Any gardener will tell you that good things take time. The same is true for tea, especially one made from organically grown, medicinal quality herbs! Given that we use 100 botanical ingredients sourced from 35 countries around the world for our teas, you can imagine the many variables at play.
So that every cup of our herbal teas does what it should do, we’ve created some of the highest standards in the herb industry—a quality control process that begins with responsible sourcing and traces its way through every step of the process. Nearly 100% of our herbs are certified organic and all are Non-GMO Project Verified. When possible, we aim for pharmacopoeial (or medicinal grade) active ingredients, sourced from their native habitats and fair, equitable relationships.
Keep in mind that only 10% of the global supply for herbs is organic, and only 1% matches our quality standards. That’s what makes relationships like those with our partners at Washington State’s Trout Lake Farm so special. We’ve been sourcing echinacea from them since the 1970s, and they work hard to guarantee our standards, year after year.
Below, we created an infographic to illustrate the steps required to grow and process one of our most popular herbs, echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), the active ingredient in our Echinacea Plus®, Echinacea Plus® Elderberry, and Throat Coat® Lemon Echinacea teas.
Before the seeds even touch the ground, we notify the farm a year in advance, giving them time to prepare for the next crop based on our projected needs. A year later, the growing season begins. After the harvest, the farm dries, cleans, mills and cuts our echinacea to match our specifications and tests them in their lab. Once we receive them, our Quality Control (QC) team tests them at three separate stages—after we receive them, after blending, and after packing—using multiple methods of testing to ensure quality, identity, purity and composition. This includes organoleptic (taste and smell), microscopic analysis, and chromatography testing. Given this extensive quality control, it means an herb like echinacea can spend as much as a month in our warehouse. Once our herbs are tested, packed, and ready to leave our warehouse, we send them through our distribution channels to help get the product out to all of our fans throughout the country and help ensure it reaches your store shelf, fresh and ready to steep.
So by the time you are ready to take your first sip, you can feel confident knowing that your tea is made from the highest standards and ethics possible. It’s quality you can taste and feel.