As the first exclusively certified organic tea company in the United States and the first US tea company to introduce Fair Trade Certified™ Teas, Choice Organic Teas has helped to forge new ground in the tea industry since we first started in 1989. Our mission is to provide high quality teas while continuing to lead the industry towards more social and environmental sustainability with thoughtfully produced, innovative products and packaging.
Back in 1980, our parent company, Granum, Inc, started out distributing organic and macrobiotic foods. As the company grew, we noticed a lack of organic tea in the marketplace, so in 1989 Choice Organic Teas was born. We made our debut with four certified organic offerings: Green, Ban-cha, Twig, and Oolong teas.
Eleven years later, in 2000, we partnered with TransFair USA to launch the first Fair Trade Certified™ tea line in the US. Today, more than 80% of our tea selections are Fair Trade Certified and the numbers are growing – we’re always looking for more Fair Trade tea and herbs and we’re among the first to use them when they become available. Fair Trade Certified tea directly supports a better life for workers on estates and plantations committed to social responsibility, community development, and environmental stewardship.
We are committed to leading the way towards good environmental practices. We purchase Green-e Certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from wind power to offset emissions from 100% of the electricity usage in our West Seattle facility and to support clean energy development. We’re also committed to environmentally-friendly packaging. All of our boxes are made from 100% recycled material. Our Original line sets the industry standard for minimal, eco-friendly packaging with staple-free unbleached tea bags and paper envelopes that can be easily recycled. Our newest line, Whole Leaf Organics, features biodegradable tea pyramids instead of nylon. We also have an incentive program for employees to use alternate transportation like buses and bikes to get to work.
Over the past twenty years, we’ve promoted the growth and development of organic agriculture in tea estates worldwide and now offer more than seventy-five varieties of Black, Green, Oolong, White teas and Herbal infusions in tea bags, tea pyramids, and loose leaf. Our close relationship with growers is fundamental to ensuring the highest quality of tea available and reflects our tea-crafter’s “bush to cup” philosophy. We strive to showcase that by focusing on “tea-centric” blends that honor the flavor and traditions of great organic tea, without obscuring it behind heavy flavors and confusing names.
That commitment to great tea and the traditions of social responsibility and environmental sustainability have guided Choice Organic Teas for twenty years. We look forward to improving and growing our way into the future.