Our Teas Are Now Certified Gluten-Free!

This spring, we are proud to announce that our teas have been certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Our customers that may have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can also be assured that our packaging materials do not contain gluten. In addition, our certified organic tea packing facility in Seattle does not process anything with gluten, so there is no risk of cross-contamination.


You may be wondering, “Why do I need to worry about gluten in tea?”  While Camellia sinensis, the plant from which tea comes, does not contain any gluten on own its own, gluten is sometimes introduced to tea products by manufacturers as an additive. For example, flavors made with grains containing gluten can be added. (Our flavors do not contain gluten.) Also, sometimes barley malt is used as a sweetener and roasted barley itself can be made into tea. (We do not use barley in any of our teas.) And finally, some tea companies may use gluten-containing glue to close their tea bags. (Our tea bags are sewn shut, so this is not an issue.)

For these reasons and the many phone calls and emails we’ve received from concerned customers, we are pleased that we can offer the added confidence of third party verification that our teas are gluten free. To learn more about our certifier, the Gluten Intolerance Group, visit gluten.net.

Visit Us at the Northwest Tea Festival October 5th & 6th!

NWTF2013The premiere tea festival in the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Tea Festival, will delight long-time tea lovers and new fans of all ages with tea tastings, classes, lectures and great shopping with local vendors.  Just in time for the official kick-off of “Tea Season,” the festival will once again be held October 5th and 6th, 2013 in the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109.

The Northwest Tea Festival is offering products, information and seminars for more than 2,000 tea lovers and aspiring tea professionals.  The goal is to provide experiences covering all aspects of tea, from the cultural to the historical and the sensory to the scientific.

At our Choice Organic Teas booth, we’ll be serving samples of our new Wellness Teas and  selling select teas from our collection. Please note, we are only accepting cash and check for purchases.

Entry to the Northwest Tea Festival is free to the public, with a suggested donation of $10 which includes a free porcelain tasting teacup and festival bag.  Select lectures and tastings may require additional fees. Seating is limited and pre-registration is suggested and available on the festival’s website, www.nwteafestival.com. Hours for the Tea Festival are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5th and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6th.

New highlights this year will be the Tea in History Art Show, Raku Tea Bowl firing demonstrations, and a Korean Tea Ceremony performance.   Additionally, Mike & Emeric Harney of Harney & Sons and James Norwood Pratt, noted tea author, will be featured presenters.  Other sponsors this year include: Perennial Tea Room, Ito En, Harney & Sons, Choice Organic Teas, Smacha, Bunn, and Northwest Folklife.  A list of this year’s vendors may be found by clicking: http://www.nwteafestival.com/vendor13.php

Returning features of the tea festival include:

  • Appearances and teaching by James Norwood Pratt, author and world recognized authority on tea and tea lore, including “James Norwood Pratt’s NEW Tea Lover’s Treasury”
  • A full line-up of presentations and workshops on tea and related topics
  • Our perennially favorite tea tastings – try new teas and discover new favorites!
  • The Wu-wo Tea Ceremony
  • Tea and teaware vendors from the Pacific Northwest and across the country showcasing  their teas, beautiful teacups, teapots, and tea accessories

For more information on the Northwest Tea Festival visit our web site:  www.nwteafestival.com.

Beat the Heat with Some of Our Favorite Iced Teas!

Untitled-1Now that we’ve reached the long, hot days of summer, make sure you stay cool and hydrated, preferably with something tasty. If you’re looking to freshen up your usual iced tea, look no further than our Gourmet Line, with lots of great options to please your taste buds while quenching your thirst. Our Mango CeylonLiquorice Peppermint, and Rooibos+Vanilla make divine iced teas. And if you’re looking to mix it up, try our Moroccan Mint Green with some limeade.

A Closer Look at the Carbon Dioxide Decaffeination Process

Our customers often ask us about how we decaffeinate our teas. Unlike other tea companies that use methylene chloride, a chemical solvent with reported health risks, we use carbon dioxide, a natural alternative to methylene chloride and the only decaffeination method approved for certified organic teas. Since we work so hard to source high quality organic teas, it’s just as important that our decaffeination process preserves our teas’ flavor and quality as much as possible.

To give you more information about how the carbon dioxide decaffeination process works: in a sealed chamber, moistened tea leaves are exposed to pressurized CO2, which has been liquefied under pressure. The liquefied CO2 bonds with the caffeine molecules in the leaves and after a few hours, the liquid is poured off and the tea is dried, evaporating both the CO2 and the caffeine. As caffeine is the only compound reduced, this process leaves the treated tea leaves more intact and flavorful than other methods.

We hope you’ll try all of our decaffeinated teas. Currently we offer a Decaf English Breakfast, Decaf Earl Grey, and Decaf Green in tea bags and a Decaf Black, Decaf Green, and Decaf Chai in loose leaf.

