Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Ground Shipping China Post Puerh is the New Tea Horse Road
One of the things I really enjoyed reading about upon my return to puerh was all the lively discussion on shipping. This article on shipping fees is especially interesting. I had never seen shipping fees under the microscope like they are currently. A recent post by Cwyn suggested that consumer pressure by puerh drinkers has even amounted to change- lowing the threshold for free shipping.
Unfortunately, living in the Great White North, Canada, many free shipping options are not available. So, I feel a need to advocate for some free shipping to extend to your friendly neighbours up north!
I really love to select ground shipping using China Post when I order puerh. First of all, there are some modest cost savings and I’m terribly cheap. If you compare SAL to ground shipping you really only save a few bucks so if you are doing it purely for value, SAL which usually arrives in a few weeks makes more sense. What really doesn’t make much sense is trying to rush a product that essentially gets better with age. I think the fast shipping methods just really play into the modern, have it now, go faster and consume more mentality of the world. This world view is actually opposite GongFu drinking of puerh tea which is a rather slow process.
What if you really like said sample or cake and wanted to order another but then it sells out in a few weeks leaving you totally missing out? Yeah that is a possibility but there will be more puerh out there and the likely hood of this happening is slim anyways. If you ship using ground shipping you really have to come to terms with this unlikely possibility. In doing so you are challenging the Fear ofMissing Out (FOMO) puerh collecting mentality. Ground shipping promotes the slow movement and way of life which I value. I imagine few things slower than receiving a package from China using ground shipping.
There is also something natural about the slow method of receiving puerh. I think this method mirrors the slow process of receiving tea from Yunnan the way it arrived thousands of years ago using the Tea Horse Road. There is a slow and sustained building up of anticipation using this method, that I find priceless. The feeling a child has waiting for Summer holidays to come or in counting down the days to Christmas. There are not so many things in our life like this so I really enjoy this process. I really try my hardest to use China Post Ground shipping for my orders. And so here I am waiting as patiently as I can for my orders placed in March.
Then a moment of reality sets in as the only order that I used SAL arrives at my doorstep before all the others… and for a moment I reconsider… maybe ground shipping is not my favorite after all.