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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