Published at Sat, 05 October 2019 07:00:55 +0000
When I am buying cakes of tea I have a tendency to gravitate towards certain cost ranges and possess a psychological ceiling of just how much I am willing to spend on tea. It’s not really based off of anything or rationalized and it break, but more of an inherent psychological obstacle. This $/g line ends up being a fairly modest $0.25/gram -$0.30/g. Occasionally I’ll spend up but if I look back at the buys I’ve made in the past couple of decades, the huge majority fall in this range or lower. This to me, seems like normal behavior and I think most folks will possess impulses on what they’re willing to spend, particularly once they’ve had a couple years of buying and drinking. People’s own cost trends and intuitions change person to person. Several have yet to convert to the $/g school so these choices can manifest itself in $/cake amounts as well. This could be $30 cakes or $100 biscuits. For people who think in $/g, this might be $0.50/g or $0.10/g.
Though the teas I am drinking come from my stash probably hover around that $0.20-$0.30/g mark, sampling from this cost range is not always incredibly enjoyable. In my view, I would really do a disservice to restrict samples towards this lower range. Possessing an above average, positive VOATO (Value Over Average Tea Owned) is harder than using an above average, positive VORT (Value Over Replacement Tea), therefore if I sample in the $0.20-$0.30/g range there is a high likelihood I’d enjoy a session by a tea in my stash greater than the ordinary sample.
Sampling Early On. I’ve talked in the past about trying to not cheap out. With samples, perhaps not cheaping out is more significant. Sample up, including teas that you understand you shouldn’t purchase cakes of or won’t.
Cake Splits & Group Buy
Sampling After On. In year 8 of tea for a hobby, sampling broadly is not nearly as attractive as it once was in years 2 or 1. Early on thanks to large requests and thanks to TeaDB I would regularly have a couple hundred samples. Through the majority of tea made by western sellers I’d drink for a couple years. This would amount to about 100 samples of per year. I am drinking out of my stash often and less. This enables me to be pickier when I do really sample.
If your goal is to get more visitors to try those teas, offering samples is equally important. I understand why sellers do not like to supply samples for every tea, it’s annoying and not fun to break up cakes. But there is probably a fairly good part of people who are willing to sample a $100+ cake and a different portion that will purchase a $100+ cake following sampling — but the section of the willing to directly blind purchase it’s considerably less.
I think Scott (YS) is somewhat ahead of the curve compared with other vendors in offering smaller samples. He’s well setup to scale and offering smaller than 25 g for particularly costly teas is a good service to his customers. I would not expect most sellers to do this, but offering 10-15 gram samples rather than a full 25 g is a nice method to nudge drinkers towards trying otherwise costly and less available teas. .
You can learn from $50 samples or $50 cakes, but at a certain point there is more value in studying from something that is more special and uncommon. This is true even if your takeaway is that you find a certain category of higher-end tea to not be worth your while.
There’s an collection building appeal to people from the world class. I’ve even seen some people unwilling to sample, since they always want to purchase a cake. There’s value in getting lots of repetition with certain teas, however I think it places a ridiculous handicap on ourselves by forcing such a huge quantity of tea (357g cakes are 35-70 sessions) for every tea.
There’s a reason to drink samples that are cheaper, if I am scouting teas to purchase. Otherwise, there is a clear incentive to drink teas I have or sample upward towards teas I’ll love and learn more from. Having a tea stash that is already too large, sampling upward makes much more sense than buying high-quantities of inexpensive samples.
There’s a couple obvious reasons to sample tea. An obvious one is to (a) attempt to learn from the tea’s session. Another is to (b) assess the tea and ascertain if it’s worth buying more of. Sometimes, both reasons may apply. One thing I discovered back in my second year of drinking pu’erh, after I began to wind down from the tea of the month reports, is that I began to focus disproportionately on (b) and begin to neglect (a). Everything worth sampling was something. I’ve come to think that was a error.
One related form of participation is in cake splits and group buys. I feel these are great, partially because it provides a chance to try a tea and lowers the attractiveness of collecting. Instead of a nice, new cake, then you end up with a piece that is chosen apart and imperfect chiseled off. A lot of the same reasoning as sampling implements, and I think that it’s worthwhile to take upwards as well.
Why You Should Consider Trying Teas You Don’t Have Any Intention in Buying
Not everything should be about buildup. Other kinds of tea, peppermint, hongcha, and greens do not have the same aging sheen to them. I think there is often worth in healing pu’erh such as other teas without aging desirability and doing our very best to steer clear of this mindset. Including trying teas with basically no intention of buying a cake or large quantity. Where you can afford a full cake avoid falling into the trap of just sampling teas.
Sample Upwards. Early On & Afterwards
Increasing Access & Offering Samples
There’s no significant need to accumulate a lot of tea on, learning must be the aim. Higher-end teas offered come out around $1-$2/gram, which puts a 25 gram sample at $30-50. Most people purchase $50 cakes sooner or later. Consider buying $30-50 samples instead of these cakes!
Pu’erh per session is not necessarily expensive at the luxury. If we’re willing to spend that which we would spend going to a cheap restaurant (state a modest $10), we would really have a fairly limited choice of tea near the peak of the western industry. At 6 g, that’d be over $1.50/g. It’s the cake quantity that often makes look expensive. When a sample can be obtained, even a cake comes out to under $ 3/g, and under $20 to get a session. $20 is not anything crazy and I am not suggesting that you do this or even at all, although that is not cheap.
- The sum I’ll spend on biscuits will average out around $0.25/g, however if I were to add up my sampling that $/g sum would go way up. I would estimate around $0.50/g.