QUESTIONS ABOUT PLACING ORDERS:
Q: Is it safe to shop online?
Yes, we take our customers’ privacy and security very seriously at Octavia Tea. All orders are placed through our secure server. All information is protected against unauthorized access or release. We do not sell, rent or loan any personal information to any third party.
Q: The photos and words on the website look too big or too small. Can I adjust the size?
On most internet browsers, you can use the ‘ctrl’ and ‘+’ keys to zoom in and the ‘ctrl’ and ‘-’ keys to zoom out. (Use the ‘command’ key on a Mac). This trick can help you easily read and view our website.
Q: Help! I forgot my password!
If you have forgotten your password, please click here and follow the four-step instructions closely. It is a little confusing … if you have any trouble, we’re here to help! Please either call us during business hours (so we can reset the password for you), or submit a contact us email with your name, email address and your new password. We respond to all “contact us” emails within one business day.
Q: What are my payment options?
We accept all major credit and debit cards, as long as it has a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express symbol on it.
Q: What are your shipping rates?
To make it easy for people to purchase and enjoy our tea, we’ve made our shipping rates very reasonable!

Our website calculates the shipping rate based on your zip code and the estimated weight of your order. We charge as close to the exact rate as possible—we do not add any handling fees or surcharges. You can view the exact shipping cost for your order in your shopping bag or during check out.

To most locations in the continental United States, you have the option of choosing either FedEx or US Priority Mail. Orders shipping to PO Boxes, Alaska, Hawaii, APO/FPO addresses, US territories and Canada ship via US Priority Mail. Certain light-weight products may ship via US First Class mail.

On certain occasions, we may ship via a different method than requested. This may happen if, for example, your order requires additional shipping insurance (such as for breakable items or large volume orders), or to speed up delivery times for your benefit. However, we will not charge you more for this upgrade.
Q: When can I expect to receive my order?
Although most orders arrive within 2-5 business days, we ask that you allow up to 2 weeks for delivery to account for any product and shipping delays. We strive to ship all orders within 24 hours of receipt (excluding weekends and holidays).
Q: How can I track my order?
You can easily view the status of your order and track your package by signing into your Octavia Tea account.
Q: Do you ship internationally?
We can ship to virtually any address in the United States, including APO/FPO addresses and US territories. We also ship to Canada. If you live outside of our shipping area, please send us an email and we can hopefully work something out. Please note that shipping costs vary greatly depending on the ship-to country and may incur duty/customs charges upon delivery. Check with your local post office for information on customs charges.
Q: My order arrived damaged or incomplete. What should I do?
We work very hard to make sure that orders are filled correctly and completely and that they are packaged well to prevent damage. If you experience any problems with your order, please email us with details of the problem within 7 days of receipt. It is also important to save the damaged items and packaging for possible inspection by FedEx. We will do our best to rectify any problems immediately.
Q: How do I send a gift to another address?
To send to a different address, simply enter the alternate address into the “Shipping Address” fields during checkout.
Q: I need to ship teas to 2 different addresses. Can I combine them into one order?
Unfortunately, shipping is charged per package, so all orders going to a separate address must be placed separately and shipping must be charged for each one.
Q: What is your return policy?
You may return most new, unopened items within 7 days of delivery for a refund or store credit. If you need to return an item, please email us with your name, contact information, order number and the item you wish to return. We will follow up with a return shipping address and a return authorization number. Returns are not accepted without authorization.

Octavia Tea will gladly pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or damaged item, etc.). Unfortunately, we are not able to cover the cost of shipping unwanted items back to us.

To ensure the freshness and quality of our teas, we cannot accept returns after 7 business days or on opened or used items. For your convenience, we offer small samples of each of our teas so you may try them before purchasing larger quantities.
Q: How do I contact your company?
Click here for contact information.

QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR PRODUCTS:
Q: Why is whole-leaf tea better than tea bags?
Ordering tea in other countries means a cup of fragrant jasmine blooms in China … a freshly-steamed, bright green cup in Japan … a rich, spiced tea in India … or thick, sweet mint tea in northern Africa. When most Americans think of tea, they typically imagine a flat, bleached, paper bag filled with a nondescript black powder. This is unfortunate, considering the amazing varieties of teas that exist and are popular in other parts of the world.

