Thursday, January 22, 2009

Step 2:Embracing your problem

So i've admitted i have a problem.

That problem being, i have too much tea. Yet at the same time it's nice to have a good selection! It's not that i've wasted money buying this tea, instead i've invested in a multi-beverage choice.

While researching (or procrastinating) i tripped upon Adagio Teas. At Adagio they not only sell tea and tea accessories but you can also create your own blends of tea for yourself and others to purchase. In addition they also sport their very own tea community! You can chat it up, look up tea parlors near where you live (and they're ranked!) members are also able to post up their blogs, and read a monthly newsletter from tea experts and aficionados.

Of course this discovery prompted me to buy more tea.


Through teachat i've also located some other online tea retailers (some even have real brick and mortar building in states surrounding me!) who i've started to eyeball. It's interesting to note the price difference in Adagio and Teavana. At Adagio you're able to buy a 'sample' size with is about 1oz of tea, this translates into about 10 servings of tea. these one oz samples are really very affordable and offer a very easy way to try a tea to know if you will like it or not. It's a nice change from teavana where you're discouraged from buying a cup of tea, and instead urged to buy a 2oz "sample" of loose tea, which, in the case of the black dragon pearls, can cost you $15. Ouch.

Price seems to not always reflect on the quality of tea that you'll recieve. While I have not yet recieved shipment from Adagio (it's supposed to come tomorrow though :3) from the online community i beleive that i can expect some rather good teas! and since none of the samples that i bought were over $5/oz, and it looks like very few actually are on adagio, the price seems to be right. While i do enjoy going into a store, smelling the tea, watching them measure it out, and even chatting up other shoppers, i think that i might have to stay away from teavana in the future, if only because their teas are a bit overpriced. "how unfair!" you might say, but let us look at the price differences using a common Gunpowder Green Tea.

At Teavana Gunpowder Green Tea is $2.25/oz no matter how much you buy. At Adagio it's $2.00/oz, but when you buy more it also becomes cheaper per oz, eventually reaching $1.00/oz if you buy an entire pound. That can become a large difference. An especially nice extra is that Adagio also packages their samples, 4oz, 6oz, and 12oz measures in TINS, the price of which isn't in addition to your price. They also have a nice promotion where older members can send $5 gift certs to people that have not yet shopped with Adagio, and who doesn't like free stuff? (this is also in addition to the free tin of the zodiac blend i received and the free tin of the tea of the month. lots of goodies! let me know if you want one!)

Tins are important for tea storage for many reasons. Air and Light both can affect tea. Since most tea is best when consumed within a year of it's production, airtight, opaque containers are important to keep tea at it's best quality for the longest amount of time. while bags can do the job, tins are preferable, especially when you take into account the fact that you can reuse them over and over.

an enlightening tea-escapade if you ask me :3

in other news, according to a British newspaper 3 cups of tea a day can cut breast cancer risk by 1/3, all this according to a survey done in a cancer center in FL. Although this only applies to women under 50, it's an interesting statement, especially given that the health benefits, or detriments, of tea has yet to be fully explored.

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