We have put together some frequently asked questions below. But if there's anything that is not listed here, then please write to us at [email protected] and we will try and get back to you as soon as we can.
Social and Environmental commitment
Being a social enterprise we are as much committed to the protection of the environment as we are to our social causes. We are hence always looking at ways to reduce our environmental impact in everything we do. Here are a few examples:
TEABAGS: Our pyramid teabags are completely plastic free and are made up of a material called soilon which is derived from natural glucose (from plants such as corn) . This material is biodegradable and can be completely broken down in recycling facilities. They cannot however be turned into compost in your back garden as they are only commercially compostable.
RETAIL PACKS: The outer box of our retail packs is made of cardboard which is 100% recyclable. The clear inner bag is made of a material called Natureflex, which is a bio-film based on renewable resources (wood-pulp from managed plantations) and is fully compostable.
TIN CADDIES: We pack the tea directly into our tin caddies which means there is no other packaging involved. Our tins come with an inner lid which helps in keeping the tea fresh. You can refill them by buying our retail packs or larger refill packs and reuse them for a very long time. They are hence a very environmentally friendly option.
OTHER PACKS INCLUDING CATERING BAGS: Having not found any biodegradable options in the beginning we had initially purchased a large number of printed bags which were non biodegradable but were good for maintaining the freshness of tea. However, over the years things have changed and some good biodegradable options are now available in the market. We are hence gradually changing over to them for all our other packaging too. For instance, we are now going through the last lot of our non-bio pouches that we use for taster packs and so have already ordered a biodegradable replacment which we hope to launch by early May 2020. All other bags will be replaced as and when we exhaust our current stock.
OUTER PACKAGING AND CARTONS: While we maintain a stock of new boxes and other recyclable packaging material, we always strive to reuse all boxes or packaging that we receive from our suppliers if they are in a good enough condition. This is the reason why sometimes you may find that your parcel has been packed in a box which is not completely new or we have used a packing filler that is a bit different from our standard one, or even a plastic one because it's better to reuse it than to throw it away and add to the landfill
A social enterprise is a business that generates income for the greater good of the society or the environment rather than to merely distribute it to the shareholders. There is no official definition of a social enterprise, but the one put forward by the UK government states that ‘a social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners'. So, this is the one that we like to follow as well.
Your business has a clear social or environmental mission that is set out in its governing documents.
You are an independent business and earn more than half of your income through trading (or are working towards this)
You are controlled or owned in the interests of your social mission
You reinvest or give away at least half your profits or surpluses towards your social purpose
You are transparent about how you operate and the impact that you have
No, we are not Fairtrade, but much more than that. The concept of fair-trade was created to protect the interest of small-scale farmers and to make sure that they are getting a fair price for their produce. Most tea gardens are however owned by wealthy individuals or corporations that manage to sell their teas at a premium due to the demand supply gap for high quality teas. The poor in the tea gardens are the workers and the labourers who subsist on a daily wage and would gain little or no benefit from the fair-trade certification bestowed onto their employers.
We on the other hand, work directly with the poor and serve primarily the educational needs of the children of tea garden workers or those who depend on the region for their livelihood. For this we put aside 50% of our net profit and hence consider our operations much more than being fair-trade.
We would gratefully accept any donations made towards our cause. You can do so by going to our Giving back page and clicking on the Donate button at the bottom of the page. The money will go directly into the bank account of New Leaf Trust which is our sister charity that is responsible for undertaking and implementing our social projects
Tea and Health
The level of caffeine in a cup of tea can be anything between zero to 80mg depending mainly on the type of tea, but also on the quantity of tea leaves used, water temperature and the steeping time. Here is an indicative guideline for the level of caffeine per cup for different types of tea:
Black : 27 to 35mg
Oolong : 20 to 30mg
Green : approx. 20mg
White : approx. 15mg
Pu-erh : 27 to 35mg
Matcha : approx. 68mg
Yerba Mate : approx. 80mg
Herbal and fruit teas : Nil
In comparison to this, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee could range from 65mg to 175mg
We are certified organic by the Soil Association and carry an Organic range along with some conventional, i.e. non organic teas.
Our key focus is to buy the best tea from gardens and growers that are not only producing the highest quality but are also more environmentally and socially responsible. Hence some of our teas are organic, while others are not.
The weight loss properties of tea are attributed to the presence of caffeine, a natural stimulant and catechins called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG in them which are said to reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the gut and speed up the body’s metabolism. However, there is limited scientific evidence to prove the weight loss properties of tea owed to these compounds, which incidentally are found in all teas rather than just green tea as they all come from the same plant Camellia sinensis. But one thing is certain that substituting tea for other high calorie or carbonated drinks would invariably result in lowering the amount of calories consumed and hence aid weight loss. After all tea consumed without milk, sugar or other additives is a zero calorie drink.
Click here for more info on Health Benefits of Tea