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Food | Tea

Urth Caffee

While driving down Main Street in Santa Monica, California one evening, I saw this tiny sign lit up in the dark that said “Exclusively Organic Coffees & Fine Teas.” I couldn’t stop right then, but went back the next day. It was crowded with a line out the door and Starbuck’s a block away was empty. “Founded in 1989, Urth Caffe is widely considered the first coffee roasting company in America to offer exclusively organically grown, heirloom coffees. Each season we choose the very finest beans from our farmers – carefully selecting only a small percentage of the crop representing the coffee’s finest seasonal flavor & characteristics. The flavor profile of our blends changes from season to season – always presenting exciting new characteristics. All our organic coffees are small batch roasted using secret, innovative techniques in roasting and blending developed by us, to give the coffee its full potential of depth and complexity of flavor…Heirloom means that the trees have never been genetically modified, and are like their ancient ancestors found growing wild in the rainforests. Heirloom species such as Bourbon, Geisha, Heirloom Culitvar, Typica (to name a few) can grow up to twenty feet tall, require deep shade, and produce less coffee yield than hybridized trees. Heirloom coffee has superior flavor, has a more distinctive aroma, and is naturally lower in acid for easier digestion. “ Their exclusive selection of fine loose leaf teas include black, fruit scented, oolong, green, white, matcha green teas, and herbal infusions. “Each source garden is carefully selected by Urth Caffé based on highest quality, commitment to purity, uniqueness, and sustainability.”

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Onomea Tea Company

Certified organic teas grown in Hawaii. “Onomea Tea Company sits just above Onomea Bay on the scenic Hamakua coast of Hawaii Island. Stunningly beautiful, abundant rain with rich volcanic soils, it is ideal for making good, flavorful whole leaf Hawaii teas. We process the tea leaves into white, green, oolong and black teas and are excited by the exotic subtle, yet complex flavors achieved in this environment…we believe careful and healthful stewardship of the land contribute to healthy, flavorful tea and ensure the land stays clean and rich for the future generations.”

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Teance Fine Teas

Single Origin, Farm Direct, Whole Leaf Teas. I happened to walk by this store in Berkeley, California and loved it immediately. It completely changed my ideas about tea. “We celebrate this time-honored craftsmanship of the artisanal tea farmers of China, Taiwan, India, and Japan. Every harvest for the past 15 years we have traveled to the finest tea growing regions of Asia to visit family-owned farms to select our handcrafted teas. Each tea in our collection is carefully curated for its complexity, exceptional taste, and spirit. We do this because we are committed to helping sustain these traditional communities and to sharing the treasures of the tea arts with you. And we truly believe that tea can change your life.” Their mission is “to seek out the most skilled tea farmers and producers in each region, and support their craft by bringing their teas to the Western world.” You can meet each farmer on their website. Teas are picked during the peak season and sold as fresh harvests. They even have a questionnaire to help you choose the perfect tea for you. I wish I could live next door.

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Light of Day Organics

Award-winning teas and tisanes made with handpicked organic and biodynamic teas grown right here in Michigan USA, blended with home-grown flowers, herbs and fruit. ” Everything we sell is certified Organic and many offerings are also certified Demeter Biodynamic®, are Michigan-grown, and anything outsourced by partner farms is also certified organic and purchased using fair trade standards to support and honor the intense human effort that is required for tea harvest and production. 60% of all ingredients are grown right here. Our blending and packaging is done by hand right here in our farm’s commercial kitchen.”

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Cacao tea. “Cacao tea is produced from the shell, or husk, of the cacao bean, which is often discarded in the process of making chocolate. During this process, cacao beans are harvested, fermented, and dried. The shells are then removed from the beans, leaving the remaining nibs to continue forward in the process. Although only a byproduct of chocolate making, the shells are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and serve as the foundation for MiCacao.”

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Pique Tea Crystals

All the benefits and taste of loose leaf green and black teas in an instant. “Handcrafted from whole leaves using our proprietary slow-brew process, Pique delivers the exquisite flavor and natural antioxidants of loose leaf tea. We source the top 5% of tea leaves in the world Pique is made in collaboration with most experienced tea masters and tea farmers around the world. Using ingredients sourced direct from trusted farms in India, China and Sri Lanka at their peak freshness and antioxidant levels.”

