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Tea Rants and Raves

Random Gripes and Praises about Tea Related Things

OK. Here's my gripe and rave page. What does that mean? Simple. If I feel like complaining about something "tea related", beyond just a taste of tea, and if I feel up to it, I'll put it here. Likewise, random good things will also make this page. There is no criteria for being listed here beyond that.

So here it goes...

Celestial Seasonings Sampler Packages

What nimrod at Celestial Seasonings came up with the bright idea to include 4 tea bags in each foil pouch for their sampler packages? Right now, sitting around my home, I have more than a dozen teas from celestial seasonings sitting around in baggies - and it's a real PITA.

See, what happens is that you open up the foil wrapper. Inside are four tea bags. So...you brew one up. And are left with three tea bags, which you have no idea what to do with. You can't dump them back in the box, since now exposed to air, they'll quickly go stale. Plus, you need to seperate them from other teas, lest the now exposed tea bags contanimate other teas you may have.

Dump. Stupid. Celestial Seasonings....get a clue and individually wrap all your tea bags in your samplers. Yes...the technology does exist for this. It's not 1970 anymore.

Lack of Tea Samplers

OK tea merchants of the world, read this and take note. I love tea. I'll buy yours. But I won't buy it if you don't have a sampler. Period. Thankfully, some of my favorite tea merchants have figured this out, such as Adagio Teas, Culinary Teas and Dragonwater Tea Company.

However, many other tea merchants - both online and off - haven't quite figured out that most people are hesitant to plunk down money for a tea that they may not like.

Yeah, making sampler packages of loose-leaf teas is a pain. So is going to the bathroom at times. So if you are wondering why no one is buying your tea, or coming back for more, look at your tea sampler selection. If you have none, there is your answer.

And oh, a tea sampler should cost around 3 bucks or less, preferably significantly less. And a tea sampler is one that contains 1 ounce of tea or less - not some container that contains 4 or more ounces!

Those Little Tins from Adagio Teas

I love Adagio Teas, as you can read about in my Merchant Review Page I put up about them. But ignoring that for the moment, one thing I love about them is that they package their samplers up in these nice, cute little tins. These tins have all sorts of interesting uses. Coin collectors is a big one for me. Pen holder works too. Regardless...these little tins are quite handy and I always find uses for them.

Ugly Websites

In my search for tea to sample, I've come across an absolute ton of websites that look like they were designed in 1996 and haven't been updated since.

Yet, it's not the look that drives me crazy. After all, this site isn't a work of art either. Instead, it's the function of these sites. It's the navigation. It's he clumsiness of the shopping cart. It's the poor categorization. It's, it's, it's...well, I could go on.

So if you are a tea merchant, take a long look at your site. Is it down right ugly? How about slow to load? Crumby navigation? If you answer yes to any of those questions, redo your website - using Adagio Teas as an example of what to do.

Disfunctional Websites

Speaking of websites, why do some tea merchants make you scroll through page after slow-loading page to see all their teas in a particular category? I mean, if I click on the category for "herbal teas" on your site, I should get a list of ALL herbal teas you have. A picture isn't necessary - just a text link works fine.

So why this gripe? Simple, I spent way too much time going through a tea merchants site that had only 9 products per page listed for a specific category, in this case "herbal teas." And they had over 100 teas in this category. Right...like anyone except those without a life (which admittedly does describe me) is going to do that. This is a classic case of bad website navigation and making it hard for your customers to buy.

The worse part is, to figure out how lousy this navigation is requires only looking at the sales figures. Dollars to donuts says that the best selling teas are those listed on the first page. And the worse sellers on the last page. Simple common sense.


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