FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
DIRECT FROM ORIGIN
We work directly with all our producers to bring teas to you. There are no middle people involved. This is a result of the work we’ve done and connections cultivated over the last two decades since our founding in 1997.
FAMILY OF SMALL ARTISANS, STAFF and DEDICATED TEA LOVERS
We are a company that prides itself on working with the choicest tea leaves. Our focus is on finding exceptional quality pure leaf teas that have a superior flavor profile and that are grown without any pesticides or artificial additives.
PACKING OF TEAS
We handle each order with care and personal attention. When you order tea in bulk, we pack the desired weight into either kraft, tin-tie bags with a moisture barrier, or into foil bags with protective barrier. The hand packing certainly takes extra time, but minimizes any breakage and maintains leaf integrity. It also provides you with greater flexibility in purchasing a quantity of your choosing. Our retail customers can choose to order in one ounce increments.
ORDER SHIPPING SCHEDULE
We start processing your order as soon as we receive it. Please allow up to 2-3 business days for the order to be processed completely and before it ships.
We ship with UPS Ground service within continental USA or via USPS priority to Hawaii, Alaska and other US territories. The exact time taken via these carriers varies based on your destination. You may track your order for a detailed time schedule. Please note that USPS and FedEx do not include Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays in their delivery time schedule. Once we relinquish our teas to UPS or USPS, the arrival time is beyond our control, however we are always happy to assist in tracking your package.
TIME SENSITIVE SHIPMENTS
If your order is time sensitive and you want to ensure your tea arrives by a specific date, please contact us at 503.736.0198 and we will help determine the shipping options available.
Tea is a seasonal crop. It is only as good as its freshness. At The Tao of Tea, freshness is one of our foremost guiding principles.
When ordering, you may keep in mind that the spring season (April-May) is good for many green teas and lighter black teas. Summer (June-July) is good for black teas, oolongs and Puer. Also factor in that it takes up to a month for many of our teas to reach our facilities in Portland.
Fresh tea should have good aroma and a flavorful taste. As tea ages, the leaves dry out and change color to pale shades. You will enjoy the freshness of your tea more if you purchase unblended, single origin teas in, or just after, their peak season. Blended teas, with other herbs or natural essences can last much longer and are available throughout the year.
Although the barrier lined bags will retain the aroma and leaf integrity within the bag, as soon as the bag is opened, those aromatics are released into the atmosphere. We encourage our customers to drink tea while it is fresh, and we recommend that you store your tea in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Avoid areas with heavy smell or that are overly warm. Also please ensure the container does not have any residual acids from anything that was stored in it previously.
We ship to APO addresses. We have a number of customers scattered around the world with APO/FPO/DPO addresses. You can order online and we’ll ship the tea directly to you. Please just be sure to use USPS, not UPS when you place your order.
We can ship our products internationally. We are not set up to do international shipments online at this time, but we can process your order over the phone. We ship via UPS or USPS. Feel free to contact us with your billing and shipping addresses, as well as your phone number. We can work up a shipping quote once we have your address. Then we will take your credit card information over the phone. We accept either Visa or MasterCard. We can be reached at 503.736.0198.
We regularly conduct free tea tastings in our Leaf Room. Please see our calendar for the weekly schedule and for other events.
We offer customized programs suited to the individual needs of our wholesale clients. Our products can be found in major specialty and natural foods stores in the United States.
WHOLESALE TASTING SAMPLES
We offer tasting samples for our wholesale customers. There is a nominal charge for the samples.
We are certified by QAI Inc, for Organic standards at all our facilities. Most of our teas are organic. There are a small portion of teas that are not organic. In such cases, we have taken additional measures to either audit the farming practices of the tea gardens or have confidence through independent lab testing. We do not add any artificial additives to our teas.
Tea is gluten free.
We do not have any GMO tea. Our teas are mostly composed of Heirloom varietals.