Mei leaf

Guy Juan
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Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:54 pm

So I’ve been watching YouTube videos of what I assume is the owner and founder of meileaf.com. This guys is incredibally knowledgeable when it comes to tea. I have ordered a little glass tube brewer from them which I use for brewing gong fu style but unfortunately did not order his tea. The shipping is very expensive to the US. Has anyone tried his teas? And if you haven’t seen the videos he does I recommend checking them out.

Have you tried meileaf’s teas? If so, how are they?
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Bok
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Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:57 pm

Have not tried his teas, but he has some very controversial(some might say outright wrong) opinions on teaware and clay. We had a long discussion about it here a while ago. It was about Chaozhou clay and its properties compared to Yixing. What I am saying is, he might seem knowledgeable, but take it with a grain of salt.
Guy Juan
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Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:18 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:57 pm
Have not tried his teas, but he has some very controversial(some might say outright wrong) opinions on teaware and clay. We had a long discussion about it here a while ago. It was about Chaozhou clay and its properties compared to Yixing. What I am saying is, he might seem knowledgeable, but take it with a grain of salt.
Are you talking about the different clay comparisons with the charts? He is probably just comparing the pots he sells. But aside from his clay comparisons, he seems to have a passion for tea and a lot of experience and understanding of how different conditions effect the tea. I’m thinking after I try a bunch more from “cheaper shipping” websites and get a good idea of what I should be looking for in each tea, I’ll place a large order of samples from meileaf to form a more insightful opinion on if it’s worth paying the shipping prices.

My 3rd Biluochun is in the mail. I love both that I’ve tried. Each from different vendors. One has an excellent briny broth type characteristic but overall is a more subtle tasting tea. The other is much stronger tasting, minus the broth, more vegetal. I’m hoping the 3rd one will help show me which is more “typical” for a Biluochun. Meileaf has one for around $20 for 40g.
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Bok
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Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:46 pm

@Guy Juan if you want to read up on it, this is the discussion we had back then: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=347&hilit=mei+leaf
Also touches on a few other things.
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Victoria
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Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:56 pm

Many reputable vendors for almost every kind of tea are discussed in vendor section, some we are even lucky to have active on this forum. I don’t know where you are located, but Mei leaf is in London. Personally, I would not consider buying from him, too much of a sales pitch going on all the time.
Guy Juan
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Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:11 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:46 pm
Guy Juan if you want to read up on it, this is the discussion we had back then: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=347&hilit=mei+leaf
Also touches on a few other things.
Seems a lot of people have different opinions and experiences. Clay has a lot of variables.

I brewed some Gyokuro according to a Mei Leaf video where he let the tea sit for 14 minutes in room temp water.
It turned out fantastic! Thick, rich, smooth and flavorful. They have some great looking oolongs too! I get the whole (ohhh it’s a sales pitch) deal but he seems to back it up with knowledge. Like when he explains why x tea should not have orange or brown in the leaves (as demonstrating grades in a video) which would indicate it was picked too late in the season.

I’ll post my thoughts on his tea once I spring for the samples.
aet
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Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:45 pm

as a vendor I do not feel right to throw the stones on other vendor , yet I feel responsibility to warn you: hold your horses :-)
Before name somebody experienced ,please make an independent research ( lets say google ) , maybe steepster or FB forums to know more about the vendor.
Also know your priorites. What makes you decide to choose the vendor. Be a Smart Tea Drinker :-)
Noonie
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Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:22 am

Like you said, order samples of their teas and do your own comparisons. If you’re objective and know what you like, it’s relatively easy to determine value.
Guy Juan
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Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:45 am

aet wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:45 pm
as a vendor I do not feel right to throw the stones on other vendor , yet I feel responsibility to warn you: hold your horses :-)
Before name somebody experienced ,please make an independent research ( lets say google ) , maybe steepster or FB forums to know more about the vendor.
Also know your priorites. What makes you decide to choose the vendor. Be a Smart Tea Drinker :-)
Warn me of what exactly? Have you had their tea and find it bad or low quality? I feel more compelled to take comments like this with a grain of salt when you provide no details of your concerns. Please elaborate.
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MmBuddha
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Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:04 am

I believe I have a fairly impartial perspective on Mei Leaf, I have watched many of their videos and tried a few of their teas a while ago. I’m not a fan nor a customer, but nor do I have any particular axe to grind.

Firstly, there isn’t really anything else on YouTube like the Mei Leaf channel. I’m sure that’s what drew you to them originally. Some of their content is quite impressive – their tea trip videos, for example, provide some of the better video documents of the tea regions covered you’re currently likely to find. I have appreciated these and valued the context they provide. On the other hand, many of their videos strike me as sales pitches masquerading as tasting sessions. I find this somewhat objectionable.

The teas themselves are decidedly mid-range in my brief experience, with keeping the price low evidently a priority, which is not in and of itself a bad thing. One of the teas I tried a sample of seemed quite heavily sprayed, one of the few experiences I’ve had with this sort of tea, and it wasn’t a positive one – I could be incorrect about this, but if the unpleasant aftertaste and catching in the throat was simply the tea itself, that isn’t a complement either. Their general offering is certainly broader and better than what you’re likely to find in an old fashioned tea shop, but I think given the range of excellent online vendors these days, selling much better tea, I don’t see any good reason for you to order from them, and have it shipped to the US.

Whatever your preferences tea-wise, you can be sure that there are online shops in America (not to mention all over Asia, usually with cheaper shipping than UK to US) where your money will be better spent, and I’m not just talking about the postage costs.

