The search for Russian Tea
Earlier this year, I found myself browsing a thread on Reddit discussing tea grown in Europe and I thought it would be fun to put together a sample set of European grown teas.
The search for European grown tea began, although I had a head start since I was already selling tea from the Azores (Portugal). I was already acquainted with Turkish grown tea, knew of a UK supplier of Georgian tea and heard of Azerbaijan grown tea from a great write-up by Oolong Owl and found out about Russian grown tea after some googling. Finding the Turkish, Georgian, and Azeri teas in the end was simple enough and I was able to create my European Tea Collection without Russian tea which I could not locate.
However, I was intrigued by the prospect of Russian tea and wanted to find out more, the only reference to anyone actually trying Russian tea which I could find was this interesting piece by Steep Stories. I decided to take to seek out some Russian tea so I could judge it for myself. Attempts at finding an online shop outside of the former Soviet Union selling it failed as did attempting to find it within a Russian grocery shop in London.
My search then turned to the Russian tea producers and I found one which appeared to take online orders on their own website, however I received the following email after attempting to place an order:
“Good day! We ship our tea only in Russia.”
I responded with an enquiry about how I might obtain Russian tea, which was met with following response:
“UNFORTUNATELY I CAN NOT HELP YOU.”
I moved my search onto online tea stores within Russia but found that they only shipped within Russia or to former members of the Soviet Union. Eventually, I found a store which was willing to ship to the UK, however problems ensued with payment due to Russian banks not accepting non-Russian credit cards and Paypal not operating within Russia. Eventually, I had to settle on paying via Western Union (transaction fees in excess of 10%) and hope the Russian tea shop employee was honest and didn't pocket the money.
After a nervy three three weeks, the Russian tea arrived!
Each set is very limited in number due to all the risks and constraints involved. Should reaction be positive, I will attempt to secure a deal directly with one of the suppliers and setup a regular source of Russian tea at a more competitive price.
A reminder that all new customers can use the coupon code 'First Order' at checkout to get 10% off their very first order.