If you’ve been a long-time reader of my blog or part of the community on my Facebook page, you know that I am always supporting small herbal tea shops. I love meeting people who are making plant medicines available to the world, and I love sharing their work with the great people I’m connected to online. I’ve had a few people in recent weeks ask me why I choose small companies over big ones, and why I’m such a big supported of independent small batch herbal tea companies. In response to these questions I thought I’d dedicate a blog post to it and hopefully inspire you to experience the difference for yourself. Enjoy!
What Is Small Batch Herbal Tea?
When you go to your favorite chain tea seller or purchase most boxes of tea from the shelves to pick up your favorite blend, and lot of work has gone into getting it to you. The company has to first get the herbs, then process them, then package them in their own unique ways. Once this is done, they’re boxed up and sent out to the various stores who sell them. I consider this a ‘big box’ operation since the teas are being made in huge quantities, usually by machines, and are sent out in big batches to various locations around the world. Small batch herbal tea is a bit different.
When you support a small herbal tea business that makes their blends in small batches, the story of what ends up in your mug is a little more like this…
An individual or small group of people hand selects herbs in small quantities from reputable, usually organic, sellers. These herbs are purchased in quantities as small as half a pound. Once all the herbs are in-stock, the seller blends them by hand to their unique recipe specifications. Typical batches are a pound or less at a time. Consider that there are 16 ounces in a pound, and most loose herbal tea blends come in 2 to 4 ounce sizes. That means that a blending session makes just 4 to 8 products!
Once made, small batch herbal tea blends are packaged and boxed up, almost always by hand, with love and attention. They are typically sold directly from the herbalist to the customer with no middle man.
The Big Differences
Here are some of the things you get from supporting small business when buying your herbal tea blends…
- Customer service that usually connects you directly with the herbalist or someone in the shop.
- Greater attention to detail.
- Better prices.
- Direct support of local economy.
- Indirect support of the other small businesses that get used by the tea shop you buy from.
- More good energy, passion, and attention to detail.
- Custom orders and specialty items made to order.
As you can see, you tend to get a more personable and direct experience when you support a small business – and that’s something all of us enjoy!
Vote With Your Money And Your Heart
While this post shares a lot of my personal views about how I buy tea, it shouldn’t prevent you from putting your money where you think it belongs. Not everyone has access to small batch herbal tea shops in their area or online, and some people find a great deal of satisfaction with big brands. When you take your sip, as long as you are happy with what you have, that’s what matters most. There are definitely some extremely reputable bigger brands out there like Traditional Medicinals, Yogi Tea, and Quit Tea that maintain a small business feel and lots of humble dedication while actually being pretty popular. If you can find these brands and support them, that’s a great thing! The fact is that most all big brands started out as a small shop or a small idea at one time – so as long as you’re getting quality, effectiveness, and good energy – your money is probably being well spent.
Who Do You Love?
Do you have a small herbal tea shop that you love? I would really like to hear about them!
Please take a moment to share their name, website address, or other information with me in the comments below and you just may see me shout them out on the Living Herbal Tea Facebook page or in a future blog post!
Some of my favorite online small batch herbal tea shops include…
Wild Sage Apothecary
Herbal Philosophy Teas