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Five Mountains Heirloom Organic Tea

This is tea as Nature intended. “These traditional tea cultivars are renowned for their quality, flavor profiles and health attributes. Each tea is harvested from gardens of their native origin to fully express their variety and terroir…Five Mountains uses international organic certifications, biodiverse and sustainable growing methods, and fully compostable packaging.”

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Leaves & Flowers

A beautiful and unique selection of handcrafted herbal infusions and premium small batch teas. “Our inspiration comes from the plants themselves – the mythology of their medicine, their potent leaves, delicate flowers, and the intoxicating aroma and flavor they release when infused. At its conception, Leaves and Flowers established a close community of local farms who provide us with exceptional herbs for our herbal infusions. Our accompanying tea collection is sourced similarly to our herbal ingredients, with an ever-changing selection procured from small tea farms in regions of China, Japan and Africa. These farms have been implementing sustainable farming practices for generations, and provide us with teas of extraordinary quality and flavor. We feel fortunate to collaborate with farmers who live in such close relationship with the land. Our farms are either certified organic or apply sustainable farming practices. No chemicals or pesticides are used in the cultivation of our herbs or teas.”


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Arbor Teas

Our daily mission is to find the world’s most fantastic organic teas and deliver them to you as sustainably as possible. From our exceptional collection of organic and Fair Trade Certified® teas, to our Carbonfree® business practices, to our backyard compostable package, our passion is steeped in a desire to do worldly good, and our vision is to remain organic to a tea.” They have a wide variety of teas, plus teaware, and lots of information about tea and how to enjoy it.

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Winterwoods Tea Company

“Farm to Tea Cup…Winterwoods Tea Company produces small batch artisan teas hand mixed in Spokane, Washington. We’re passionate about creating delicious gourmet teas using only the finest 100% organic and fair trade ingredients. We begin by sourcing our ingredients from high quality small, local farms and distributors, many of them from within the Northwest. As a mother-daughter based business we are able to hand mix each batch of tea in small batches to ensure top quality flavor and freshness.”

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Golden Moon Tea

“Tea, the whole tea, nothing but the tea…no pesticides, no GMOs, no chemically treated teabags and not “natural” or artificial flavors.” Plus “toxin free teaware, including a double wall glass tea cup to keep your tea hot.

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Bamboo Leaf Tea

Tea “made from 100% bamboo leaves grown and processed by hand in sunny Florida without the use of any chemicals. We grow our plants with the utmost care and attention to nutritional value and sustainable agriculture.” Bamboo leaf tea has a wonderful sweet, green flavor and is rich in antioxidants, soluble fiber, and silica.

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Long Life Teas

“Long Life Tea was developed over 400 years ago for the Emperor of the Ming Dynasty by his Royal Physicians. The Emperor was very specific that his tea must provide pleasure & health, have an attractive appearance, and provide a pleasant aroma. Today all Long Life Teas honor these same principals. We create organic, good tasting healthy teas and each blend follows the Chinese philosophy of bringing balance and harmony.” All teas are handcrafted, using the finest quality certified organic herbs and teas. “The filter paper is not heat-sealable, therefore no type of glue has been added to it, the thread is made of natural cotton and the innovative method for fixing the thread does not use metal staples or adhesives, and each tag offers a special proverb.” Choose from green teas combined with various herbs, plus a detox tea and the original “long life” blend.

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More than 100 certified organic teas and tisanes. This site has a charming philosophy all it’s own and many unique teas. Blended teas include herbs, florals, fruits, or spices. They even have biodynamic teas that go beyond organic.As appreciation of tea grows in the United States of America, fine tea should be made available to all people at accessible prices in a greater market place- without sacrificing quality and taste.We are committed to the highest quality loose leaf tea, selecting fine certified organics when available. Working closely with tea gardens, estates and specialists around the world, maintaining knowledge and expertise regarding all facets of tea and production.We are environmentally responsible, utilizing organic farms and all-natural products. Committed to Earth-friendly packaging including post-consumer recycled and biodegradable materials and water-based inks.

