Here is an interesting statistic: an estimated 88% of specialty tea purchases are made by women. Instinctively, I've known this for some time. Also, empirically, our sales figures would support this. But, 88%. I thought our figures were an anomally, or maybe just wrong.
We've just closed out our year, and while we need some time to study our sales and trends, I would guess that sales of spice melanges, lattes, herbal tea blends and remedy teas were all up. I'd also guess that loose leaf tea sales were either flat or up slightly.
Tetsubin sales were weak -- that trend has passed.
Yixing sales slid a bit, but nothing shocking. Tea filters, cups and accessories were probably in line with prior years. Tea infused chocolate sales were a disappointment.
Although loose leaf tea may be considered a luxury item; sales overall were not off. Our regular repeat customers -- the heartbeat of our business -- maintained purchases at their regular or even increased volumes.
Fedex has been a cost saver for orders shipped to the West Coast, and new updates to our web site including order tracking should be coming this year. To anyone we disappointed, I personally apologize.
And to all of our loyal customers: thanks again, and to all a good year!