WHAT EXACTLY DOES “NATURAL FLAVORS” MEAN?
→ Flavors that are made from natural ingredients. Some flavors can be derived from the original source, while others that are more mild (like apples) are enhanced with flavors from other naturally derived ingredients. We do not use any animal products in our flavors!
ARE YOUR TEAS ORGANIC?
→ Some are (and are certified), some are (and are not certified) and others are not, due to the mere expense and process duration. Many of the farmers we work with are very small, and cannot afford to have their products certified organic. Aside from that, soil can take many years to re-cultivate (for example, if our farmers buy a plot of land that was not organic before, rather than harvesting and planting immediately, they could not even begin organic growing for several years due to this cultivation process - most farmers cannot afford that).
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR TEAS FROM?
→ Our teas are grown and sourced from all over. While we get most of our base teas from the Yunnan Province (Green, Black, White, etc) due to the fact that they are native to that region, we do source some of our teas from Japan, many of our herbs from the United States (i.e. Peppermint, Lemongrass, Berries, etc), and as many ingredients locally as possible. While we would love to say we grow them all here in our native state, that’s just simply not possible, as our goal is to ensure the highest quality ingredients and taste for our customers.
ARE YOUR TEAS VEGAN/GLUTEN FREE?
→ All of our teas are vegan (we do not use milk chocolate etc in any of our teas), as well as gluten free. When we sample them with cream, however, they are not vegan (that is only for sampling purposes).
HOW ARE PU ERH TEAS GOOD FOR GUT HEALTH IF YOU BOIL & KILL THE LIVE MICROBES?
→ Pu Erh teas are oxidized for a continuous amount of time in a humid environment, which is what initially gives their probiotic effect. Pu erh stands apart from other teas that use Camellia sinensis leaves by an additional fermentation step after the leaves are dried. Fermenting the tea leaves gives pu erh teas a complex, sweet, earthy flavor profile that the other teas do not have. While boiling does kill some of the microbes, it does not kill them all.
HOW LONG DOES THE TEA STAY GOOD?
→ Tea is similar to spices, and if kept in a dark area, the shelf life is about a year and a half. If you refrigerate the tea, you can extend the shelf life an additional six months. While that is the technical “shelf life”, we have all had some tea longer than that time frame and still enjoyed drinking them!
HOW MANY OUNCES OF TEA ARE THE TINS?
→ Our motto is what you see is what you get. We prefer to go by volume - each tin will produce 15-20 cups (single serving) of tea. Because not all tea is valued the same and our prices range from $14-$16/tin.
HOW MANY CUPS OF TEA DOES EACH JAR CONTAIN?
→ Each jar of tea contains anywhere from 75-100 cups of tea, depending on how many teaspoons you use per cup.
HOW MANY TINS OF TEA MAKE UP A JAR?
→ There are 5 tins of tea in each jar. Therefore, you save about $15. Rather than spending $55-$65 on 5 tins, you spend $48-$56 on the equivalent.
HOW MANY CUPS OF TEA DOES EACH GIFT BOX TIN CONTAIN?
→ Each gift box (round 4 oz) tin contains about 8-12 cups of tea, depending on how many teaspoons you use per cup.
HOW MANY CUPS OF TEA DOES EACH MATCHA TIN CONTAIN?
→ Each Matcha tin contains anywhere from 12-20 cups of tea.
HOW MUCH TEA DO YOU ADD TO YOUR TAKEYAS TO BREW THE TEA?
→ We fill our Takeya pitchers to the first black line on the infuser. This equates to roughly 10-12 tsp. of tea per pitcher.
CAN YOU MAKE SUN TEA WITH YOUR TEAS?
→ Yes, absolutely. Some of our favorites are Bee Pollen Black, Tropical Black & Lavender Sage Lemonade, and Orange Cream Popsicle Oolong. While you can do any of our teas as sun teas, traditionally sun tea is made with black tea, so we often stick to those!
HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU RE-STEEP THE TEA?
→ We recommend double steeping all of the tea. While there are certain teas/blends that you can steep up to three times, two is our true recommendation all around!
DISCUSS OVERSTEEPING/TEA TEMPERATURES?
→ Each tin of tea lets you know how long to steep your tea (Greens, Mates, and Whites are very delicate so be extra cautious with those). As far as temperatures, we do have a guide on our blog - The Perfect Cup of Tea: Steeping Temperatures and Times!
WHICH TEAS DO YOU NOT BLEND IN HOUSE?