The biggest problem with Mei Leaf is they are in a position of considerable authority, being the only such established content-provider of their kind on YouTube. And they are educating an otherwise mostly uneducated audience, who are not in a position to distinguish between the facts and the hard sell, which I do find troubling.

Take all this with a grain of salt too, it’s only one perspective, and I hope you don’t interpret this comment, or the others here, as trying to dampen your enthusiasm. I just think you will thank yourself further down the road for broader horizons when it comes to the many excellent vendors available to us in the west these days.
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Shine Magical
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Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:04 am

Their teas are relatively expensive considering most taste like cardboard. :lol:

Their business model aims to capture the beginner tea market through their informational videos and profit off of an uneducated market segment with still-developing taste buds, which is why they market so heavily in r/tea. Basically, they’re white2tea but with YouTube videos.

Then there's also this train wreck which is very off putting: https://steepster.com/discuss/22030-mei-leaf-chat
I have nothing nice to say about Mei Leaf after being very active in the tea community and observing how they've behaved over the past 4 years.
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leafmajor
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Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:36 am

Oh my, just woke and for a moment thought I'd logged into reddit by mistake. Since I'm here I may as well throw in a couple cents of my own. Though he's come a ways, marketing-wise, since the days of forgetting to comb his hair before appearing on camera, after being treated to a tasting of mei leaf teas a while back I've come to the conclusion that the quality isn't quite as high as Don@meileaf would like to believe. But, by all means, pay your tuition as you see fit and make your own conclusions. Have fun.
aet
Posts: 84
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Location: Kunming ( China )

Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:26 pm

I hate to pull that one out , since we all do make mistakes , especially in pu-erh tea biz u get trapped very easily as beginner , but He is keep doing it all the time ( not sure if actually learned the lesson ) , just lowered the age of the trees and adjusted the prices.
https://steepster.com/discuss/14690-mei ... erh?page=1



I live in Yunnan , based in Kunming tea market and go to tea mountains quite often. There are also some vendors who live in some villages on tea mountains.
There is a Tea Marketing in China heavily applied to the tea buyers and specially tea tourists like this guy ( let alone to foreigners ) .
Experienced tea vendor will filter all that out based on his/hers experience, and offer the tea as a drinking product, not the story.
Experienced salesman will apply the story which suits to the marketing model and offer the products with desired ( preferably high ) margin.
I kinda feel to distinguish those two terms although might be same thing, but I believe you get the point.

The bizarre terms like "Young Gushu" ( Young Ancient Tree ...I'm not a native Eng. speaker , but I believe those two terms are contradictory ) is probably his conversion of "Xiao Gu Shu" ( Small Ancient Tree ) which is the nonsense marketing of tea farmers trying to sell tea from their small arbors. Since the term "Gu Shu" seems like is only the selling domain of tea.
I came to one shop in Xiong Da tea market in Kunming the other day asking from what area they sell the tea and woman's answer was " We sell only gu shu, our all gu shu is genuine " , without giving me an actual answer for my original question. That's how brain washed some sellers here could be.

Buying some tea material from tress above , let's say , 300 yo ( nowadays ) requires bit different concept of sourcing from the way they do.
Let alone buying something like that in tea shop rely on vendor's story , more hardcore is to buy it in high teach and ultra expensive city like Shenzhen , where the rent of such a teashop is more than in average European city . I wouldn't see the experienced tea supplier making such a mistakes and even write about it in public ;-D
And there are more and more mistakes I can see on their shop which I do not feel to point anymore, they not paying me for that ;-) Sure if they read this one , can take it as a "free sample" from me ;-)
And if I understand their concept correctly, than this info.is not important to them anyway ( maybe just for changing a story next time ) . Because vendors might have different priorities / aimed groups.
Tea buyer who knows the stuff a bit , knows the many alternative and cheaper sources anyway so more than likely that's not their customer anyway
Those who do not know and lazy or just no time to learn / search more on internet , they pay ;-)

As I said before: know your priorities.....choose the blue or red pill ;-D

Like people say here, buy some samples , also from different vendors so you can compare , and make your own idea.
Become a Smart Tea Buyer ;-)
Guy Juan
Posts: 108
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Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:14 am

Well I have ordered from 3 different vendors and I can say all 3 have some excellent and some not so good teas. Some vendors may do better for greens, some others do better with puerhs etc. but I haven’t found a vendor that has all good greens or all good puerhs etc.

I’ve seen this before with coffee. Or vehicles. The little guys get undercut and oversold by the big players in the business. They can stock and sell tea much quicker. With higher volume comes less quality control measures and they may sell teas that would be a waste of time for the smaller vendors to purchase. They can sell top shelf picks for a little cheaper since they buy much bigger quantities.

I’m only assuming this is the case based on everyone’s reaction to a tea vendor who has great informative videos and educates about the high end of tea. There are people who would argue with info explained by George Howell in his articles and videos. But when it comes down to it, he’s the best there is. This may not be the case here but it’s a possibility.

As a chef I understand all too well that taste is subjective. I’ve seen people order a well done fillet and put A1 sauce on it. I’ve also had great steaks in chains and bad steaks in 4 star restaurants. What I gather here is that the popular opinion is dislike mei leaf...but not much about their tea was mentioned. I’m waiting for the horror stories :mrgreen:

Just for the sake of curiosity now I must try their tea. Their 150ml gaiwans look very nice so maybe that’ll be my excuse to spring for it. :D
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Bok
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Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:01 am

If you want to go about it in the most objective way:

Get the same kind of teas in similar pricing from different vendors and try them side by side in identical porcelain gaiwans/or competition cupping sets.

That is the only way to be sure.
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