Our Shipping page has pricelists that divide the world into 4 zones.
(1) United Kingdom
(2) European Union
(4) Rest of the World
The prices on our Shipping page are fixed and based on how much you spend – so you won't have any surprises when you checkout.
All you need to decide at checkout is whether you want an Untracked or Tracked service.
Royal Mail and UPS.
We interchange between both carriers depending on the destination country and order size.
In the UK, we typically prioritize Royal Mail as it is the most carbon-conscious carrier because of its ‘feet on the street’ network of 90,000 postal workers delivering around 1.8 billion parcels every year.
(1) Untracked delivery is free when you spend £10+
(2) Tracked delivery is free when you spend £50+
Guernsey and Jersey islands do qualify for free UK delivery, but are subject to customs checks. The Untracked and Tracked delivery prices for both of these islands will be the UK prices.
We do not offer day specific delivery slots for residential or business addresses.
UK RESIDENTIAL DELIVERIES
(1) Royal Mail deliveries occur Monday–Friday during working hours.
* Saturday delivery may occasionally take place – IF – the parcel arrives at your local Delivery Office in time to be processed for that round.
(2) UPS deliveries occur Monday–Friday during working hours.
UK BUSINESS DELIVERIES
(1) Royal Mail deliveries occur Monday–Friday during working hours.
(2) UPS deliveries occur Monday–Friday during working hours.
Transit time depends on the country you are delivering your items to and whether you select Untracked or Tracked delivery at checkout.
Our Delivery page shows two separate pricelists for Untracked and Tracked delivery and the expected delivery window for each zone (e.g. UK, EU, USA) can be found in the grey footer below each table.
* NB: The delivery window for Untracked and Tracked delivery is a guide and not a guarantee and excludes the day you place your order and UK Bank Holidays. Delays can be expected during peak trading periods such as Christmas and bad weather events (force majeure).
Following an 'order confirmation' email, you will receive a separate 'shipment' email containing the tracking number and a list of item(s) from your order that have been packed into that parcel for carrier collection on that day. Your order is typically packed into 1 parcel, but may be delivered in 2 separate parcels if some items are dispatched from different depots. In this instance you will only be charged once for delivery.
NB: In the UK, the Royal Mail Untracked service does not facilitate 'point-to-point' tracking across the network – BUT – it does include 'online delivery confirmation', which should be adequate. In the event of a missing Untracked parcel, Royal Mail can provide evidence for the time and day of delivery and GPS coordinates proving the delivery address matches the order.
Sorry about that.
We cannot investigate a missing parcel with our nominated carriers unless the period stipulated below has elapsed. If the required time has lapsed, then please complete our Contact Us form or send an email to Info@BloomTeas.com and don't forget to include your full name, full address, order number and the email address used to place your order. We need this information to verify your identity and your order details.
You must allow 10 working days (excluding weekends and holidays) to pass, from the day you place your order, before we can investigate a missing parcel claim with the selected carrier. Read more
You must allow 15 working days (excluding weekends and holidays) to pass, from the day you place your order, before we can investigate a missing parcel claim with the selected carrier. Read more
Sorry about that.
Our parcel packaging has been tested to withstand carrier knocks and even the odd dent should not cause damage to the flexible tea packs within your parcel.
Our tea pouches and sachets are made from flexible foil laminates that are designed to flex and as such can change shape, which does not constitute damage. Some items are loosely packed (e.g. Pick 'n Mix Sachets) and this may cause them to fold or bend, which is an expected outcome of the packing process.
The tea contents (e.g. tea bags, loose teas and powders) are non-breakable ingredients and cannot be damaged in the true sense of the word. Rest assured, your cup of tea will taste exactly the same even if the foil packages are a bit creased or squashed, which we do our best to avoid.
We appreciate everyone would like their tea packs to arrive in pristine 'showroom' condition, especially if they are gifts, but the odd parcel may be mishandled in transit and the contents may arrive a little bit out of shape, which we regret.
If you feel your items are clearly damaged (or faulty) and unusable then please contact us by email at Info@BloomTeas.com. In this case, we require photos of the damaged tea packs and outer packaging before we can make a claim against the carrier and start the returns process to retrieve and investigate the items you received.
Our carriers do not offer this service.
Some countries do have restrictions on certain ingredients. For international orders we advise that you check local customs regulations.
We also do this for you and currently customs regulations in Australia and New Zealand prohibit teas containing citrus.