Mass produced tea bags are filled with the cheapest, lowest-quality grade of tea available, called “fannings” or tea dust. As such, tea bags have a flat, monotonous, bland flavor with little left to the imagination. And because it is in powdered form, the increased surface-to-air ratio in makes this grade of tea go stale much faster. Stale tea quickly looses both complexity-of-flavor and antioxidant content. To save on cost, mass produced tea bags often use artificial flavors as well.

Teabags have fooled us into thinking all teas taste and look the same … this is what makes our job so rewarding at Octavia Tea! We love introducing tea drinkers to some of the highest quality teas available—unlike any others they have tasted. High quality, whole-leaf tea offers tremendous variety, more healthy properties and a better, more complex taste. According to scientific research, high quality, fresh, whole-leaf teas may be up to 300% healthier than low-grade tea bags.

Every tea has a unique flavor and style that reflects its origin, varietal, vintage and artisanal method of manufacture. We urge our customers to appreciate loose-leaf tea as though it were a fine wine.
Q: Are large tealeaves higher quality than small tealeaves?
A large, full leaf-size is often in indicator of quality, but bigger isn’t always better (sometimes it’s the opposite!). For example, Chai and Breakfast teas are made from purposefully broken leaves to give the infusion more flavor, briskness and strength. Certain types of tea (such as red tea and chamomile) have naturally small leaf-sizes simply because of the plant’s genetics—this is simply how they occur in nature. Also, older, less-desirable leaves that grow lower on the stem are often larger in size than the younger, higher-quality teas harvested from the tip of the plant.

However, leaf-size really depends on the type of tea you are evaluating. For example, a high quality Sencha (the traditional, green tea of Japan) should have tiny, deep green leaves that are broken to varying degrees (depending on the level to which it was steamed during processing) while a Jade Oolong (Silver Mountain Water) should have a green, tightly-rolled, pebble-shaped leaves.  Although they may look small at first, these tiny pebbles expand into 3 or 4 giant, complete leaves still attached to their stem after infusing in hot water. In many cases (such as with Silver Needle and certain green, oolongs and black teas), a full, delicately preserved leaf does indicate superior quality. The leaf’s size and shape should always be correct for type. Some teas are better with large, full leaves, others with broken leaves, and still others with tightly rolled or pearl-shaped.

With the exception of “fannings” (also called “tea dust”; a powder-like substance used in mass produced, low grade tea bags), the size of the leaf speaks only to the size of the leaf; the quality depends on its flavor, complexity, aroma and freshness. There are excellent quality broken leaves and extremely low quality broken leaves. Likewise, there are high quality large leaves, and low quality large leaves.

For more information on leaf size and quality, please visit our blog post titled: Does the size of your tea leaf matter? Yes, but not always in the way you expect….
Q: What makes tea so healthy?
Researchers are working around the globe trying to answer this very question! Although we do not have all the answers, we do know that tea is one of the richest sources of dietary antioxidants. In fact, a single cup of tea may have the antioxidant equivalent of 1-10+ servings of fruits or vegetables. Antioxidants play an important role in maintaining health by preventing free radicals (unstable molecules) from causing damage to cells, which can lead to disease, aging, and cancer. Tea also contains soothing, stress-relieving properties and has no fat, carbs or sodium and virtually no calories. Tea is also the only source for a remarkable amino acid called theanine, which can reduce anxiety and improve mood.

For more information on tea and health, please visit the Health Benefits section in our Tea Guide.
Q: Which tea is healthiest?
Although green and white teas are reported to have highest levels of antioxidants, all true teas are rich in antioxidants and health-promoting properties. We encourage customers to select teas based on taste. After all, the tea that is healthiest for you is the one you will drink the most! Also, different types of tea contain different types of antioxidants so, just as you wouldn't eat only one kind of vegetable, drinking a variety of teas may provide an increased spectrum of healthy benefits.

Freshness also matters. Studies suggest that tea (and, in fact, any fresh fruit or vegetable) may lose vitamins and antioxidants over time.

For more information on which tea is healthiest, please view the Health Benefits section in our Tea Guide.
Q: Which teas are good for weight loss?
Tea may aid weight loss on multiple levels. According to scientific research, regular tea drinking acts as a natural appetite suppressant, boosts metabolism, prevents the body from absorbing fat, regulates glucose levels in the blood, accelerates calorie burning and promotes fat burning. Unlike weight loss medications, tea is a natural and doesn’t have negative side effects. Tea also has no fat, sodium or carbohydrates and only approximately 2 calories per cup. Oolong tea, green tea and yerba maté seem to have the most weight loss benefits, closely followed by white tea and black tea. Herbal teas (such as red tea and chamomile) appear to have no effect.

