Yunomi

こんにちは! The Japanese culture is amazing. They make amazing anime, sushi, and one of my very favorite things, matcha. Yunomi is an amazing company that you will drool over. Every time I visit their website I get so excited by the different teas and teaware I find. The best part is by supporting Yunomi you are also supporting many small Japanese tea farmers that otherwise do not have an online existence. 

Website: https://yunomi.life/

Location:

  • Tokyo, Japan. Our farm house office is in Odawara currently but I will be moving the warehouse to a new facility and the office to Tokyo by March. Online Only.

Company Focus:

  • We utilize e-commerce technologies to help small-scale producers in Japan connect with customers around the world.

Most popular company tea(s)?

  • Our mystery tea is our most popular product. It is basically a way for us to provide a heavy discount without lowering the value of any single product. This allows us to adjust inventory: if there is only one unit left from a production lot, for example. Or if a new tea product, particularly a high grade tea that needs time to gain traction

Does the company name have a meaning?

  • Yunomi means literally “to drink water” but refers to tea drinking. It also refers to the cup used for tea drinking, and of course in English “You know me” as we place importance on customers learning about the people behind the products they buy.

Do you participate in any charities?

  • Not regularly but we do give to charities every few months. Mainly Peace Winds Japan, dedicated to disaster relief.

What is your (or any of your other co-workers) favorite tea?

  • Gyokuro, matcha, sobacha, mugicha

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • I can understand why companies are not willing to be more transparent, but I think transparency plays an important role in improving quality and safety of the products. I am also a firm believer that farmers and producers, while they earn a decent living in Japan according to developed economy standards, don’t get nearly enough credit for the hard work they do.

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • Unlike many tea merchants, I do not believe that tea has any curative health benefits. That is to say, drinking tea will not improve your health; replacing an unhealthy drink with tea or water for that matter is healthy. However, the culture of tea drinking, from the Asian perspective at least, encourages healthy living. That include a balanced diet, exercise, and of course mindfulness; it is important to pay close attention to your mental well being. Tea, with its history associated with Zen Buddhism, is a meditative culture that can help us to become more balanced as individuals and as a society.

Social Media:

Anything else you would like to add?

  • Coupon Code: TEATIFF. Use this to automatically apply the code to customer’s cart. Or get a referral link from the points system to use so you can get referral credit.

Furyu: Bancha Goishicha Dark Tea & Ocharaka: Hojicha Orange Osmanthus Flavored Roasted Green Tea

TeaTiff Picks: Cultivar Comparison (10g x 10 types): Azuma Tea Garden Stone Milled Matcha Sampler Do you enjoy matcha? Not just in lattes, smoothies, or when making chocolate but drinking it in its pure form as usucha or koicha. I can personally vouch for this product because I tried it and found it was a great way to experience Japan’s different cultivars.

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Rakkasan Tea Company

The year was 2017. A certain company appeared on Kickstarter. Out of curiosity, I decided to back it. After receiving my tea pledge I immediately became a fan. My dad is a Navy Vet so being able to support a company like this is extra special to me. They source truly special teas from amazing places. 

“Tea, in Iraq, sort of became an oasis amid all the combat.”

Website: https://www.rakkasantea.com

Location: Dallas, Texas. Online and in these locations.

Company Focus:

  • Unlike most premium loose-leaf tea companies focused on China, India, Japan and Taiwan, we promote peace and economic development by importing solely from post-conflict countries. Tea makers in countries like Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Rwanda, and Colombia produce tea with a high level of craftsmanship, but they typically need help reaching U.S. consumers. That’s what we do.

Most popular company tea(s)?

  • People lose their minds over spiced chai. It’s by far our single best-selling category. Until recently, we only offered Himalayan Spiced Chai from Nepal. But last week we launched Trưng Sisters Mountain Chai from Vietnam. Customers also really love our variety of tea sampler packs. They’re especially good for people just getting into tea.

Does the company name have a meaning?

  • Rakkasan is the World War II era Japanese word for parachute (transliterated as “falling down umbrella”). It comes from the 187th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s occupation of Japan after the war. That unit is now a brigade in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, nicknamed the Rakkasans. My company co-founder and I served as Rakkasans together in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Do you participate in any charities?

  • Aside from assisting small farmers in post-conflict countries to reach the U.S. market, we haven’t aligned with any specific charities yet.

What is your (or any of your other co-workers) favorite tea?

  • Hard to say. They’re like our children. We’ve tried hundreds of teas and the 40 we offer, we chose for a specific reason. Black teas are usually my go-to and I’ve been drinking a lot of Mandalay Black and Mughal Horseman’s Tea lately. My co-founder Terrence “TK” Kamauf drinks more green tea than I do and has been into Paksong Stardust recently (our meteoric soil tea). But he’s also been drinking Himalayan Golden Tips since we first got it over three years ago. 

