Verdant Tea

Introducing US Freight Forwarding

Introducing US Freight Forwarding

Introducing US Freight Forwarding

New shipping solutions bring faster tea for you!

July 1, 2016

Verdant Tea was founded by Lily, David, Geoffrey, Wang Huimin and Weiwei to be a true direct source for tea lovers to connect with small family farmers across China. The goal has always been to represent the most innovative and passionate craftspeople in China, tell their stories and be the logistics chain they can rely on to get their products from their farm to your cup.

With the goal of absolute transparency, we have evolved over the last few years. The first big step was to break the mold on how online tea business is done. Instead of picking our selection and setting our prices, we help each family we work with to curate their own selection, and set their own seasonal prices in order to share what they are most excited about each week.

This hyper seasonality and true online farmers market model required some big changes to the way we move tea around the world. Instead of pre-buying a season’s inventory and losing out on the opportunity to have the freshest and most current innovations from our partners, we moved our fulfilment center to China so that we could receive tea weekly from our partners, packed at the source to lock in freshness. This move let us dramatically expand our selection and let our partners lower retail prices on their teas to share with a wider audience.





The second step to providing our partners the tools necessary to connect directly with tea lovers was developing their own branding, sharing their stories, videos, pictures brewing techniques etc. The farmers crafting each leaf are the true tea masters, and it is their name that deserves to be on the package, not ours. We have had the chance to sit down with every farmer we work with and help them develop a style that reflects their heritage and values. You will see their colors and branding on flags on each product page, as well as see it starting to appear on the actual bags you receive.


Ultimately, our close relationships of trust and mutual respect with our farmer partners are what make us different.


These days we see more and more websites throwing around terms like ‘sourced from small family farms,’ but at best you will get a last name and a single picture, a poor indicator of the depth of that relationship.

We are not about buzzwords.

Tea doesn’t need buzzwords.

Tea culture has been around for over a thousand years, and hopefully will continue for thousands more. We let our partner farmers speak for themselves, and we don’t hide the source. At the end of the day, fine tea exists because of the people that devote their lives to making it.


We moved our fulfillment from the US to China in October of 2015, and we are thrilled with what it has allowed us to do in expanding the collection and serving our partners more effectively. We all love being able to share new experiments through the website and get feedback from tea lovers all over the world on social media. This feedback helps them set their growing priorities for the seasons ahead.

This spring, we have heading back and forth, to and from China several times to meet with all of our partners and to check in, to see how we can better meet their needs this year in sharing tea across the world.



The big question from both our farmers and our supporters this spring has been on fulfillment time.


The He Family has been more involved than anyone in fulfilling orders. We are sharing a space with He Qingqing, and we are lucky to have her help packing boxes that travel all across the globe. She sees boxes go out and follows tracking with Weiwei to make sure your boxes arrive in a timely fashion.

This spring, she and Weiwei wanted to brainstorm solutions to get her family’s fresh tea into your hands faster. Shipping from China normally takes ten business days, but can occasionally be slowed by Chinese holidays or customs. Qingqing doesn’t like to see her delicate spring teas held up in transit for so long.






On the other side of things, we have been hearing from supporters like you how much everyone loves the bigger fresher selection, but wishes that the tea could arrive faster and more reliably on schedule.

We hear you!


We have been frustrated with delays especially by Chinese customs on packages leaving the country. These delays often mean that tracking doesn’t update for a week or more.

When we buy things online, we want to know where they are and when to expect what we paid for. We are so deeply touched and appreciative of all your support and patience during this process of giving our farmer partners the freedom to share the way they want to.

With these concerns in mind, we are extremely excited to offer a solution that gives us speed and reliability without sacrificing the freedom our partners have in building their collections.


Today, July 1st, we are rolling out a much refined logistics model that gives us the best of all worlds.


Every bag of tea will still be packed as soon as it is harvested at the source in its final retail packaging by the farmers. Our partners will still set their own selection every week based on seasonality. The difference is that, instead of sending their weekly harvests to Weiwei in Jimo for shipping direct, Weiwei will pack all of their bags of tea at least once a week and air ship them to us here in the United States.

When an order comes in, our US team will draw from the week’s inventory from each partner, putting the sealed bags into a sturdy box with hand-picked samples based on your order.

From the United States,
we will send out orders
within about one business day.

You will have tracking with USPS within a day of placing your order. USPS priority delivery arrives at your door within one to three days of shipping if you are in the United States, and provides clear tracking updates in real time.

We will be effectively cutting your wait time from up to a month down to a couple days. This will let you restock immediately for those tea emergencies when you run out of your favorites, and get you tea with less lead time.


Is it more expensive for us to air-ship from China and then send out USPS?

Yes, it is significantly more expensive.

Will our prices be going up to reflect the increased cost?

No, we are doing everything we can to hold the line on our new direct-from-farm low prices that our partners introduced in 2015.


Because our job is to represent the interests of our partners in China.

Lower retail prices help them sell more of their harvest at a time when the domestic market for tea in China is faltering and provides a critical lifeline for them to keep operating the way they want to. Faster shipping benefits both farmer and tea lover by preserving freshness, and eliminating uncertainty about shipments stuck in customs.

How do we manage to keep a fresh inventory when it has to live in the US?

Instead of buying large quantities of tea for a season, we can tap into five years of data to predict within a about a half kilo how much of each tea is likely to sell within a week. We look at averages, seasonal spikes, and of course rely on intuition for new harvests to try to give our partners in China a sense of what a week’s worth of tea looks like. We help them air-ship each week’s tea, and have the new box within two days of our friends sending it. This micro-inventory process is at the heart of what makes the Verdant way of filling orders different from other companies. It is expensive and logistically challenging, but it is the method that lets us be true to our values without compromising on customer service, speed and reliability.


We think of this move as a refinement of our current process.


Each farmer we work with is still packing up tea every week to replenish our stock, just like shipping from China. We are holding the line on offering the same tremendous variety that our partners want to share, just like shipping from China.

We have simply added an invisible step that has our US team freight forwarding for you. It also allows us the chance to personally look over each box going out, make sure you are getting a sample we think you would love, and gives us the option to include more materials and information with your orders when it is appropriate, fill custom orders with ease, make last minute address switches, add a gift message etc.

This gives Weiwei and our partners more time to spend in the fields, and gives us more opportunity to live up to the trust you put in us when you make a purchase.



We want to thrill you with every order the same way we are thrilled when we first try each new harvest on the farm. We are very excited to fill your coming orders and have them at your doorstep within a couple days. We hope the faster shipping is an encouragement to take risks and try small quantities of things you are curious about, to learn more about tea and to find the regions, styles and farmers whose tea you can fall in love with.


From all of us at Verdant Tea, thank you!

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