Online Tea Vendors dispatching from within the EU (European Union)

heinza1983
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:39 am
Location: Italy

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum, but not to the world of tea, albeit I'm no expert. Wondering if you could help me with the following since I'm sure you are much more experienced and knowledgable than yours truly ;)
I'm trying to find some good online shops that ship from within the European Union to Italy.
I recently made my first purchase from a vendor located outside the EU (India) and I ended up paying €36 for custom clearance (and long delays), so I don't think I'll ever venture into buying from non-EU stores again!
I drink all sorts of (non flavoured, with a few exceptions) teas (India/Ceylon, China/Taiwan, Japan, etc.). I don't mind sourcing it from different vendors specialised in different types of tea if I have to. One thing I like to see though is quality/value-for-money, a good selection and clear information on the grades of their teas, time of picking etc.
Of course there are online shops based in Italy, but the ones I've come across so far seem to be on the expensive side for the quality they offer, or simply lacking variety/quality/information etc. Conversely, I've been pretty happy with the tea I just ordered from India and its value-for-many, but the extra €€€ I've had to fork out is a total deal-breaker..

Thanks to everyone who may be able to help with this :)
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Victoria
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Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:37 pm

There are two threads discussing tea shops in Germany and France that you can look at.

Die Kunst Des Tees, has really excellent oolong out of Germany, sourced in Taiwan and China. If I lived in Europe I would by from her, so delicious.

PuerhSK in Slovakia is well know for its pu’erh and teaware.

Klasek Tea (formerly darjeeling.cz), out of Czechoslovakia, is known for its black teas.

The Tea in Poland. Had very good yancha recently from this vendor.

I have seen these shops mentioned often but have not used, maybe other members can comment:
Postcard teas in UK.
TeTere in Barcelona.
Palais de thé in France.
Mariages Frères in France is huge.
Last edited by Victoria on Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: added 'The Tea' vendor
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Elise
Posts: 234
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:43 pm

I live in Switzerland and follow the French tea forum for years and I can recommend Postcard Tea (instead of Mariage Frères or Palais des Thés), and I don’t know TeTere at all...
Last edited by Victoria on Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Mod edit: added link
.m.
Posts: 425
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Brno / Montreal

Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:56 pm

Never tried their teas, but worth mentioning nevertheless:
- thetea.pl, they also have a monthly teaclub;
- farmer-leaf.fr (not .com)
- what-cha.com
heinza1983
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:39 am
Location: Italy

Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:06 pm

Thanks for your replies so far, I'll be sure to check them out!
gatmcm
Posts: 112
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Location: Portugal
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Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:57 pm

I have a lot of trouble with customs as well, I just keep that added cost in mind when buying, if it goes through good, if it gets caught at least I was expecting it :cry:
Whenever possible to keep it under the ~20eu threshold (includes shipping) it's exempt.

Avoid fedex and similar services like the plague because they will charge to deal with customs for you and make it hard to arrange to deal with it yourself, last time I had it happen fedex claimed that if I wanted to deal with customs myself I would have to go in person to their HQ to get some documents (on the other side of the country).

If you have friends in EU countries with lenient customs have them receive the order and send it to you.

Sorry if this wasnt exactly the answer you were looking for but I find the EU supply lacking or with high shipping costs sadly.
.m.
Posts: 425
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Brno / Montreal

Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:47 pm

I've been actually lucky with shipping to Portugal so far, twice now. And to France too, 3 or 4 times in the past with no problem. On the other hand, every single shipping I had to Czech Republic ended up at the customs, which has a single office for the whole country, and with all fees it would typically add 30-40% to the price, which would be pretty annoying and discouraging.
gatmcm
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Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:53 pm

I'm pretty sure they just have my name down as the crazy tea guy at this point and charge me because of that :lol:
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Elise
Posts: 234
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:17 pm

I do recommend FarmerLeaf as well, mainly puerh and Hong cha.
heinza1983
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:39 am
Location: Italy

Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:47 am

gatmcm wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:57 pm
I have a lot of trouble with customs as well, I just keep that added cost in mind when buying, if it goes through good, if it gets caught at least I was expecting it :cry:
Whenever possible to keep it under the ~20eu threshold (includes shipping) it's exempt.

