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Tea FAQ

Where do you source your tea from?

The production of all of our teas is directly overseen by our owner, Zehua Shang in the Fujian Province, right near Taiwan.

He spends 2-3 months in China every year for the main production seasons and ships his crop directly to our store in Kansas City, MO.

What makes your tea different from your competitors?

  • All of our teas are high mountain grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers and are produced traditionally by hand
  • All of our teas are handpicked to ensure that each leaf we harvest is at the pinnacle of freshness
  • All of our teas are dried, gently steamed, or carefully roasted in small batches to guarantee full, consistent flavor and aroma
  • Our blended and infused teas bring you the very best flavor because we use time honored Chinese techniques that preserve the flavor and integrity of the leaf

How much caffeine is in tea?

Caffeine levels in tea is one of the most hotly debated subjects in the tea world right now. The science seems to be suggesting that the answer really depends on quite a few different factors including growing conditions, amount of rainfall, when the tea was harvested, amount of steeping time, just to name a few. New research does seem to suggest that higher levels of antioxidants and theanine in tea appear to slow the absorption of caffeine into the body and counteract the negative effects. White teas and green teas tend to have the highest concentrations of these two elements and tend to affect people the least, whereas red or black teas tend to have the lowest concentrations and thus the caffeine tends to affect people more.

All tea naturally from the camellia sinensis plant (white, green, wu-long, and black) does naturally have caffeine, so if you are looking to completely avoid caffeine, please take a look at our herbal teas.

Do you sell caffeine free teas?

While we do not decaffeinate any of our teas, all of our herbal teas are naturally caffeine free.

What is the difference between the different types of tea?

Two factors distinguish a type of tea. The first factor is processing. White and green tea are the least processed of all the teas and are processed to prevent much oxidation from occurring in the leaves. Wu-long teas are rolled and then heated or placed in a humid environment to cause the leaves to oxidize or darken in color. Wu-longs are typically between 30 – 80% oxidized. Red or black teas are almost completely oxidized and thus have a much darker appearance. In addition, certain cultivars are best suited to certain kinds of production, just like certain grapes are required for different kinds of wine.

To learn more, read our content pages about the different types of tea by clicking here.

How do I brew my tea?

Head over to our brewing guidelines page.

Do you sell any tea in teabags?

We sell only one tea in a teabag. Our White Tea Chai is bagged because the spices are ground up into a powder. The bags are unbleached and large enough to allow the amount of tea leaves inside to expand. For all of our other teas, our philosophy is that tea leaves need room to expand and they need space so that water can properly flow between the leaves. This is just not possible in a tea bag. In addition most teabags are treated with harsh chemicals and/or are made of cheap plastics that leach into your water.

What type of water should I use to brew my tea?

At a minimum, we recommend that you filter your water using a basic carbon filter such as brita or pur. This will get rid of any heavy metals and some of the components such as chlorine that will affect the taste of your tea. In our store we use a reverse osmosis filter to remove almost everything from the water and allow the tea to reinfuse it with flavor and minerals. Oftentimes you can find reverse osmosis systems at your local grocery store. Lastly, if you have access to fresh spring water or well water, this would be ideal for great tasting tea.

How do I store my tea?

The easiest way to store our tea is in the foil bags that they are packed in. We recommend our tea clips to keep them fully sealed to keep oxygen out and the flavor in. If you are looking for a jar to store your tea leaves in, look for something airtight if possible and store in a cool, dark place. Do not store your tea leaves in the fridge.

How does the tea come packaged?

Teas that have a 1 oz option come packaged in 1 oz foil bags. So for example, if you get 4 oz of our Silver Needle White Tea, you will receive four 1 oz bags of Silver Needle. Teas that have a base amount of 2 oz come packaged in 2 oz foil bags. For example, if you get 8 oz of our White Peony King, you will receive four 2 oz bags of White Peony King. This ensures that you only have to open a small amount of your tea at a time while the rest stays sealed and is not exposed to oxygen.

Are your teas organic?

We only source our tea leaves from farms that follow beyond organic standards some of which are certified organic. Since our owner directly oversees all the production of our leaves every year, he is continuously checking to ensure that these standards are followed and that no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are ever used on the tea leaves.

Are you teas fair trade?

Our teas are not certified fair trade because the expense of certification is too great for small tea farms. However, we ensure that all the workers on the tea farm are paid well above the average wage (oftentimes 2-3x the wage of nearby farms) and are given a good meal everyday.

Do you add sweetener to your tea?

We typically do not sweeten tea at our shop, however if you find you need a little sweetness in your tea, we would recommend either local honey or our sweet leaf tea.

Shipping FAQ

What Shipping Methods do you use?

We ship all US orders via USPS priority mail for a flat $7.00. All domestic orders over $75 ship for free! If you require next day or second day shipping, please contact us at support@shangtea.com before you place your order, and we will quickly get you a quote and add the cost to your order once approved.

Do you ship internationally?

We do ship internationally either via USPS first class international or via priority mail international. Please contact us at support@shangtea.com for more information. Please note that while we do our best to ensure quick arrival at your location, we cannot be held responsible for any delays that may occur due to customs.

Do you ship to APO addresses?

Yes, we do ship to APO addresses. Our system should recognize and accept these addresses, but if you run into any issues, please contact us at support@shangtea.com.

When can I expect to receive my order?

We do our best to ship all orders that come in before 3 PM on that very same day when possible. Typically most packages arrive within 2-3 days, although it can occasionally take 4 days to arrive.

What is Shang Tea’s return policy?

If your shipment was damaged in transit or incorrect please contact us at support@shangtea.com, and we will rectify the situation as quickly as possible. If you have unopened tea or undamaged tea ware that you changed your mind about, you can ship it back to us, and we will give you a full refund minus shipping costs upon safe arrival at our shop. If you have already opened the tea, we unfortunately cannot accept a return on the product. We recommend you try something like our sampler pack before committing to a large bag.

Website FAQ

How do I make a purchase on your website?

Simply browse around our website and add products to your cart. When you are ready to finalize your purchase, click the shopping cart icon at the top of our page. This will take you to your cart and will guide you through the checkout process.

Where do I get coupon codes and how do I use them?

We send out coupon codes with our monthly newsletter! You can sign up in the header of our webpage, and then you will get a new code every month along with news from our store!