Are you ready?

There is good news and bad news ahead. Let’s begin with the badish newish. You may have noticed the amount of posts have decreased in the past few weeks. Due to the weather, farmers harvesting tea, and general summer business I haven’t sent out any interview requests and, unfortunately, haven’t received any back of the others sent out earlier. But don’t despair there will be more to come in the future.

Now for the good news! I’ve been working on something exciting exclusively for TeaTiff readers!!! If you’ve ever tried out a tea box and loved the concept I have something new coming at you that you are going to love!

While I am working on the final pieces and getting the site set up for selling here is a look at the companies you’ll get to try out:

3 Leaf Tea, Akova, Brooke Birch Tea, Japanese Green Tea Co, Rakkasan, Teakruthi, Tease Tea, and Yunomi.

I really want to spill everything right now because the excitement is palpable but soon my young Padawan’s. Soon it shall be. (Sorry it doesn’t actually have anything to do with Star Wars I just enjoy the series.)

The Great Tea Road

Farmers Markets are a great way to find fresh produce, pottery, baked goods, and tea. Yes, tea! This is how I first discovered The Great Tea Road. In the building behind them they have their own space for a quaint tea shop that houses an amazing array of teas and tisanes. Tea drinkers of all kinds will find a new tea to love here.

Websitehttps://www.greattearoad.com/

Location(s) Headquarters: Prior Lake, MN, USA

Company Focus: 

  • Handblended teas as well as small tea farms from several major tea production countries.

Most popular company tea(s)? 

  • We got many popular teas: Unwind & Relax (herbal tea), Jasmine Dragon Pearl (Green Tea), Strawberry & Passion Fruit (White Tea), Jin Qu Hong Mei (Black Tea) Golden Monkey (Black Tea) Fruity Sangria (Black Tea), Phoenix Honey Orchid (Oolong Tea)  

Does the company name have a meaning? 

  • Great Tea Road is the Siberian Route also known as the Moscow Highway and Great Highway was a historic route that connected European Russia to Siberia and China. The Siberian Route was also known as the Tea Road, owing to the great quantities of tea that were transported from China to Europe through Siberia. In choosing this name, we hope to create a company that bring quality teas, tea art & culture, and discover new teas long the way and share with our communities.

Do you participate in any charities?  

  • We don’t have a charities that we participate every year. However, if one asks us to help, we do.

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea?  

  • Since we review and taste our teas before we put on the shelves. If we don’t like the tea that we taste, we don’t bother to put on the shelf. Currently, we are drinking Vanilla Mystique (Black Tea), Traditional Chai (Black Tea) and our newest tea, Jade Dew of Enshi (Green Tea). 

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry? 

  • We work directly with tea farmers and small tea farms. We are big on trustworthy and relationship. Most tea farms that we work with are small and family businesses. It is not hard to see and understand their position in the tea industry. 

What role does tea play in our lives? 

  • It is a part of our daily life and ritual. We can’t live without it. 

Social Media:


Aged for three years at the minimum

TeaTiff Picks: Puerh Tangerine. Aren’t they cute?! After seeing the process that they go through to make these I had to try them out. But I also knew I wanted one that went through the proper processing, specifically the sterilization step. While visiting the outdoor shop at the farmers market I learned that The Great Tea Road makes sure to only buy from tea farmers who do the process properly. The flavor is amazing. If you haven’t yet tried this unique tea stuffed in fruit you definitely should.

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Davidson’s Organic Teas

Have you ever walked into a shop not expecting to find tea and then walked out with tea? That’s how I found Davidson’s Organic Teas. Like any good tea adventurer I saw something new and had to try it out. This company features a wide array of teas and tisanes. Featuring long time favorites like Irish Breakfast and also unique blends like Bing Almond Cherry. Grab a cuppa and read through their interview. Don’t forget to check out all their amazing teas on their website too!

Website: www.davidsonstea.com

Location Headquarters: 665 Spice Island Drive, Suite 101  Sparks, NV 89431

Company focus: Pioneers of high quality organic tea.

Most popular company tea(s): Co-owner Kunall Patel’s favorite is Earl Grey.

