NOTE: at the time of writing, it appears my post has been flagged and isn’t visible when browsing r/tea. I wonder who was responsible for that? 🙂
I’ve been using a Discord chat that was set up by some young Reddit.com/r/tea users and somehow we got onto the topic of fake pu from BTTC. One of the users told me he’d posted a thread about it on Reddit (which I’d missed). I found the thread and noticed that the last post was from a shill account that only had posts praising BTTC, and sometimes, disparaging the competition!
BTTC sell fake pu erh. I can’t comment on the rest of their selections, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and a whole assortment of fake pu would already have the fire trucks out.
I initially started a thread on Steepster, and a user came on and questioned my motives in bringing BTTC’s activities to light. Well, I try very hard to find the best teas I can. Someone selling fake pu erh for cheap (tea that could actually be laden with pesticides and who knows what else) hurts the industry and can even very literally hurt the end consumer! Fake tea doesn’t have to satisfy Chinese government testing standards.
Additionally, the shill account thing is extremely dishonest. BTTC isn’t the only company to have been caught out; even the venerated Yunnan Sourcing was implicated in doing so recently, which came as a huge shock to many of us.
For vendors who play fair, we’re done a disservice by this kind of thing, especially if the shill accounts are used to target us unfairly. It hasn’t happened (yet), but I will absolutely point out dishonesty where I see it! There is too much dishonest activity in the tea industry and this really needs to stop. It stops with us, the consumers, and I was a consumer long before I became a vendor. I’m still very much a consumer, of course, and buy from many of the Western-facing vendors the rest of us buy from!
Droolong, aka Dr Oolong. 😀
Numerous dummy Steepster accounts that are very likely to represent BTTC were used on Steepster to respond to my post. The guys on Discord were joking around with me about the need for Tea Police. Then I found this: