Tea: The Sideline Business of the 21st Century?

Your little teapot buddy here commenting on one of the ways you humans are looking to generate income. As the economy gets tougher and/or humans try to turn their passion for tea into a business (now or after retiring from their career), small tea vendors running their little tea shops as a sideline began springing up like daisies in a clover patch, dotting the landscape with their brilliance and promise. Many of these efforts were good. Many are now gone, having flared up with dazzle and petered soon after (any business is tough, and tea is even tougher).

A big issue is that some tea vendors are too hard-driving and defensive to win over customers. We have come across several like this. One vendor was especially bad. I hope you humans who are contemplating starting a tea business will take a tip or two here of what NOT to do. TOOOT!

The story:

Armed with a tea sommelier certificate from a group that hands them out apparently to anyone willing to pay their fee, a recent entry into this foray of sideline shops set up their site and their social media accounts, and contacted tea reviewers to try their teas. My humans agreed to try some and posted reviews. It quickly became apparent that this was one of those hard-driving, defensive types who pounced on every little thing said about their teas, probably fearful that someone would not want to buy from them. Their pouncing, however, was the deterrent. Our reviews were generally positive. They, like some other vendors we’ve dealt with, looked past those positive remarks and went straight to some little detail that they didn’t like. How would someone like this treat you as a customer?

In all fairness, it’s scary to start a new business, even a sideline. And jumping into tea, which seems pretty innocuous at first but then turns out to be very complicated, can have some humans flailing around like a novice swimmer in the deep end of the swimming pool at the YMCA. It’s especially unnerving to find that, unlike their long-time career as a programmer or insurance salesman or interior decorator, they have scant knowledge of their products and have to rely heavily on the honesty of their suppliers. They can feel foolish if something bad is posted. They can take it good naturedly and learn from it. Or they can take on a defensive posture.

Meanwhile, and the thing that really irks this little teapot, they do harm to the tea industry in general. This site has been around for awhile now, and is the successor to two previous sites. But writing about tea has grown into a one-teapot-army here to defend the good tea guys out there from those who happen to have a few good teas in stock but lack the real knowledge and experience to promote what they are selling. Add in that hard driving and defensiveness, and you have a real turn-off.

No matter which tea you drink, the enjoyment of it and the appreciation of all the hard work that goes in to bringing it to you need to be uppermost. As you learn and explore more premium teas, deal with those vendors who have that depth of knowledge you need to help you select the best. (See our site sponsors for starters.)

To the other vendors – like the guy who wanted me to pull an article giving some background on him that he didn’t want revealed even though he had it posted publicly on various Web sites – all I can say is “Learn from him.” TOOOT!

© 2017-2021 World Is a Tea Party photos and text

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tea_blog_lyt-solo005bHi, humans, this site is under my editorial excellence. I, your lovable and sassy Little Yellow Teapot, authors articles on tea, etc., and edit the occasional guest article. All in the interest of helping you humans have a better tea experience. TOOOT!

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4 thoughts on “Tea: The Sideline Business of the 21st Century?”

  1. Why all these teas are for rich people? Price is high and it will never reach the poor. No tea can be called most popular or best untill it can be enjoyed by common people.Or is it FTGFOP as you say?

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    1. Um, not sure what you mean here. My article was basically against silly people who think tea is a hobby and promote high-end expensive teas. But the tea market is complicated. There is room for both expensive and cheap teas. I think the push now for the expensive teas is a problem for the tea industry. There are not enough people able to afford them.

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      1. The tea writers always promote the highly priced tea. Higher the price better the quality. But is any of you ever write about the teas that common people drink? I never found. The big tea companies don’t bother about the tea that common people drink because big and famous writers of tea never bother. Please think about the average people .

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      2. Higher price does NOT mean better quality. Fancy packaging does NOT mean better quality. And I have written about CTC teas with admiration for years. Read through this site more and you will see that my focus is on tea for everyone, both the fancy teas and the simple teas. When I write about things like FTGFOP and SFTGFOP, it is because those are the samples that were sent to me. When I write about CTC or regular bagged teas, they are ones I bought myself mostly. I suggest you make this comment on sites like TChing.com and to the e-magazine Tea Journey that focuses on those fancy teas and pushes for high prices. I, like you, worry about this and want tea to stay affordable for all of us.

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