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Jason admin said

What are your favorite non US-based tea companies?

I’m always on the lookout for quality tea companies but I know many that we’ve worked with in the past have difficulty shipping internationally (outside the US).

So I figure if people can help surface some of the best companies that are already “international” then there’d be fewer shipping issues. What are your faves?

If you happen to know anyone specific at the company, feel free to pass along their contact info to me ([email protected]) and I’ll see what I can do. And as always, encourage them to list their teas on Steepster :)

50 Replies
Cofftea said

O-cha:) I haven’t placed an order myself, but I got some Uji Matcha “Kiri no Mori” from Ricky.:)

Ricky admin said

Ohhh isn’t it a great company? The shipping was only $5 for that matcha.

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teaplz said

Hrm, Jason… I’m not quite sure I’ve got this right, but here are some companies that I’m interested in on the international level:

Le Palais des Thes: http://www.palaisdesthes.com/us/ (France)
Mariage Freres: http://www.mariagefreres.com/ (France)
TWG Tea: http://www.twgtea.com/ (Singapore)

You can find Mariage Freres and TWG in some stores (like Williams-Sonoma or Dean & Deluca), but Le Palais is much more elusive.

Keemun said

Mariage Freres…interesting. It is the only tea company EVER where I took a look on the prize on the bottom of the tin, shook my head and put it back on shelf. Although I have to admit that the beautiful tin, the fantastic names of there blends and the list of there ingredients let me sit here with a hint of regret to have not tried…well, it was in a departmant store in Japan where that happened. Maybe because of the shipping…will have a look when I am in Europe again ;-)

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Ricky admin said

Kusmi, well that’s what my friend would say. I like some of their tea, but they can be found in stores as well (in the States and I believe they have a warehouse or tea house in the States).

TeaParT said

I’ve always enjoyed the packaging from this company. Since their international site covers several countries, I’m not sure why they opted to have a separate website:

http://www.us.kusmitea.com/

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Angrboda said

Two in particular springs to mind for me. Or, well, 1½ actually more like.

One is Teaspring.com, which probably only counts for a half, because they are actually US based (California, I think), BUT everything is shipped directly from China at a very reasonable worldwide flat rate, so I think it sort of counts as non US-based, even though they actually are. (http://www.teaspring.com/)

The other is AC Perch’s in Copenhagen (how un-surprised were you all by this?)
Sadly though, they’re horrendously expensive if you need stuff shipped abroad. (Unless you’re in Japan where they have retail outlets, which I think is rather cool) (http://www.perchs.dk/dansk/index.asp)

I have heard a lot of good things about Kusmi too, but I’m only familiar with some of their bags, so I don’t know what their loose is like. I happen to be in possession of a link to their site though (http://www.kusmitea.com/html_uk/home.php)

Also, a shop I haven’t yet tried myself, but probably will at some point. I have discovered that Mighty Leaf has a swedish webshop too, which ships to all of Scandinavia and, I expect, the rest of Europe too. I discovered that one by coincidence when I wanted to look up a tea that I got from Bethany in a swap. I don’t know if it’s run together with the american shop or if it’s run more independently though. (http://www.mightyleaf.se/default.aspx)

Lastly, in the same vein, Adagio also has a European version of their shop now, which ships to all of Europe. Their selection is, however, severely limited in comparison with the american one, but it’s worth a look anyway, I think. (http://www.adagio.uk.com/)

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Keemun said
Cofftea said

As much as I’d love to order a Taiwanese oolong direct, Taiwanoolongtea.com gets the prize for the smallest selection I’ve ever seen at 3.:(

Keemun said

yeah…sorry ’bout that. Let me find out more as soon as I am at home…I am writing this from my office

Carolyn said

Sometimes a small selection is a good thing. Better to have a small selection of wonderful teas than a large selection of mixed-quality or low-quality teas.

Keemun said

…well said, Carolyn…well said

Cofftea said

I agree, but I would still like to see more than 3. That’s just me though- and I’m weird:)

Keemun said

One basic black tea, one flavored black, one Oolong, one green China, one green Japan, one white…(plus one Honjicha for evenings, as thats all I can take after 5.00pm. …for real tea that goes, otherwise I like ginseng or some herbal teas/ lemongrass…ect. after dinner)

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Keemun said

Jason… www.TENFU.com

Jillian said

Be nice if I could actually read the text on the site! ;)

Angrboda said

If you let it load, a button appears with ‘english’ on it. :)

Jillian said

Ah, thanks for telling me. I guess that says a lot about how much patience I have! XD

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Jillian said

I guess the Urban Tea Merchant is really just a part of the larger international The O DOR chain, but I really enjoyed it both a tea hosue where I could sit down with a cup of tea and snack, and as a tea shop where I could chose from a wide variety of exotic loose-leaf teas.
http://www.urbantea.com

Murchie’s Tea is an old, Vancouver & Victoria-based tea company that specializes in English-style tea (but it has a broader selection aswell).
http://www.murchies.com/

The Granville Island Tea Company: It’s an awesome store in an awesome market on an awesome island (although it’s technically not an island). ’Nuff said. :D
http://www.granvilletea.com/

Honorable Mention also goes to:
The Blue Teapot: http://www.blueteapot.com/

My own cool, little local tea shop, called Specifically Tea doesn’t have a website unfortunately, but the owner gets her supplies from a place on Vancouver Island call the Tea Centre.
http://www.teacentre.ca/index.htm

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Mac said

I like Nothing But Tea: http://www.nbtea.co.uk/acatalog/shop.html Free delivery in the UK if you’re okay with second class post, and will ship internationally (though they can only process orders under 2kg, you need to contact them directly for a shipping quote for anything bigger.) The sample packs seem to be a pretty good size too, I can usually get around 5 cups out of what they send.

Angrboda said

Thank you so much for this recommendation! I’ve placed an order. :)

Mac said

You’re welcome! And thankyou too, I actually ordered from teasprings a couple of hours ago because of your recommendation :D (Their ginseng oolong looks nice and $3.80 is very good for shipping, there are UK based companies that charge more than that for UK postage.)

Angrboda said

I know! The first time I shopped there, I was half expecting to get an extra handling bill. Of course there’s always the risk that the package, coming from outside the EU, will be picked up by customs, but with that shipping rate, it doesn’t seem as annoying as it otherwise would be. I think they can do it that way because it’s shipped directly from China so they company doesn’t have to also get shipping to themselves covered before they can ship out to the customers. They cut out a step there.

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baritoneuk said

For me, absolutely Jing Tea (http://jingtea.com) and the Rare Tea Company (http://www.rareteacompany.com/) which I came across whilst listening to the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme episode on tea last Sunday. Both companies really know what they are doing. Henrietta Lovell from the Rare Tea Company is passionate about sourcing from small farmers and the flavours are amazing. Both are London based companies.

TeaCast said

Rare Tea Co. is great, they sent me some samples once and I loveeeed them.

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TeaCast said

I’d say Ito En or AOI Tea Company for their Matcha. I’ve been on a Matcha kick lately and their stuff is absolutely top notch.

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