Buying in Bulk: What You Need to Know About Wholesale Tea

August 5, 2022

If you want to invest in wholesale tea, there is quite a bit that you need to know about. This includes understanding varieties, growing and processing methods, pricing, labeling rights, and more.

Get the lowdown on this entire process here: 

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    hot black tea

    Growth and Processing Transparency

    The manner in which tea is grown and processed has an immense impact on the resulting aroma and taste. Thus, if you want to ensure that you are offering consumers a delicious and high-quality tea, then you need to be aware of precisely how it was grown, harvested, and treated. 

    This is where transparency from suppliers come in. A good supplier will be more than willing to divulge information about the leaves. This includes slightly more obscure details such as what other crops were grown near the tea shrubs.

    On a similar note, the supplier should also produce in-depth reports about how the tea was processed. This document should detail the method, temperature, and duration for the processing of the bulk loose leaf tea. Once again, this is the only way to truly understand the quality of the tea you are purchasing.

    Look for Variety

    As you are aware, there are so many different types of tea available. You can select from bulk green tea, white tea, black tea, oolong tea, herbal tea and more. Of course, it is important to remember that every seller doesn’t offer the same quality for each type of tea. 

    For instance, since black and green teas are the most popular, you may be able to find high-quality suppliers more easily. On the other hand, if you are specifically looking for teas with lower demand such as white tea, you may need to search for longer.

    Now, when selecting a supplier, make it a point to test every type of tea you would like to buy. As some may be more proficient with certain processing practices, there may be discrepancies with the tea quality.

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    Consider the Serving Mode

    When most people imagine buying tea in bulk, they are actually picturing wholesale loose leaf tea. While this does tend to be a rather popular option, you don’t necessarily have to purchase tea leaves in this form. An increasing number of suppliers are offering up tea bags and iced tea mixes as well.

    If you are planning on purchasing pre-packaged bulk tea, though, there are a few things to keep in mind. These days, consumers pay attention to every aspect of the product they are buying from. Due to this, you need to ensure that the packaging is safe, eco-friendly, and tastefully designed. 

    This is why it is a good idea to look into the packaging options available with each distributor. Have them detail what materials they use and what steps they take to maintain freshness and taste. This will all play into the quality of tea that you are able to offer your own consumers.

    Organic Teas

    Checking on tea growing environments becomes especially important when purchasing organic tea wholesale. In this instance, you have to verify that the tea is, in fact, USDA-certified organic. Otherwise, you will not be able to market or sell the tea leaves with an organic stamp of approval.

    tea leaves


    There are many wholesale tea distributors that aren’t exactly experts in tea. After all, it can take decades to really become a professional in the art of identifying tea. If you are lacking certain skills, it is vital that you find a supplier who can assist you in the selection of tea. 

    There are some suppliers that will help you to create menus that are more suitable for your consumers or customer base. Then, there are others that will actually train you so that you will be more adept at identifying and selling the various blends of tea. While this isn’t necessarily a requirement, such a service can really make a difference.

    making tea

    Competitive Pricing

    Of course, one of the main benefits of buying wholesale tea is the price. This is why you should always do research prior to purchasing. Taking the necessary precautions will allow you to get much better deals, particularly when buying larger amounts.

    Competitive prices, however, don’t amount to buying cheaper teas. Think twice about purchasing tea leaves with a too-low price tag. This is often indicative of a poorer quality leaf. Rather, figure out which supplier offers you the best value for the tea you would like to purchase.

    Custom Blends

    Regardless of whether you are a distributor, food manufacturer, or in the food service industry, uniqueness is key. In many instances, your main selling point would be that you offer tea that other outlets or distributors simply cannot. This is where custom blends come in. 

    Consider a supplier who will create custom blends for you that are perfectly suited to the palates of your customer base. If you have a café or a restaurant, it will be quite helpful to find a supplier that can create blends that will complement your food in particular.


    Freshness is rather significant when purchasing tea leaves. It will often determine just how good the tea will taste. Not to mention, fresher tea leaves can often be stored – and sold – for longer periods of time. Thus, you will need to find suppliers that are willing to provide you with the freshest batch possible. 

    Look for suppliers who can sell the tea leaves to you shortly after they have been processed. You will also need to check that the leaves are being stored properly so that they aren’t exposed to sunlight, dampness, or other scents. All this will help to keep the tea leaves tasting better for longer.

    loose leaf green tea

    The Packaging

    If you want to limit how much work you have to do on your end, consider a supplier that produces private packaging and labels for you. The exact materials and design will be up to you. However, the supplier will package it in your preferred manner and send the final product to you. 

    If this is a feature you are interested in, be aware that there are various limits to the packaging options. For instance, there may be only a handful of suppliers that will provide you with eco-friendly packaging that perfectly meets all your needs.

    Labelling Rights

    You do need to be aware of labelling rights before selecting a supplier. Understand, certain suppliers will insist that their brand is mentioned in some way or another, when you sell to your own consumers. Others, though, will allow you to sell the tea under your own company’s name. 

    In most instances, it is best to look for suppliers that support private label sales. Then, once you have purchased the wholesale tea, you are free to sell it however you want. Thus, you can avoid getting ensnared by any tricky legal problems.

    The Shipping Time

    Last but not least, you will need to get detailed information on shipping times. You will have to make certain that your order arrives precisely when it should. Nonetheless, also consider how a particular supplier may respond to additional or emergency orders. 

    To a large extent, this will depend on your order size and the size of the supplier’s operation. For example, if you need a large order filled quickly, only a supplier with a sizable operation will be able to cater to your time-sensitive requirements.

    There is quite a bit that you need to think about when purchasing wholesale tea. Fortunately, this article outlines what you need to take into consideration before placing a bid. In turn, this should help you select the right supplier without making any mistakes along the way.

    About the Author
    Dr. Dheena Sadik
    Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
    Learn more
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