We’re sofi Awards Finalists!

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Each year, right before the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, the Specialty Food Association announces outstanding products and brands in the specialty food industry called the sofi Awards. A sofi is the top honor in the $120.5 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation and represents the best of the best from members of the Specialty Food Association.

This year, we’re happy to announce that our Licorice Mint and Jasmine Green were honored as finalists among 100 products in the Outstanding New Product and Hot Beverage categories, respectively. Each entry is carefully assessed by passionate and knowledgeable food professionals including chefs, culinary experts, academics, food writers, and category buyers.

These products come from our Gourmet Teas line that were developed to intrigue connoisseurs as well as the next generation of tea drinkers with unique flavor profiles and expertise in blending and sourcing. What a thrill it is to be acknowledged for our hard work and outstanding products in this highly revered and competitive sofi Award competition!

We’ll be showcasing the Gourmet Teas and more at the Summer Fancy Food Show, so if you’ll be attending, be sure to stop by our booth to sample and talk about these delicious teas with our team.

Great Tea Doing Great Things

Choice Organic Teas had a very exciting 2015! We refreshed our Gourmet Teas, introduced four new teas to our Wellness* line, and attended many trade shows and industry events where we connected with partners and consumers alike. After reflecting on what 2015 brought Choice Organic Teas, we were excited to see how much we were able to give back to our community and partners in Seattle and beyond last year.

Food Banks:

One of the most direct ways we can help those in need in our community is by donating tea to local food banks. In 2015 we were able to donate roughly 100 cases (600 boxes!) of tea to Food Lifeline. We also hosted a month long food drive during December and donated 140 pounds of food to Puget Sound Labor Agency’s food bank. Our total contribution of tea and food drive items to local food banks in 2015 was $3,232.40!

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Choice Organic Teas drops off Holiday Food Drive donations to Puget Sound Labor Agency.

Non-Profit Organizations:

WaterAid
In honor of World Water Day (March 22nd),  we partnered with WaterAid, a non-profit dedicated to helping some of the poorest countries in the world gain access to clean water. With help from our customers, we donated 20 cents for every box of tea purchased on our website throughout the month of March. Our staff members also contributed to the #Blue4Water social media campaign throughout the month. After the devastating earthquake in Nepal, we partnered with WaterAid again to support their relief efforts. With both events combined we were able to raise $1,130 for WaterAid.

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Choice Organic Teas participating in WaterAids #Blue4Water campaign.

The Max Foundation
For the first time, we had the honor of partnering with the Chai for Cancer campaign coordinated by the Max Foundation, a global health non-profit organization that believes that all people living with cancer have the right to access the best treatment and support. We donated a total of 60 boxes of our Masala Chai along with cups and other materials for addas (events) across the country that resulted in over $30,000 in funds raised.

“The Max Foundation’s collaboration with Choice Organic Teas was a true highlight for us throughout 2015.  The company generously donated tea for our Chai for Cancer initiative benefiting people facing cancer in India, as well as gifting us tea to include in our end of year fundraising campaign.  In addition to raising funds, their gift of tea truly raised spirits across the country.  Drinking tea together brought people closer for a cause.  And, of course, everyone loves their products!  It has been a win-win partnership based on our shared values that we look forward to continuing in the New Year.”
-Erin Schwartz, VP of Strategic Partnerships & Global Advocacy at The Max Foundation

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Viji Venkatesh, Head of The Max Foundation India team and Region Head for South Asia, speaks in front of Chai for Cancer fundraising event during the summer of 2015.

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We partnered with PCC Farmland Trust again this year and donated over $2,500 to support the preservation of threatened farmland in the Northwest.


Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund
For every box of Wellness Teas* sold, we donate a portion of the proceeds to the Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund helping to promote the future of natural medicine.

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Some of our popular Wellness Teas*, each box sold contributes a portion of the sales to the Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund.

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For every kilo of tea purchased from Fair Trade Certified™ gardens, Choice Organic Teas makes payments directly to funds managed by the workers at the tea garden. These accounts are empowering workers to improve their own lives and benefit the community.

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A Fair Trade Certified™ tea garden.