Similarly, the USA prohibits teas containing ginkgo biloba.
We cannot verify the identity of the cardholder or authorized user of the card when taking payments over the phone, compared to card machine and website payments where the customer is present.
This increases the risk of fraudulent transactions even with PCI compliance in place.
You cannot amend your order (i.e. swap items) if you have completed order payment.
You can cancel your order before your parcel is dispatched – IF – your order status is Unfulfilled when you call us on +44 (0) 203 489 8404. Please don't email your cancellation request as it may take up to 24 hours before it is picked up, by which time your parcel will have been dispatched.
If you call and your order status is Fulfilled then it will be to late to stop as your parcel, which will have been collected by the carrier. In this instance you can follow normal return procedures. Read more
If you have received your order, you can still cancel it by returning it to us for a refund. This must be done within 30 days of receiving your goods and the products must not have been opened, tampered with or consumed.
Our return address is Bloom Teas Ltd, 4 - 6 Spicer Street, St Albans, AL3 4PQ, United Kingdom. We cannot accept returns of personalized items.
You can change your delivery address before your parcel is dispatched – IF – your order status is Unfulfilled when you call us on +44 (0) 203 489 8404.
If you call us and your order status is Fulfilled then it will be to late as your parcel will have been collected by the carrier. In this instance you can follow normal return procedures. Read more
Your order summary page is titled My Bag. Click the bag icon in the menu above to see the items already added to your bag.
At the bottom of My Bag page you will be able to click a black Checkout button, which takes you to a the Checkout page, which is where you enter your contact details and delivery address.
On the right hand side of the Checkout page you will see a slender white box titled Discount Code. Enter your code into that box and click Apply.
Check the items in My Bag are part of the promotion and ensure you have entered the code correctly.
Double check the terms and conditions of the promotion as it may have expired – OR – there may be a conditional order value threshold that may not be met.
Only one discount code can be applied per order.
NB: A discount code is automatically applied to all sachets from the Pick 'n Mix collection, which can be seen below the Discount Code box on the Checkout page. The code starts with the word SAVE – followed by a unique number. In this instance you cannot add another discount code and if you do it will replace the preset code from the Pick 'n Mix.
If you need help, please contact us by email at Info@BloomTeas.com or by telephone us on +44 (0) 203 489 8404.
SHOP PAY HELPS YOU FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
Now, you can offset the carbon emissions produced by your deliveries — for free. All you have to do is check out with Shop Pay, one of the first carbon-neutral ways to pay. Shop Pay will track and calculate the emissions produced by your deliveries and offset your delivery emissions by protecting an equivalent number of trees. Read more
NB: We do not accept orders by telephone.
It can take up to two weeks for stock to be replenished.
Click the Sold Out button next to the item you want to buy and a yellow popup box will appear. Enter your email address in the space provided and click Submit.
You will receive an automated email as soon as that item is available again.
Sorry about that.
Please contact us by email at Info@BloomTeas.com within 30 days of receiving your order.
Please detail the damage and attach photographs so we can investigate the matter and get it resolved quickly.
We cannot make a claim against the carrier for damage caused in transit without photographs.
Faulty item(s) may be returned within the first 6 months from date of purchase.
Sorry about that.
Please contact us by email at info@BloomTeas.com within 5 working days of receiving your order so we can get the error fixed.
If you contact us more than 5 days after receiving your order, we are unable to investigate this further or provide any reimbursement for the missing or incorrect items.
A PayPal refund should show in your account instantly.
Credit / Debit card refunds can take 2–3 working days to show in your account.
Detailed information about specific flavours such as brewing directions, ingredient origins, caffeine content, weights and sizes, allergen and storage advice and so much more can be found on each product page. The questions below address more broad ranging topics.
A third of our collection is organic certified.
(1) Tea bags – 6 organic flavours.
(2) Powders – 5 organic flavours.
To read more about each organic flavour, select our Pick 'n Mix collection. Locate the product filter at the top left (seen above the first product), which is preset to View All and then select Organic Certified from the drop-down menu to filter out organic products. It's that simple.
Our organic products have been certified by the Soil Association in the UK.
NB: Most of our teas blend together lots of different ingredients and some teas are single ingredient origin. Many of the ingredients we source are organic, but the final tea blend cannot be certified organic unless 95% of the ingredients in that blend are organic.
