Tea Vendors Who Generalize

Your journey into the world of tea may have started with a tea bag filled with black tea dust, but as you travel, you discover a whole new vista of tea enjoyment. Teas from the African continent, various Asian countries, India and Sri Lanka, and even such not-so-readily-thought-of places as Brazil, Hawaii, South Carolina, and the U.K. will start to come into view. To savor each one, you can go from tea vendor to tea vendor or visit a vendor who generalizes.

The generalist tea vendor can supply all your tea needs in one-stop shopping. (Photo source: composite of screen captures from site)
The generalist tea vendor can supply all your tea needs in one-stop shopping. (Photo source: composite of screen captures from site)

Just as you would choose to shop for shoes at the shoe department of a big box store instead of at the local shoe boutique so that you can get a wider selection and possibly better prices, you can buy your oolong from a tea vendor who sells oolongs along with a host of other teas and so get your Japanese teas, that chamomile you love, a nice package of Irish Breakfast tea, and a flavored tea such as pumpkin spice all at the same time.

The generalist tea vendor has several advantages over tea vendors who specialize. They:

  • Can offer a wide variety of teas, not just a black tea, a white tea, a green tea, etc., but a number of black teas, white teas, green teas, etc.
  • Are able to cater to popular tastes by carrying an array of flavored teas, not just the classics of jasmine, Earl Grey, and spiced chais.
  • Include herbals in their line-up to round out the selection.
  • Update their offerings regularly in response to sales activity.
  • Extend beyond teas and herbals to a full range of teawares, from teapots and mugs, to cozies, warming stands, strainers, and more.

Let me further illustrate: I recently went shopping for an external data storage solution. It was for an old computer on its last legs (I wanted to be able to copy off data before wiping the hard drive and sending the machine to its final resting place). Several options were available. I could have gone to a specialist store that carried only a particular brand and style (flash drives, external hard drives, writable DVDs, etc.) but I went to an electronics store. They were noisy and busy and carried such an array of products that I had to really focus on what I’d come in there for in the first place (a drawback to any generalist store).

A new flash drive seemed to be the best option, and the prices had come way down from when such drives were first introduced on the market. Once deciding on that general category, I then had to narrow down the choices: a smaller one of 2GB for $5.95 or one larger (up to 32GB drive for $19.95). It was indeed nice to have such a full array of options that I would not have had at the specialist store.

At the generalist tea vendor site or store, you can pick green, black, oolong, white, etc., and then choose between single estate, blends, or flavored. You can get something economical such as 4 ounces of Superior Gunpowder Green Tea at $3.95 or something special like 2 ounces of Adams Peak White Tea at $24.00. You can buy a 4-ounce package of Scottish Breakfast Tea for $4.20 or go for a full pound at $13.55. Obviously, the cost per ounce is less when you buy the bigger package, just as the cost per gigabyte is less for the larger flash drive.

Yes, the tea vendor who generalizes can offer such a range of choices that it could be as dizzying as that electronics store. It’s fine to explore (I go in that store sometimes just to browse) or you can focus in on that certain tea or teapot that you want.

See also:
Tea Vendors Who Specialize

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9 thoughts on “Tea Vendors Who Generalize

  1. Pingback: Buying Your Teas from a U.S. Vendor vs. Overseas « Tea Blog

  2. The advantage of a specialized store is that they can go deeper into a kind of tea. For example sell Chinese teas that the general store can’t get. Of course it also depends on the quality of the stores and especially where and how they get the teas and how much energy they put into it. I’ve been to specialized stores that had nothing to add to the general stores. To general stores that had a quality cut off that was too low to consider worthy. And to a few specialized stores that were gems worth many good general stores.

    So, I like to visit both. Each has his advantages and disadvantages.

  3. I found your site because people keep telling me how great PG Tips tea is. But I don’t want to buy 10 dollars worth of tea (which I’ve been doing a lot lately, but not likely the major brands I’ve tried) and not like it. A girl can only use so much bad tea on her hair as a pick-me-up. I saw you had some English sample packs, but nothing with PG Tips in it? Or do you have a sample of breakfast teas that happens to include PG tips? I generally like English Breakfast tea, I’ll drink Earl gray, but prefer Lady gray because it’s not as strong. I think I like Irish Breakfast, but I’m not entirely certain. I’ve also heard I should be trying Darjeeling (I don’t think I’ve ever tried it.) I like milk or half and half in my tea; no sugar. Not big on flavored teas. Any recommendations on sample packs? And how many of each kind is in the sample packs?

    P.S. I have plenty of white and green teas. They’re okay, but they don’t cut it for breakfast or as a dessert tea…I do drink them sometimes during cold days, but I’m in Texas. We don’t have a lot of those!

    Maria in Texas who used to buy a tea that is no longer available in her area!

    1. A.C. Cargill

      Hi, Maria, thanks for reading. I am also a great fan of PG Tips. You can get a 40-bag box from The English Tea Store (the owners of this blog) for a mere $4.09 (retails at $6.24) + shipping (no idea how much that is). If you really like PG Tips, go ahead and spend the $10 for the 80-bag box. It’s great to have every day, and if you store the box inside a big ziploc bag like I do, the tea will stay fresh tasting for months.

      As for samples, check out their sampler page: http://www.englishteastore.com/sample-teas.html (yes, it includes PG Tips)

      Hope that helps! Thanks for reading. 🙂

      1. A.C. Cargill

        Let me know how it works out. If you need anything further, please let me know. You can also get in touch with The English Tea Store through their Facebook page (there is a link on the blog homepage). 🙂

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