At Cup of Tea, Zero Waste is often at the forefront of our minds, and we aim to send as little to landfill as possible. Ideally, we would like to move to a circular economy and write waste out of existence. No mean feat in life or business but even the little things help tremendously. The main aim is to reduce what we need, reuse as much as we can, send little to be recycled, and compost what we cannot. It's not about perfection; it's about making better choices. We live in a disposable society, and a lot of rubbish doesn't even make it to the landfill, it clutters the sides of roads and the oceans. Advice and news on environmental sustainability, ways to recycle, reuse and generally reduce your negative impact on the environment are out there, and we want to be a part of the solution.  At Cup of Tea, we sell a tremendous amount of loose-leaf tea directly to customers and zero waste, refill and bulk, as well as organic shops. This is a great sign! 

We have an extensive range of black, green, white, Oolong, fruit, herbal, wellness and many more teas. 

The favourites are:

 

We offer a complete range of certified organic teas packed in plain paper sacks. Some shops shake these out and offer them free of charge to their customers, so they have at least one more life! If you can’t get to a zero-waste shop and would like to buy your teas like this for home or work, we offer a limited range of organic certified loose-leaf teas in 1kg paper bags. These teas are: Assam GardenEarl GreySweet Pi Lo Chun & Rooibos Super Grade.  If you are a Zero Waste shop or trader, we have a full range available.

 

Plastics – The Problem

Plastics are a huge problem. Our planet is starting to fight back on the abuse we have applied to it for decades. The danger of plastic is not a secret anymore, and it has become a real threat. We have made our lives very convenient with single-use materials that never decompose. The consumer has been bedazzled with flashy packaging, convenient shopping bags and everything throwaway for far too long. Entirely addicted to plastic, we use it all day and every day without putting a single thought into what might happen once we put it in the bin or dispose of it elsewhere - it really is the time to reduce single-use waste!

 

Environmental Issues

With scientists and environmentalist pressing the panic button and reporting that more than 300 million tons of plastic is produced each year, of which 50% is made for single-use purposes to meet consumer demand. More than 8 million tons of this plastic is reported to be dumped in our oceans, and it’s not just worrying but shocking. “I think we all need to do our bit for the planet; we can’t ignore what’s going on for the sake of our future.” Explains Bethan from Simply Green, a zero-waste store in Nailsea, and one of our tea partners.

 

Zero Waste – Where to Start?

Luckily, there are countless ways of lowering our plastics consumption, and Bethan has a few ideas. “Start by changing the small things that you use all of the time; for example, buy a reusable water bottle or a bamboo toothbrush. I found once you start making plastic-free swaps you can’t stop!” Kate from The Blue Pantry Zero Waste store in Wellington suggests, “Teas were one of the first products that we introduced into the shop, initially because of the huge amount of plastic waste associated with conventional tea bags. It soon became apparent that people loved the move to loose-leaf teas, enjoying the ability to buy as little or as much as they wanted and to try out different blends. They have been a continued success in the shop and an area we continue to expand”.

 

Why Loose-Leaf Tea?

Apart from the obvious reduction in packaging and waste, we know that loose leaf tea is not only more beneficial from a waste point of view but also in taste! All of our teas are produced using traditional ‘Orthodox’ methods. That means picking by hand, then processing in small batches for the very best quality. Only orthodox production guarantees teas of this quality because the end result is entirely dependent on the skill and expertise of the workers in each tea garden. Our Zero Waste customers mainly keep our loose-leaf teas in large tins, so they are always fresh and ready to be brewed. Tea easily absorbs other flavours and sunlight will bleach the colour and flavour out, so it's always best to keep tea in an airtight container away from direct heat and light.

 

Reusable Containers and Tea Accessories

We supply an impressive range of quality tea caddies and tea accessories, including stainless steel filters and strainers to make brewing loose-leaf tea super easy. For tea storage, you’re going to need good long-lasting storage solutions. Metal tin containers are ideal and can be used over and over again. Tea, alongside other foodstuffs benefits from being stored in the dark, so non-transparent containers are perfect. We have an extensive range otea caddies that suit many tastes, but also other foodstuffs such as dried fruit, nuts, pulses, flour, rice, spices and much more. They are great for storing pet treats out of reach too! Stored fresh loose-leaf tea and other edibles must avoid the following for ultimate freshness.

Indigo Set of Two Caddies, 150g & 500g    Stainless Steel Tea Ball, Large

Indigo Set of Two Tea Caddies 150g, Indigo Set of Two Caddies 500g                                           Stainless Steel Tea Ball, Large

 

 

Why Choose Tea Caddies & Tins

Sunlight – It is advisable to store tea in darkness to prevent bright light from degrading the strength of the flavour as well as the aroma

Oxygen – It is a common myth that all moisture has been removed from loose-leaf tea leaves so oxidisation wouldn’t be an issue. It is, however, imperative to store tea in an airtight container to prevent the risk of oxidisation. This is especially important for fresher teas which have some moisture retention such as green teas

Heat – Our homes are often kept extremely warm through central heating systems. This can pose a threat to the freshness of your tea leaves if they are not stored correctly

Odour – One of the most effective ways to protect the flavour and aroma of your tea is to store it well away from other strong flavoured or scented foods. Never store your tea anywhere near pungent spices or herbs. Even other bold teas will affect the integrity of your tea so beware

Moisture – Moisture is bad for any dried food product, not least tea. Tea has been withered, rolled, oxidised, dried and packaged to provide the consumer with the perfect tea leaves for your cup. Moisture can undo that lengthy process, and we advise teas to be stored away from the oven, kettle, and any other forms of moisture and humidity. This can be difficult in kitchens where moisture is inevitable, so a tea caddy really is the perfect answer

 

Buy More, Pay Less!

This goes without saying, but the more you buy, the less you pay! The larger quantities of something you buy the less packaging is needed, which is reflected in the price. We have just started to sell a selection of our loose-leaf teas in 1kg plastic-free bags which means that the hardcore tea addict will be stocked up for a good while and be doing their bit for the planet. This applies to many other grocery and home items, not just tea!

 

Zero Waste – Who We Work With

We supply our teas and accessories to an ever-increasing number of Zero Waste shops which we are very excited about! We supply our delicious teas and delightful accessories all across the UK; in London, Bristol, Devon, Hampshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire and many more! If you own a Zero Waste shop or are considering starting up and would like to know more about our teas and how we work please call us  on 01761 239 162 or contact us any time. For more on Zero Waste, check out our blog for insights from some of our Zero Waste partners, including the Refill Room in Leigh-on-SeaSimply Green in Nailsea and Blue Pantry in Wellington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Christine Collins
29th April 2019

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