Unfortunately not all of the ingredients we use in our range are available as 'organic'. In many cases the organic version of an ingredient is not necessarily better quality or tastier than its non-organic counterpart.
The availability of organic ingredients is also a lot more limited and more expensive than non-organic ingredients and seasonal supply can be hit-and-miss as farmers lose crops to adverse weather, weeds and insects.
Rest assured, all non-organic ingredients imported into the EU are subject to strict pesticide controls that measure Maximum Residue Level (MRL) and extra checks are imposed on higher risk countries such as China. Export tests are conducted prior to dispatch from the country of origin and repeated when imported as part of the EU safety standard checks.
All of our big-leaf teas and superfood powders are Vegan and Vegetarian certified by the Vegetarian Society in the UK, except for the Pollen Berry Burst, which contains organic bee pollen and therefore only 'Vegetarian Approved'.
All of our tea packaging is branded with the Vegan Approved logo. The current Pollen Berry Burst packaging is showing the incorrect 'Vegan Approved' trademark and will be updated to show the 'Vegetarian Approved' trademark soon.
We source Black, Green, White and Oolong teas from far-flung countries such as India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Japan, China, Taiwan and many more.
Tea growing countries are typically found in the tropics where it is warm and humid with high rainfall, but large-scale 'commercial' gardens are also further south in Tasmania, New Zealand and Argentina – and further north in Russia, Turkey, Canada, Portugal and even the UK has a beautiful estate in Cornwall.
Smaller scale 'community' gardens are springing up in Scotland and around Europe too.
Camellia Sinensis is the scientific name for the tea plant, which is plucked and processed using different techniques to produce popular varieties such as Black, Green, White and Oolong teas and lesser known Yellow and Pu-erh teas.
Countless books recount the age old traditional techniques that turn the same bush into so many different tasting teas and it is a shame the modern world has lost touch with this cultural art-form. In our opinion, the skill, time and effort that goes into making tea leaves is undervalued.
Herbal Teas such as Rooibos are not technically 'teas' as they don't come from the tea plant – Camellia Sinensis. That said, we and pretty much everyone else refers to them as 'teas' – as the modern definition for 'teas' shifts towards an infusion of plant-based ingredients in hot (or cold) water. Tea scholars and authors may contest this shift, but times are changing and so are we.
Your tea undergoes 8-steps: (1) Plucking, (2) Sorting, (3) Cleaning, (4) Withering / primary drying, (5) Manufacture, (6) Firing / final drying, (7) Sorting, (8) Packing.
Simply speaking, it is only step-5 (manufacture) that fundamentally differs and determines if your tea is going to be Black or Green Tea etc.
Let's have a closer look at step-5 to understand the manufacturing differences (in ascending order of oxidation and caffeine content).
GREEN TEA (NON-FERMENTED)
No oxidation. It's impossible to accurately describe Green Tea manufacturing in one paragraph when there are thousands of varieties, much like wine. Fresh leaf for Green Tea is plucked in the morning and brought down the mountain in baskets that promote air circulation. It is then gently sorted and left to air-dry for a short time to reduce the moisture content. Primary drying prevents oxidation (darkening of the leaf) and preserves its appealing green colour and keeps the soluble solids of the fresh leaf (also called the 'juice') in tact, inside the leaf structure, which contributes to Green Teas flavour and astringency. The next manufacturing stage is varied with the most popular artisanal styles being sun-dried, basket-fired or pan-fired and modern techniques such as tumbled, oven-dried or steamed. To explain and compare all of these manufacturing processes would fill too many pages, so we'll stop here (for now). Bear in mind most Green Teas can be brewed 2 and sometimes 3 times (using the same tea bag or loose leaf ingredients) so they are great value for money.
YELLOW TEA (NON-FERMENTED)
No oxidation. Yellow Tea is fresh in taste. It is made from the early spring buds that are processed like Green Tea, except an extra step is added in before first firing. After withering, the warm and moist leaves are smothered with a cloth causing the leaf to reabsorb its own aromatics. The sweetness and fragrance of Yellow Tea increases and its smooth to drink and does not develop the grassy and assertive flavours common with Green Teas. Yellow Teas are increasingly difficult to source due to the extra work involved in its manufacture.