Do you participate in any charities? 

  • Yes, we work with various non-profits and charities. You can check out our non-profit partnerships webpage, here.

Social Media:

Like a warm pear compote without all the calories!

TeaTiff Picks: Spiced Pear. This unassuming tea was one of my first favorites, as far as tea bags go. The pear is delicate yet punctual. Showing up at the perfect moments throughout your steeping session. The earthiness of the black tea is fairly strong but not overly so.

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Venya Teas

Who says you need a lot of teas to make a tea company? No one. Sometimes less is more. The six blends that make up this company are the heart and soul of what makes this company what it is. If you are looking for tradition in your cup you will find it here. Plus three were blended by Sanjay Guha, tea master and friend to Venya Teas. Be sure to check out all of their amazing blends!

Website: https://www.venya.ca/

Location Headquarters : Toronto, Ontario

Company Focus: 

  • To offer tea drinkers blends made with quality ingredients that focus on wellness and fun.

Most popular company tea(s)? 

Does the company name have a meaning? 

  • Venya is a Sanskrit word which means loved or wished for. For all the times when we wish we had a soothing cup of tea that we love in hand, we want to be there! 

Do you participate in any charities?

  • We run campaigns to donate a percentage of all sales to various charities that support education for children in developing countries. 

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea?  

  • It has to be Serenitea. This blend is what we refer to as a warm hug in a cup! For the days when you long for a cup of tea to calm you down, allay the anxiety and just leave you feeling relaxed… That is what Serenitea is! 

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry? 

  • Transparency is key in any industry, and the tea industry is no different. We believe that consumers have the right to know about the sustainable environmental practices formed by tea plantations and companies, followed by where their ingredients come from, and the roles that each of these units play in creating a positive impact for tea farmers for generations to come. 

What role does tea play in our lives? 

  • We believe tea is one of those drinks that brings people together and is part of the special memories they create. It has always been a staple in our own family gatherings, when the night was winding down yet the conversations were going strong. Making its appearance as an iced tea on picnics and a warm, soothing cup on the cold winter nights, to us, tea is bliss, comfort and positivitea!

Social Media: (just let me know which ones you have and I can grab the links) 

Anything else you’d like to add?

  • Check us out at www.venya.ca! We hope you will let our teas be part of your special moments.

Turmeric is a great for anti-inflammatory aid.

TeaTiff Picks: Golden Touch. Turmeric is tasty in so many ways. Curry, lattes, tea, etc. All of the other ingredients provide a perfect punch that not only leaves you feeling invigorated but also healthy! It is also very pretty to look at!

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Seven Cups

Tea Vocabulary is important to those who dive deep in the world of tea. It helps us relate what we are are seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting to others. Andrew McNeill not only runs an amazing company with superb tea but also has an stunning tea repertoire. You will enjoy not only sipping on their tea but also everything he writes.

Websitesevencups.com

Location(s) Headquarters: Tucson, Arizona, USA and Chongqing, China.

Company Focus:

  • Chinese tea, direct-trade, and positive relationships between our suppliers, customers, and employees.

Most popular company tea(s)?

  • High-end Chinese green has traditionally been our most popular category going back for years now. We were the first American tea company to import Anji Baicha in 2007. At that time, the feeling in the industry was that Americans would never appreciate teas like this. We’re happy to have proved that false!

Does the company name have a meaning?

  • Seven Cups is a reference to a poem written by Tang Dynasty poet Lu Tong. The excerpt that the name comes from is translated below:
The first cup kisses away my thirst,
and my loneliness is quelled by the second.
The third gives insight worthy of ancient scrolls,
and the fourth exiles my troubles.
My body becomes lighter with the fifth,
and the sixth sends word from immortals.
But the seventh —oh the seventh cup— if I drink you,
a wind will hurry my wings toward the sacred island. 
LuTong (795-835A.D.) (translation by Christopher Nelson) 

Do you participate in any charities?

  • We’re a regular contributor to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and animal shelters supporting the work of Pima County Animal Care.

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea? 

