Tea is an interesting commodity in that it really is both widely sold online, and in brick-and-mortar stores. Whether you’re the die-hard tea enthusiast or lifetime tea drinker, or are just engaging in the drink, you may be wondering be it a better choice to buy through online stores, or local tea shops.
Right here I give a guide to help you decide which choice works best for you.
Pros and cons of purchasing online
Buying tea online has got the advantage of opening up a staggering amount of variety. Nearly all tea companies have online stores, and with increased globalization, it is actually possible to find companies that direct-ship from countries of tea creation, such as China or India. Internet shopping also opens up the possibility for buying the top-quality loose-leaf artisan teas.
There are many disadvantages to online shopping. One is delivery; thankfully, for tea, this value is usually relatively low, but it could be substantial when you only want to purchase a small amount. Online shopping is not suited for a small or casual purchase of the single item; it only is practical for bulk ordering. When shipping overseas, where costs might operate as high as $15 for a box associated with teas, you need to make an even larger purchase to make the balance worthwhile.
One more disadvantage is that the staggering amount of range can be intimidating. How do you know what corporation to buy from when there are literally hundreds to choose from? And many of these companies, in turn, have hundreds of teas within their catalogs.
Buying online is best when you wish to buy a relatively large shipment associated with loose-leaf tea, when you already have an idea of what you are looking for, when you are price-conscious and want to get the best quality and the cheapest prices.
Pros and cons of buying an a brick-and-mortar store
Local brick and mortar stores offer a very different sort of advantages more than online buying. One is sampling: you will see, and often smell (and in some shops, even brew and taste) the products you are interested in, before buying them. The face-to-face contact with staff, often the owner within very small businesses, can be useful too, particularly if the employees are knowledgeable. Local businesses can also impart a sense of neighborhood, so you’re not just buying teas, but contributing to the local community in your city or town. And lastly, if you reside near a business, it is easy to drop in casually for a quick, small buy of a single item.
The biggest drawback to local stores is lack of accessibility. Many people in the U. S. don’t live near any stores promoting good loose-leaf tea. Some stores might have a good selection, but not have the best quality or freshness of their teas. Other tea shops might be great, but not cover the sort of item you’re looking for (British tea culture and Japanese tea culture, for example , can be pretty non-overlapping).
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So what makes sense for me personally?
My quick answer would be: this will depend. It depends on what you’re looking for, and it depends on where you live and what sorts of businesses are in your area. Buying online is better for reduce tea, the best quality, getting the best offers, and making large purchases. Buying locally is best for supporting your local local community, having face-to-face interactions, seeing the product you’re getting up-close, and for producing small, casual purchases.
Alex Zorach is the founder and editor of RateTea, a social review site for tea drinkers. The site includes a wealth of information about different styles and regions of production, lists of manufacturers, and reviews of specific teas, as well as local place reviews. Check out our tea map to find nearby businesses in your area.