WHITE TEA (NON-FERMENTED)
Very slight oxidation (<10%). White Tea predates all other teas. Traditional Fujian budset white teas such as Bai Hao Yin Zhen, Silver Pekoe and Silver Tip are made exclusively from the plump spring buds, which are a lightened greenish-grey colour and covered with downy hairs that give it a distinctive velvety appearance. White Tea does oxidize slightly during the initial 'no-sun withering' and a bit more while it air dries. White Tea is delicate in flavour, has a pale liquor and is believed to contain less caffeine and fewer polyphenols than other teas.
OOLONG TEA (NON-FERMENTED)
Moderate to high oxidation (10–80%). Oolong Teas are the most complicated to manufacture. Oolong Teas are made from large tea leaves and range in colour from rich chestnut browns to greenish-grey based on the level of oxidation. Oolong Teas take on different shapes such as small irregular balls, loosely folded or twisted with ends that curl up. Oolong Teas taste profile fits between Black and Green Teas and are known to be brewed up to eight times (using the same tea bag or loose leaf ingredients) as the leaves only open to their original size after the third or fourth brew. Oolong Teas are also referred to as Blue Teas and with so many styles and brewing methods they are easy to drink and fun to experiment with.
BLACK TEA (NON-FERMENTED)
Complete oxidation. Black Tea is not fermented, it is oxidized and is subdivided into orthodox and CTC (crush-tear-curl). Orthodox is the highest quality whole leaf. The rolling process compresses and turns the leaf over, which distorts the leaf and bursts its cellular structure to release what some call 'juice'. The rolling action encourages enzymes and polyphenols to mix, which feeds the oxidation process turning the withered leaf into a delicious Black Tea. The leaf is not chopped into pieces as is required in rolling CTC teas. The rolled leaves are aerated and sifted before 2–4 hours of oxidation – a process that requires moist, oxygen-rich air – that is absorbed by the catechins (polyphenols) and stimulates them into a series of chemical reactions that yield the flavour we come to expect from Black Teas. The end of oxidation is down to when the tea masters' expert nose and eye decides its time for drying to start. Drying stops all biochemical enzymatic activity and reduces the moisture content, which caramelizes residual sugars and turns the tea from a coppery-red to a rich brown-black colour. Finally, the Black Tea is cooled and sorted before grading and packing. In the UK, Black Tea is very popular with added milk and honey.
PU-ERH TEA (FERMENTED)
Very slight oxidation. Pu-erh Tea has a long history dating back to the Tang dynasty when it was traded with Tibetans for strong horses and the route travelled became known as the Tea Horse Road. Today, Pu-erh Tea is traditionally wrapped in thin, tissue-like paper and stamped with the factory name. Pu-erh Tea starts as Mao Cha, which is a half-finished tea that is placed in a firing pan, de-enzymed (to remove excess moisture) and then rolled and twisted by hand (to stimulate enzymatic action within the leaf) and finally sun dried or fired indoors. To make Pu-erh Tea, the Mao Cha is then placed in a cloth bag and steamed to add moisture before being compressed by machine or stone to remove oxygen and start fermentation (i.e. encourage micro-organisms on the leaf to remain alive). During aging the Pu-erh Tea cakes darken in colour and develop complex earthy and 'brothy' flavours that are very popular in dim sum restaurants across Asia.
Taste is subjective – your brain will perceive flavour differently to everyone else. When you drink tea and chew food, chemicals trigger olfactory (smell) receptors in your nose that work together with around 10,000 tastebuds in your mouth to identify sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami flavours.
Your tastebuds also 'wear out' with age so your taste changes from child to adulthood.
Bear in mind that reading taste reviews (positive or negative) as a buying guide can be misleading – as your taste will be unique to you and influenced by your mood, what you are doing when you drink tea and even the time of day will play a part in whether you love a particular flavour or not. Not only that, but some people add honey or sugar and milk to their teas, which you may not do, and the water used in different regions varies a lot – so taking taste advice from anyone else is dubious at best.
Keep an open mind and we strongly recommend that you taste all of our flavours at least once. We developed an innovative Pick 'n Mix for this very purpose – it's an affordable way for you to sample as little as 1 serving of each flavour and not have to buy bigger pack sizes to start with. Our Pick 'n Mix even has a built-in discounter so the more you pick, the more you save.
The same tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) produces Black, Green, White and Oolong Teas – all of which have naturally occuring caffeine. The level of caffeine typically ranges from 30mg–60mg, depending on the manufacturing processes used to make each type of tea (e.g. Black or Green Tea). By comparison, a regular sized coffee will range between 60mg–90mg.