It’s important to remember that decaffeination does leave a trace amount of caffeine in tea, meaning the tea becomes decaffeinated, not caffeine free. If you are concerned about ingesting any caffeine at all, you’ll want to avoid decaffeinated teas and stick to herbal teas such as Chamomile, Peppermint, and Rooibos that never contained any caffeine. Note that Yerba Maté is our one herbal tea that does contain caffeine.

Happy sipping!

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At Bastyr University’s Annual Spring for Health Luncheon

On Tuesday, we had the privilege of attending Bastyr University’s Annual Spring for Health Luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle to support uncompensated health care services for those in need.

From left to right: Dr. Church (President of Bastyr University), Eric Ring (Choice Organic Teas Head of Purchasing), Ray Lacorte (Choice Organic Teas Head of Operations), and Tim Callahan (Senior VP and Provost of Bastyr University).


Our new Wellness Teas collection created in partnership with Bastyr was featured as a favor for attendees.


Jean Enerson, the co-anchor at KING5 News Seattle known for her news stories regarding health issues, spoke at the luncheon.


Our Breathing Space tea was served iced as a refreshing part of the menu.


A hot tea service was provided so attendees could begin enjoying their favors (our Wellness Teas).


All in all, we had a terrific time supporting Bastyr’s annual luncheon as they further their mission to make quality natural healthcare more accessible to all.

Introducing Our Brand New Line of Wellness Teas*!

Wellness Group Horizontal_300dpiWe are thrilled to announce the launch of our brand new line of Wellness Teas* just in time for spring! Created in partnership with Bastyr University, these eight new blends are a certified organic line of flavorful and functional teas specially formulated by a master herbalist and faculty member in botanical medicine and Ayurvedic sciences at Bastyr University. This is the first time that Bastyr, the largest accredited natural health university in the U.S., has collaborated with a consumer brand on product development and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them! This collection combines our experience sourcing, blending, and packing the world’s finest ingredients with Bastyr’s expertise in herbal sciences to offer a unique, natural, and organic approach to everyday health and well-being.Herbalist Formulated

The story of how the partnership came about is fairly interesting. Our Head of Purchasing, Eric Ring, was on a camping trip when he struck up a chance conversation with Tim Callahan, Bastyr University’s Senior Vice President and Provost. Eric told Tim about our company’s longtime admiration of Bastyr’s programs and mission and our dream of launching a Wellness line in partnership with them. Tim shared his appreciation of Choice Organic Teas’ experience as a trusted, quality tea brand and the beginnings of our Wellness Teas* took shape over a campfire.

Designed to support healthy bodily functions and enhance wellness,* our new teas are classified as Herbal Dietary Supplements, meaning that they have met FDA standards for quality and testing. All of the teas except Regularity* have been designed so they can be consumed as needed on a daily basis to support daily wellness.* We’re also proud to say that even though they are functional, they taste great too!

The eight varieties include:

  • Breathing Space* – Breathe deep and help maintain healthy airways with this refreshing blend. Echinacea, elderflower, and eucalyptus help support normal respiratory function.* Enjoy this amber cup with a bright, minty taste.
  • Easy Digest* – Soothe your stomach with this tea formulated to aid digestion and relieve occasional indigestion and nausea associated with ordinary motion sickness.* Ginger, turmeric, and lemongrass deliver a tasty cup that will have you feeling like yourself in no time.*
  • Energy Boost* – Recharge your batteries with this crisp, lively blend that supports healthy energy levels and vitality.* Green tea is perfectly paired with eleuthero root, known to support immunity and stamina.* You’ll love the fresh, mildly fruity, vegetal taste, as well as the natural lift.*
  • Mental Focus*– Clear your mind with this fresh, lively cup that supports mental clarity and concentration.* This amber cup features gingko and gotu kola, offering a pleasing vegetal taste with a touch of citrus to bring your world back into focus.*
  • Regularity* – Get things moving comfortably with this sweet and savory herbal laxative that provides gentle relief of occasional constipation without cramping.* This senna leaf blend is rounded out with licorice and ginger root, resulting in a rich, velvety taste and sweet relief.*
  • Rest Assured* – Get a good night’s rest with this dreamy, minty cup.* A smooth blend of valerian root is combined with passionflower, catnip leaf, and chamomile to help you slip into a soothing sleep.* It’s a light, refreshing tea that’s both warming and calming.*
  • Simply Detox* – Show your liver some love with this deliciously toasty herbal tea that features roasted dandelion root and purifying burdock root.* This earthy cup has a smoky taste that’s both rich and savory. It’s a delicious way to detox and refresh your outlook.*
  • Throat Cozy* – Support throat comfort with this cooling brew that combines slippery marshmallow root, licorice, and anise.* It’s a slightly sweet, velvety blend sure to please and ease your throat.*

Echinacea CupA portion of every purchase supports the Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund, helping advance the research and practice of natural medicine.

We’re so excited to have you try them and let us know what you think!

Learn more by viewing the press release here.

*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.