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Where poll results got it wrong!

Poll results

Of course, your poll results must have been correct!

Poll results We have long run a tea poll on various tea-related issues. These polls are sometimes run with the intention of better understanding the needs of loose leaf tea enthusiasts and those who enjoy single-origin teas. Sometimes we just want to offer a bit of entertainment once we have received the poll results to some interesting questions! On occasions we have run questions asking whether a statement is true or false such as “When making green tea you should use boiling water.” 58% said false. This is correct. However, it is enlightening when the commonly perceived answer is in fact wrong! Two examples are here:

  • Statement: All jasmine teas are based upon green teas. 57% said true. Actually false! White tea is also used as a base for jasmine tea.
  • Statement: The first British teabag was sold by Tetley in 1935. 60% said true. Actually false! The first teabag was marketed in 1908 in the USA.

These are questions in respect to facts but common perceptions can frequently not reflect reality such as our current Facebook and Instagram question “Most British tea comes from India. True or false?” We won’t give you the answer but you can research it! Other questions can be one of opinion and the interesting point is whether the opinion of a defined audience is different from the public at large. So, “Do you prefer tea with milk?” might be answered “yes”, but our poll found that 43% of our respondents said that they always drank their tea without milk, no matter what type of tea they were drinking. This would surprise many normal tea drinkers.

Such discoveries prompts me to ask what other issues are answered wrongly in polls. Politics is an obvious minefield where pollsters frequently get it wrong, such as in the USA where Trump’s surprise victory in 2016 when Clinton was polled to win. This may be because those who answer opinion polls may not reflect the opinions of those who do not answer such polls and the actual voting puts the cat amongst the pigeons of polling professionals, all asking why their poll results were so wrong! One polling professional went as far as to say “The kind of people who answer polls are really weird, and it’s ruining polling.” However don’t let that put you off answering our next poll question – all in the cause of finding you the best tea! Design of a suitable sample group is therefore vital if we are to be sure that poll answers reflect the opinions and preferences of our target audience, especially, in our case, those who enjoy high-grade loose leaf teas. We may need to persuade a few more people who may not yet put themselves in that group! But that is a different story – trading up to a higher quality product is a long established challenge – think wine merchants who frequently remind one that £2 of your £5 bottle of wine is the cost of the bottle and that if you want twice as good a wine you only need spend £8!

Perhaps we should be asking customers how much more you would be willing to pay for twice as much tea. You will be reassured to know that our 250 gram bags are 10% cheaper than two 125 gram packets! But is it worth paying twice as much for a Darjeeling first flush as a Darjeeling second flush? It’s all a matter of taste and we would need to seek Darjeeling drinkers to respond to such a poll. Some would be prepared to pay more for the second flush – as it’s smoother and more full bodied! And the customer is always right!

Take part in our tea poll.