Steeping and Sustainability: iN-TEA's Guide to Eco-Conscious Tea

Nowadays, so much of our life is about efficiency. Speed is the name of the game -- we want quick information, quick food, and quick beverages, of course. This has resulted in a large trend towards plastic and disposable foodware, such as cups, plates, and utensils. And there's always a time and a place for a disposable cup; sometimes, it just can't be helped!

But here at iN-TEA, we take care to be a bit more eco-conscious. Not only do we try to buy products that support green initiatives, we also do our best to reduce our plastic waste as much as possible. 

Step 1: Support Fair Trade Tea

Many of our teas at iN-TEA are "Fair Trade" -- on our tea wall, this is marked with a yellow sticker with the initials "F.T." on them. Fair Trade items are held to a higher set of production standards, meaning that fair trade items are always produced in fair, humane circumstances and purchased at fair prices. Furthermore, a portion of profits from Fair Trade products are sent towards improving social and environmental standards. These stipulations are geared towards products purchased from less-developed countries, in hopes of improving their economic infrastructure and creating a more equal world.

These specific requirements mean that Fair Trade products are typically produced with more natural products, such as non-chemical fertilizers. In general, it is safe to say that fair trade items are more environmentally-conscious than those that are not. 

Just a few of our Fair Trade teas include our Blueberry Rooibos, our Pu'erh Tuo Cha, and our Decaf Black.

Step 2: Make Tea Plastic-Free

In this day of increased plastic packing in our food, we now have to think more about where that plastic is going when we're done with it. And for those who enjoy brands of tea with single-use teabags, these products often contain mirco-plastics which bleed into your tea, and therefore into your body.

(We do sell one-use teabags, but we only carry cloth products that won't leach chemicals into your tea.)

Fear not -- there are ways to make the process of making and drinking tea completely plastic-free! Here is everything you need:

1. A Tea Canister

iN-TEA carries a variety of tea canisters are designed to keep your tea fresh for over a year, and come in so many cute sizes and colors! If you bring your tea canister to iN-TEA, we'll fill it with your favorite tea for you to avoid the use of a rice-paper bag. Plus, if you bring your own canister, we'll give you a $.25 discount on your tea!

2. A Stainless Steel Infuser

These are the stainless steel infusers that we use behind the counter at iN-TEA, so that's how you know they're high-quality! These infusers are made of mesh fine enough to catch every dusting of tea, and will last you for years. No more one-use teabags!

3. A Reusable Teapot or Travel Mug

Having a teapot or a travel mug is the perfect way to eliminate the need for plastic cups and lids! Our Small Metro Teapots are the teapots we serve tea to our customers in -- at 16 oz, they're the perfect size.

These Mountain Tumbler travel mugs come highly recommended (several staff members at iN-TEA own one!) -- you can use them for hot or iced tea, and they keep your tea at your desired temperature for hours. 

We also sell a variety of other reusable teaware that you can find in-store or online here!

Step 3: Order Your Tea "For Here" at iN-TEA

Over the last year or two, we've overhauled our in-house beverage system; now, when you order a tea to drink for here, it'll come in a reusable ceramic teapot with a ceramic cup or in a stainless steel glass! This has saved us countless plastic cups, straws, and lids, and can even enhance your tea-drinking experience -- as Carole always says, tea tastes better when you're drinking it out of a pot!

Furthermore, we've recently turned away from plastic stir sticks and straws -- now you can find clean spoons on our sugar station to mix some agave into your tea, as well as paper straws that won't be harming any sea turtles when you're finished with them!

Step 4: Support Businesses that Invest in the Future

At Starbucks, you rarely see an attempt to be sustainable -- they don't offer any in-house services with reusable cups, and every single cup of tea they make comes from a heavily-packaged tea bag. Here at iN-TEA, we're aware of the impact our every move can make on the environment, and we're doing our best to minimize our waste. 

As a small, family-owned business, iN-TEA takes its commitment to sustainability very seriously. Everyone must do their part in creating a green future, and at iN-TEA, we're proud to do our part.

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