Oh Delicious Tea

Day two of two weeks of fair trade product reviews

This morning I’m up early, enjoying a rich steaming cup of Numi Earl Grey Tea with just a touch of cream. Heavenly. I’m typically a coffee drinker in the morning, reserving my tea cravings for cold winter afternoons or evenings with a good book. I chose tea this morning because of my blog topic and I’m glad I did. This stuff is good.

Sri Lanka, India and a few African estates are leading the way in fair trade tea. Like coffee, Transfair certifies fair trade tea, ensuring that farmers receive living wages for their crops plus fair trade buyers of tea pay a premium to the community that is reinvested in community projects. Most of America’s tea comes from Argentina, China and Indonesia and very little tea from those countries is fair trade so far.

Also like coffee, the nature of harvesting tea leaves is time and labor-intensive and, as competition has risen, pressure to keep costs low has as well, requiring a low-wage labor force. By choosing fair trade tea over conventional we tea lovers can feel good about sipping.

A few years ago I did hear some complaints about fair trade tea being of a lower quality. I don’t believe that is the case any longer. This cup of Numi Earl Grey tea is perfectly rich and the bergamot flavor is fantastic. I’ve tried fair trade herbal teas from Choice teas and they brew quite well too. About 1% of tea in the U.S. is fair trade right now, so you may have a harder time finding it than fair trade coffee, at least for now. Look for Transfair’s certification label. Some fair trade brands to watch for include Numi, Choice, SLO Chai, and Alter Eco.

If you came to my trunk show Saturday, you went home with some free samples of fair trade tea. Has anyone tried them? What did you think? I’m including free samples of fair trade tea (as well as other products) with all online orders during the rest of Fair Trade Fortnight as well.

Tomorrow’s product review: Fair Trade chocolate chip cookies!

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