Attn. Small tea businesses - tea buying cooperative

I am reading each of the replies to the topic about looking for a new wholesaler, and checking out everyone’s “wholesale” listings, and the more I read, the more incensed I’m becoming.

I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I know who supplies most of these companies, and I know the prices being paid. The longer I am in business, the more disgusted I get with it.

Don’t get me wrong: Charge a premium, if you are adding value to something. If you are blending, flavoring, packaging your product, then you need to be paid for your efforts, but it is not fair to the consumers, and it’s not fair to smaller tea businesses to get something from one place and charge three times as much for it just because you can.

I can get cinnamon chips for $1.80/lb if I buy 50lbs. Why should I have to pay $4.50/lb (or MORE) for the same product from someone else? The natural flavors we use to flavor our teas with can cost as much as $1280/gallon in small quantities, but I can buy a gallon for $50. A gallon, incidentally, is enough to flavor about 230 lbs of tea.

I am TIRED of being stepped on because I don’t have the fat resources that other companies do. If you are in the same boat, let’s talk. I think we need to start a tea buying cooperative and help each other out.

6 Replies

This is something I would be interested in. As I start blending more teas, I’m buying more blending ingredients. I’m transitioning into blending all of my own teas. Some blending ingredients I get for great prices, others not so much. For cinnamon chips I pay $2.10/lb with a 2lb min purchase.

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i’m interested! i buy so much tea and i might like to blend some myself and sell some to friends/ via my etsy shop, but i don’t have tons of cash. i will keep an eye on this thread. i used to buy my supplies and blend my own teas a decade ago but the thing is i prefer organic/fair trade now.

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Chef8489 said

Thank you for posting this.

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Fairyfli said

What a wonderful idea.. I don’t mix any of my own teas or anything but someday would love to look into it… I have just started my exploration of teas and enjoy flavored teas… I feel as if I need to know so much before I would ever be able to understand how to mix teas and flavors…I think that it is really important to support the small companies in this tea world that we live in!

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52Teas I could not agree with you more! I keep searching for the perfect wholesaler/private label company that will work with my low inventory needs as well as my low cashflow as a brand new online tea store. I am thinking shoot maybe instead of a tea store I should look into the opportunity of a great wholesaler ;o)

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@52Teas, there is such a group on LinkedIn. Blending your own is always best…

@SpecialTea there a few good ones out there

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