While some people will tell you that tea is the be-all-end-all for weight loss success, the keyword here is balance. Healthy weight loss and maintenance is a culmination of many factors. Of course, it isn’t possible to eat 5000 calories a day, drink a cup of green tea and make it all go away—this just isn’t going to happen. Eating a healthy diet and keeping physically active are critical to weight loss success. However, regular tea consumption may be a great addition to your weight loss routine, along with providing a variety of other potential health benefits.

For more information on tea and weight loss, please view the Health Benefits section in our Tea Guide.
Q: How much caffeine is in tea?
Tea is a great choice if you are looking for a low-caffeine drink. A cup of black tea has only about one-third of the caffeine as a serving of coffee and a cup of green tea has less caffeine than a bar of dark chocolate. It would take 15 cups of green tea to equal the 300 mg of caffeine per day considered moderate consumption by the Food and Drug Administration.

On average, a cup of coffee has 135 mg of caffeine, while a cup of black tea has only 40 mg, green tea only 20 mg, and white tea only 10 mg.

While the numbers outlined above provide a great estimate, it is difficult to determine the exact amount of caffeine found in each different tea because caffeine levels depend on a variety of factors and can change during the course of time. The varietal of tea bush, altitude, soil type, amount of sunlight and rainfall all contribute to the caffeine levels found in tea. More importantly, the amount of tea used and water temperature will also affect the caffeine levels in your cup. If you use more tea, hotter water or steep the tea longer, you will extract more caffeine into your cup.

If you are looking to lower the caffeine level in your tea, we recommend using a smaller amount of tea at a lower water temperature. Tea’s second infusion also has lower levels of caffeine. Therefore, you can also partially lower the level of caffeine in your cup by steeping tea for 30 seconds, discarding the liquid, and starting again with the used tealeaves to make a 2nd cup.

Selecting teas that are blended with other herbs (such as our Lemon & Honey green tea and Vanilla Chai black tea—just to name a few) will also have significantly reduced caffeine levels.

For more information about tea and caffeine, please visit the Caffeine Info section in our Tea Guide.
Q: Do you sell caffeine-free teas?
There are many options for those who are sensitive to caffeine. All true teas (teas that come from the Camellia Sinensis, or the tea plant) naturally contain caffeine. Most herbal teas (leaves, fruits, flowers and herbs that come from plants other than the tea plant) are naturally 100% caffeine-free.

It is important to differentiate between teas that are “decaffeinated” and “100% caffeine-free.” Decaffeinated tea has gone through a chemical process in which most of the leaf’s natural caffeine has been removed. Unfortunately, this process removes much of tea’s health benefits and nuanced flavors along with the caffeine. For these reasons, Octavia Tea does not offer decaffeinated teas and you will rarely, if ever, see decaffeinated teas of high quality.

On the other hand, 100% caffeine-free tea comes from plants that do not have any caffeine to begin with. For example, herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile and red tea are 100% caffeine free because they come from plants that do not contain caffeine. Octavia Tea offers a wonderful selection of 100% caffeine-free herbal teas.

Red tea is the most popular herbal alternative for people sensitive to caffeine because red tea is incredibly rich in antioxidants and has many of the same health benefits as green tea--without a trace of caffeine. Red tea's soothing, calming properties also make it a wonderful choice for evening.

Please click on the following links to view our selection of low caffeine and 100% caffeine-free teas.
Q: Does yerba maté contain caffeine?
Yerba mate is an herbal tea native to the Amazon rainforest and widely consumed in many South American countries as a healthy alternative to coffee. This stimulating herbal tea has the ability to energize without the nervousness and jittery edge associated with coffee. Maté is also known for its robust antioxidant content.

Although there is debate over whether maté contains actual caffeine or a similar substance called “matteine,” this herb has uplifting, energizing properties and should not be consumed by those who avoid caffeine.
Q: Which teas are best for pregnancy?
It is generally agreed that pregnant women and those trying to conceive should avoid consuming large quantities of caffeine. Because caffeine can enter breast milk, nursing mothers should also monitor caffeine intake. Although there is still no official consensus on how much caffeine is too much during pregnancy, many doctors advise women to limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day.

When estimating caffeine intake, remember to add in other sources of caffeine in your diet such as coffee, espresso, chocolate, soft drinks and medication. As always, we recommend working with your doctor to determine what is best for you.

