Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dollar Store Tea: Lindsay Gardens Tea

I like exploring dollar stores, although I often don't buy much in them because I tend to seek out high-quality merchandise and, as I explain below, sometimes buying low-quality "bargain-priced" merchandise can actually increase your costs in the long-run. But sometimes I do discover true bargains and I always enjoy searching for them. I recently discovered a store, Dollar Days, on 48th street in West Philadelphia, which has a fairly large selection of food products, and among them, tea. The following photograph shows the tea for sale in this store:



This tea was all from Lindsay Gardens Tea, a brand which I had never heard of before I saw it in this store and took this photograph. I did not buy this tea and I'm probably unlikely to try it unless someone else has already bought it and offers me a tea bag to try, because I don't like throwing out tea.

I love shopping for bargains, but I think it is important to think about the broader picture when considering price, rather than just buying things because they are cheap. The tea pictured above is a good example. While I can't say much about its quality without actually sampling it (and I have not done so), I'm skeptical about its quality. It's clearly a brand of low-end tea bags, and I tend to avoid these brands regardless of price, because I think that high-quality goods often offer better value. But even if this brand offered high-quality tea, would it really be the best price available?

Cost-per-cup Analysis:

The following analysis will clearly demonstrate the supremacy of loose-leaf tea over tea bags as a bargain buy. First of all, the price above, $1 for 20 tea bags, is exceptional. Except for buying very large packs (100+ teabags) in bulk, it's rare to find prices as low as the one above. But in loose-leaf teas the prices can go much lower.

I recently featured a handful of teas in a post cheap tea: loose-leaf teas offering outstanding value. Among these, the cheapest was Ahmad Tea's Kalami Assam, an unusually good Assam tea. This tea, which I bought one pound of for $6.15, costs between 3-4 cents per cup, assuming about 2.5 grams of tea per cup, a substantially more liberal quantity than most low-end tea bags contain. The Lindsay Gardens tea above, from the dollar store? Assuming one tea bag per cup, 5 cents a cup. The Ahmad tea is actually an example of a relatively high-quality tea. There are other teas that are still quite high-quality that are much cheaper even. As an example, take Turkish tea from Caykur, all of which is grown without pesticides. It tends to be smooth black tea, available at a fraction of the price of the Ahmad tea above.

Even if you are searching solely to minimize your cost-per-cup, you'll nearly always get a better deal buying cheap but good-quality loose-leaf tea than buying the cheapest tea bags on the market.

16 comments:

  1. Even though I wouldn't give a tea like that a second glance at a dollar store, your post made me curious. I wanted to know a little more about who's behind this brand. I found some interesting articles, one of them is here: http://www.nyreport.com/business_profiles/company_next_door/66960/hot_tea
    Apparently this label is owned by Carrington Tea, that is a brand I have heard of.
    Anyway, as to your point that we can buy better loose leaf tea for better value. Yes. I agree. 100%

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  2. I'm with you on this. I compared a box of Lipton's with my usual teas and even for some of my higher priced ones, the loose leaf won. It wins against coffee as well, since a pound of good coffee, prepared well, only yields aout 60 cups. We're so smart!lol

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  3. Haha yes! Good tea is substantially cheaper than good coffee.

    BTW, I also posted a review of another incredibly cheap loose-leaf tea: Ceylon Tea OPA by Ahmad Tea.

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  4. I tried the Lindsay Garden Island Spice Tea, and the flavor was okay, but I wondered - how do they make it taste like coconut? Since it does not say whether it is artificially flavored, and I think it might be, this is the last box I will buy.

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  5. Well, I'm drinking the Island Spice right now, and I like it. And it was a truly the best value of all mentioned because it was free! So :-)~

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  6. The peppermint tea is the bomb. Sometimes you have to step outside the box and try new things. You cannot loose if it is only $1.00 anyway. Try it for yourself.

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    1. I agree I have the peppermint at home and the chmomile in my hand right now I really like them both. I bought this tea because look at the ingredients: All Natural Chamomile. Can't go work on that

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    2. I definitely am drawn to products that have only a single ingredient...whether pure teas, herbs, or food like a shredded wheat cereal that just includes whole wheat and nothing else.

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  7. Its the only tea I buy other then Red Rose, it is absolutely DELICIOUS! It is just like higher-end teas- takes really good :) So worth it

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  8. I have been drinking Lindsay Gardens Teas for over 10 years and like it much better than Liptons. In fact, I don't buy Liptons any more since finding Lindsay Gardens. They have very true taste and their black tea does not have the bitterness of other brands, especially Liptons.

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    1. my last name is Lindsay and I am interested in purchasing

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    2. I think your best bet is to check dollar stores for this product. That's the only place I've ever seen this brand for sale.

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  9. i buy that the all the time & it is really gooood.

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  10. I bought Lindsay Gardens tea (Chamomile) at the dollar store (for $1.00, 20 tea bags + 10 free). It was pleasant, but I could not get a second cup from the same tea bag., which I usually can from other brands. a closer look explains why. Lindsay Chamomile has only .6 g per serving. The standard (per other brands in my pantry & web search) is 2 g. This explains why it is inexpensive and why a second cup from the tea bag is almost nonexistent.

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  11. Are you kidding? Lindsay Gardens is my favorite tea brand! The first tea I tried from them was the Green Tea with Raspberry, and I fell in love! I've also tried the Peppermint and the plain Green Tea, and again, AMAZING! After I tried Lindsay Gardens Green Tea, all other green teas taste terrible! Bought Carrington (sp?) and could only take a few sips before having to dump it. It was revolting. Lipton is apparently one of the best tea brands out there, but I don't like their green tea. There's very little flavor, but at least I can stomach it. Unfortunately, I live in a small town and can't find Lindsay Gardens tea ANYWHERE. The only place I've found it is one bread store in/around Austin TX. I live more than six hours from Austin, so I can't just drive down there for tea, so I'm having to deal with Lipton. Gonna ask my mother who lives by Austin to get me a lot of boxes of it before she comes to visit for Christmas. Try it! It's actually got FLAVOR!

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  12. I am hooked on the Lindsay Gardens French Vanilla Tea. I limit myself to one cup every night because it is very difficult to find this flavor in the dollar store. Someone generously gave me 5 boxes about 2 months ago, which they were able to find in their dollar store. I love it so much, sometimes I make a second cup out of the same bag, as I am so afraid of running out. I only have 2 boxes left, which means in 40 days I will be going through withdrawals. I recommend it, well that is if you can find it.

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