The lowest levels of caffeine are typically in Green, Yellow and White Teas that undergo little-to-no oxidation. The highest caffeine levels will be present in Oolong and Black Teas where the oxidation is moderate to high.
NB: Teas also contain L-theanine, which is a unique amino acid found almost solely in tea plants. There is a growing body of evidence from behavioral studies that shows a synergistic relationship exists between L-theanine and caffeine in teas. Simply speaking, the caffeine from tea plants does not behave the same as caffeine in coffee and this is largely due to it being regulated by L-theanine. This effect is often characterized as feeling relaxed yet mentally focused. An abstract of one such study can be read here, and it demonstrates that caffeine and L-theanine, at doses equivalent to one to two cups of tea, are capable of modulating cerebral haemodynamics, cognitive performance, mood and autonomic measures.
Decaffeinated teas vs. naturally caffeine-free teas.
We are not fans of the processes used to decaffeinate / remove caffeine from predominantly Black and Green Teas, which also removes flavour so they can taste bland and strips them of health benefitting polyphenols too.
For us, it makes no sense to remove naturally occurring caffeine compounds that are locked in with other healthy nutrients — especially when there are countless herbal teas such as mint, rooibos, fruits and botanicals that are naturally caffeine-free (i.e. none of the ingredients contain naturally occurring caffeine like the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis).
Our critics will argue customers should be able to enjoy the taste of their favourite breakfast Assam or Earl Grey without the caffeine kick, but we are not convinced (yet).
Many household 'economy' brands claim no additives are used to decaffeinate teas and promise the same rich taste remains. Is that really true?
Read on to find out more about the 4-processes typically used for decaffeinating teas and then ask yourself – are other brands declaring how they decaffeinate their teas? And if not, why not? Clipper Teas is a UK success story and makes a compelling case for using CO2 to decaffeinate their organic teas and we admire their frankness. Read more
(1) METHYLENE CHLORIDE
Tea leaves are soaked in a chemical solvent called methylene chloride, which causes the caffeine molecules to bond to methylene chloride molecules. This method is banned in some countries due to health concerns.
(2) ETHYL ACETATE
Tea leaves are soaked in a chemical solvent called ethyl acetate, which causes the caffeine molecules to bond to ethyl acetate molecules. This method is surprisingly common because it is argued that Ethyl Acetate is found naturally in tea, but organic brand Clipper Teas also reminds us that Ethyl Acetate is used in nail polish remover.
(3) CARBON DIOXIDE – CO2
The tea leaves are pressure cooked with this naturally occurring gas, which reaches a super-critical state and becomes solvent and with its small, non-polar molecules it attracts the small caffeine molecules and removes them from the tea leaves and leaves behind larger flavour molecules.
(4) WATER PROCESSING
The tea is soaked in hot water for a period of time and then the solution is passed through a carbon filter, which removes the caffeine. The water is then returned to the tea for re-absorption of flavours and oils. This process creates a watered-down taste and is more common for decaffeinating coffee.
Herbal Teas don't contain the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) specifically, so they always exclude ingredients such as Black, Green, White and Oolong tea leaves.
Technically speaking, Herbal Teas are not 'teas' if they don't contain 'tea leaves' and should be called Herbal Infusions or less commonly called Tisanes.
Herbal Teas typically contain a blend of herbs, fruits and botanicals and are on the most part naturally caffeine-free, except for those containing yerba mate and cocoa for example, which have naturally occurring caffeine.
Rooibos Tea is a very popular naturally caffeine-free tea that falls into the Herbal Teas category. It is only grown in the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa's Western Cape region.
The needle-like leaves are oxidized to give it a distinctive reddish-brown colour and it has a naturally sweet flavour with low tannin levels. Rooibos Tea is a great substitute for Black Tea and similarly tastes good with or without milk and honey too.
Our ceremonial-grade organic matcha (green tea powder) is grown in the volcanic foothills of Mt Fuji.
Tencha tea leaves are shaded for weeks before harvest to enhance the umami (savouriness) and sweetness and this process gives Matcha its unique bright green colour.
For the purists, we have Absolute Matcha – it's pure and simple.
It is a legal requirement for us to declare allergen information as set out in Food law. The allergen advice is found on the back of each tea pack and it is also mentioned on our website under the ingredients section for each tea flavour.
All of our teas are allergen-free.
That said, we do state 'Packed in a factory that handles nuts' on the back of each pack, despite none of our blends containing nuts. We do this because the factory also packs other food products containing tree nuts, peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts.
