5-minute survey for new USDA-funded coffee and tea industry product!

Hey Steepsters!

We’re looking for the feedback of small, independent coffee and tea shops across the U.S. to provide feedback on a new, patented product we’re considering bringing to market. We’ve been awarded a USDA grant, and we’ve love your help!

Please take 5 minutes to complete this online survey – we would really appreciate it. Especially because your responses represent your area of the country in deciding whether this new product could be brought to market.

Follow the following link – or copy and paste it into your browser – to access the survey.

If you are a TEA SHOP OWNER, follow this link:

If you’re a TEA DRINKER, instead of a shop, follow this one:

Thanks so much,

The Tea Spot
Boulder, Colorado


The Tea Spot is a certified woman-owned and operated business producing proprietary products for loose leaf tea. Patented tea steeping products are marketed under the Steepware® trademark. They also offer a line of exclusive, organic, and Fair-Trade Certified™ leaf teas. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the company was founded in 2004 by Maria Uspenski, a cancer survivor drawn to the health benefits of leaf tea during her recovery. She set forth to modernize the loose-leaf tea experience, making it an everyday luxury. Her message is simple and powerful: tea in its freshest form renders incredible flavor, unmatched health benefits, and is eco-friendly. The company ensures that its products uphold clean, sustainable and fair manufacturing standards. The Tea Spot’s model of social entrepreneurship incorporates a culture of giving as it grows: Ten percent of every sale made is donated in-kind to cancer and community wellness programs.

18 Replies
Spot52 select said

The only comment I would make about the cup is, I prefer it over a tea bag.

I do not drink tea, from a shop, on the go. When I pay money for good loose leaf, I want to sit and enjoy it. I would prefer using a tea service set. Just my 10 pennies.

I did use a disposable that dropped the leaves directly in the water, and there was a filter on the lid. The filter kept the pieces outta my mouth. I do not know if that product was biodegradable. But I do not like drinking steaming hot tea, so it inevitably was over steeped. BAD KARMA! Some people dig that style of drinking though, it is just not for me.

We’re so with you on this one! We made ecosteep with easy removal in mind, so it’s made with a lip that both fits over standard to-go cups and also allows for the entire infuser to be lifted out to prevent the pesky oversteeping problem that arises with bagged take-out tea.

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Meghann M said

I like the idea of a fully compostable tea bag replacement. I do often purchase hot tea on the go, especially in the cooler months. I don’t have many tea shop options that serve tea in teapots for a sit down option where I live.

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Done…it is great it uses loose leaf thus allowing more options and potentially better quality teas. Also happy how it is environmentally friendly. Curious what the cost increase would be.

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We use a patented esspresso-type tea infuser to prepare our beverages, so this does not appeal to me. I am anxious to see when the industry is going to offer corn plastic disposable cups for iced teas at a reasonable price. For now, we will stick with our styrofoam. Interestingly enough, the styrofoam manufacturers offer some pretty valid arguments for why their product is better for the environment than others (http://www.dartcontainer.com/web/environ.nsf/pages/enfacts.html )

That said, I think the new biodegradeable corn plastics are going to change the game. They are simply too expensive and not available in less than enormous quantities right now for us to use them. I would also like to see someone make stand-up pouches out of this material.

Cofftea said

Biodegradable opaque pouches… YES!

I use the PLA corn plastic cups in my tea house for cold beverages. Yes they cost more. Yes it’s important to my company and my consumers to have all our take away containers 100% compostable/recyclable. We absorb the cost, it’s just the ethical thing to do, and our customers LOVE it.

Last time I looked into them, you had to order like 25,000 cups at a time. That’s way too many for us. I wouldn’t know where to even PUT them. Do you have a good source for them?

they are a Canadian distributor, but could likely direct you to a US distributor. They specialize in eco-friendly products.

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I thought the filter insert was interesting, but I don’t think I would choose that at a higher price. It would be great if that was the standard cup though.

Cofftea said

I definitely agree it should be the default. I’ve always thought there should be a charge for the plastic/styrofoam cups while the green cups should be cheaper.

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I love this !! I currently just have an online store so when I took the survey I could not fill out a lot of it, but my plan is to one day have a tea shop and offer this exact product! I hope it goes well and I think you are on to something fantastic!

:D Thanks!!

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Jillian said

I’m not a US resident but I did the survey. It’s an interesting idea though I’m honestly not sure how much wider appeal it might have. It’s still something worth looking into though, IMO. :)

Thanks for taking the survey – we’re really excited to review the results to see whether coffee and tea shops across the U.S. would be interested in adopting it.

We’ll keep everyone on Steepster posted!

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It’s a fantastic idea… a great step towards tea houses having 100% compostable take-away containers.
Logistics… how easily is the plastic filter to remove after the steeping time is done? For many teas you wouldn’t want to leave the tea leaves in the water too long. It looks like it could be messy (though so are the tea-sac type bags).
I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks, World Tea House!

We designed ecosteep with ease-of-use in mind, and to that end, it has an outer lip that both allows for insertion into a standard to-go cup but also easy removal from the cup after steeping. The lip allows the drinker to lift ecosteep out of the cup without contact with the hot water, tea leaves, or the body of the infuser – no fishing around for (or playing hot potato with) a messy bag!

nice… you should upload a quick promo video to utube. I think seeing it in action would be fantastic.

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