Is white2tea the only puer producer now?

Puerh and other heicha
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the_skua
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:22 am

Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:31 am

This obvious hyperbole, but highlights my point.

I checked out of the online tea community between 2012 and earlier this year. When I came back, white2tea was new to me. Now, when I look on Reddit or Instagram, it's almost always the only brand of puer that people talk about (a touch of YS and Crimson Lotus).

What's interesting to me is that their model is different...in that they don't talk about the leaf source and terroir, but instead focus on branding, lifestyle and labels. I'm assuming the quality must be decent, but have no way of evaluating without trying. Their model specifically doesn't appeal to me, because I like knowing about source, production method, and origin. At some point, I'll buy some samples and give them a try, but I can't help but thinking that their model appeals to tea drinkers who don't care to know about source, method, and origin, and are more interested in the teas for their branding or resulting quality.

As a craft beer person as well, I see a lot of parallels. That community suffers from brewer rock star status, where people get really hyped about a particular brewer's offerings, whether they're good or not, based on past performance, but mostly style and branding.
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tealifehk
Vendor
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:58 am

Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:11 pm

The approach is not my thing either, but it appears to work and gets a lot of people drinking tea that is sold with fancy wrappers and with very few specifics! It's a very non-traditional approach, but it definitely works with American buyers. I never thought of it from the microbrewery perspective but I guess the marketing approach is quite similar!
Atlas
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:09 pm
Location: SGV, Los Angeles CA

Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:11 pm

Between W2T, CLT and YS, you've basically covered the most beginner-accessible vendors, IMO. My impression of BLT and TU is that they skew a little more expensive (whether or not that's accurate), and the other western vendors that I can recall just aren't as active with marketing imho.
I can't help but thinking that their model appeals to tea drinkers who don't care to know about source, method, and origin, and are more interested in the teas for their branding or resulting quality.
I don't think the bolded part is a bad thing at all - personally, what I want out of a tea is something tasty and interesting. I'm not a collector, I don't really care where something comes from as long as it tastes good, and isn't just more of the same of a tea that I already have. I think that's a reasonable approach (among a number of reasonable approaches).

Paul's "philosophy" is either refreshing, or slick, depending on which side of the fence you're on. The idea is that he could spin any old BS and 99% of people wouldn't know the difference, so he's not going to bother and instead just tell you what you can broadly expect from a tea and decide based on taste (rather than buzzwords) whether it's worth the money. I think people find it appealing because it can give the impression that he's not going to insult a customer's intelligence. That's refreshing in a market filled with $30 15yo Old-Arbour Yiwus. The approach seems straightforward and honest.

Of course, that's the whole point, and the more people buy it, the easier it seems to trust the whole "You will get the tea that you pay for, no more and no less, and it is all tea I'd drink myself" thing... which means more people buying. Ok, the rejection of cachet is used to generate cachet, but I can't really begrudge someone for having clever branding.

I think the too-cool sarcastic pop-culture branding might be a little different here compared to the craft brew scene, because he's pretty much the only one doing it (that I'm aware of). At least it's self-aware, and from a graphic-design standpoint I think a lot of the labels are great, and more interesting than most wrappers. I like what TU and BLT do with theirs as well, and CLT has some good ones.

I get what you're saying, but all in all he's got a schtick and it works, and I haven't heard much complaint from people who've tried them (except for maybe the basics packs). He's gotta attract customers somehow.
Kupuntu
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:47 pm

Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:00 pm

Interesting wrappers attract attention but many reviewers have been saying good things about White2Tea. Their selection is "small" or at least small enough to keep a track of it. YS makes so much puerh for their own label that even if you do a huge order from them, you'll only scratch the surface. Plenty of good tea from YS too though so they have their place.
What's interesting to me is that their model is different...in that they don't talk about the leaf source and terroir, but instead focus on branding, lifestyle and labels.
I don't trust people enough to expect them to give me accurate information about the source or terroir so this has very little effect on me. Sell me good tea and that's good enough for me.
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