Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vendor - Tea Gschwendner

I recently placed my first order to Tea Gschwendner (TG for short, I keep spelling Gschwendner wrong) and thought it appropriate to do a quick review on them.

TG is a tea company based out of Germany, although they do have a worldwide presence. They do have a pair of stores in Illinois, and a partner store in Michigan which sells their teas, but aside from that their presence in the US is internet based. They have locations in many other countries, but mostly in Germany. My experiences with them thus far have been all virtual.

TG carries a very wide variety of teas, ranging from high grade single estate Darjeelings to Herbals to Oolongs to Whites to Greens. They cover a wide variety of teas, but it would seem that the majority of their teas are black teas. Considering the company is from Germany this is not too surprising. Although what is surprising is how good their selection is while being so broad. At first you would think that they would be a jack of all trades company, dabbling in many areas, but not having very specific teas in any particular area. This does not seem to be the case, at least for what I looked at; Darjeelings and Japanese Greens. Their selection of Darjeelings was very impressive, they had a number of different grades of Darjeelings ranging from FOP to SFTGFOP 1. They also had a number of estate specific teas. Their Japanese Green selection also was somewhat varied, encompassing the main classes of Japanese green teas, as well as some lesser seen types and different grades.

They do offer a variety of sizes, 50g, 100g, and 250g. This is nice because it offers a nice price break for larger volumes. They also have a free shipping break at $35.00, which is fairly low and thereby nice for those who don't want to pay for shipping.

For my particular experience, I ordered a few cups and some genmaicha. They shipped the order in a very nicely packaged box, wrapping the fragile items with paper and bubble wrap, and filling the rest of the box with packing peanuts. If you are looking for a low packing material company though, there was a lot of packing to protect my items. My items took up about 1/10 th of the volume of the box if that. They also added the wrong packing list with my order, but that didn't really matter as my order did match what I did order.

Their tea is packaged in a double lined paper bag with a roll over top similar to those found on most bags of coffee. I was a bit disappointed to find that it was not a nitrogen flushed package, especially considering how much emphasis they place on their quality control on their website. Aside from that my interactions with their customer service were quite good, and the tea was good, but would have been helped if stored in nitrogen flush bags I believe.

I look forward to trying out other teas from them in the future.

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