Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Hi, I'm Joanne's son...thought that I would add some comments about
our experience.

I have been to a number of tea shops in New York City, New Jersey, and
elsewhere.

I was surprised by our experience at "The Tea Gallary".

First, it was a very very hot day. We stopped by around 1pm, and it
looked like he was just opening the store. So we were hot and tired.

The store was not air conditioned well. We were not offered anything
to drink. We asked to have a cup of tea. We were told that they
don't serve cups of tea.

Then we were told that we could do a tasting for $24. It was a little
bit strange. He wasn't very enthusiastic about serving us.

I wandered around the store for a little bit, it was cute, but
disorganized. I had trouble figuring out what tea was for sale.

I think there might have been a little bit of a cultural barrier. He
didn't seem to understand why we were annoyed.

In contrast, my fiancee and our friends went to Cha Ma Gu Dao Tea in
Montclair, New Jersey this weekend. We walked in and were offered
free samples of ICED TEA. You know, because it was freaking hot
outside. The service was friendly and they didn't try to force us to
buy anything. We ended up buying some of the loose tea, because it
was that good. They have a bar where you can sample tea and a wide
open area inside with tables where you can sit down with your laptop,
surf the internet and enjoy a cup of hot tea. We've also been to
Franchia, where you can sit down and order a cup of tea as well as
participating in a sampling.

In short, if you are going to have a store front in New York City,
understand that when someone walks into your store, treat them with
respect and offer them some tea.
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On 2008-07-22, > wrote:

> I have been to a number of tea shops in New York City, New Jersey, and
> elsewhere.
>
> I was surprised by our experience at "The Tea Gallary".


> Then we were told that we could do a tasting for $24. It was a little
> bit strange. He wasn't very enthusiastic about serving us.
>
> I wandered around the store for a little bit, it was cute, but
> disorganized. I had trouble figuring out what tea was for sale.
>
> I think there might have been a little bit of a cultural barrier. He
> didn't seem to understand why we were annoyed.


Tea Gallery isn't really a normal store, and definitely isn't a
teahouse. It's primarily a shop to buy tea leaves, and I think the cost
of the tasting is both to ensure that people don't just come in to try
tea without buying, and to subsidize the cost of the different teas they
brew for you while you're there. They don't really keep regular hours,
or deal a lot with walk-ins, and they don't serve cups / pots of tea.
Most of the people who come in know this, so this might be part of why
he was less than enthusiastic.

I haven't been there for a couple of years, but when I did show up (with
little advance notice), Michael came down to the shop to brew tea for me
(even though I hadn't called in advance), and was very friendly and
helpful. He even tried to sell me a tea that was at least 50% cheaper
than the one that I probably would have picked on my own.

Their website explains pretty well what they do:
http://www.theteagallery.com/Articles.asp?ID=131

We love to have visitors but sometimes we close our doors to
the public for private events. It's always best to call ahead
and let us know of your plans so we can make sure you have a
happy shopping experience.
[...]
We offer private tea-tastings by appointment. A tasting can be
customized to the clients' specific interests. A basic session
is $24.00 per person with a maximum of 6 people per session.

Personal Chiu Jao Gong Fu classes led by Michael are also
available by appointment. $80.00 for 3 classes.

It's a boutique business, and the prices are higher than they might be
otherwise (or than they might be in a city with lower rent). But you can
try the teas before buying, and the business model makes sense to me as
long as there are enough people willing to pay - if you're a tea shop
owner, you constantly are getting people coming in wanting iced tea, a
cup of tea, tea to go, and for the amount of money that people are
typically willing to pay for this, a lot of times, sometimes it's just
not worth it.

I don't know this for sure, but I imagine, if you bought some tea leaf,
they might refund part or all of the tasting charge.

If you want to drink a cup of tea in NY, there are plenty of places that
will happily take your money.

w

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Please leave a comment on this youtube video about tea or a fivestar
rating. :0)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fz1ahNfsZ3U
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On Jul 22, 1:45*pm, wrote:
> Hi, I'm Joanne's son...thought that I would add some comments about
> our experience.
>
> I have been to a number of tea shops in New York City, New Jersey, and
> elsewhere.
>
> I was surprised by our experience at "The Tea Gallary".
>
> First, it was a very very hot day. *We stopped by around 1pm, and it
> looked like he was just opening the store. *So we were hot and tired.
>
> The store was not air conditioned well. *We were not offered anything
> to drink. *We asked to have a cup of tea. *We were told that they
> don't serve cups of tea.
>
> Then we were told that we could do a tasting for $24. *It was a little
> bit strange. *He wasn't very enthusiastic about serving us.
>
> I wandered around the store for a little bit, it was cute, but
> disorganized. *I had trouble figuring out what tea was for sale.
>
> I think there might have been a little bit of a cultural barrier. *He
> didn't seem to understand why we were annoyed.
>
> In contrast, my fiancee and our friends went to Cha Ma Gu Dao Tea in
> Montclair, New Jersey this weekend. *We walked in and were offered
> free samples of ICED TEA. *You know, because it was freaking hot
> outside. *The service was friendly and they didn't try to force us to
> buy anything. *We ended up buying some of the loose tea, because it
> was that good. *They have a bar where you can sample tea and a wide
> open area inside with tables where you can sit down with your laptop,
> surf the internet and enjoy a cup of hot tea. *We've also been to
> Franchia, where you can sit down and order a cup of tea as well as
> participating in a sampling.
>
> In short, if you are going to have a store front in New York City,
> understand that when someone walks into your store, treat them with
> respect and offer them some tea.


I am a "Regualr" at the Tea Gallery. Still I will always call before
going. TTG is not your regular walk-in tea shop, a direct opposite to
Cha Ma Gu Dao in Montclair. Hope this help.

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> I am a "Regualr" at the Tea Gallery. Still I will always call before
> going. TTG is not your regular walk-in tea shop, a direct opposite to Cha
> Ma Gu Dao in Montclair. Hope this help.


Hi Toki,
Any possibility of seeing you there Friday? Wuff!
Michael


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On Jul 30, 6:31 pm, Michael Plant > wrote:
> > I am a "Regualr" at the Tea Gallery. Still I will always call before
> > going. TTG is not your regular walk-in tea shop, a direct opposite to Cha
> > Ma Gu Dao in Montclair. Hope this help.

>
> Hi Toki,
> Any possibility of seeing you there Friday? Wuff!
> Michael


I am curious-are most chinese tea shops not walk-in type of shops?

I enjoy ma gu dao in montclair-

r there tea gallery type of shops in new jersey?

joanne
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On Jul 31, 11:42*am, wrote:
> On Jul 30, 6:31 pm, Michael Plant > wrote:
>
> > > I am a "Regualr" at the Tea Gallery. *Still I will always call before
> > > going. *TTG is not your regular walk-in tea shop, a direct opposite to Cha
> > > Ma Gu Dao in Montclair. *Hope this help.

>
> > Hi Toki,
> > Any possibility of seeing you there Friday? Wuff!
> > Michael

>
> I am curious-are most chinese tea shops not walk-in type of shops?
>
> I enjoy ma gu dao in montclair-
>
> r there tea gallery type of shops in new jersey?
>
> joanne


this is the only so far I know in the States....
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