Tea Trade Investigation

There was a new site posted on steepster.com that is causing a stir: Tea Trade. Click here for the steepster.com posting.

Basically the company is acting as a middleman or host for selling leftover tea. From what I understand, sellers can be average people like you and me or companies. But before we get into that, I've got to point out the blogging site.

Tea Trade also offers a platform for tea bloggers - using Wordpress software. I signed up for an account for this project and put up a few tea bags for sale. (This is a legit purchase even though I'm just doing a test to see how it works). I inquired with Tea Trade about a month ago as they posted a note that they were looking for writers. I thought they wanted someone to write specifically for them, but they just want to be the host for the blog.

I created a blog, but it basically links back to this one. I dislike using Wordpress; it's not very user-friendly. Here's the catch: you sign up for the blog, and teatra.de is the host, so their name is attached to your blogs. What do you think about that? Please post below.

On to the selling part. Tea Trade acts like eBay or Etsy - sites which allow regular people to sell their wares. So if you have leftover tea, you can pawn it on Tea Trade. This strikes a nerve.

The online tea community has been swapping teas for years - sending tea to others in place of teas they'd like to try. I've been doing this for the past month or so. Yes you'll get some teas you don't like. I received some with red rooibos, which I have an issue with (see post), so I set it aside for a package.

Selling the tea is an option, I guess, but in the spirit of community I'd rather swap.

What do you think?


  1. Thanks for bringing this up, it's unfortunate that you are uncomfortable with WordPress. I am the developer and founder of teatra.de and can offer a number of workarounds for people who don't like using WordPress. We already employ mirrors (which work very well for your SEO) letting bloggers continue to use blogger but have a blog on tea trade.

    Additionally, the domain issue is exactly the same as most bloggers have on blogspot. In fact, this blog itself is hosted on a subdomain setup (exactly the same way Tea Trade is set up). If you have a tea blog, why not have it on a network devoted to tea? Also, because it is still early days for tea trade, we do offer something called Domain Mapping for free (for blogspot, it is paid). Visit http://leafboxtea.com for an example of this. Leafbox Tea is completely hosted on Tea Trade, but has its own domain.

    We love tea swaps, they were part of the inspiration for Tea Trade. Tea Trade removes the back and forth of sharing addresses and information via email. It is entirely possible to sell your extra teas for .50 cents if you want (to stay in the spirit of swaps). We do feel there is no reason why you can't make a little money from your tea.

    We offer to host the blogs, because we have a lot to offer the bloggers. The blogging community is fractured by technology - Blogspot vs. WordPress.com vs. independently hosted blogs. Different networks makes it hard for people to track each other, if you want to follow a great blog someplace else you have to resort to RSS (we've found many tea bloggers who don't use RSS). Tea Trade fixes that by creating a mini-blogspot or mini-wordpress.com - the system tracks and connects all the independent blogs together (just like you get on the backend of blogspot).

    Tea Trade is also open to vendors as well, we are in communication with several company owners and have had preliminary commitments from them to list some irregular products in the marketplace. This is something that is still in development (one of the biggest issues is that they need to plan ahead and figure out things like fitting their Tea Trade transactions into their accounting stream. Setting up on Tea Trade for a business requires a little more planning than for individuals)

    There really has never been anything like this for the online tea community before - a fully integrated networking site that lets you buy tea quickly and easily.

    I'm always available over on http://teatra.de to answer questions that anyone has. We are proud and excited about this project!

  2. i had a look at the trade site too, and was thinking about signing up for them to host my blog. but the whole thing just doesn't feel right to me. as you pointed out, trading tea has been around for a very long time. why would we start to sell it? it just makes me uncomfortable. I'd rather swap as well.