Have you ever wished that your tea did more than taste delicious?
Our carefully curated collection of swell-tasting teas is full of tea brands that pledge to be sustainable and give back to their communities. Take a peek at our personal collection, and hopefully, you’ll find a new tea brand you can feel good about.
Sips by is a personalized tea discovery subscription. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Members receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our tea subscription service.
What Is Ethical Tea?
When we say something is an ethical tea, we mean that it has been sourced, packaged, shipped, and sold with sustainability and community improvement in mind. Here are a few ways that tea brands can create ethical products and business models.
Tea for the Earth
The tea industry is a huge and growing field that unfortunately isn’t always pretty. Sometimes, machines involved in the mass production of tea can contribute to environmental pollution, and tea cultivation can demand large allotments of water.
The shipping of tea overseas can also leave a large carbon footprint, and tea packaging isn’t always biodegradable. We love tea, but we don’t want to hurt the Earth to get it.
That’s why we partner with tea brands that commit themselves to sustainability from start to finish. Many tea brands have started sourcing their tea from regenerative farms and using biodegradable packaging. This is just one of the ways we can improve our impact on the Earth.
Tea for a Cause
The tea industry includes many individual and family-owned farms. However, these farmers sometimes earn less-than-livable wages and receive no additional compensation for their efforts. Although tea is an important part of the global economy, farmers can be marginalized and economically challenged
Sips by partners with tea brands that are committed to empowering the farmers that grow their teas, as well as every person that has a role in the production and sourcing process. We partner with brands that empower women, brands that are certified fair trade, and brands that donate to causes like clean water, forest conservation, and climate change. We love tea for tea’s sake, but we love teas for a cause even more.
Tea for Your Body
Mass-produced tea can contain traces of pesticide residue and other contaminants that may lead to health concerns if you consume too much. While the US has a pretty strict policy on contaminants allowed in teas, it’s hard to know exactly what’s in your mug.
We partner with brands that are committed to delivering tea that tastes good and is good. Many of our featured brands use certified organic ingredients in their teas that are both better for you and better for the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Which Ethical Tea Brands Can I Try?
If you’re looking for an ethically-made cuppa that aligns with your values, we can help. Here are a few of our favorite tea brands that taste good and do good.
Chariteas is committed to quality cups of tea that make a difference. This tea company sources tea directly from Indonesia, China, and Vietnam, and they have for the past thirteen years.
By sourcing tea from countries that aren’t as well-known in the tea industry, Chariteas opens up new doors for the fledgling tea farmers in these countries. Additionally, Chariteas is committed to curbing deforestation and planting trees to restore forests in the Philippines.
Sarjesa teas is a Canadian small business that focuses on making teas for a cause. Not only are these deliciously classic teas ethically sourced, they also help raise awareness for women and Indigenous two-spirit people who are missing.
Between the individual artists who design Sarjesa’s culturally-minded packaging, the Canadian and local ingredients, and the brand’s partnership with a local women’s shelter, this tea brand is all about action.
This ethically-minded tea brand uses 100% organic ingredients for their tea blends. With no added flavors, these teas are not only great for the environment — they’re designed with your health in mind.
MentaliTEA’s teas are developed to help support your body in every way possible, with special attention paid to your digestive system and your emotional well-being. Leave toxicity behind and embrace the warm powers of an ethical cup of tea.
NuJo teas focus on root blends designed to lovingly support your mind and body as you approach life head-on. Each batch is hand-made in the heart of Tennessee, and every purchase helps support foster families of children in need.
By partnering with National Angels, a portion of proceeds goes towards fostering change in the lives of children. As if that wasn’t enough, these teas are made to show your body the love it deserves in this stressed and fast-paced world.
Key to Teas
Key to Teas was founded with the purpose of bringing Japanese-quality tea to America, all while promoting sustainability in an industry that often overlooks environmental impact. The majority of this brand’s teas are sourced from individual farms that seek to preserve the quality and taste of heritage tea.
Not only are the ingredients and teas sourced from sustainable farms, but this brand gives back one percent of profits in partnership with nonprofits that focus on the underserved and the unheard. Key to Teas is passionate about women’s empowerment, advocating for refugees, educating orphaned children, and ensuring education access to tea-producing countries.
Nepal Tea provides quality tea to your doorstep, but they do so much more than that. In fact, Nepal Tea has a foundation dedicated to providing education and employment resources for the tea-producing areas of Nepal.
The Nepal Tea Foundation’s Scholarship Project focuses on providing 100% expenses-paid education to children of tea farmers in Panchthar, Nepal. The Foundation also provides milk-producing cows to the area’s tea farmers to help them gain additional income.
Oteas is an innovative tea house that provides exceptional tea with creative flavors. Here, you can find tea flavors like Piña Colada or Belgian Chocolate Truffle.
Alongside this creativity is a passion for change. Oteas uses all-natural and whole-leaf ingredients with your wellness in mind, and also promotes sustainability by using zero-waste packaging and donating one percent of proceeds to combat climate change.
Tahmina is a WOC-owned tea brand focused on producing delicious tea with a cause. This tea brand uses luxury saffron sourced from Afghanistan to stimulate the nation’s economy.
Although Tahmina’s tea is delicious, buying their tea also helps increase exports of saffron from Afghanistan. Since the economic success of saffron farming is currently a government-sanctioned way to combat Afghanistan’s illicit drug operations, every purchase helps lower drug trafficking in this culturally-rich country.
Tanzania Tea Collection
Tanzania Tea Collection is an offshoot of Kazi-Yetu tea and sources their tea from local farms in Tanzania and Rwanda. These farms are often sources of supplemental income for individual farmers who grow food for their own families.
These innovative tea flavors are blended to promote Tanzanian heritage, and the tea packaging is biodegradable to boot! By introducing biodegradable packaging practices to Tanzania, Kazi-Yetu hopes to spark a wave of sustainable packaging across all industries in Tanzania.
Monsoon Tea’s signature blends are not only mouthwateringly delicious – they’re also environmentally-friendly tea blends. These blends are made with tea grown in Thailand and help grow the market for Thai-sourced tea.
These tea blends are also grown with sustainability in mind. Tea bushes are grown in harmony with nature so as not to contribute to deforestation and are also grown naturally without being dependent on pesticides and fertilizers.
With many large industries giving little thought to sustainability, it’s more important than ever to make every purchase count. Whether you’re concerned about the environment, communities in tea-producing countries, or even just your own body, going sustainable is a great way to align with your values.
Sustainable Tea Shop
Explore the best sustainable tea brands with our Sustainable Tea Shop. These tea brands are dedicated to providing tea that doesn’t harm the planet, with biodegradable tea bags, plastic-free tea packaging, and fair trade tea sourcing. Some of these environmentally-conscious teas also support and donate to environmental causes, giving you tea that makes both you and Mother Nature happy. Discover your new favorite eco-friendly tea today!
Interested in trying these teas and others? Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our tea subscriptions.
About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate.
Is There Plastic In My Tea? | Ethical Consumer
Reading The Tea Leaves | United Nations Environment Programme