Red tea (or rooibos) is often recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers. It contains many of the same antioxidants as green tea, but is 100% caffeine free. Rooibos also contains soothing, calming properties that may be appreciated by pregnant and nursing mothers.

Please click here to view our selection of caffeine-free, red teas.
Q: What is the difference between black tea and green tea?
All true tea comes from the same plant, called the Camellia sinensis. Whether the leaves will end up as white, green, black or oolong depends on how the leaves are processed and oxidized. After picking, fresh tealeaves are rolled (either by hand or machine) in order to crack the surface so that oxygen will react with the leaf enzymes. This natural process, called oxidation, changes both the color and flavor of the tea.

Generally speaking, oxidized teas will yield a dark, rich, reddish-brown infusion while less oxidized teas will yield a light, yellow-green liquor. By selectively exposing the tealeaves to oxygen, tea producers can bring out certain flavors and aromas. In other words, this oxidation process will determine many of the tea’s flavor characteristics as well as whether the tea will end up as white, green, oolong or black.

White and green teas undergo very little processing and are not oxidized. Black teas are fully oxidized. Oolong teas are somewhere in-between.

For more information on the types of tea and how they are made, please review our Tea Guide.
Q: What is difference between tea and herbal tea?
All true tea (white, green, oolong and black) comes from the same plant, called the Camellia sinensis. Any leaf, root, fruit or flower that comes from a different plant is considered an herbal tea. For example, chamomile flowers and peppermint leaves are considered herbal teas because, although they are prepared like tea, they do not come from the traditional tea plant. It is important to distinguish between real tea and herbal tea since the flavor, health benefits and nutritional characteristics vary from plant to plant.

For more information on the types of tea and how they are made, please review our Tea Guide.
Q: What is chai tea?
Recently becoming popular in the United States, chai (which rhymes with “bye”) describes a blend of rich black tea and aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, cardamon, clove, ginger and pepper. This method of blending black tea with spice originated in India and Tibet, and is typically how tea is consumed in this part of the world. “Chai” actually means “tea” in Hindi, and is derived from the word “cha” which means tea in many eastern languages. Traditional chai is served like a latte, simmered in water, milk and sugar. Originally, poorer segments of society added spice to tea as a way to make their tea last longer. Today, drinking tea with added spice is considered trendy and quite gourmet!

Please click here to view all of our chai and spiced tea blends.
Q: How do I make loose tea?
Brewing a cup of loose tea is essentially the same thing as making a traditional tea bag: Simply mix tealeaves with freshly boiled water and steep (infuse) the leaves for around 3-4 minutes. The only difference is that, with loose tea, you will need some way to remove or strain the leaves from the finished product.

Selecting the right brewing equipment can simplify the process and make brewing loose tea easy. For example, infuser baskets (designed to fit right in your mug or teapot) allow you to easily remove the infuser basket (along with the tealeaves) after steeping. Fill-your-own tea bags are another wonderful option because they give you the best of both worlds—the convenience of a traditional tea bag with the quality of loose-leaf tea. Simply fill the bag with your favorite loose tea or herb and brew just as you would a normal tea bag.

For detailed instructions and tips on brewing the perfect cup of tea, please visit the Brewing Tips section of this website.

Looking for a way to brew your favorite loose-leaf tea? Please click here to shop for teapots, infusers and fill-your-own tea bags.
Q: How long should I steep tea?
We recommend starting with a standard steep time of 3.5 minutes. This works well for most teas and is a great place to start. Simply adjust steep time to meet your personal taste.

Over steeping can make tea taste bitter. If you prefer strong tea, do not over steep; simply use more leaves. Green teas are notoriously fussy about steep times, as they easily go bitter. Other teas (such as red tea, white tea, chamomile and oolong) are much more flexible.

If your tea becomes too bitter, you may wish to either decrease the steep time or lower the water temperature. If your tea is too weak, you may wish to increase the steep time, increase the water temperature or simply use an extra teaspoon of tea to add strength and flavor.