Cross contamination (i.e. nut residues transferring to our teas) is highly unlikely due to the strict cleaning and food packing protocols that are governed by SALSA accreditation. We want anyone prone to nut allergies to know this out of an abundance of caution.
Please consult your doctor for personal advice.
This is a very common question for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Your doctor will be keen to see a list of the ingredients for the teas or herbal infusions that you have been drinking in the past or thinking about drinking in the future – to identify ingredients that are known uterine or hormonal stimulants for example.
We already know that caution will be placed on how much Green, White or Black Teas you drink daily (due to their caffeine content of 30mg–60mg), herbs such as aniseed, fennel (due to uterine stimulation) and liquorice, which can increase blood pressure if consumed excessively.
Please consult your doctor for personal advice.
Liquorice consumption is an unusual but well-reported cause of secondary hypertension. Studies have shown that excessive consumption of liquorice can cause hypertension and hypokalaemia (decreased potassium levels).
For that reason, anyone suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) should avoid excessive consumption and our teas containing liquorice carry this warning on the back of each pack.
Your doctor will be able to quantify what 'excessive consumption' means for you specifically.
The following teas contain liquorice
(1) Liquorice Mintpop – 15% of the 2 gram tea blend.
(2) Tummy Timeout – 9% of the 2 gram tea blend.
(3) Ooh-La-La Vanilla – 7% of the 2 gram tea blend.
(4) Roots Reboot – 6% of the 2 gram tea blend.
First off, tea does not have an Expiry date as such, which tells you the last day a product is safe to consume. Instead, tea has a Best Before date, which tells you that the food is no longer in its freshest state, but can still be consumed safely.
We do not guarantee a minimum shelf-life. The Best Before date can range from 1 to 24 months depending on the stock-holding at the depot at the time of fulfilment.
We cannot advise what the Best Before date is on any products due to the volume of orders being dispatched daily from different depots.
Sustainability & Ethics
We are a member of 1% for the Planet and, together with a growing community of like-minded companies around the world, is committed to making a healthier and more sustainable planet for us to share. As a small, independent business we have made a great start, but there is a lot left to do and we are always striving to be better.
Our tetrahedron-shaped tea bags are not made from nylon and are plastic-free (unlike most bleached paper tea bags impregnated with polypropylene to create a tight seal).
Our tea bags are made from 100% plant-based corn starch that comes from renewable sources that are EU certified non-GMO.
The tea bags are sealed with ultra-sonic heat so rest assured there is no plastic, glue, cotton stitching or staples used.
The tea bags are 100% biodegradable and certified compostable too, which means they can biodegrade within 3–6 months in an industrial facility that generates higher heat and has an abundance of micro-organisms that help break down the filter material into CO2, water and minerals. If the tea bags went into your home compost heap it would take more than a year to degrade, so it’s best disposed of with your council food waste.
Very soon, we will be one of the first companies in the world to use tea bags made from 100% sugar cane that is non-GMO. This new breakthrough material is also biodegradable and compostable and it will set the standard for tea bag filters globally.
All of our corrugated mailing boxes are 100% recyclable and carry the Corrugated Recycles symbol.
Our boxes are also made with FSC certified board that uses up to 88% recycled material and the balance comes from responsible sources that has a Chain of Custody Certificate to ensure environmental sustainability. Read about the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mission to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. This is an excellent organization that goes beyond conservation values to include indigenous peoples’ rights, the wellbeing of workers and local communities.
Our larger shipping boxes are also called Enviro-boxes and were developed in conjunction with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) as a sustainable solution to common double wall boxes. These boxes are made from 60% – 90% recycled papers that results in a 30% saving on CO2 emissions.
The inks on our boxes are all water based and don’t contain any ingredients derived from animals.
The offcuts from making our boxes are tightly packed into recycling bales in a factory where solar panels generate heat and light and even the forklift is electric.
NB: We are working hard with our packaging suppliers to try and get our boxes made from 100% recycled papers, which is a challenge by the way. Currently, our recycled content is up to 90%, but we must all aim to stop logging virgin forests and even FSC managed forests for that final 10%. The more carbon dioxide we have in our atmosphere, the higher the earth’s temperature becomes. Every day, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air. But the trouble is, our fragile forests can't keep up with our growing emissions. We must protect our trees from logging, pests, and forest fires and find alternative renewable sources for paper-based products.
