TeaLife Hong Kong -- New Source for Hong Kong Teas
I’m Jay from Hong Kong, and I’ve been a member over at TeaChat for several years now. I just started an official company and I will be focusing on Hong Kong roasted/stored teas and locally produced teaware. Hong Kong is my hometown, and I’d like to share the best of our tea with you. Learning about tea is a lifelong process, so I will further refine and improve my selection every year. I will only offer teas that meet my exacting standards. I have six teas up at present, with lots more to come!
Feedback and suggestions are always more than welcome!
People should note that the prices are in HKD, not USD. Don’t freak out too much over those high numbers.
Having dealt with American customers online for seventeen years now, I already knew that would be an issue when I selected Hong Kong Dollars as the default currency for the store, but I’m hoping the legions of Chinese tea drinkers stateside will be better acquainted with foreign currencies and realize I’m not charging US$180 for 50g of shuixian. ;)
Yup, the HKD pricing is a concern I have, but it allows me (and, therefore, you) to save a few percent on PayPal’s additional 2% in conversion fees. I know Americans freak out when they see the $$$, but it actually works out cheaper to fund the conversion off a credit card than for me to charge more to cover the conversion and give that money to PayPal.
EDIT: Added the option to view prices in a number of different currencies. :) Now you can message me directly on Facebook through the site and like/read posts on the TeaLife HK page. Thanks for getting me looking at the site again, jschergen!
Nice to see more people promoting Hong Kong Pu-er. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! We have some great tea that not many people outside HK get to try! :)
Ditto! Now we have Hong Kong storage (you two) and Singapore storage (wilson), good for the pu drinking circle!
All your prices are in Hong Kong Dollars. I have no idea what that works out to in US Dollars? I have no way to judge if I can afford your teas.
Thanks Wocket! Yes, you can select the currency of your choice in the top right corner, but final payment is in HKD (saves 2% on PayPal conversion). PayPal try to get me for almost 6% in fees if I accept payments in USD. Grrr. Thanks for checking out the site Allan!
Great that you are using paypal. The visa debit cards don’t work with a lot of sites. So people that don’t use credit cards can’t order. But paypal changes that. The tea site that I use makes payment in USD instead of yen. Interesting.
The teas you have up so far look very interesting to me. I love high roast oolongs especially. For me personally, it would be a fairly large investment to try a few of your teas without knowing how good the teas are, so I probably would not take the risk. I suppose start ups often face this situation. If you offered a way to sample some teas at a low cost, I would give you a try.
Rich, you’re absolutely right and I think I’ll offer sampler packs, once I get more teas up. One for oolongs and one for pu!
How many grams of each do you think would be suitable in a sampler pack? I’m thinking 25g, but I think some prefer even smaller amounts (8-10g)?
Sample/single serve bags in China are usually 8g, so maybe I’ll go with 15g so people can get two decent sessions worth without spending too much.
I think 15g is a good sample size. That way those who go heavy can still get 2 sessions.
I added a 15g sample option to most of the teas on the site. Now people can pick and choose which samples they want! The only teas that samples aren’t available for are high end aged teas or teas that I have a very limited quantity of.
Exciting day—signed the provisionary lease on a really great office/warehouse space and got my first order through the site and the new company. That order made my night! :)
I don’t have e-packet set up just yet, but it should take 7-14 days at present by registered airmail. e-packet should take around the same time I believe. The advantage of e-packet is USPS tracking and lower shipping rates. I should have e-packet set up in early August.
At present I’m located around ten miles from the airport, so that helps things get to the US a little quicker! We watch planes taking off and landing all day from here.
Incidentally that typhoon that devastated Taiwan gave us one of the hottest days on record today, and at present I see lightning every few seconds. I can’t believe they just let a plane take off!
Doesn’t airmail also have tracking? Usually even cheaper shipping tracks with the USPS although it may be more limited.
Allan, no, not for the last year or two. They still provide tracking numbers on this end, but USPS have given up on the updates. Not sure if that’s specific to Hong Kong Post, but they always let me know that packages headed to the US won’t be trackable.
So my guess then is that you only have delivery confirmation from USPS? I would be surprised if it wasn’t scanned at the post office on the delivery day at least. How can the seller prove that it was delivered then?
I just tracked a package I sent out ten days ago and got this message:
“USPS Tracking™ is unavailable for this product for HONG KONG.”
The tracking works on HongKongPost.com, however:
The item (RC44737****HK) left Hong Kong for its destination on 4-Jul-2016
As far as PayPal goes, they only need proof you sent it out. Looks like I need to get the e-Express set up ASAP.
EMS is also substantially faster from here: 3-5 days to the states. It is considerably more expensive, however, and has a 1 kg minimum. I should be able to lower shipping rates and prices (the prices subsidize part of the shipping) once everything is set up.
It will be better once you get e packet set up. That should be fully trackable. I have had some EBay e packets shipped out of Hong Kong and they were fully trackable. The problem with your current shipping is it doesn’t take into account the lameness of the USPS. Packages will go into a facility called the ISC and sometimes leave quickly for a sort center, but other times they may be there for two to three weeks. With no tracking you cannot know if a package that is taking three weeks is lost or just stuck in the ISC sort center.
My package loss rate over the last five years, to the US, is approximately 1/5,000. You’re right, though, the eExpress (what we call it here) will lower costs and improve efficiency, and everyone wants to be able to track their packages! The new site even allows me to upload tracking numbers for each order so customers can access that info directly through the system.
There is a site called 17track it allows tracking for lots of different tracking numbers. You may want to see it this will track for you as I find it more accurate than most other sites.
You should offer an option for super fast delivery for an extra $10. My Japanese Tea supplier gets stuff to me in 4 days flat, and it’s trackable.
I’ll have fast EMS, but it costs more like $20 minimum here, I think. That would come out to $12 more. I’ll have to check once I get everything set up!
I now have EC-Ship (e-packet) set up! I sent the first three packages out with EC-Ship today and it worked a treat. I also offer EMS, but it costs around $35. It is much, much faster than China EMS, however. I sent a tea package to the US last month and it got there in two days!
Looks like some amazing teas on offer!
Do keep us posted as samplers and epacket become things, I’m excited to try it but having near zero exposure to HK teas samplers will definitely be my starting place!
Thanks, will do! I sent someone in New Zealand some loose traditional storage shu/sheng (a blend of different cakes) and he couldn’t believe how humid the storage was. That particular blend is lovely after it gets some airing out!
The high fire shuixian and tieguanyin have surprised everyone so far, as they are unlike anything they’ve ever tried. Quite a few people reordered immediately!
Just received order #2 this morning! :) Some of the traditional storage 7542. Compared to my home storage 7542 from the same time period (03-05), the traditional storage 7542 feels like much older tea. I think I just convinced myself to drink some today!
I’ll definitely be watching for some sampler packs – very interested to try some HK stored teas :)
Thanks Matu! I’ll get on that next week. I’ll need to order in smaller vacuum seal bags to fit the samples as at present I only have tiny bags (that can hold 8g of tieguanyin) and large ones that can hold 125g of shuixian!