Other Community and Fundraising Events:

Each year we get many invitations from organizations, schools and events requesting tea donations for auction, beverage service, and other needs. We are pleased to contribute to fundraising efforts and events in support of issues that align with our company values. Last year we were able to donate over $5,000 worth of tea to roughly 50 different organizations across the country. That is a lot of tea!

Looking back on what 2015 offered, it is heartening that our company is able to give back and support many worthwhile causes. And looking forward, we can only hope to do better in 2016. If supporting any of these causes is important to you, remember that each time you purchase Choice Organic Teas, your dollar goes beyond the delicious cup of tea you’re enjoying.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

Proudly Manufacturing Teas in Seattle, WA

Did you know that we are one of the few tea companies in the U.S. that manufacturers our own teas? Many companies outsource this entire process overseas, but we proudly blend and package our teas at our certified organic facility in Seattle, WA.

For twenty-five years, we’ve been sourcing organic teas from around the globe, building a worldwide network of direct relationships with tea growers and suppliers of consumer and earth friendly tea packaging materials, such as unbleached natural fiber tea bag paper and string. To us, an important part of being an outstanding organic tea company is that we also package the delicious teas that we source. Along with proudly contributing to the U.S. job market, being our own manufacturer allows us to control quality more on several counts.

One of the important ways we assure quality is that our manufacturing plant has a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) management system in place. HACCP management ensures food safety by monitoring and recording every step involved in the processing of our teas, from when the tea arrives at our facility to when it is shipped to you.

Another benefit to packaging our teas is that we only manufacture teas. We don’t have to worry about cross-contamination from other types of foods that may be common allergens, because we don’t process any other types of foods. We’ve even gone the extra step to be gluten-free certified and kosher certified.

We also have an in-house machine shop with technicians specially trained to keep our tea packing machines running smoothly. We can make adjustments as soon as we notice a problem, or fashion new parts that may be needed.

Because we maintain such a commitment to high-quality teas and their manufacturing, we’re always happy to hear if you encounter an issue with any of our products so we can resolve it as soon as possible. If you ever have a problem, you can reach us at info@choiceorganicteas.com or 800-882-8943.

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Happy New Year from Choice Organic Teas!

2009 was a big year for us here at Choice Organic Teas. We made new friends, launched new teas, started our blog, and celebrated 20 years of providing the best in organic, responsibly sourced tea. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. Our loyal customers are what made it possible for a fledgling tea company that started with just four teas (Ban-cha, Twig, Oolong, and Premium Japanese Green) and an ambitious idea, to grow and make a difference in the world – one cup of tea at a time. We believe this winning combination will keep us growing into the next decade and beyond. As we watch our circle of tea drinkers grow, we’re pretty sure this will be the case!

We wish all of you a very happy New Year, and we’ll see you in 2010!

Happy Matcha Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (and our new Matcha — Green Tea Powder) we had an office-wide matcha bake-off. While baking with green tea isn’t specifically Irish, the delicious, bright-green treats made the day seem particularly festive. And the Irish are tea lovers at heart, after all — we’ve got our Irish Breakfast tea as proof of that!

Vicky's lemon pudding cake

Vicky's lemon pudding cake

Linda's cake

Linda's cake

We had so many fantastic goodies that it was almost hard to eat them all. Matcha is such a versatile ingredient and it was a delight to see how many desserts could be made. There were a few cakes: Vicky, in accounting, made a lemon pudding cake, Linda, one of our Customer Service Reps, made a pair of delicious round cakes with strawberries on top, I made a vanilla and matcha cake with coconut milk, and Julie, one of our Production Managers, made a fantastic multi-layered chocolate cake with matcha frosting.

India's cupcakes

India's cupcakes

Tiffiny's gluten-free rice treats

Tiffiny's gluten-free rice treats

India, our Graphics Coordinator made adorable and tasty cupcakes, while Tiffiny, Assistant to the Head of Operations, dusted some truffles with matcha for a kick of green tea and chocolate and also made some wonderful gluten-free matcha rice treats.
Everyone in the office, dressed in their best green, came and gathered around to taste. It was a fun way to relax, share, and celebrate our brand-new tea. Sláinte!

The Choice Organic Teas Team

The Choice Organic Teas Team