Our website is hosted by Shopify, which has its own Sustainability Fund. We like it. It shows big business is serious too, and collectively we all have our part to play. You can take part by simply using Shopify's accelerated payment called Shop Pay when you checkout. Shopify works with Pachama, experts in using carbon offsets to prevent deforestation around the world. Pachama’s projects are certified to comply with best-in-class protocols and standards, including the Verified Carbon Standard and Gold Standard. Pachama verifies that Shopify's projects have the positive environmental impact necessary to offset the carbon emissions from your deliveries.
You have two recycling options.
First check if your Local Council collects and recycles mixed materials, and if not you can join our Recycling Scheme where we take care of everything for you. There is no need for our retail packaging to end up in landfill – it can be recycled*
OPTION 1: LOCAL COUNCIL WASTE COLLECTION (UK ONLY)
In the UK, many councils will collect and recycle mixed materials like our foil pouches and sachets, while some won't due to issues surrounding end market material viability or material sorting contracts not being awarded to specialist waste management companies.
The foil laminates that we use for our pouches and sachets are defined as mixed materials and fall into the same broad category as yoghurt pots, milk cartons, toothpaste tubes and many items you are already disposing of expecting them to be recycled. Many supermarkets, shopping centres, schools and city centres have now got recycling bins to collect common mixed materials such as flexible foil crisp packets and wrappers for cereal bars and confectionery, which you could use as a local drop-off.
* Not all UK councils recycle mixed materials so we are obliged to write 'not yet recycled' or 'not yet widely recyclable' on the back of each pack, although that's not entirely true for every council and does not account for our own collection recycling scheme (details below). Councils are playing catch-up, so in the meantime we are partnering with Terracycle – an innovative recycling company – and creating a closed-loop recycling scheme where we collect your empty tea pouches and sachets for Terracycle to extrude into plastic pellets, which are then reused to make a variety of items such as shoes, shower curtains, plant pots, fencing, floor boards and even fashionable bags.
OPTION 2: BLOOM TEAS RECYCLING SCHEME (UK ONLY)
Taking part is very simple.
(1) Save all of your empty foil pouches and sachets for us to collect in the future. The lightweight packaging is dry so it won't smell and it folds flat so you can insert lots of them into an envelope or folder like sheets of paper.
(2) We send you a mailing bag with a prepaid return label and collect a minimum 150 grams of our packaging, which is equivalent to 20 empty pouches or 200 empty sachets or every £50 spent on our site. We cannot collect anything less or we end up disproportionately adding to our carbon footprint.
(3) Businesses that consume much higher volumes (e.g. cafes, restaurants, hotels) will be sent a Terracycle Zero Waste Box that once full will be sent to TerraCycle using a prepaid return label and then the process is repeated.
There is no single solution to sustainable packaging so we consider the entire life cycle of any product we make and distribute and that includes carbon offsetting.
Thankfully most businesses like us are making pledges that all of their packaging will be 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable over the coming years. The packaging industry is working hard to make that a reality, but the spotlight is only on the 'end of life' solutions for packaging waste streams and little attention is being paid to the carbon footprint for making the packaging in the first place.
Fundamentally, we always aim to use fewer natural resources, less energy and make the smallest carbon footprint. We have given considerable thought to our packaging choices, some of which we have already shared with you in the questions above.
For now, we choose flexible packaging for our retail packs – in part because it requires significantly less energy to manufacture and transport compared with rigid packaging such as stacked sheets for folding into cartons, plastic tubs, glass jars or metal containers. This energy saving directly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel usage. Retail cartons are the alternative, but paper production, distribution and disposal has a detrimental impact on the environment as we lose carbon sequestration and decomposing paper in landfill emits methane – an asphyxiant that displaces oxygen and a major contributor to global climate change.
Flexible packaging is usually shipped on a roll like paper towels and that allows more material to be shipped on a truck, which reduces the number of trucks needed for inbound materials versus rigid packaging like stacked sheets for folding into cartons.
Flexible packaging also uses less water in manufacturing and has a higher product-to-package ratio, which measures how much of a product sold to the consumer consists of consumable product and how much of it is packaging by weight. We decided to put our teas directly into printed flexible pouches (1 part) and not into clear packets (e.g. Natureflex) that are then placed inside printed cartons (2 parts). We are also trialing a foil pouch that is certified 100% compostable and if shelf trials are successful then we will phase them in.
