Finding our ingredients
Our teas come from the finest tea estates around the world. Their distinct origins result in unique variations of body and character and subtleties of taste and aroma.
The whole-leaf difference
Tea leaves come in several sizes, and the size of a tea leaf plays an important role in how it tastes and the health benefits it delivers. In the final stage of processing, tea leaves are passed through sifters that identify whole leaves, broken and small leaves, and very small tea particles known as fannings and dust. Broken leaves, fannings, and dust are the "leftovers" of the production process - they have lost their essential oils which are tea's key source of flavor, aroma, and health benefits. These small tea particles are mass marketed, widely available, and often come packaged in bleached paper bags.
As widely known as they are, these small particles are not the best ambassadors for tea. They can turn your water into a different color, but have little or no healing benefits and do not deliver the complex, nuanced flavors and aromas of whole leaf leaves.
Many of our teas are accented with fruits, spices, herbs, flowers, and essential oils. They are typically produced by small farms which pool their crops. We generally purchase these ingredients through cooperatives representing the small producers.
Our teas and ingredients are carefully monitored from their origins in farms and tea gardens around the world to your cup. We purchase all ingredients from select producers who meet the highest standards of quality and cleanliness. But we don't simply assume that great producers will always deliver safe ingredients. After they leave the farms and gardens, all of our ingredients are vigilantly screened by an independent lab to make sure there are no unwanted or harmful substances.
This attention to detail ensures that all of our teas, organic and conventionally grown, meet strict U.S. and European standards.
Finding the best ingredients is important, but, it takes more than great ingredients to create an exceptional tea experience. Our favorite analogy is a chef or bartender. If all you needed was good ingredients, anyone could be a master chef or world class bartender. For tea, much like prepared foods or drinks, the way ingredients are combined makes a huge difference in the final product.
In tea parlance, the combination of ingredients is known as the “blend” and any tea containing more than one ingredient is considered a blend. At Paromi Tea, blending is an art. We distinguish ourselves from other teas because of the attention we devote to blending.
After our ingredients pass inspection, they are shipped to a blending facility where our herbalist and master tea blenders skillfully pair the loose teas with premium fruits, spices, herbs, flowers, and essential oils. Every tea blend is carefully crafted with a relentless pursuit towards achieving the ideal balance of flavors and aromas.
Key in ensuring the highest quality, all of our teas are blended in small batches, each typically only 40 lbs. Blending in such small quantities allows great precision and attention to detail. Continuing our chef analogy, our small batch process is like making a batch of cookies for 10 people versus a typical, mass market tea brand that bakes for 10000 or more.
We are passionate about tea and respect its history and tradition. We don't take for granted that tea is a product of the earth. To help ensure that we can continue to find and enjoy great tea, we are committed to the environment and the people who produce our ingredients all over the world. We've chosen to work with suppliers who have local programs geared towards the stewardship of the environment and enhancing the welfare of their workers. With the goal of achieving a level of consistency across all of our suppliers, we've partnered with Fair Trade USA, an independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Several of our teas are Fair Trade Certified. This association guarantees that strict economic, social, and environmental criteria were met in the production and purchase of our teas. Our aim it to help the Fair Trade movement grow, and we are working towards bringing all of our suppliers under the Fair Trade umbrella.
organic vs. conventional teas
Many of our teas have been grown organically and carry the USDA organic seal. Others are not certified organic. Are our organic teas better than the conventional ones? Not necessarily! In fact, many conventionally grown teas are still superior in cleanliness, taste, and quality to comparable organic teas from a given region. What's important for you is that, for each tea variety we select, we've chosen the purest, highest quality tea regardless of growing method.