We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton Writer
Updated on May 7th, 2024
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Cultivate Taste 2024: Organic and Fair-Trade Teas

Jennifer Nowicki's journey with tea began at her grandmother's knee, where she cherished moments of sipping tea after family meals. Her passion for tea deepened in Seattle in the mid-nineties, where she discovered loose-leaf teas. In 2005, she pursued formal education at the Specialty Tea Institute in New York City, becoming Wisconsin's only Certified Tea Specialist since 2009. Jennifer's tea adventures include visiting plantations in South Carolina, experiencing tea ceremonies in Japan and Korea, and representing the USA tea industry in world tea conferences in China. With a focus on high-quality, ethically sourced teas, Jennifer continues to share her knowledge and love for tea with others. DeliveryRank finds out more.

Jennifer, how does Cultivate Taste ensure the authenticity and purity of its teas, especially in a market where natural and organic claims can sometimes be misleading?

I agree that natural and organic can be misleading and some companies either lie or might lack knowledge. Most of my tea farms I have developed relationships with them over the last decade or more. I also have been professionally trained in tea, so I know what to look for in the many different types of teas. Some teas have different desired qualities, It also does not hurt that I have some very well-regarded tea customers that praise and give great reviews of my teas. I think the combination helps me ensure that my teas are the highest quality. 

Can you elaborate on the benefits of using eco-friendly and biodegradable packaging for your teas, and how does this align with Cultivate Taste's overall philosophy and values?

Well, I had eco-friendly packaging at my tearoom in Milwaukee. The benefits are multiple. It helps the planet, helps the other living creatures in the world, and helps yourself by not being full toxins. Sustainability is one of my core values for my company. I am a Green Master from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council and Grown Climate Smart, another sustainable group. I grew up growing organic vegetables in our family plot. 

What inspired you to focus on providing organic and fair-trade teas, and how do you ensure that these principles are maintained throughout your sourcing process?

I provide Fair Trade teas because I do not think I need to low ball the workers on the tea farms. I believe they deserve a decent life too. I grew up eating and growing organic food. My father used to sell organic produce, so it just seemed logical to me. Both are reasons that my teas are not the cheapest besides sourcing the highest grade of teas. I check each time I receive a shipment to see that the organic and fair-trade designation is still valid. I also chat with my growers to gauge them if any changes are happening or unforeseen circumstances. 

How does Cultivate Taste educate consumers about the nuances of loose leaf tea and encourage them to develop a deeper appreciation for the art of tea brewing?

Well at my physical location it is really hard to do. I try my best with some people who get what I am doing, but many ask questions that do not need a lengthy or detailed answer. They assumed one thing when I was just answering the question. Then when it seems I contradict myself and they try to tell me I do not know, but I try hard to let them know I am not contradicting myself. Tea is very simple, it is just tea and hot water, but the depth and complexity is profound. 

I have recently been doing tea festivals where people get the nuances of tea or at least seem more open to me telling them the nuances. I still try my hardest to teach them a greater appreciation of tea brewing. They go to tea festivals to connect and learn more about tea. I have a professional cupping each Tuesday at my physical location so people can have a deeper appreciation of tea. When I go to tea festivals, I also sometimes do classes. At the festivals I get many kind words about the knowledge and get many compliments on the classes I have. 

How does Faire's platform specifically support small businesses in maintaining their unique character and local appeal while competing in a global marketplace dominated by larger retailers?

Faire works really well for small businesses to maintain their uniqueness because you can buy smaller quantities. You can also get larger wholesale orders too. This also works well for small retailers too because the minimum order can be nothing to small, so not a barrier to getting product. It can be a mix. 

You do not have to compete with the bigger companies on this website, so retailers who to go on Faire are looking for smaller unique type of product. Retailers are looking for smaller wholesale companies. There are more than enough wholesale sites and distributors for larger companies. It can help you grow and hopefully expand into larger locations if that is your goal. 

If you would like to find out more about Cultivate Taste, please visit https://cultivatetaste.com/ and https://www.faire.com/en/direct/cultivatetaste

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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