A quest for the best loose leaf tea on Amazon: not as easy as it seems.
If you’re looking for the best loose leaf tea, you’re unlikely to find it at the supermarket. If there is no specialized tea shop in your area, buying tea online is your best shot. The most obvious place on the internet that comes to mind is Amazon. But while it’s indispensable when it comes to shopping for most consumer goods, Amazon might leave you with a rather confusing tea buying experience.
So much to choose from!
It seems easy at first. Just type “loose leaf tea” in Amazon’s search bar, and you’ll get over 400 pages of results covering hundreds of tea brands and thousands of products – organic, fine and budget teas, variety packs, samplers, and even gift sets. Yes, Amazon offers a great assortment of distinctive teas at reasonable prices. But there’s a catch.
Those search results could totally baffle you.
Amazon provides various filters to sort by tea type, packaging, flavor, and so on. Great! But…the options are actually limited, and even if you try to use the filters, some products that show up don’t always match the selected categories. The next issue is that some fine premium teas listed on Amazon show up right next to basic everyday brands. Which is pretty much the same as a wine shop placing ultra-high premium Bordeaux next to two-buck Chuck on the same shelf. Except that no wine store would do it. And the tea buying confusion on Amazon doesn’t end there; tea is sold in all sorts of packaging and you can’t even compare prices very easily.
Should you rely on Amazon tea reviews?
Endless customer reviews are a big reason why Amazon is so popular. But when it comes to shopping for tea, you may not find those reviews as useful as you do for other products. Here’s why:
- Many stores sell multiple tea types and flavors within one listing, and customer reviews for different teas get mixed up! You might read a review and not even realize that it actually describes an absolutely different kind of tea from the same seller. Bummer, right?
- You can attempt to judge the quality of many consumer products by the popularity of their brand – which in turn is indicated by a high count of positive reviews. But this is not the case for teas. Based on our evaluation, some really great teas have very few to no reviews at all. This could happen for many reasons. The product may be new to Amazon, or it may be a fresh blend that just made its first appearance on the market. The tea type may be relatively rare or exclusive. The world of tea is very diverse and ever-changing. As a result, products with very few or no reviews wouldn’t even come up on the first few pages of an Amazon search which is based on popularity.
- Finally, judging a tea taste is very subjective. People rate teas based on their palate, and ratings vary dramatically not because of the tea quality, but because of personal preferences. Some of the reviews are very insightful, but keep in mind that tastes differ!
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find great tea on Amazon.
When Amazon offers you a flexible solution to save time and money, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it. In fact, there are many reasons why you should.
Amazon buyer protection program:
It’s safe to shop on Amazon. Their A-to-Z Guarantee is a means of protecting the customer from fraudulent sellers and mishaps during shipping. Amazon offers full refunds on payments (including shipping charges) made on amazon.com (and even on payments made on third-party websites using Amazon Pay). You thus stand to be reimbursed if you don’t receive the item you ordered, receive a defective or incorrect product, and even if a third-party seller doesn’t honor your refund claim.
Buying tea from overseas made easy:
Amazon’s buyer protection policy is especially helpful when buying from small, unknown tea companies that are based overseas. They offer terrific teas straight from the source at competitive prices. A word of advice: do not abuse Amazon’s buyer protection program. If you have an issue, contact your seller first; most of them are willing to work with you. Also, remember that international delivery times may be long, even if the seller ships right away. It’s just a hazard of using Airmail from Asia. After all, good things come to those who wait!
Last but not least…
And arguably the best reason of all – you can shop in your pajamas! There’s an undeniable sense of luxury in ordering your favorite loose leaf tea from the comfort of your home and getting it delivered straight to your door. For Amazon Prime members, free two-day shipping is available on eligible products.
More tea, please
Tea types and flavors: easy guides, tea tips, tasting notes, top 10 lists