Mei leaf

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pedant
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Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:40 pm

_Soggy_ wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:42 pm
Need to keep them in the ecosystem. It is like Dave and Busters power card.
yes! :lol:
John_B wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:58 pm
Free shipping! What a novel idea, why didn't other tea vendors think of that?
well, on every other order.. if you're clever... :D
John_B
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Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:08 pm

Yunnan Sourcing's US site offers free shipping for all orders over $100:

https://yunnansourcing.us/pages/welcome ... -allergens


Farmerleaf offers free shipping for all orders over $30:

https://www.farmer-leaf.com/


Hatvala offers free shipping on all orders over $70:

https://hatvala.com/shipping-returns/


Moychay offers worldwide free shipping on all orders over $130:

https://moychay.com/news/free_worldwide_delivery


The point was that this is kind of normal. Of course vendors are building that cost back into their product pricing, but per my understanding if you compare product pricing and quality between Mei Leaf and all of those vendors Mei Leaf won't match up, even without shipping expense factored in on their end.

Don't take my word for it though, vary your tea sourcing, and decide for yourself. If Mei Leaf can sell your personal favorites at reasonable pricing then what I've just said is wrong. I haven't been trying their products for years, since they re-branded (changed company name 4 years ago), so I'm only passing on an out of date impression and standard hearsay at this point, the most common opinion one runs across online.
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StoneLadle
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Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:33 pm

There's a lot of angst here...

Can I suggest that y'all get in touch with some western facing vendors from the east?

Like, a Hong Kong vendor for HKG tea... A Malaysian vendor for Malaysian stored LB and PE... and a Taiwanese vendor for etc...

Mainland...I don't know... They kinda suck across the board...

Like, I wouldn't buy Bordeaux from an Asian vendor...
John_B
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Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:26 am

StoneLadle wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:33 pm
There's a lot of angst here...

Can I suggest that y'all get in touch with some western facing vendors from the east?

Like, a Hong Kong vendor for HKG tea...

That kind of works, but it's not as if being located in "the West" means a source isn't good, or the opposite would hold in those other locations. One of the best sources for sheng I'm aware of is based in Switzerland. Buying sheng from Yunnan vendors kind of also makes sense, as it would to buy Wuyi Yancha from a vendor in Wuyishan.

It's obvious enough but no tea is produced in Hong Kong, so this only relates to a storage theme. People buying aged sheng probably would naturally explore varying forms of sourcing, once their preference develops far enough, as long as their budget supports that. A limited budget might even work as a driver, but exploring truly local sourcing can be tricky.
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StoneLadle
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Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:45 am

High roast TieGuanYin and Shuixian are produced in Hong Kong... Just a fine point...

The Sheng debate I will stay out of because it is incomprehensible to me to be drinking that stuff without any aging whatsoever, with very very very few exceptions, and even then I'd just called it green tea as opposed to PE...

From this vantage point, there really aren't many quality online vendors apart from the usual suspects and for me, in order to stay on topic, would stay far far from people who have a habit of changing their company names and branding...
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Balthazar
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Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:18 am

@John_B: Good point.

Personally, I buy from as close to the origin as possible unless one of two conditions hold true: 1) the storage at the place of origin does not conform to my tastes and I don't have an optimal condition for long-term aging at home (e.g. puer); 2) the price is actually better if buying from another market (e.g. Anhua heichas, which I usually get from Malaysia because of a lower market price than in Mainland China, where the price is controlled).
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Victoria
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Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:15 pm

@John_B just posted a write up on Mei Leaf, thought I’d share Setting the record straight about Mei Leaf
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Bok
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Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:52 pm

Nice, pretty extensive and balanced write up.
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steanze
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Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:50 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:15 pm
John_B just posted a write up on Mei Leaf, thought I’d share Setting the record straight about Mei Leaf
Interesting post, with several good points, except the claim that gushu is not used for blends :) gushu blends are fairly common.
Chadrinkincat
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Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:34 pm

It would be interesting for someone here to do a write up on ML’s teas compared to other vendors in a blind tasting.
John_B
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Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:30 pm

Nice to see mention and feedback here.

