We dropped off the update radar for a bit due to a combination of health issues and the intense effort a young puppy requires.
I’d forgotten just how much time and energy is required when a dog is young. Raubahn is amazing, and I love him, and I am very glad he is with us, but he definitely knocked things off balance for a bit.
I’m not quite ready to get back into the rhythm of our standard update posts, but I did want to let you know what was going on in the world of tea. (Our corner of it, at least.)
In the good news column, we have finally found a supplier that has a good price on quality organic vanilla. (At least, good compared to everyone else right now.) Due to this miraculous discovery, I am going through and changing our prices again, to drop the teas and coffees involving vanilla back down to closer to the original levels.
I’m actually doing a proper reprice over all of our products. I’ve updated our costs with the most recent information from our various suppliers, so you will see some incremental shifts across the board. Most are positive. However, there are some crops that are seeing less horrid versions of what has been going on with vanilla.
The tea plant, particularly, is running into some issues due to climate change. As is rooibos. Our suppliers are having to raise the prices they charge us, which means…
In more positive news, a customer asked for one of our bulk listings with teabags, rather than loose tea. For whatever reason, we’d not considered doing that before, but as the math was relatively easy, and the basic listings were already there – we’re updating all of our listings to allow for teabags as an option.
In a slightly related project, though sparked by a different source – one of my spoonie friends on Twitter asked if there was any way we could arrange for single teabags as an option. She thought it would be a fun way (and a more cost effective one) for someone to create a kind of grab-bag of our teas. We did some experimentation with packaging, and figured out something we thought would work. It tested well in shipping trials, so we will be offering this for all of our teas soon.
It is already rolling out in our personal shop. Etsy is going to take a bit more time, but you should see the first new listings presently. In Etsy it will work similarly to our samples, where there will be primary listings where you can pick your teas. The listings for both the samples and the single teabags will be sorted by category (ChariTea, Medicinal, Simply Tasty, etc…), and then grouped alphabetically. We are hoping this makes it a bit easier to find the tea you are looking for. This is a shift in the way we offer our samples, and is another thing that is going to take some time to get fully live. We loved the addition of the feature to have price vary within the options, on Etsy – as it is what is finally allowing us to make this change. Eventually, we are hoping to see a weight variance as well, which would allow us to have all of the options available in a single tea listing.
In news of what we are currently creating – I finally decided to settle down to the creation of the Hogwarts house teas – and one for Durmstrang, since we began with Beauxbaton’s Blend. They’ve been test-blended, batch-sized, and are currently waiting to have their photos taken. Our original goal had been to have them live in time for Christmas, but unfortunately, given shipping times, we are unlikely to reach that goal.
We are hoping to have the Potterverse teas, the Potterverse gift sets, the TMNT gift sets, and the Zelda gift sets all ready and listed for the new year.
Additionally, whilst I was in the throes of an allergy awfulness, Mister Tea prompted me to make a more immediate tea for that kind of issue. ‘Thyme Bomb’ is next up to be listed.
We also finally created a straight Lemon Black – not entirely sure why it took 4 years to get around to that, but… ‘Sublime Summertime’ will also be available soon.
There was another tea that was created due to a Twitter request, but we’re keeping some parts of that project under wraps for the moment.
Lastly, our tea giveaway is finally complete. All teas chosen, packaged up, and shipped (or handed off, in a couple cases.)
I was amazed by the responses, both as far as people sharing it around, and when winners were informed.
We also got a load of lovely feedback – on the teas themselves, and on our entire process.
It was very validating, both as a Tea Alchemist, and as a small business where we take treating the people we interact with like actual Human Beings quite seriously.
In our world of tea, the past weeks have been pretty incredible, and I thank all those who have made that true.