Avoid fedex and similar services like the plague because they will charge to deal with customs for you and make it hard to arrange to deal with it yourself, last time I had it happen fedex claimed that if I wanted to deal with customs myself I would have to go in person to their HQ to get some documents (on the other side of the country).

If you have friends in EU countries with lenient customs have them receive the order and send it to you.

Sorry if this wasnt exactly the answer you were looking for but I find the EU supply lacking or with high shipping costs sadly.
Yeah, it kind of sucks. I did keep it under €22 to avoid import duties, but DHL still charged me €30+VAT (=€36.60) for customs inspection (provided the authorities even bothered carrying it out - my package was intact when I got it so it makes you wonder if they have some very sophisticated technologies and very well trained sniff dogs and things these days or if it's just the typical Italian-style cash-in machine..)

I have considered delivering to a different EU country using a mail forwarding service, but that does come at a cost too. I could use some friends living abroad, but I would feel bad about putting the burden on them in case they also get caught up in this customs clearance thing, so I think next time, I'll have a go at shopping from some EU-based shop like the ones other users here kindly suggested.
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There is no self
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Location: Northwestern Italy

Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:35 am

@heinza1983 , did our beloved postal service take care of the order? A month ago I ordered from China and made the mistake of choosing small parcel, which is handled by the postal service. As a result, the order has been sitting in customs for the past ten days.
I never had a problem with customs as long as I used a courier, though. They care of everything, including customs clearance and additional expenses - of course shipping rates are a tad higher, but it's well worth it.
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wave_code
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:10 pm
Location: Germany

Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:48 am

I just got my first order today from Lao tea shop - http://www.laoteashop.cz
For international orders just send them an email with what you would like and they can invoice you. Shipping to Vienna was something like 7 or 8 euros for up to 2kg, I didn't get any of their oolongs this time, but they have one of the wider selections of hei cha I have seen shipping from within Europe.

Also while it looks like unfortunately a lot of the teas are sold out at the moment for a smaller shop with a more specialized offering, mostly black teas from a single producer, there is Rivers And Clouds- www.riversandclouds.com, a small tea shop in Lübeck. Very nice to deal with and I have really enjoyed all of the teas I have ordered.
heinza1983
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:39 am
Location: Italy

Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:44 am

There is no self wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:35 am
heinza1983 , did our beloved postal service take care of the order? A month ago I ordered from China and made the mistake of choosing small parcel, which is handled by the postal service. As a result, the order has been sitting in customs for the past ten days.
I never had a problem with customs as long as I used a courier, though. They care of everything, including customs clearance and additional expenses - of course shipping rates are a tad higher, but it's well worth it.
No, it was handled by DHL! That's the sad part...
heinza1983
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:39 am
Location: Italy

Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:46 am

wave_code wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:48 am
I just got my first order today from Lao tea shop - http://www.laoteashop.cz
For international orders just send them an email with what you would like and they can invoice you. Shipping to Vienna was something like 7 or 8 euros for up to 2kg, I didn't get any of their oolongs this time, but they have one of the wider selections of hei cha I have seen shipping from within Europe.

Also while it looks like unfortunately a lot of the teas are sold out at the moment for a smaller shop with a more specialized offering, mostly black teas from a single producer, there is Rivers And Clouds- www.riversandclouds.com, a small tea shop in Lübeck. Very nice to deal with and I have really enjoyed all of the teas I have ordered.
Thanks, will add this to the list. At the moment I still have too many teas in stock I should consume before I order any more, but your contributions will be most precious when the time is ripe. :)
.m.
Posts: 425
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Brno / Montreal

Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:39 am

wave_code wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:48 am
I just got my first order today from Lao tea shop - http://www.laoteashop.cz
For international orders just send them an email with what you would like and they can invoice you. Shipping to Vienna was something like 7 or 8 euros for up to 2kg, I didn't get any of their oolongs this time, but they have one of the wider selections of hei cha I have seen shipping from within Europe.
Following you post, i've ordered a bit of LiuAn from them and some hongcha to try. :) Wanted to get a full basket but they didnt have that much. I'm suspecting that a lot of their stock might be coming from Chawangshop, which is not a bad thing since i like CWS offerings.
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