Tea comes in thousands of varieties and has been drunk since ancient times. It is the second most popular drink in the world (second only to water!) It has, in its various kinds, however, never been more popular than now in the West. Health food fads and an enthusiasm for a more natural lifestyle has led many people to put down their coffees and take up green or herbal teas. This is an opportunity for anyone looking to retail!
Even tea from the same plant as black tea (Camellia Sinensis) can come in a huge variety of forms. Green tea is steamed, rather than fermented. Gunpowder tea comes in the form of rolled-up pellets of green tea. Oolong tea lies somewhere in between green and black. White tea is the least processed of all. Some teas are flavoured, for example with chopped jasmine flowers mixed in with the tea leaves. Aside from all these, there are a multitude of herbal and natural teas (most of which contain no actual tea) available from ginseng to chamomile. Most teas that are sold in the West are actually blends of different kinds of tea, often teas from different parts of the world. Different blending according to the tastes of that country accounts for the differing flavours of black tea found in any given country.
All teas are usually made in the same manner. Buds, leaves, or twigs of the plant in question are steeped in hot water to release the flavour inside. Some types of tea are then sweetened to taste with honey or sugar (among other things). Black tea is often drunk with a small amount of milk.
Some wholesalers specialise in certain kinds of tea, or perhaps tea from a certain area. Unsurprisingly, many wholesale suppliers of tea are found in China, Japan or India.
Be sure to check all local regulations that are involved when importing any type of food product. There are usually more requirements in this category, than in other consumable selections. Be sure you have also satisfied any specific requirements as far as duties that can be substantial on all types of herbs.
This is not the only place to find distributors however, and in particular if you are looking for certified organic or fair-trade teas there are other places to look. The internet has no shortage of tea wholesalers. For example, try Republic of Tea to find suppliers of organic tea, or Celestial Seasonings, which offers a blend of natural herbal teas. These suppliers provide a more unusual product which may be more attractive to customers. Once you decide on the type of tea you want to sell, it should be easy enough to pick a supplier that suits your need.
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Article Added on Sunday, November 9, 2008
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