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What is oolong?
Made from semi-oxidized Camellia sinensis leaves, oolong falls between the more commonly known green (unoxidized) and black (fully oxidized) teas, and is roasted to varying degrees. As you might guess, that leaves a whole lot of in-between space for oolongs to express themselves. And we think their spectrum of flavors — from bright & grassy to juicy & floral to dark & toasty — is best appreciated with loose leaves.
Is there caffeine in these teas?
Yes, our oolong teas all contain some caffeine. TBH, it’s a little tricky to pinpoint exactly how much, because the caffeine level of a given tea leaf can vary by varietal, growing location, the season's growing conditions, position where it grew on the plant, how its batch was roasted, etc. We’ve probably all heard at some point that caffeine levels in black tea > oolong tea > green tea > white tea, but these generalizations are exactly that — extremely general, and honestly not very helpful! In reality, plenty of green and white teas have more caffeine than black and oolong teas (and vice versa).
The way you brew your tea also has a huge impact on how much caffeine is extracted from the leaves. In general, shorter and cooler brewing = less caffeine in your cup, while longer and hotter brewing = more caffeine.
It's safe to say our teas have less caffeine than coffee. But if you're generally caffeine-sensitive, we'd recommend avoiding our teas just before bedtime, and saving them for a gentle morning or afternoon boost instead :)
Are your teas organic?
Long answer: We partner with family farms in China and Taiwan that employ natural, holistic approaches to plant nutrition and pest control. No synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used to grow our teas. However, obtaining “organic” certification is a long, arduous, and expensive process for small growers, and must be completed for each new selling region. For example, our dancong oolongs (Orchid Fragrance, Midnight Blossom, and Duck Shit) have been certified under the European Union’s organic farming rules, but have not yet completed the USDA organic certification process — so we can’t label the teas “organic” here.
Short answer: Not officially, but they're grown using organic practices.
What’s the best way to brew loose leaf tea?
Check out the Brew Guide for our recommendations!
What kind of water should I use?
Water has a BIG effect on flavor. Traditionally, the best water for a tea was thought to be spring water collected close to where the tea was grown. Since that’s pretty hard for most of us to get, the best alternative is usually filtered water. If you live somewhere with exceptionally hard, minerally tap water, you may want to consider alternatives like bottled water. Try steeping the same tea with a few different types of water, and have your mind blown by the differences in taste! In general, if you like sipping the water on its own — is it refreshing? clean-tasting? feels good on your tongue? — then it’s good enough for your tea leaves too.
Your tea packaging says it’s “compostable.” What should I do with it?
All our tea pouches and labels are compostable — yup, even the silver lining and zipper inside the tea pouch! For quickest breakdown, we suggest composting them through a commercial facility. It will take much, much longer in a backyard compost pile.
We understand that many tea drinkers don’t have access to a commercial composting facility nearby, so we’re actively working on making our packaging more easily recyclable or reusable.
How should I clean my hand-painted teaware?
Our porcelain gaiwans and fairness pitchers require only a rinse with water after most uses — unless you’re drinking out of them! Cups should be cleaned with gentle dish soap and a soft brush or sponge. All pieces are dishwasher safe, too. (Top rack is preferable.)
Tea stains are harmless but can be removed with a little vinegar or lemon juice.
Can I include a gift message with my order?
Yes! Just let us know under "Order Notes" in your cart and we'll include your message in the shipment. We don't usually include printed invoices with orders unless requested. (Trying to save 🌲s where we can!)
We ship to most places around the world, with some important caveats for international orders:
We offer free shipping on all US orders of 5g tea samples and orders of $35 or more.
For US orders under $35, you'll be able to choose from USPS and UPS shipping options at checkout. Delivery time typically ranges from 2-7 business days, although we are currently experiencing some shipping delays related to COVID-19.
You'll be able to choose from USPS and UPS international shipping options at checkout. Rates will be calculated based on your shipping address.
International shipments are subject to customs duties that vary by country and order value.
Delivery times vary by your selected shipping option and typically range from 2-21 business days. Please note we are currently experiencing some shipping delays related to COVID-19.
RETURNS & EXCHANGES
Please contact us within 7 days of receiving your order if your tea or teaware purchase doesn't delight you. Refunds are credited to your original payment method. Please remember it can take some time for your bank or credit card company to process and post the refund too.
If something went wrong with your tea order, we'll work with you to decide whether issuing a refund or shipping a replacement would make it right. Please reply to your order confirmation email or use our contact form here.
We can only accept returns of teaware in their original, unused condition. We will issue a refund once we receive and inspect the returned merchandise. Customers are responsible for the cost of return shipping. If your teaware was damaged in transit, please reach out to us ASAP.