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • We put a lot of effort into tracking down the best tea makers in post-conflict countries. So we don’t always publicly broadcast who they are. But we’ll gladly tell any customer who wants to know where their tea comes from and how it’s made. I tend to stay out of the ongoing debate over transparency. 

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • I tend to look at coffee as the “go” drink and tea as the “stop” drink. Coffee is for super-charging your day as you head to the office. Tea is for relaxing and reflecting. Tea is also a much more social drink. Tea is meant for spending time with friends and family and enjoying good conversation. I usually make tea in the afternoon (when I have time), but also most evenings.

Social Media: Steepster.

Anything else you’d like to add?

  • Our first major video ad with some American Revolution humor.

“Tea so good you won’t throw it in the harbor”


TeaTiff Picks: Rakkasan, I hope you never tire of me because I am a huge fan. As I mentioned before my dad is a Navy Vet so being able to support a company that also supports Vets is very special to me. There are many teas that I love, Amba Thieves, Mekong Breakfast, but my all-time favorite is H’mong Kings. Every time I open the can I feel like I can smell the wok it was roasted in. You can tell the hard work and devotion it took to make the tea just by looking at the leaves. The taste is astounding.

Camellia Sinensis. One plant. Many possibilities.

Sip some tea & leave a comment

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

New Mexico Tea Company

Need a new tea in your life? These guys probably have something to fit your palate. They have a huge selection of teas and tisanes. If you can’t decide what to choose they have a nice sized selection of Tea Collections for great prices and for all tastes. 

Websitehttps://www.nmteaco.com/

Location: Albuquerque, NM. Online and in these locations.

Company Focus:

  • To make available a wide selection of tea, so that everyone can find something they like. Whether that person is a tea connoisseur or someone who has never had a cup of tea before!

Most popular company tea(s)?

Does the company name have a meaning? 

  • The company name is what we do, and where we are.

Do you participate in any charities?

  • We provide and serve tea at many charitable fundraisers throughout the year. “Afternoon Tea” is a popular type of fundraiser.  With local non-profits.

What is your (or any of your other co-workers) favorite tea? 

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry? 

  • There are many parts of the tea industry. You have the growers, you have the tea manufacturing factories, you have the wholesalers and you have the retailers. And In each tea producing country these are combined in different ways. For instance, in India, the tea growers and the tea factory are the same (a tea estate). In China and Japan, generally, the growers sell their leaves to a factory. There is also a big difference between tea as a commodity, which is what the big companies buy and sell, and specialty tea, which is what small tea companies specialize in.
  • When someone buys tea at the grocery store in a teabag the least amount of money gets back to the actual person who picked the tea. However, at the same time, without commodity tea, the industry would probably collapse, and the person picking the tea wouldn’t have a way to earn any money at all. So it’s a tricky situation.
  • I think in general working conditions and worker rights in the whole world could be improved. The internet and education are making that happen slowly. If there is a worker’s strike in Darjeeling because of bad working conditions, then the world will know about it now. 40 years ago, no one would know. At the same time, English education in a lot of these areas means that small farmers can interact directly with western buyers, who are willing and able to pay a higher price for tea.
  • We try to buy our tea as directly from the source as possible. So that the most money gets to the source. This is another small way that working conditions can be improved over time. And as the world gets a taste for higher quality tea, the commodity tea will become less and less important, which will elevate the whole industry.
  • I don’t think it’s possible to fix the world’s problems with a top-down grand plan. And I also don’t think it’s appropriate for us in the west to dictate to people in tea-growing areas what’s best for them. However, I do feel that people are able to make the best choices for themselves when they have their basic needs met, and in today’s world, that means having access to money. And the best way that we as a tea company can help people in these areas have access to money is to buy more and better quality tea in a more direct way. And the best way we can do that is if our customers buy more and better quality tea from us.

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • Tea plays a very different role in your life and in my life. And in everyone’s life. For some people drinking tea is a very spiritual endeavor. For other people, they focus on the health benefits and drink because of how it might help their bodies. Still, other people only care about the caffeine effects and drink tea in the morning to wake up. And lastly, there are the people who drink tea because they like the taste of different plants steeped in water. 
  • This is one of the reasons I have enjoyed being a part of the tea industry for the last 15 years. There is such a variety not only to the product but to the people who consume it.
  • For myself, tea is life. Tea has allowed me to have a roof over my head, go to the grocery store, pay for my son’s school supplies, travel to interesting places, to employ 10 people whom it also enables to do all those things. If not for tea I would have found a different path in life, but I can’t imagine what that would look like.