For detailed instructions and tips on brewing the perfect cup of tea, please visit the Brewing Tips section of this website.
Q: How can I keep small tea particles out of my cup?
Because leaf-size varies depending on the specific tea, different strainers are recommended for different types of tea. For example, oolongs and many full-leaf green teas, pearl teas and certain large-leaf black teas work well in strainers with large holes. However, red teas, certain herbal teas and broken-leaf black teas (such as chai and breakfast teas) should be brewed in a fine-mesh strainer or a strainer with incredibly small holes. The strainer is always meant to match the tea type. Our Brewing Basket is our most versatile infuser and works with all leaf sizes. Fill-your-own tea bags (either Tea Pockets or Finum Tea Filters ) are also a great option for keeping small leaf particles out of your cup.
Q: What kind of water should I use to brew my tea?
Even the best tea will taste only as good as the water used to prepare it. After all, water is one of the main ingredients! Always start with the freshest, purest source of water available. Avoid distilled, mineral and soft tap water, which will weaken tea's flavor or impart a “chemical” or “off” taste. Filtered tap water or bottled spring water work best and will provide a lively, aromatic infusion.

As a general rule of thumb, if your water tastes fresh, clean and pure by itself, it will be great for making tea. We recommend that you test several different filters and brands of bottled water to find the best water in your area.

The ideal water temperature for brewing most teas is around 195°-200°F. Note that, because water boils at 212° F, this is just slightly under boiling. If the water is too hot, some teas may go bitter. If the water is not hot enough, you will be left with a flavorless, flat infusion.

If you drink tea on a regular basis, an electric water heater will make your life easy! These wonderful little machines keep up to 5 liters of water at a constant 195°F throughout the day. Alternatively, you can boil water with a stovetop or electric kettle, and simply allow the water to cool slightly (just a minute or two) after boiling. Although microwaves will do the job, it is a little tougher to judge temperature this way.

To enhance the flavor and fragrance of your tea, you can also pour hot water into your teapot and cups, let the water sit for a few moments and the discard. Warming the teaware helps maintain a constant brewing temperature and will result in a more pronounced flavor profile. We also recommend using a teapot or cup with a lid for this same reason.

For detailed instructions and tips on brewing the perfect cup of tea, please visit the Brewing Tips section of this website.
Q: Should I add milk or sugar to tea?
Strong, black teas (our Harvest Orange Spice is a perfect example) taste wonderful with a touch of milk and sugar. Gentle green and white teas may be overwhelmed by these additional ingredients. Let your personal taste guide you.
Q: Do you sell iced tea?
Any of our teas can be made into iced teas. To make fresh iced tea, follow the directions for brewing hot tea but use twice as much tea to account for dilution by ice. Once cool, pour over an ice-filled cup and garnish with lemon, fruit or mint. Always make iced tea fresh. According to the USDA’s report on the antioxidant content of food, fresh iced tea contains 20 times more antioxidants than bottled or canned iced tea.

For detailed instructions and tips on brewing the perfect cup of tea, please visit the Brewing Tips section of this website. To shop for some of our favorite iced teas, please click here.
Q: What is the best way to store tea?
Store tea tightly sealed in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and strong odors. Do not refrigerate. Because tea easily absorbs other scents, we do not recommend storing tea in your spice cabinet.

Sturdy foil bags or metal containers with a good, tight seam are the best ways to keep tea fresh and full of flavor. Although tea looks very beautiful stored in glass containers, glass does very little to keep tea fresh; you may notice a stale, weakened taste within just a few weeks.
Q: Does your tea have an expiration date?
Studies suggest that tea (and, in fact, any fresh fruit or vegetable) may lose vitamins and antioxidants over time. We typically recommend drinking tea within 1 year of purchase, although the tea industry generally considers 2 years acceptable. Tea more than 2 years old usually won’t go bad, it will simply loose freshness, flavor and contain less health benefits.

Although teas, herbs and spices rarely go bad, please remember that, as with any natural food product, it is possible. On extremely rare occasions, it is possible for tea (especially teas containing dried fruits or flowers) to attract mold or pests—especially if the tea is exposed to moisture or heat. For this reason, please do not refrigerate your tea as this will create condensation once returned to room temperature. Make sure there are no cracks in the seal or lid of tin containers. Also, avoid exposing tea to heat or sunlight.

At Octavia Tea, we pride ourselves on offering only the freshest, purest teas available. We blend our teas in small batches and our warehouse is equipped with the ideal temperature and moisture control systems to ensure you get the freshest tea possible.

NOTE TO WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS: Ideally, businesses should turn their tea over every 3-6 months. This allows plenty of time for customers to enjoy their tea at home.
Q: Why do tins have different weights?
Some teas (such as large-leafed white tea and fluffy chamomile blossoms) are light, airy and voluminous, whereas other teas (such as tightly-rolled oolongs or traditional black teas) are more dense, heavy and compact. For this reason, a container the exact same size will hold a different weight depending upon the type of tea.