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The Algonquin Tea Company

Certified Organic Herbal Teas using only plants that are indigenous to the Algonquin bio-region. “We have growing and harvesting areas in Whitney, located at the east gate of Algonquin Park on the Madawaska River, where we practice Permaculture Forest gardening, and in Golden Lake on a 200-acre homestead where we are growing certified organic herbs, as well as many other locations. All of our herbs are wildcrafted (handpicked in the wild) in a sustainable manner (picking amounts that a deer would graze). Those herbs which are more rare are grown organically using non-mechanical, ecologically integrated and permacultural methods. No fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides are used in or anywhere near where the herbs are grown or picked for the Algonquin Tea Co…We invite you to join us in our love of the Earth as you relax with a cup of tea, knowing not only that the tea is good for you, but that the Earth gives you Her blessings.”

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“Organic single garden teas…We grow all of our teas in our single USDA-certified organic garden in northern Bangladesh, and they benefit from perfect growing conditions: The soil is developed with the use of organic cover crops and mulching, while the growing area is irrigated by rainwater. And from growing to packaging, Teatulia gives tea lovers only the best and most responsibly cultivated product; the canisters are completely compostable, while the labels are made of recycled post-consumer paper. When you choose Teatulia, you’re choosing teas that nourish the body as well as the environment…Like a fine estate wine, single garden teas ensure a purity, accountability and freshness factor.” Good information on the health benefits of tea, tasting notes, and tea recipes.

Listen to my interview with Tetulia’s Director of Marketing and New Product Development Chris Olsen..

A beautiful selection of black, green, and white teas, plus herbal infusions, sold loose leaf and in tea bags.

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Te Bella Tea Company

A lovely little website with organic and fair trade teas in many unusual flavors. Choose from green, white, oolong, black, herbal, rooibos, and mate teas, with flavors like raspberry/rosehip/pomegranate, orange/almond, and peppermint/rosepetal/lavender.  They have teas that open into blossoms when brewed and a tea infused with jasmine blossoms using a technique that is 900 years old. Family owned and operated.

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Mighty Leaf Tea

Organically grown teas of exceptional quality and variety. “Mighty Leaf Tea was born for the sole purpose of infusing life into an ancient indulgence by creating tea products that reach new heights of quality and innovation… a shared passion and dream envisioned by a husband-and-wife team..their passion is for creating the most incredible handcrafted tea blends found anywhere, globally sourcing the finest ingredients available.” Teas sold loose and in handcrafted biodegradable tea pouches.

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Upton Tea Imports

Over 300 varieties of loose organic and natural teas of all types, plus all the accoutrements and lots of information about tea. My friend Cathy told me about this site after I commented on the deliciousness of her iced tea. She made it with tea from this site that has bits of real fruit in it, not just fruit flavoring.

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Seelect Herbal Teas

Organic herbal teas based on time-honored Chinese, Ayurvedic, Native American and European herbalism, “carefully selected for freshness and potency. All of our teas are tested to be free of herbsides, pesticides, and any contaminants which may affect medicinal quality and flavor.”

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Numi Tea

Teabags filled with “super premium, organic full leaf teas and herbal teasans…Our teas and herbs are certified Organic, Kosher and Halal and we are committed to work with fair-traded farmers….Numi uses only full-leaf tea in their teabags, ensuring a loose-leaf quality tea in every cup…Numi uses real ingredients in its teabags. We do not add any oils or “natural” flavorings…The herbs are cut to bring out their full flavor. We place more ingredients in each teabag (an average of 2.2 grams vs. the 1.8 grams in standard/conventional teabags)…Numi’s teabags are made of natural filter paper… Their double chamber allows the water to flow through and release all the subtle flavors each tea and herb has to offer…From the farmer’s tea garden to the packaging process to the final soothing cup of tea in your home, every step is guided by our devotion to bringing our customers the finest tastes!” Everything about their website and teas is steeped in quality. beauty and creativity. See especially their “flowering teas”–“handsewn rosettes of fine tea leaves that elegantly bloom into a work of art when steeped in hot water”. These flowering teas would make a great gift for a tea lover!

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Mountain Rose Herbs

Large selection of certified organic and fair trade certified green and black teas–old favorites plus new delights such as honeybush tea. Also loose-leaf herbal tea blends.”Our line of herbal loose-leaf teas are made with certified organic ingredients, and when organic materials are not available, we will opt for carefully wildcrafted herbs. We never have, nor will we ever use conventionally grown materials in our teas…We were the first company to introduce 100% certified organic herbal loose leaf teas in compliance with the USDA National Organic Program and certified organic by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic.”

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