Confronting Counterfeit Tea

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Tillerman
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Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:47 am

I was fortunate enough to be at the Northwest Tea Festival last weekend where I gave a presentation on confronting counterfeit tea. Here is a blog the came out of that presentation: https://tillermantea.net/2018/10/counterfeit/
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Bok
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Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:57 am

Thanks, nice read as always!
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Brent D
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Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:31 pm

Some great points in here.
Id love to hear what percentages of that Taiwanese exportation goes where.
I feel another great way to avoid passing off is to become involved in group buys. 8 Tea heads is better than one :D
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Bok
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Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:46 pm

Brent D wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:31 pm
Some great points in here.
Id love to hear what percentages of that Taiwanese exportation goes where.
I feel another great way to avoid passing off is to become involved in group buys. 8 Tea heads is better than one :D
My guess is the lion part of those fake high mountain teas is sold as Alishan or simple labelled as Gaoshan. At popular tourist spots, sold to mainly Chinese or Japanese tourists. Also a pretty good chance to get ripped off is trying to buy at the farms, a lot have already sold or reserved their own tea for retailers and sell the import tea.
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Tillerman
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Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:37 am

Bok wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:46 pm
Brent D wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:31 pm
Some great points in here.
Id love to hear what percentages of that Taiwanese exportation goes where.
I feel another great way to avoid passing off is to become involved in group buys. 8 Tea heads is better than one :D
My guess is the lion part of those fake high mountain teas is sold as Alishan or simple labelled as Gaoshan. At popular tourist spots, sold to mainly Chinese or Japanese tourists. Also a pretty good chance to get ripped off is trying to buy at the farms, a lot have already sold or reserved their own tea for retailers and sell the import tea.
Bok, I think you are correct; most (but not all, by any means e.g. DYL) of the counterfeit stuff is sold as Alishan or as Gaoshan (and you are absolutely correct about buying at the farm.) However, sales to Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan don't count as export sales so there is still a heck of a lot of Taiwan's exports that aren't really Taiwanese. I suspect that up to half of what comes into the US isn't the real McCoy.
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Bok
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Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:19 am

Tillerman wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:37 am
I suspect that up to half of what comes into the US isn't the real McCoy.
Makes sense, prime suspects probably being the large tea brands in the US and Europe. Not sure if it would make sense for them to import relatively small quantity high price tea. They can not have tea sold out all the time, they need a more constant supply to keep their customer base happy.

Smaller outfits can run on an exclusivity and limited supply model.
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Bok
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Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:21 am

Although smaller outfits will run into the problem of getting access to specialty tea, as they might not have the buying power and take enough off the farmers shoulder to make it worth his while. I guess some individual operations also fall into the same traps, trusting the friendly farmer they shook hands with, looking for a leaf to cup experience.
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Bok
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Mon May 20, 2019 10:22 am

@Tillerman maybe you can help, I just got another gifted tea, a Dayuling. The packaging has a very similar looking seal to the one on the Fushoushan cans. Is there a relationship of some kind, or just mimicry?
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Tillerman
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Mon May 20, 2019 12:18 pm

Bok wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:22 am
Tillerman maybe you can help, I just got another gifted tea, a Dayuling. The packaging has a very similar looking seal to the one on the Fushoushan cans. Is there a relationship of some kind, or just mimicry?
@Bok as you know, I am suspicious of anything sold as Da Yu Ling. Most gadens in the region, and certainly all of the high ones, are no longer. That doesn't mean the tea isn't Da Yu Ling, just be alert to the fact that maybe.... The main question though, is the tea any good?

As to the question of the seals, I believe it is either mimicry or coincidence (note that the seals are not identical.) Fushoushan Farm has nothing in the Da Yu Ling area even though it is but a short distance away (albeit an exceedingly slow and very dangerous drive along Hwy. 8)
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Bok
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Mon May 20, 2019 7:19 pm

@Tillerman thanks! Of course I am suspicious as well, but with a gift I did not pay the price at least and the truth lies in the cup :)

Just found it interesting how the designs resemble each other closely, like they belong to some sort of government connection. Anyways, haven’t opened it yet, still adjusting to climate change from fridge to outside.
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Tue May 21, 2019 8:17 am

Bok wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 7:19 pm
Just found it interesting how the designs resemble each other closely, like they belong to some sort of government connection.
@Bok The "faute de formation" of the graphic designer. :D
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