To clarify, there was an error in citing a Tea Drunk price, mixing up a 7 gram sample price and 28 gram price, which someone pointed out for me. Them selling Ya Shi / "duck shit" Dan Cong for under $1 a gram should've looked too low.

About vendors producing gushu sheng blends, I don't doubt that it's more common than I'm aware. Can others here fill in source examples? Maybe I stated that I'm not aware of it incorrectly, as if that means it really is infrequent, when of course I don't keep tabs on everything that goes on across tea vending scope. I left the error in; it seemed a more genuine opinion-based account leaving it potentially wrong.

The post clearly covered this part, but if common hearsay input is from trying teas 3 to 4 years back, as in the form of my own account of that experience, it may not be an up to date assessment of where Mei Leaf teas stand now. Mei Leaf rebranded from an older China Life business between 4 and 5 years ago (if my memory serves), and maybe an ongoing transition of improving sourcing and quality levels continued on to the present.

As I'm stating in comment responses, and kind of made clear in that post, it's not intended as a final judgment of Mei Leaf, just passing on input. I couldn't add that level of detailed response to a recent Facebook group discussion, because the form is wrong for 1000+ word input. The post is based on my own experience, a former local London resident opinion I mentioned, and citation of two examples of tea pricing, only one of which showed a pattern that was easy to interpret, although the complicated second finding was interesting to me.

It would be a really interesting finding if Mei Leaf sells better Ya Shi Dan Cong than Wuyi Origin or Seven Cups, or even if they could match their versions for general quality level. Style variation and subjective judgement throws off making a clear assessment of that, but tasting three different versions together would tell some story.
Octagon
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Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:02 am

Chadrinkincat wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:34 pm
It would be interesting for someone here to do a write up on ML’s teas compared to other vendors in a blind tasting.
Yes, I think in general we are way too focused on brands and the faces of these brands. A lot of people approach buying tea in wierd way, they want to find brands to be fans of and other brands to hate. The actual teas and their quality sort of get lost along the way. More blind tastings would, I think, help here.
John_B
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Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:34 am

Octagon wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:02 am
Chadrinkincat wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:34 pm
It would be interesting for someone here to do a write up on ML’s teas compared to other vendors in a blind tasting.
Yes, I think in general we are way too focused on brands and the faces of these brands. A lot of people approach buying tea in wierd way, they want to find brands to be fans of and other brands to hate. The actual teas and their quality sort of get lost along the way. More blind tastings would, I think, help here.
It's a good point. But then that was the dream of Steepster, to an extent, that lots of individual reviews could build up to a community database others could rely on. Switching theme to blind tastings changes things a little, but plenty of the issues with the other process still apply, subjective impression, varying baseline background, limited scope covered, etc. Maybe something like the My Tea Pal app can recreate a new form of a similar thing, which may or may not be a useful thing.

To me the Yunnan Sourcing Fans Facebook group is an interesting example of this pattern that is mentioned. On the one hand it's great that people can gather and support each other with advice and recommendations, and discussion, and on the other it's a little dodgy having only one vendor be in-bounds for potential discussion, since essentially every topic can lead towards considering an external option. It's such a short step towards accepting that most YS teas are great and most other vendors just don't measure up, and the rest of the "us and them" context.

As an outcome of publishing this post I talked to a friend about this Mei Leaf issue and instead of saying value for their teas isn't great he said "their teas are great." Then it turned out that he based that on visiting them 4 or 5 years ago, probably before he had much exposure to teas on a quality level he is more familiar with now, probably when he drank completely different types. That's when I tried their teas too, and thought they were so-so, decent tea but not good value. From there it's hard to sort out what that means. We might've been trying different teas, as on-site versions versus what made it into packages for export. Maybe we just tried different tea types, and if you had swapped the sets back then both our opinions would've shifted. Us trying the teas using different water sources could skew results. If you visit a shop and they use more appropriate water the teas might seem superior to what you normally drink, when maybe they're not.

Back to where this started, if someone really could blind taste 3 or 4 of those Ya Shi versions I wrote about that would tell one limited scope but interesting story.
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