A week or two back Alex and I set up group buys. The idea was to engage the community with areas of the tea market they themselves either hadn’t known of, or weren’t comfortable trying to explore themselves. Both group buys operate with similar formats but slightly different objectives. As for the Taiwan buy, the idea was to browse Taiwanese Facebook pu’er auctions and place bids on cakes members of the buy are interested in. The guidelines were pretty simple. A survey was conducted to see what types of teas people might be interested in.
After doing a little asking around with vendors and auctioneers, I stumbled across this:
The 2013 Xiaguan Love Forever Cake. It is supposedly made with 2003 banzhang maocha, pressed in 2013, and stored in Taiwan. I was lucky enough to find it at $70 a cake. The seller I found these cakes with told me that the cake likely wouldn’t stay at such a low price. The average price going for this cake at the time of picking it up was around $100-$110. To top it off, I have had personal experience buying from him in the past, and he is trusted in both Taiwanese and Western circles. Quite the lucky find for a virgin group-buy voyage.
I didn’t realize how fast people were going to jump on this buy. Within 24 hours, I had 15 people on board with payments through. A few days later the teas were ready to ship out.
Once they hit LA, Alex will post them up for each participant. (Thank you so much for all the help!!!)
Overall I would say this group buy has been a holistic success. A decent tea at a very good price. I hope these buys can help give Westerners more opportunities to try teas outside of their normal options. Being able to buy as a group allows for diversity of options with less financial burden, or discounts to bulk options.
I’ll probably do another look into a next group buy in a few months, but for now will lie low for a bit while other things run their course. Keep in touch for more details.