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Whether you’re into herbal, black, loose-leaf blends, or matcha, learn about the best organic tea brands. Learn the importance of buying organic tea, how it differs from conventional tea, and ethical brands that are doing good for the people, the planet, and our health.
Organic vs Conventional Tea
Organic tea is grown on small-scale farms and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Many organic tea brands are also Fair Trade certified. This simply means that the seller made an agreement to pay their workers/farmers fair wages and provide healthy working conditions.
Conventional teas are highly sprayed, mass-produced crops that are grown on large-scale plantations. Since these plantations are typically located at higher elevations, it creates a huge problem. The chemicals run down the mountains and hills, leeching into rivers (and other bodies of water), forests, and farms.
Why Buy Organic?
Organic tea helps to sustain the health of the soil. This means that the more chemicals added, the more damaging it is to the long-term health of the soil. This then has a ripple effect on both the ecosystem and the people.
Once the soil has been affected by these chemicals, it’s deemed unsafe to use for several years, if at all. Synthetic pesticides are extremely toxic and have been linked to serious health risks such as birth defects, hormonal imbalances, skin and eye irritations, as well as other conditions.
What to Look For
When buying tea, you want to make sure that you know what every ingredient is on the ingredient list. Many teas have additives such as artificial colors, flavors, and fillers.
Don’t rely on marketing words such as ‘all-natural’ or ‘healthy’ on the front of the package. These words are rarely accurate as to what is really inside a product.
Best Organic Tea Brands
Credibility: Certified B-Corporation, Certified Green Business, USDA Certified Organic, Compostable Non-GMO Teabags, Non-GMO Project Verified
Offerings: 60+ tea flavors, teabags, lozenges
Price: Starts at $5.79 per box
Traditional Medicinals is a company that’s been making tea since 1971. They greatly care about the people and the planet. On top of their impressive list of sustainable efforts, they individually test each herb from field to cup to ensure quality, safety, and purity.
This brand is most well-known for its teas but has recently extended into other herbal products such as throat lozenges.
Credibility: USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher, Eco-friendly
Offerings: 16+ tea flavors, teabags
Price: Starts at $4.50 per box
Equal Exchange has been in the tea and coffee industry since 1991.
Their business model is a democratic for-profit cooperative. It’s operated with fair-trade practices and is equally owned by every single employee.
By purchasing equal exchange products, you’re supporting a company that deeply cares about environmentally sound and economically just practices.
Credibility: USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, B-Corp
Offerings: nearly 30 tea flavors, tea bags, loose-leaf tea, tea concentrates,
Price: Starts at $7.99 per box
Numi Tea has been around since 1999. Founded by a brother and sister duo who wanted to share the healing power of tea with the world.
All Numi teas are certified organic and made 100% from herbs, real fruits, flowers, and spices.
This brand truly cares about its environmental impact and human rights, which is why they started the Numi Foundation.
Their purchase with purpose model helps to fight global warming, reduce plastic waste, and provides fair wages for tea farmers around the world.
Credibility: Certified B-Corp, USDA Certified Organic, Eco-friendly, Non-GMO Project Verified, Rainforest Alliance Certified
Offerings: 40+ tea flavors, teabags
Price: Starts at $5.50 per box
Yogi teas source over 100 high-quality exotic spices and botanicals found around the world.
They perform rigorous testing to meet quality standards and are committed to creating products that minimize their environmental footprint.
They’re very selective with their supplies and follow Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and Food Safety Audits. As a result, this ensures there are no genetically modifed, artificial, or contaminated ingredients.
Let’s talk about the packaging.
Yogi tea cartons are made from 100% recycled paper. Their tea bags are compostable (minus the staples to seal the bag). Plus, the ink used on their packages is vegetable-based making it environmentally friendly.
Credibility: Non-GMO Verified, Kosher, Certified B-Corp, USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade
Offerings: 250+ tea flavors, loose-leaf tea & tea bags
Price: Starts at $4.35 per box
Stash started in the early 1970s and has been steadily growing and improving ever since. Although not all of their teas are certified organic, they’re all non-GMO project verified and are made without any artificial ingredients.
In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, their tea bags, strings, and tags are compostable and the boxes can be recycled. The foiled wrappers can’t be recycled, but they’re looking into more environmentally responsible options.
Credibility: Fair for Life Certified, 1% of the Planet, Carbon Neutral, Certified Organic, Eco-friendly, Sustainable, Organic Soil Association, Certified B-Corp
Offerings: 30 tea flavors, herbal supplements, teabags
Price: Starts at $5.50 per box
The name Pukka in Hindi translates to real, authentic, or genuine. The founders wanted their company to embody these qualities when they started in the early 2000s.
Pukka tea’s vision was to be sustainable from the very beginning. It started with the health of the planet, people, and plants in mind.
The tea boxes are made using FSC-certified paper, which means their supplies come from responsibly managed forests often using reclaimed sources. Both the tea boxes and envelopes are 100% recyclable. To do this, place it in your paper recycling bin.
Best Organic Tea Brands with Loose Leaf Options
This is a quick list of organic tea brands with loose-leaf teas and other sustainable options.
Tielka: Australian Certified Organic, Fair Trade | Loose-leaf teas, plastic-free teabags, sustainable business practices, ethical sourcing | Shop Tielka
Art of Tea: Organic, Fair Trade | Loose-leaf teas, teabags | Shop Art of Tea
The Tea Spot: Certified B-Corp, Organic, 10% for Wellness (Supporting Cancer Survivors) | Loose-leaf teas, teabags | Shop The Tea Spot
Mountain Rose Herbs: USDA Certified Organic, Zero Waste Facility Certification, Responsible Packaging | Loose-leaf teas, essential oils, aromatherapy, herbs & spices, home goods, & more. | Shop Mountain Rose Herbs
Tools: For loose-leaf tea, you’ll need a tea strainer.
Best Third Party Tested & Organic Matcha Brands
Matcha is a Japanese green tea powder made from finely ground tea leaves.
In western countries, you’ll see two grades of matcha: ceremonial and culinary. The main difference between these two grades is when they were harvested. Ceremonial being the premium choice as it comes from the first harvest of the year and culinary coming from the second harvest.
This gives ceremonial grade a superior flavor, a richer color, and a higher price tag. Here are the best matcha brands:
Ippodo Tea: A 300 year old traditional Japanese family owned brand selling a wide range of matcha powders. Their tea is grown in Kyoto, a region known for producing the best quality. | Shop Ippodo Tea
Matchaful: A female-founded brand selling certified organic premium matcha grown in the Shizuoka and Aichi regions of Japan. | Shop Matchaful
Matchaeologist: An artisanal matcha brand selling award-winning matcha grown in Uji, Kyoto. Choose from five different varieties. | Shop Matchaeologist
Kyoto Dew Matcha: A certified organic brand selling ceremonial grade matcha grown in Uji, Kyoto. | Shop Kyoto Dew Matcha
Tools: This Japanese tea set includes everything you’ll need to make the perfect cup of matcha!
- Buy a variety pack to try out multiple flavors without having to commit to a whole box (when still deciding what you like).
- Always check the ingredient list on your tea, not just the marketing on the outside of the box.
- Store matcha powder in its original packaging in the fridge or a dark, cool place to extend its freshness.