  • Mogan Huangya is a little-known yellow tea that’s tremendously good. It’s sort of a sleeper-hit and a staff favorite here. We also like to drink the broken dust from rock wulong. These teas are prone to breakage in shipping, and we don’t want to sell broken leaf to our customers, but it’s too good to waste, so we keep it back for ourselves. Seven Cups owners, Austin and Zhuping, drink a lot of powerful steeps of yancha dust.

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • It’s important. Supply chains that effectively transfer information across their stakeholders are stronger, more sustainable, and more equitable because of it.

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • The answer depends on the person. Tea’s purely functional for some folks. It’s a hobby for lots of people, a health practice or a religious pursuit for others. Most people get a little bit of all these perks from it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Social Media:


Both siblings of the Red Robes come from the Wuyi Mountains, a UNESCO world heritage site.

TeaTiff Picks: Xiao Hong Pao (Little Red Robe). Move over Da Hong Pao your little sister has come! The main difference between the two is the aroma. This is great for those who love the taste of Da Hong Pao but find the aroma overwhelming. My mouth is just watering even thinking about!


Learn more with Seven Cups:

Don’t forget to subscribe!

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Young Mountain Tea

In a country full of companies whose main focus is tea for tea bags you would think it might be hard to find high quality leaf but as loose leaf tea and sustainable farming take the spotlight so to do their companies. I love a good brisk cup of Assam in the morning and I think you will find the difference in quality you find with this company will amazing your tea buds. Be sure to check out this awesome company if you love teas from India like I do.

Websitehttps://youngmountaintea.com/

Location Headquarters: Springfield, Oregon

Company Focus:

  • We’re a mission-driven company working with smallholder tea farmers in India and Nepal. We have a collection of organic, single-origin loose-leaf teas that features well established regions like Darjeeling and Assam, and emerging ones like Kumaon and Nepal.

Most popular company tea(s)?

Does the company name have a meaning?

  • Yes! We’re named in tribute to the Himalayas, a rising mountain range that’s still going up as India subducts under Asia. 

Do you participate in any charities?

  • Yes, many! As a mission-driven company, we provide trainings and workshops to aspiring tea farmers in India and Nepal. Members of our team are also organizing the first Eugene Tea Festival, and we regularly donate our teas and time to other tea festivals across the west coast (Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco). Due to the COVID pandemic, right now we’re also giving 5% of all online sales revenue to non-profits focused on relief efforts for rural farmers in India and Nepal, more info here.

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea?

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • It’s lacking and it’s needed. Fortunately, tea drinkers familiar with higher levels of transparency in other craft beverages like wine, coffee, and chocolate, are demanding it. The companies that recognize this shift is happening are, in my opinion, the ones that will do the best.

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • It’s an entry point into so many other things; culture, ecology, economic history, and of course, socializing. Bill Waddington of Tea Source put it best: “It’s just a leaf and water, nothing magical or mystical, yet wars have been fought over tea, fortunes have been won and lost over tea and lives have been dedicated to tea. I’m not sure why. All I know is I wouldn’t be in any other business.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

  • We offer a free small pouch of Nepali Golden Black, our most popular black tea, for anyone who signs up to our newsletter! Here’s the signup page.

Tea planta first came to the Nilgiri region in 1835.

TeaTiff Picks: Nilgiri Ice. Summer is heating up here in the states and nothing beats a nice glass of iced tea. But why settle for your usual tea bag when you could go for a lip smacking loose black like this one? Nothing beats a refreshing blend like this!

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Cured Leaves Tea Co

Combine a black-owned, U.S. Army Veteran business with the mindfulness of yoga, and the many health benefits of tea/tisanes and you get one amazing tea company. Just reading her the Cured Leaves Tea Co FB page leaves one feeling empowered. A strong yet soft vibe that flows through everything right down to the packaging! Grab a cuppa, feel your spirits soar, and read along!

Websitewww.curedleavestea.com 

Location(s) Headquarters : Bel Air, MD, USA

Company Focus: Mindfulness 

Most popular company tea(s)?