Actual ounce sizes are listed on the tin itself, as well as in the description for each tea on this website.
Q: How many servings of tea are in a tin?
Depending on the type, one tin holds either 12 tablespoons (36 teaspoons) or 16 tablespoons (48 teaspoons) of loose tea. The actual number of servings per tea varies depending upon the type of tea, leaf-size, cup size and desired strength (amount of tea used). You can also re-steep high quality tea to get multiple servings from a single spoonful.
Q: What does organic mean?
The term “organic” describes how an agricultural product is grown and processed. A certified organic product is free of chemicals, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetic modifications, and sewage sludge, and is minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation in order to maintain the integrity of the food, preserve ecological harmony and promote biodiversity.

Octavia Tea is proud to support gardens that encourage the conservation of the environment through sustainable, natural and Certified Organic farming methods. Organic tea gardens protect the land, water and wildlife and emphasize the health and happiness of their employees and families. Organic agriculture prevents toxic chemicals from entering the air, earth and water that sustains us. Organic teas contain no artificial ingredients and are grown in pristine environments without chemicals: no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Based on a synergy with nature, organic farming fosters healthy soils, clean water and diverse, vibrant ecosystems.

In addition to protecting the environment, organic tea gardens protect the health and happiness of their employees. Many tea farmers tell us that a big reason they switched to organic farming was for their health or the health of their children—none of us want our family to become the experimental subject of toxic pesticide exposure. In fact, health statistics (measured by factors such as infant mortality rate) are better on organic tea gardens than among even the wealthiest segments of society. Organic agriculture has also been a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops.

The benefits of organic may also extend to you. Studies suggest that because organic foods come from fertile, biologically active soil, they may contain more vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants than foods grown with synthetic fertilizers. Conversely conventionally farmed foods are sprayed with pesticides (often associated with health risks from asthma to cancer) that disrupt the soil’s natural balance.

Organic foods follow a higher number of quality and safety regulations, are free from pesticide residue, contain no artificial ingredients and have even scored higher in taste tests.

Octavia Tea's commitment to organic ensures that your tea is as pure and natural as possible. Nearly all of our teas are either Certified Organic or made with organic ingredients.

Please click here to view all of our certified organic teas.
Q: What does fair trade mean?
Fair Trade guarantees livable wages for workers, farmers and their families, improving their opportunities for better healthcare, housing and education. By choosing Fair Trade Certified teas, you are directly contributing to the livelihood of tea growing communities.

Octavia Tea is committed to purchasing our tea in an ethical and sustainable manner, regardless of labels and certifications.
Q: What is a natural flavor?
We are one of the few tea companies that focus on using natural flavors and pure essential oils. Although natural flavors and pure essential oils are more costly and difficult to obtain than their cheap, artificial counterparts, we believe this makes all the difference.

As a Certified Organic company, we must follow stringent regulations in order to call something a “natural flavor.” According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a flavor is defined as the following: “The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

The flavors we use in Certified Organic products must meet additional requirements put forth by the National Organic Program (NOP). We must verify that all flavors are non-synthetic, have not been produced using synthetic solvents, carriers or artificial preservatives, and that the ingredients are not derived from GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and have not been irradiated. We present documentation regarding our natural flavors and pure essential oils to our organic certifier during annual inspections.
Q: Are your teas gluten free? What about other food allergies?
GLUTEN:
As a small business, we have not had the opportunity to test each specific tea for gluten. However, tea is naturally gluten free and our suppliers have verified that all of the ingredients we purchase (natural flavors, fruits, flowers, essential oils, etc.) are also gluten free.

FLOWERS:
Some of our teas contain or are scented with flowers, such as rose, osthmanthus, jasmine and chamomile. Although we have heard about rare allergies to chamomile flowers, we have not heard of allergies to any of the other flowers used in our blends.

MILK AND SOY:
Some of our dessert teas (those that contain chocolate) contain trace amounts of milk and/or soy products.

NUTS:
A handful of our teas contain nuts, such as coconut shavings, hazelnut brittle and almond shards.

The ingredients for each tea are listed online under the “Ingredients” tab as well as on our packaging. As always, we recommend checking with your doctor if you specific questions about allergies.

© 2014 Octavia Tea.