→ Any traditional tea, such as Ceylon Sonata Black, Cloud & Mist Green, Osmanthus Oolong, Matcha, Chinese Milk Oolong, Dragon Pearl Black, etc. are not blended in house - as those come directly from the source. We call these our Purist Teas. They tend to be favorites for lifelong tea drinkers and connoisseurs, while our blends are what we focus on for our daily consumers. Any ‘blend’ that has a base tea with additional ingredients/whole herbs is blended in house.
WHAT IS PROP 65?
→ Though OBTC WAREHOUSE LLC meets or exceeds all applicable FDA regulations for food, California law requires that various teas and tisanes, like many other natural products, be sold in the State of California with a Proposition 65 notice.
In 1986, Californians passed a ballot initiative proposition called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, more commonly known as “Prop 65.” This act is primarily designed to prevent the illegal dumping of chemicals in California waterways. However, it also required warnings on products that contain certain chemicals. While it is vital to keep industrial chemicals out of our food supply chain, this is not what Prop 65 does.
Prop 65 applies to any product or service received or used in California. As applied to food products, Prop 65 makes no distinction on the type of food products. Prop 65 does exclude naturally occurring chemicals in food products. It does not include man-made pollutants that may result in naturally grown agricultural products through means outside the manufacturer’s control. Prop 65 does not distinguish between chemicals resulting from external sources like soil, water, air pollution, pesticide over-spray, chemical leaks, and those that are intentionally applied like fertilizers, pesticides, rodenticides, fungicides, chemicals introduced later in drying, processing, or manufacturing.
A Prop 65 warning does not necessarily mean the product is dangerous.
OBTC WAREHOUSE LLC requires Certificates of Analysis or third-party lab testing for the primary heavy metals, like lead. Used properly, we believe our products pose no health risk. We apply the warning to protect our company from lawsuits by individuals and groups looking for businesses that allegedly do not comply with Prop 65.
For many teas and tisanes, it is impossible to both meet the Safe Harbor Levels and provide a realistic serving size. Hence, the only choice is to either put the warning on the label or not sell to customers in California.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY HONEY CRYSTALLIZES?
→ Be thankful! That means your honey is truly raw and unfiltered. If you don’t love the crystallization, our beekeeper recommends placing your jar in warm sunlight - this will allow the crystals to break down and will liquify your honey naturally. For a quick fix, you can also place your honey in a warm water bath. NEVER microwave your honey, as this kills almost all of the nutrients and minerals.
IS THIS HONEY GOING TO HELP WITH ALLERGIES EVEN IF IT’S NOT LOCAL?
→ Yes! The beautiful thing about actually getting raw and unfiltered honey is that no matter what, it has the nutrients and minerals to help with allergies. Raw and unfiltered honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. People with general allergies will see the benefits with any raw and unfiltered honey; but, for example, if you are allergic to mesquite plants, then of course mesquite honey would be the best option to consume. Aside from raw and unfiltered honey, our beekeeper actually recommends bee pollen for allergy relief. Each granule of Bee Pollen contains anywhere from 2000-4000 varieties of flowers/plants hat the bees have pollinated from. This introduces your body to such a variety of allergens and helps build up an immunity against them. It’s also considered a superfood, and has every nutrient your body needs on a daily basis, outside of fat!
WHY DO YOU USE RAW SUGAR INSTEAD OF HONEY FOR SAMPLING?
→ We use raw, organic cane sugar to sweeten our samples because, unlike honey, it does not alter the taste of the tea. Additionally, all of our honeys are so unique and have different flavor profiles, so we feel that it is very important to taste those independently in order for those differences to be distinguished. Health benefit wise, we absolutely prefer honey in our tea at home and recommend for our guests to sweeten them that way once they have been able to find and taste the honey they like best!
ARE YOUR SPICES LOCAL?
→ Our New Mexico All-Purpose Seasoning, our Hatch Red Chile Powder, and our Hatch Green Chile Powder are all local (they are from Hatch, New Mexico). While we would love for everything to be local, our goal is to source the best ingredients possible and most of the ingredients in our other spices are not native to, nor do they grow well, in New Mexico or Colorado.
WHY DO YOUR SPICES CLUMP?
→ Certain ingredients, like lime in our Bloody Mary Mix, etc, can clump due to moisture. Additionally, our spices are made of whole ingredients and do not contain any anti-caking agents etc to keep them from clumping. If you live in a more humid environment (i.e. Texas, Florida, etc) your spices may be more likely to clump due to outside moisture as well.