Does the company name have a meaning?: 

  • Cured Leaves Tea is directly aligned with our logo, the tree of life. The tree represents self, starting from a seed. Just like the tree, self goes through many transitions as it grows and evolve. Branches may fall off due to outward environmental changes. The roots may rot if not properly nurtured or grounded to earth. Sometimes self may get a little wild and needs trimming. Cured Leaves is a representation of self becoming whole and the Leaves are the fruits of our labor, our healing process that is shared with others.

Do you participate in any charities?  

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea?

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • We are an ethical tea company with a social responsibility to ensure all teas are ethically sourced, organically grown, fair traded, that offers fair wages to their employees.

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • Tea is supportive and meditative. It helps us to be grounded, returns us to be center focused, and connects us to everything around us. Tea is a ritual and cultural.

Did you know that purple tea is the result of a genetic mutation in the Camellia Sinensis plant? This wonderful mutation is also called anthocyanin.

TeaTiff Picks: East African Currant. It’s hard not to pick a rooibos or honeybush tea since that is their origin but when I saw how beautiful this tea was I couldn’t pass it up. Not to mention it’s made with purple tea! A rare but wonderful treat!!!

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Blue Box Tea

There are many companies that do tea boxes but no one does it quite like these guys. When I first read that their main business was based on coffee I was a bit skeptical but the reviews speak volumes. Their packaging is chic and smooth, they ship worldwide, and for tea adventurers it’s an awesome way to discover new teas without having to worry about getting the same thing each month.

Website: https://www.blueteabox.com/

Location(s) Headquarters:

  • Blue Tea Box, Merlin House, Claremont Way, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom CT3 4BF

Company Focus:

  • Blue Tea Box is transforming the way we drink and enjoy tea. Tea has to be enjoyed in it’s pure, loose leaf form to get the best flavours. No additives, always natural, we are forever discovering new teas for your voyage of taste sensations.

Most popular company tea(s)? 

  • We offer different tea each month, never repeating it.

Does the company name have a meaning? 

  • Harvey and Jon Butt are a father and son team. They both love good tea and coffee. Jon is a seasoned entrepreneur and an industry leader in the fire safety trade. During Jon’s business travels in the USA, he discovered specialty coffee subscriptions that curated from various niche coffee roasters. In the UK, subscription services only tended to supply their own products and are more for convenience.
  • Harvey, not wanting to be encumbered with a student loan after university, suggested setting up something similar in the UK to pay his way through University and not be a burden on society. And Blue Coffee Box was born in 2017.
  • Since its launch, thousands of people from the UK and many countries around the world have subscribed. After much research with the members, the same methodology has been applied to gourmet tea. And Blue Tea Box was born in 2019.

Do you participate in any charities?  

  • Marie Curie. The decision to support this charity was based on one of staff who had lost someone important to them.

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea? 

  • We all love different teas, each month we vote on our favourite but none of us ever agree.  Taste is very personal.

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry? 

  • Ethically sourced.
  • From the media kit “Our merchants often buy direct from the farms, securing the best and freshest quality tea. This ensures more profit goes to the tea farmers and communities helping create a better life as the tea industry is rife with poverty and slave-labour.”

What role does tea play in our lives? 

  • It’s a way to connect with others, it’s a way to relax, it’s a way to clear your head and give yourself thinking space.  Even making a cup of tea is a time to “mull things over” whilst the kettle boils.

Social Media: Link Tree


With hundreds of different teas and tisanes around the world, a tea box is your best way of discovering more!

TeaTiff Picks: Blue Tea Box Mini. I drink a good amount of tea but I’ve found I do not like getting large amounts of tea. Two ounces is my max size so this box with 3 bags of 25g of tea, just under 1 oz, is perfect.

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Tease Tea

West of Montreal is the beautiful city of Ottawa. Though the companies roots began in Toronto they are now in the city once called Bytown. This amazing company not only has delectable tea but also helps other companies find their potential. After you are done reading the interview be sure to go check out their website and sorry, not sorry for your soon to be full shopping cart.

Website: https://teasetea.com/

Location(s) Headquarters: Ottawa, Ontario

Company Focus

  • We create tea blends focused on wellness and sustainability: both socially and environmentally! We work exclusively with tea importers that are accredited by the Ethical Tea Partnership, and our tea bags are biodegradable/compostable made of plant based fibers.

