help & faqs
We've tried to answer a few of your most frequently asked questions here. If you have any other questions, don’t be shy - just send us an email and we’ll get back to you.
Why the name "teapigs"?
Ha! We get asked this so many times. Well, we wanted a memorable name, and this really summed us up. We're just greedy for great tea and will do anything to get more. Fancy being a teapig like us?
Where does tea come from?
All tea comes from the same bush - the camellia sinensis bush. And no, we don’t mean one single huge bush, but millions of camellia sinensis bushes cultivated in many different countries. Teas from camelia sinensis are processed in different ways at the tea estate to produce black, green, white and oolong teas.
And herbal teas - where do they come from?
Any tea that doesn’t come from the camellia sinensis bush is not a “traditional” tea, and they would normally be referred to as herbal teas or infusions. There are literally hundreds of different herbal teas.
And what about red tea?
Rooibos tea, often known as either redbush tea or just plain red tea, is not from the camellia sinensis bush, therefore is technically a herbal tea.
Why does tea vary so much in taste?
Growing conditions, soil, climate and altitude all make a big difference to the quality of a tea. In addition the process that the leaves go through, and the skill of the people involved, will ultimately decide a tea's taste.
Loose tea or bagged tea - which is better?
Quality whole leaf tea is the best way to get the full flavour from any tea, so that’s exactly what we sell; nothing crushed. Most of us prefer the convenience of making tea from teabags. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to pack whole leaf tea into traditional paper teabags, so the contents are normally poor quality dusty tea. Our tea temples allow us not only to pack quality whole leaf tea, but also allow room for the whole leaves to infuse properly. So, loose leaf quality in a bag format. Simple. We don't offer loose teas in Canada at this time but plan to introduce them.
Where do teapigs teas come from?
We buy our tea and herbal infusions from all around the world, including countries as diverse as Rwanda, Taiwan, China and India.
Are teapigs teas organic?
We select our teas based on taste and quality. If we can find an organic tea that matches our quality standards, then we will use that tea. To maintain these standards, we have to source teas from various growers. Sometimes the teas may be organic, sometimes not.
Are teapigs teas Fairtrade?
The best quality teas aren't necessarily Fairtrade. We pay a premium price for our teas, sourced from quality estates which have a sustainable business model. In addition we are working towards achieving 100% Rainforest Alliaince accreditation for english breakfast, and we have our own ethical scheme of which we are very proud.
Are your tea temples compostable?
You’ll be very pleased to hear that our tea temples have never contained plastic. The temples and the string attached are made from cornstarch, a natural carbohydrate extracted from corn. The label on the end of the string is made from simple, old-fashioned paper. Even the ink on the label is vegetable-based, and everything is sealed with heat – so no glue! As a result, our tea temples are fully compostable and can be included with your food waste collection (i.e., your green bin).
What should I do with them?
What are our cartons made from? What is FSC packaging?
The outer cartons of our 15s, 50s, 30g matcha tins and matcha sachets are made from FSC certified paper. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. They are an incredible organization who only source wood for production from forests that are sustainably managed. By using their packaging paper, we know that the forests it comes from will be protected and conserved for generations to come.
What’s more, the ink we use to print on our cartons is vegetable-based, so you’re covered on all fronts. Just don’t try to eat it.
To find out more about the fantastic work the FSC does in helping to preserve.
What are the clear inner bags made from?
We’ve recently invested in switching to a wonder-material called Natureflex. The geniuses at Futamura have figured out how to convert renewable wood pulp into airtight packaging, which means that the clear inner bag which keeps your delicious tea fresh is now compostable! (...game changer right!?)
All our teas are now being packed in Natureflex, meaning they’re filtering through to shelves near you as we speak! As with all major production changes, please do bear with us while we fully switch over - we’ll keep you all updated on progress every step of the way.
To read more about the amazing Natureflex, check out Futamura’s website here
What should I do with them?
As Natureflex is compostable – you can throw them in your home compost bin! It will feel SO wrong, but it’s the future! (…we hope)
However, until we’ve fully switched over, best be on the safe side and recycle the older bags where possible. They are made from polypropylene, which is recyclable & becoming more & more widely accepted for home recycling (double check with your local council).
Why don't you have a huge range, like some other tea companies do?
We like to keep things simple. Yes, we could offer you 150 or more teas, but where would you start? With our tea knowledge we have carefully selected what we believe is a cross-section of the finest teas to make your selection that much easier. It's a start, and we will add to the list from time to time, especially with limited edition specials. Let us know of any special tea that you may have come across; maybe we can include it.
Why do your teas cost so much?
It's fair to say that our teas are more expensive than traditional "supermarket" teas. But it simply comes down to quality; the finest quality whole leaf teas cost more. We would actually like to pose the question the other way around: How can we deliver the exquisite taste of the finest teas from around the world for only pennies a cup?
What is the caffeine content of teas?
All teas from camellia sinensis naturally contain caffeine in varying amounts, depending upon a number of factors - in particular, where it is grown and how it is brewed. Typically the caffeine content of an average cup of tea will vary from between 30 – 75mg. Most, but not all, herbal teas are naturally caffeine free.
Why don’t teapigs have a decaffeinated tea?
We will only sell teas of the highest quality. The rather nasty processes used to decaffeinate teas will also reduce the quality - not a compromise we are happy to make. If you are looking for a regular style of tea without caffeine, then try our rooibos tea. It’s very close in flavour and appearance to regular tea, can be drunk with milk or sugar and is naturally caffeine free.
What are the flavourings in my tea and why are they there?
We know the word ‘flavourings’ can sound a little suspicious and scary, but never fear – there are no nasties hiding in your tea! Flavouring can be anything from adding oil extracts to scenting the tea leaves, but we always use the highest quality natural products. Sometimes it’s necessary to add these flavourings alongside the flowers, fruits and spices you’ll find in your cup to round out the flavour and ensure the perfect brew.
Why does your packaging state, "Made in a factory that produces nuts"?
We have our tea produced in a factory which also produces teas for other brands. Some of the other blends they produce contain nuts. Whilst every precaution is taken to ensure there is no cross-contamination, we believe that we should make you aware of this. The nuts used are almonds and hazelnuts, so we can assure you the factory is a peanut-free zone.
Can you reassure me about the safety of your matcha?
We are aware that some of you may be concerned about the sourcing of our matcha since the tragic earthquake disaster in March 2011. The Nishio region is over 600km South of Fukushima and, as well as strict testing by the Japanese Authorities before it leaves the country, our matcha is tested twice more for radiation levels before it reaches our shelves.
Is tea safe to drink during pregnancy and breast feeding?
We would suggest consulting your doctor if you have any concerns about drinking teas or infusions during pregnancy or whilst breast feeding.