Tea Retail

Hmm. Clarity, it’s a wonderful thing!

I interrupt my regular schedule to be serious for a moment.,

That’s quite hard to do, when I was working on what should become my next post “Two wrongs don’t make a white”. That will now wait.

There are many people in the US and the UK that have been kind enough to indicate a great excitement about our impending launches there, and I have personally been thrilled everytime somebody mentions it.

However – and this is my fault – there are some misconceptions about what this all means.

In each territory, Lady Devotea and I have gone through a  process of selecting a distributor. Once selected, we sign an agreement and then the distributor becomes responsible for blending and shipping our teas.

Each distributor will decide, in consultation with us, which teas they will or will not blend and sell. We provide the sources for much of the tea, but there is also some local sourcing.

We anticipate that each distributor will kick off with five or six of our teas. We currently have fifteen on our Australian site.

Some of the teas will be difficult to source and replicate overseas, For example, two of our teas use significant quantities of Australian Daintree. This is very hard to get and quite expensive elsewhere, so Aussie Ginger Chai, and January XXVI are less likely to make the roster. That’s not to say we won’t work with the distributor to come up with alternatives. Another example: Lemon Myrtle, a major part of both 1001 Nights and Kali Chai can be hard to get elsewhere.

The process of drying lavender and oranges for our Lady Devotea blend is our own invention, and it might take some time for those techniques to be passed on to our distributors.

An obvious question is “Why don’t we just send the tea from here?” The reason: cost. Tea costs about twice as much in Australia as it does in the US or the UK. To then ship it doubles the price. So, even if you personally might see the value in paying 4 times the proper price for our tea, not everyone will!

So in May(US) and June(UK) , www.the-devotea.com will start offering country specific site which will tell you what is available in your own territory.

You can rely on Lord Petersham, 1910, Persian Princess and (The Gods of Lemon Myrtle willing) 1001 Nights.

For technical reasons, I suspect that Two Tigers and Finbarr’s Revenge are “likely”, Jim’s Caravan and The Duchess ‘quite possible’.

If a distributor decides to add Kali Chai, Peppermint Plus, Lady Devotea or Fleurs de Provence, they will have to source various ingredients that may add some time before they can make them available.

In Australia, we are rapidly expanding in a wholesale sense. By the end of the financial year (that’s June 30 here) we plan to have ten outlets selling our teas. They are mainly High Tea venues and somewhat aimed at tourist areas, because we offer the ability for a venue to not just to serve our tea but also sell packets of it, thereby improving their return. We will be working with our distributors to help them do likewise over the remainder of 2012 and beyond.

So, a little patience with all of us, and we hope to have some of our tea in your pot, via your mailbox or your favourite High Tea spot, very soon.

Anyone who wants to mention how much they enjoy specific blends of ours might like to comment below. It can only help with our planning!

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6 thoughts on “Hmm. Clarity, it’s a wonderful thing!

  1. Anxiously awaiting the kick-off in the U.S. Thank both you and Lady Devotea for all the work you have done to make it available.
    I am thrilled for you all.

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think your blends are better than any unflavored blends commercially available here on store shelves. Those “English Breakfast” teas you see in a fancy tin? Nothing on yours. I’ve added the “unflavored” only because you don’t do a Vanilla tea blend, and you know that’s the my one big flavored tea weakness. But other than that, we were both so impressed with the tea you use. Lots of Darjeeling, lots of good stuff. I don’t really know exactly what’s in them, but I enjoy looking at them, none of the teeny weeny dusty particles passing off as tea, you see in so many other blends. No, this is real tea.
    I’m not a fan of minty drinks but you have a dedicated fan with @peter .The orange bits and lavender touch, very pretty and tasty. Anyway, I don’t write tea reviews, so this is a little awkward. I just want to say, your blends are beautifully handcrafted with skill and care, and you deserve every customer you can get!
    Cheers, may the force of tea drinkers be with you & Mrs Devotea.
    J.

  3. Vsopfables says:

    At last! This is very good news indeed for tea lovers.

    The names of your teas are what drew me to them in the first place, closely followed by the description of what are clearly good quality ingredients. I would eagerly pore over your website, teasing myself by imagining the look, aroma and taste of each one. Yes, it was pretty close to porn I have to admit.

    I love food and I love tea, but you haven’t so far been tempted to combine them which is good news for me. If I want blueberry cheesecake or Danish pastry I’ll eat them, thank you very much. Sorry Jackie, but a pack of vanilla tea from a very reputable supplier ended up in the bin for straying too close to ‘food’ so I’ll be interested in Fleurs de Provence.

    On the serious side, I’ve learnt a lot about tea by reading your blogs, tweets, etc. And my husband has got quite used to having you, in the televisual sense, in bed with us as I watch your latest video with morning tea.

    Anyway, the very best of luck to you and Lady D. You deserve it.

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