Social Media: 


TeaTiff Picks: The Essential Collection. A great collection for purists that has nine different teas from four types of tea! But if you prefer something different they have nine other collections to choose from!


Cream Earl Grey & Blood Orange Rooibos

Sip some tea & leave a comment

Ordering? Be sure to tell them TeaTiff sent you!

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

Tea Runners

Subscription-based boxes are a big hit. You can get them for just about anything you can think of. There are many types of these companies out there for tea but not all cater to quality. Tea Runners was the first subscription-based tea company I tried because they offer a box for purists. They also have a bunch of single tea selection that rotates frequently with a wide and interesting variety.

Website: www.tearunners.com

Location: Washington state, USA. Portland, Oregon. Online Only (currently moving)

Company Focus:

Sourcing the best teas in the USA and creating a fabulous at-home tea drinking experience customized to our user’s preferences. Our mission is simple: to provide our customers with the highest quality kinds of teas they like on the schedule that’s right for them.

Most popular company tea(s)?

  • Majestic Earl Grey, Butterfly Mango Dragon Fruit White, Lemon Drop Black, Golden Monkey, Earl Grey Creme

Does the company name have a meaning?

  • It’s a play on the name “Rum Runners”. It just means that we transport tea.  

Do you participate in any charities?

  • Yes, sometime we do Red Cross.

What is your (or any of your other co-workers) favorite tea?

  • Classic Laoshan Black, Sagamartha Gold, and Winter Wonderland Rooibos 

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • I’d say it’s a pretty transparent industry in North America.

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • It adds comfort to our days and a manageable amount of caffeine. 

Social Media:


TeaTiff Picks: Pure Tea Box. This is the tea subscription box built for people like myself who prefer tea ‘plain’. Though we all know plain tea is anything but plain. They also have a Black Tea Box, Herbal Box, and the Original Box.


Butterfly Mango Dragon Fruit White & Majestic Earl Grey

Wight Tea Co.

When a company chooses to feature a few teas instead of many they can really hone in to make those teas amazing. Wight Tea Co, located in Baltimore, features sixteen different teas, each featuring a unique personality. They have a flavor that everyone will enjoy.


Website: www.wighttea.com

Location: Baltimore, MD. Online and in their retail store.

Company Focus: 

  • A favorite mug snug in your hands, a singing kettle, the aroma and colors of the leaves unfurling—making and drinking tea is a total experience. At Wight Tea Co, we honor that experience with our commitment to high quality loose leaf tea and adventurous flavor blends like Sage Rose White tea, Blueberry Basil Rooibos, and Fireside Fig. Baltimore-based and family-owned, siblings Brittany and Joey Wight have carefully sourced high-quality tea leaves from suppliers around the globe.
    They call upon their expert palates and mixology experience to create unique handcrafted blends and seasonal tea drinks, now made to order at their stall in Whitehall Market.

Most popular company tea(s)

  • One of our bestsellers is Lavender Earl Gray, a ceylon black tea with lavender bergamot and cornflower petals. A new favorite is Cinnamon Walnut Yaupon, a wild-harvested dark roast yaupon from Texas, with cinnamon chips, walnuts, cloves, black peppercorn, and apples.

Does the company name have a meaning?

  • It’s our last name!

Do you participate in any charities?

  • We regularly contribute to local charities and are always looking to lift up other women and minority-owned small businesses. One of our longstanding partners is CreativeMornings Baltimore.

What is your (or any of your other co-workers) favorite tea?

  • It’s impossible to pick just one! Our to-go tea cocktails have been a recent favorite. We have one named after Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek which uses our Sage Rose White Tea.

What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?

  • The industry needs to be more transparent at all levels of the tea business. While we are working towards buying direct from tea gardens, we are also taking steps like working with smaller buyers that have the interest and capacity to work directly with growers. This virtuous cycle influences price and directly impacts quality of life for estate workers.

What role does tea play in our lives?

  • 2020 taught a lot of us to prioritize our health, both physical and mental. Tea is many things to many people, but it’s power as a ritual and sensory experience can’t be overstated.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

  • The tea industry has taught me patience. Tea is a plant and sometimes there are good harvests and sometimes there are not so good harvests. It’s worth waiting for the good stuff. Even if that means not having a tea in stock for a year or two.

Social Media:


TeaTiff Picks: Sage Rose White Tea – First my apologies to Brittney. I think she nearly had an anxiety attack thinking there wasn’t any sage in my sample. But that was my bad in an improper reading of ingredients. Sage Rose White is a harmonious blend. The sage is light on the palate but strong enough to help balance the other flavors.


Marquess Grey Black Tea & Tropical Green Tea
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