2005 Xiaguan 8653 via Taobao — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #44

2005 Xiaguan 8653 acquired directly from Taobao. A good way to get inexpensive slightly-aged factory productions.


5 responses to “2005 Xiaguan 8653 via Taobao — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #44”

  1. Hey James, great episode. I’m wondering about the advantages of using the Taobao portal instead of the AliExpress portal. I’ve not used Taobao, but have gone through AliExpress a few times, and I don’t recall paying any fees or using an agent. Also, I was able to complete the transactions without resorting to Babelcarp. I had good experiences and would consider using AliExpress again. Is there a significant difference between the selections of puer offered through these portals? I’m curious to hear anybody’s opinion about one site vs. the other.

    Thanks again for delving deep into the mystery that is puer.

    • There’s a world of difference between the selections of AliExpress and Taobao. AliExpress has a very limited selection of pu’erh compared to Taobao, and most of what is available is fake/low-quality product. Only bulk exporters use AliExpress, and these sellers tend to have pretty bad tea, so what makes it onto there is generally low-quality.

      Taobao is much different, as it is infinitely easier for a vendor to start a Taobao store and sell tea, therefore smaller vendors can sell tea on Taobao with ease. Most tea vendors in China are not equipped to become large exporters, so Taobao provides an easier service to make their product available to the Chinese market (this also eliminates the possibility of foreigner scams).

      Basically, you’ll find a much larger selection of tea on Taobao, and as a result a much larger selection of quality tea. However, there are also tons of fakes and low-quality teas on Taobao as well, so exercise caution. I’ve had to toss a cake and a couple of samples from Taobao before, but otherwise everything I’ve picked up from there has been in the range of decent to very good quality.

      Good luck on your pu’erh adventures!

    • Hi Phil,

      Thanks for the comment and good question. I’ll admit to not diving fully into AliExpress. In my experience, Taobao seems to be a better representative of the Asian market and as a result offer a wider selection and better prices. I also find it easier to weed out more obvious fakes, but perhaps that is because I know the Taobao system better.


  2. Thank you, James. A really enjoyable episode, and you’re doing a terrific job generally.

    I have a question: earlier on, when you used Taobao for a purchase, I think you went through an agent called Cheapagency. Now you’re going through Taobao Ring. Any reason for the change? At face value, Taobao Ring charges higher fees.

    • Hi Kritiker,

      Thanks for the comment. I had an easier time communicating with Taobao Ring. No real issues with Cheapagency, but I feel a little more at ease with the communication with TB Ring.


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