Sips and Steeps



Maybe we had one too many cups of Wenshan Baochung this morning, but we think having worthy competitors is actually a good thing. Tea sellers doing great things is a boon for the world we love – the world of tea, that is – and it inspires us to continue to push our creativity to the limit.

(So should you thank the tea sellers below for the fact that Tea Ave has some of the most flavorful premium oolong teas, competitive shipping rates, and excellent customer service? Well … maybe, but just a little.)

Here’s some background info on each of our competitors, plus what we love about them.


TEAVANA: Practically a household name, TEAVANA has the attention of tea drinkers worldwide. Step into one of its many stores and you’ll recognize its deep signature colors and bold signage.

Why do we love them? Standard brewing directions appear on every package, which are also color-coded to indicate type of tea. With brewing instructions made so accessible, even hesitant loose-leaf tea drinkers feel welcome. Their Tea of the Month Club ships two varieties of tea per month: one classic and one tea blend. We think that if there’s anything this world needs, it’s more people enjoying tea – and TEAVANA’s nudging things in that direction. What if tea balls were as common as keychains?

Nepali Tea Traders: High-altitude, hand-picked teas travel from the mountains of Nepal to the mountains of Colorado, where Nepali Tea Traders calls home. Nepali Tea Traders supports the people of landlocked Nepal by trading with small farms at fair prices to help build a sustainable tea community.

Why do we love them? For one, because of their Nepali Tea Restoration Fund. Following the Nepal earthquake in April 2015, they committed to donate 20 percent of sales for the remainder of the year. As of July 14, 2015, “purchases of rice and tarps have been made, and volunteers are carrying supplies to hard-hit remote areas. Settlements are being built, and we are supporting the building and re-building of schools” (read more here). If you want to help others, why not do it while also scoring yourself some tea?

52Teas: We haven’t come across a tea seller that’s this much fun in a long time. Sure, you can choose their Tie Kwan Yin, but what about Maple Cheesecake Tie Kwan Yin? Or Cucumber Cantaloupe Oolong? When founder Frank Horbelt decided to hand off 52Teas to pursue his iced tea company, mother-daughter team Anne and Amethyst used Kickstarter to keep the blends brewing.

Why do we love them? With high-quality organic teas and flavoring, 52Teas’ blends are an adventure in every cup. (And we love adventure.)

Eco-Cha: Love for tea and a commitment to the environment go together like a warm summer day and a cup of cold-brewed oolong, right? (Answer: yes!) Cha means “A sip of tea” in Chinese, while eco reflects responsible sourcing from small, family-operated farms that use hand-processing – which means a low economic impact.

Why do we love them? In addition to their eco-friendly practices and commitment to family farms, Eco-Cha is committed to tea we know and love best: Taiwanese oolong. What’s not to love?

In Nature Teas: It’s widely known that tea is good for your health, but how many specifics do you remember? In Nature Teas has detailed health benefits on their packaging, each with an informational insert and more information online. Their Chinese oolongs may assist “digestion, anti-bacterial, heart (cholesterol reduction), slimming, and longevity/anti-ageing properties” (read more here).

Why do we love them? Improve our health while enjoying our daily cuppa? We’re in.

Who’s your favorite tea seller, and why? Tell us in the comments section below!



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By Heidi, on

Verdant Tea is awesome! We love them too!!

By Lindsay, on

Verdant Tea!
I love their commitment to the tea farmers they’ve partnered with.

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