is the biggest factor. But all that to say that the best way to judge and compare 2 or more different batches of the same tea is to brew them at the same time using the same measurements and tea ware. (Buy tea tasting cup sets here) Then it is usually pretty easy to tell the difference. Then again some tea people are not be so particular with their tasting and comparing and prefer to simply take each new tea on its own merits.
How to Find Online Tea Stores
There are lot of good teas available on Amazon nowadays and this can be a good place to check and compare prices. Searching on Google or Bing or Yahoo will also bring up plenty of places. You can also search and ask question in platforms like Reddit and Quora and get some good advice.
Some Online Tea Stores Suggestions
Here are a few recommended stores to buy tea online including a link to our Zi Chun Tea Store on Amazon
There are also a few recommended online stores I listed in article HERE that I wrote recently.
If you have any more helpful tips on how to find best online loose leaf tea be sure to let us know in the comments box below.