Most popular company tea(s)?

Do you participate in any charities? 

  • One of our main pillars is investing in women, and we do this by investing in women-owned businesses through our sister company, The Founders Fund. To date we have contributed and raised over $100k to elevate underrepresented women owned businesses.

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea?: 

  • A personal favourite is Golden Slumbers: a caffeine-free, Rooibos blend with cacao and calendula. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious! Throughout the day, I’m partial to our organic Ceremonial Matcha, as it’s smooth, and versatile.

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • Transparency is a key value here at Tease Tea. As Canada’s first B-Corp tea company, we believe that transparency is a fundamental part of building an ethical company that you can be proud of supporting. 

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • Tea is such a versatile, accessible and healthy addition to our lives. We believe that no matter your goal, desire or taste preference, there’s a tea for that! Making Tease Tea a part of your daily routine is an investment in your well-being as well as an investment in women, and that’s something to feel great about!

Did you know that Quebec, Canada produces the most maple syrup in the world?

TeaTiff Picks: Maple Sugar Shack. With being a purist you wouldn’t really think I’d look at flavored blends but they make them sound so good sometimes! And how can you pass up maple syrup? When you graduate from the fake stuff to real maple syrup the difference is stark and infinitely more delicious. I just happen to live in a state, MN, that produces some really amazing maple syrup and it is for that reason that I chose this tea. The loose leaf is gorgeous dry and wet. The aroma is floral notes and also a hint of sweet red wine. The liquor has a unique hint of brandy mixed with maple and floral notes.

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Brooke Birch Tea

Little tea companies can be easily overlooked but their dreams can be just as big as their franchised competitors. As a certain character from a certain show once said, “Go big or go home.” Personally, I (TeaTiff) love the thought of a traveling tea company. If you are looking for a smaller shop to help out please be sure to give this one a try!

Websitehttp://Etsy.com/shop/brookebirchteashoppe

Location(s) Headquarters: Brooklyn, NY & San Pablo, CA (an online shop with the hopes of following the craft fair & farmers markets circuit cross country) 

Company Focus:

  • To build love, community, and togetherness. One cup at a time.

Most popular company tea(s)?

  • Right now it’s Annabelle Blues which is probably the prettiest tea I’ve created so far. I’m really proud of that one. 

Does the company name have a meaning? 

  • I knew I wanted Birch because it’s my favorite tree and the birch tree symbolizes new beginnings and rebirth. And this little tea shop is just that. A new beginning after some tragic, life changing experiences. And Brooke is my middle name. 

Do you participate in any charities?

  • Unfortunately, at this time I am not big enough to do so. I’m barely breaking even. But as I continue to grow I really want to participate in charities and donate to important causes annually. I did recently donate tea to an elementary school auction for their fundraiser. That was really cool. 

What is your and/or your co-workers’ favorite tea?  

  • My personal favorite is Lovely Lavender because I love black teas. This is a take on a classic Earl grey/lavender tea. But I use English Breakfast which (I think) has a nice creamy flavor with a hint of lavender.

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?  

  • I’m honestly not very familiar with this. But I can say I am all for supporting small, local farmers and making sure that fair labor laws are implemented everywhere in the tea industry. 

What role does tea play in our lives? 

  • To me, tea plays the role of comforter, nurturer, healer, connector. It’s what we drink when we’re sick, sad, need energy, comfort. It’s great hot or cold. And what issues can’t be resolved over a nice cuppa.

Social Media:


Did you know that there are 47 known species of lavender?

TeaTiff Picks: Lovely Lavender. Black tea. Check. Lavender. Check. Two things I love mixed into one cup. Lavender will always be a favorite herb of mine after visiting an actual lavender farm on the island of Maui. It is wonderful that she harvests her own lavender for her blends. It makes the tea that much more dear to the heart of the seller. On a side note. I love Cosy Rosy. If you are looking for the perfect herbal chai this is it. It’s smooth with the perfect amount of floral notes.

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If you already love them tell us what you love below!

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