Flexible packaging also has fantastic barrier properties that keep our teas fresher for longer. Flexible packs can also change shape and resist denting or breakage when they are knocked about in transit, which happens more now that we are switching to online shopping.
Flexible packaging can be recycled with mixed materials by many councils and for those councils that don't we take over and get it recycled for you with Terracycle. Expand the question above to see how our recycling scheme works.
There are also material and manufacturing cost savings from using flexible packaging that are passed onto you so that you can enjoy more affordable premium teas.
We all have our part to play.
By consuming goods we are all contributing towards the depletion of our natural resources and we are all responsible for putting trucks on the road and planes in the sky to move materials from country to country – to be assembled into products that we buy, which are then moved again from country to country. Multiply this by millions of people consuming millions of goods across millions of miles and you realize we all have our part to play to reduce waste and leave a light footprint.
When it comes to tea we could all leave a lighter footprint on the environment by buying loose-leaf tea instead of tea bags.
We know tea bags are convenient and each serving is portion controlled and removing and disposing of the tea bag is straightforward compared to using loose-leaf teas that can be a bit messy. That said, tea bags add packaging materials, manufacturing processes and labour costs that makes the same cup of tea more expensive than using loose-leaf ingredients and a resuable infuser.
We would love for you to start buying our teas in loose leaf format. All you need is a reusable infuser, cafetiere or teapot and a bit more time to prepare your tea. Using loose-leaf tea offers the best value for money by far, reduces manufacturing processes and packaging waste and allows you to collect the soaked leaves and use them as fertilizer too.
It makes sense to Pick 'n Mix our sachets (individually wrapped tea bags and superfood powders) when you are sampling any flavours for the first time, but we strongly encourage you to switch to loose-leaf teas (i.e. no tea bag filter) once you have found your favourites.
We only buy ingredients from well-managed estates. All ingredients can be traced back to source and suppliers are carefully vetted. Over time, we've formed a global network of trusted farmers that includes organic and non-organic plantations, orchards and meadows growing tea leaves, herbs, spices, fruits and botanicals.
Ingredients are imported from around the world into the UK where they are blended into a range of delicious teas. The manufacturing facility is SALSA and Soil Association accredited – to ensure strict supply chain management and the highest quality manufacturing standards.
Check out the ingredients tab on each product page and you'll see mini-maps depicting the origin of each ingredient to give you a sense of where everything comes from and we even include genus information so you'll know if an ingredient is a leaf, stem, fruit or root.
You are making an ethical contribution when you buy premium teas.
We know everyone likes a bargain, but think about what you are paying for when you buy an 'economy' pack of 100 tea bags for £2.50 from a supermarket. You are only paying 2.5p per cup, which is disproportionately cheaper than a cup of coffee or milk or the equivalent serving size from a bottle of juice or water. Why is that?
In established western markets, the competition to sell 'value packs' to millions of people is fierce so the price remains suppressed. Here lies a problem. Is 2.5p for a cup of tea really a bargain when it forgets the farmers? Now, household brands at the 'economy' end of the market would strongly refute our suggestion that farmers and their employees welfare is neglected and point to their Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance status, but insiders know it's as much a corporate marketing tool as it is an auditing and welfare tool. We love the principles underpinning ethical schemes, but they are abused. If they weren't mishandled then we wouldn't have accredited farmers complaining about the farm gate price being too low for sustainable tea growing for decades. The Tea Association of India reports that only 20% of tea estates earned a profit in 2019. Is it not time for the big household 'economy' brands to all agree to increasing the selling price so consumers can enjoy the tea they love in good conscience? This is a contentious point, but it should spark debate or get us all thinking about the prices we pay.
We believe our knowledgeable customers understand why they are paying 5–10 times more per serving if we are paying proportionately as much per kilogram. At first glance 25p per 'premium' cup may seem absurd – BUT – it is in fact 2.5p per 'economy' cup that is unsustainable. When you buy premium teas from us (or any other similar brand), you are playing your fair part – as more money flows back to the farmers who reinvest in their farms and employees welfare, which improves the quality of their harvest and therefore achieves the best prices in the wholesale market. It is a win-win. This model is proving very successful for brands at the 'premium' end of the tea market, which are less reliant on ethical accreditation schemes such as the Ethical Tea Partnership, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance – as important as they are – the estates growing the most sought after ingredients are not always members of these schemes.
It is very likely that we will be in the near future.
Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
We like that.