REVIEW: The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co.

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

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My second tea order came from a company whose prices seemed too good to be true. Based in the haunted village of Pluckley in Kent, I put in a sizeable order :

1x   Yerba Mate – 125g

1x   Black Gunpowder Tea – 50g

1x   Pai Mu Tan – 50g

1x   Golden Monkey Tea – 50g

1x   Honeybush Herbal Tea – 50g

1x   Greek Mountain Tea – 20g

1x   Ceylon Tea Lovers Leap – 50g

1x   Ceylon Nuwara Eliya Orange Pekoe – 50g

1x   Nepal Tea TGFOP – 50g

1x   Assam Orangajuli TGFOP – 50g

1x   Assam Tea. Phulbari FTGFOP1. 2nd Flush – 50g

1x   Rooibos Organic Tea – 50g

1x   Arctic Fire Tea – 50g

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All of these plus delivery came in just over £30.00 which is impressive for the amount of tea that I received and the quality of it is pretty decent too. The Arctic Fire is a blend of black tea, fruit flavourings and mint which delivers a fruity yet clean tasting drink – the mint taste kicks in right at the end. The Ceylon Lovers Leap is a rather unusual taste but is a pleasant tea and incredibly tasty. Greek Mountain Tea was pure curiosity (like a lemon scented mellow green tea is the best way to describe it) and that Yerba Mate will keep me going for months. So far so good.

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All the teas come in sealed packets but once opened there is no way to reseal them. At the moment the tops are folded back over on themselves once they have been opened and these products would best be decanted into some sort of container or caddy. This is something to factor in when buying initially unless keeping packets airtight isn’t too much of an issue. My method hasn’t seen any real deterioration in the teas but I do like packs that can be resealed. I keep my teas in a box so as not to clutter up cupboards so decanting isn’t really an option for me.

The tea box!

The tea box!

All of the teas (bar the Greek Mountain) arrived in white bags with the name on the front and a little product information. This to me isn’t essential at the point when I have bought them and have them in my home. What is really missing here is information on how to brew, measurement, time, water temperature and can it be resteeped – if so how many times. When I queried this via email I was told the information is available on the website which is all well and fine but I don’t always have the time to check back on there. It wouldn’t hurt to either put that information on the packaging or to include it with your purchase. That to me would make a nice touch. Not everyone is clued up on loose tea and it feels like the people at this company expect you to know just for how long that oolong will need and at what temperature.

...but no instructions!

…but no instructions!

Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co also slipped up in a big way for me. My purchases came with a hefty postage cost of £5.85 and in fairness the parcel was a reasonable size and had been sent via 1st Class Royal Mail. However… The order arrived at my house on Wednesday but unknown to me had been left at a neighbours house, no card placed through my door to explain where it had gone and it was only on the Thursday evening that this neighbour called round was I aware it had arrived. This to me is shoddy and I have never had this happen with other tea deliveries. When I raised this with the company I was told basically that I wasn’t the first person that had an issue with the delivery process. I also found that email replies were slow, usually the next day before I had a response. A freephone number is also provided for customer queries and help which I think is a nice touch.

So to summarize. If price is an important factor then this company will offer you some excellent and diverse teas. The tea selection is superb and comes in a variety of pack sizes and they supply teas from many different countries. The website is very clear in its layout with good clear pictures of the teas an an accompanying description. There is also a nice 10% off your first order too so at these prices it’s an even bigger bonus. If you have tea knowledge then the issue about a lack of brewing information won’t matter, if you are new to loose tea then read up on how to brew it first before you start. With a few minor tweaks to its online business it would be a regular company I would buy from especially as new person who is curious to try many different types of tea.

Packaging – 5 / 10

Basic, not air tight. Really could use better products to pack the tea into.

Information – 0 / 10

None existant. As I’m brewing up I’m supposed to check back on the website? What if I don’t have a smart phone?

Price – 10 / 10

A real winning point. Some top notch teas for not much money. Small packs of 25 & 50g teas start around £2-£3.

Service – 7 / 10

Emails get responded too (eventually). Nice to see a free phone number although didn’t try this.

Delivery – 3 / 10

Order placed on Saturday. Received Wednesday but not at my house until Thursday. The issue with delivery really needs to be addressed.

THE KENT & SUSSEX TEA & COFFEE CO. = 25 / 50

http://www.kenttea.co.uk

http://www.tea-and-coffee.com

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