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Heart to Heart: Sustainability and Tea

Building a brighter (and more delicious) future…

Dear Big Heart Tea Co.,

You talk a lot about sustainability, single-origin tea, and stuff like that on your website. It all sounds cool … But why is this stuff so important for a tea company? I don’t mean any disrespect by asking — I’m genuinely curious. Love the tea, btw. 
Seeking Sustainability Answers 
Dear Seeking, 
This is a great question! We’re so glad you asked. 
Words and phrases like “sustainability” and “responsible sourcing” have been tossed around a lot in recent years, and in all sorts of industries. It can be hard to separate the buzzwords from actual meaning. So let’s start with a simple concept. 
At Big Heart Tea Co., we want to make the best tea possible. For us, that means making tea that tastes great and that is nourishing and healthy. 
But we can’t attain these goals without being mindful of how we source our ingredients, who we work with, and how we conduct our business. That’s just not our style.
Throughout our company’s growth, we have developed and prioritized core values that help us grow our hearts — not just our profits. We hold ourselves accountable to the planet and to the folks we share it with. 
This is where those buzzwords like sustainability, responsible sourcing, and organic come into play. Let’s dig in: 

Sustainable Practices

What do sustainable practices look like in the tea industry? Let’s break it down into three parts: social, economic, and environmental practices.
Sustainability + Tea: Social Practices
  • Develop local employment
  • Enhance labor conditions
  • Favor generational renewal
Sustainability + Tea: Economic Practices 
  • Soil preservation, yield, economic sustainability
  • Organic products
  • Niche positioning
Sustainability + Tea: Environmental Practices
  • Biodiversity preservation
  • Biodynamic cultivation techniques
  • Packaging


Believe us when we say that we take these practices seriously. And it takes a lot of hard work.
In order to take part in these sustainability practices, we must choose farmers who employ preservation and cultivation techniques that protect the environment, source ingredients that are aligned with these goals, and choose packaging that reduces waste. How do we do it? Let’s get a little bit more into all of that below. 
🫖Related reading: 6 Ways our Tea is Sustainable 

Responsible Sourcing 

As we noted earlier, we want to make tea that is nourishing and healthy for all. That doesn’t just mean the people who drink it. It includes the people who grow and harvest the tea. It means respecting the land where our teas grow.
We understand that every link in our supply chain is connected. Everything — the health of the land, the conditions on the tea farms, the health of our local employees, and our vendors’ practices — it all has an impact on the finished products, from Royal Treatmint to Blushing and beyond. 
We care about our tea, but we also care about everyone involved in making and consuming it. That’s why we’re committed to responsible sourcing and partnerships. 
For one, we use certified organic herbs. Not only does that sound cool, but this type of sourcing actually helps ensure a better life for farm workers and their families by ensuring they’re not exposed to harmful chemicals. (All of our herbs and spices are also tested for heavy metals, too.)
It also protects the soil and water quality, which contributes to a future of additional healthy growing. 
We care about you. And because we care about you, we care about what kinds of products we’re putting out there that you’re gonna put in your body. That means a deep commitment to responsible sourcing and partnerships. 
But our commitment to responsible sourcing isn’t limited to what we work with. It extends to who we work with, too… 

Direct Trade 

Here’s another buzz phrase: Direct trade. You’ve probably heard the term, but what does it mean, what does it have to do with sustainability and tea, and how does it affect you?
In short, direct trade means fewer degrees of separation between you and where the tea you’re drinking came from. 
Big Heart Tea Co. works by direct trade. (⬅️Click that link to see a list of all of our partner farms.) So from your POV, when you buy from us, instead of buying a product with murky origins, you’re buying a tea that has a one-or-two degree connection to your farmer. We can tell you precisely where the tea comes from and who grew it. 
Our herbs and spices are 100% organic and our tea is sourced directly from small farms in Malawi, Japan, India and USA. Most of the farms we work with are family-run, small businesses. Not only are they super cool people, but they run operations that are doing good for the world that are pesticide-free and brimming with biodiversity. 
As you might imagine, sourcing in this way takes a lot of time and effort. But it’s worth it. We see it as an investment in our future. And by “our” we don’t just mean our company. It’s an investment in the future for these farmers, our customers’ wellbeing too. 
There’s another benefit to direct trade…

Fresh, Real Ingredients 

As noted earlier, we use certified organic ingredients. Y’all, sourcing this way is no joke. To get the coveted certified organic label, your entire supply chain has to meet rigorous standards. It is difficult to overstate how hard it is to meet these standards.
But there’s an upside, too. Actually, a few upsides. First, it means that we have a deep understanding of every part of the process that goes into making our tea, from seed to steep. And this is a good thing because it means we trust the tea we’re selling for you to put in your body.
But there’s more. Our commitment to being and staying certified organic means that every tea leaf and every herb is a healthy choice for you — and the world. 
(Mad props to our certified organic mentors — Our girls at Earth Dance Farms invited us to sit with them and introduced us to our certifier, ODAFF. When women support women, we remove barriers that keep us from the table. Thanks, babes.)

Better-For-the-Environment Teabags 

After everything that we’ve done to ensure that we take care of people and the land, it would kind of suck to stop there and call it a day. So we try to do the right thing with our packaging, too. 
In particular, we do something that very few tea companies do — we don’t use any plastic in our packaging. Our extra-large tea sachets not only pack more flavor than your average tea bag, but they’re also made from 100% compostable, non-toxic PLA
Wh-what? PLA is short for polylactic acid, but don’t let the name scare you. PLA is a vegetable-based material that mimics petroleum-based plastic. To get specific, our bags are made from a woven mesh called Soilon, a PLA derived from Non-GMO sugarcane  (to be clear, it doesn’t actually contain sugar — you can read about it here). It’s completely biodegradable, and it’s a safe, non-toxic material that’s perfect for filtering tea and herbal infusions without any icky chemicals leaching into your drink. 
Here’s one last fun fact about PLA: It’s 100% compostable by municipal composters! 
♻️Speaking of reusing + recycling, we love getting creative with leftovers. Click here for a tutorial on how to make DIY, all-natural glass cleaner using leftover teabags! 

Hugs For You — and the World! 

Hey. You hung with us through our big “tea and sustainability” talk, and we love you for it. All this stuff — sustainability, responsible sourcing, and just respecting the land in general — not only adds up to high-quality tea, but we hope it contributes to a brighter future.

We’d love for you to join us on this journey … So keep drinking Big Heart Tea Co. and keep doing good! 


Big Heart Tea Co. 

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