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FAQs About Our Tea Store

Do you carry organic teas?

Yes, we do. Tin Roof Teas is committed to the concepts of environmentally sustainable and controlled aspects of tea production in regards to factors such as residue control and food safety.  We find vendors that trade personally with the growers, managers and owners of the tea gardens themselves, thus ensuring that quality is the paramount consideration.  Some of our teas are USDA certified, some are BIO European certified.  We do have some teas that aren’t certified.  Our vendors have explained that some of the farmers cannot afford the organic certification stamp and so it is not labeled as such. All of our herbs are 100% organic.  I hope this helps?

What is the difference between natural and artificial flavoring?

We use natural teas to make our teas taste delicious.  Just to be clear, there are two categories that a flavor falls into:  Natural and Artificial.


Essential oils, extracts or essences taken directly from fruit, flowers or other plant matter, is one.  The Meyer Lemon Oil use in our Meyer Lemon Black tea would be a good example.


Flavor created by altering the chemical structure of a naturally occurring molecule to create a different or more intense flavor.  These molecules do not exist in nature.

How do pull off flavors in the Panna Cotta Rhubarb Cream?

Often when contemplating a flavor we ask ourselves: “How do they do that?”  Orange and Lemon seem simple enough, but how in the world are flavors like Caramel and Dragon fruit achieved?  The answer is simply that we must use natural sources that you would not expect in order to create the desired profile.  The flavoring teams use natural building blocks to create flavors that are difficult or impossible to achieve otherwise.  In this sense, a Strawberry tea may contain Apple, and a Mango tea may contain Orange – but no matter what it’s all kept natural.

We do have a few teas that contain malto-dextrine and lecithin, but with names like Bon Bon and Rooibos Valencia (Dark cocoa and orange) the names give them away.

Are your teas gluten-free?

Yes they are, but please be aware that not all of our teas come from certified gluten-free facilities.

Where can I find a list of ingredients and more information about allergies?

Each tea’s product page contains a full list of ingredients. We always make sure to call out any priority allergen (like peanuts, dairy, or gluten).

However, keep in mind that our teas don’t come from certified nut- or dairy-free facilities. So if you have a severe allergy, we recommend you talk to your physician before drinking our tea.

How much caffeine is there in a cup of tea?

Not an easy question to answer?   There are a quite a few aspects that can change the amount of caffeine in your cup, from water temperature and steeping time to the varietal of leaf that is being brewed.  We have a close relationship with our vendors and this is the reply that we have collected from them.

Here are our caffeine categories – you can find the caffeine rating for each tea on its web page.

Caffeine-free – contain less than 1 mg of caffeine per cup

Decaffeinated – contains 1-4 mg of caffeine per cup

Low caffeine – contain 1-35 mg of caffeine per cup

Medium caffeine – contain 35-90 mg of caffeine per cup. In the world of tea, our medium selection still means that you won’t be getting the high caffeine content of a cup of coffee.

High Caffeine – contain 90-110 mg of caffeine per cup. The higher caffeine levels are found in our CTC or (Cut-Tear-Curl).  Examples of CTC would be the O’Sullivan’s Breakfast or the Assam Namdang.  We only carry on dust tea and that’s our English 5’o clock.  If you’re coming off of coffee and looking for a rocket fuel replacement, this is your tea!

What is the primary difference in the effect that caffeine has in tea over coffee?

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that gives you drive or motivation.

Seratonin is the neurotransmitter that governs your mood.

L-theanine is an amino acid responsible for increasing alpha brain wave activity, which promotes relaxation. In concert with the stimulant caffeine, this allows tea to induce a feeling of increased concentration over a longer period of time, compared to caffeine alone. Some tea merchants will tell you that tea “releases” its caffeine into the body more slowly than coffee, but in actuality, the effects of caffeine are being moderated by L-theanine.

Recent studies have shown that tea “. . . taken throughout the day can significantly benefit speed of perception and more consistent levels of simple task performance. L-theanine appears to antagonize the stimulatory effects of caffeine by decreasing seratonin levels that have been artifically elevated by caffeine”. As a result, the body sustains a feeling of alertness that cannot be obtained by the caffeine in coffee or soda.

L-theanine is seldom found anywhere in nature other than tea and a single species of mushroom. It is “synthesized in the roots and concentrates in the leaves, where sunlight converts [L-theanine] to polyphenols,” [4] In other words, shade-grown teas like Gyokuro, a Japanese green tea, have higher concentrations of L-theanine because the amino acid is not converted into polyphenols as much as tea leaves that are exposed to full sun.

Are there teas I should avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding?

For personal health questions, your best bet is always to speak to your healthcare provider. All of our teas have detailed ingredient lists, so you have the all the info you need to ask your doctor whether specific blends or ingredients are right for you.

How to properly store tea?

Tea is an easy product to store, provided you observe a few simple precautions. The first is to keep it dry. The second is keep it closed, as tea will easily absorb neighboring scents and flavors. Lastly, keep it out of direct sunlight, and its damaging UV rays.

Our triple layered bags offer excellent protection, with a wax paper inside, foil center, and an outer layer, we have some of the best bags in the business.  Should you prefer others means of storage, we recommend either metal canisters or glass jars. Both offer an air-tight seal to keep tea dry and insulated from external scents. Both also offer protection from UV rays, allowing you to display tea in the open, without worrying about damage from the sun.

Just remember, freezing teas will produce a negative tea experience, by introducing moisture that is damaging to tea leaves.  For this reason, we recommend keeping all tea leaves out of the freezer.

How long does your tea stay fresh?

Tea doesn’t go bad if stored in a moisture free environment.  However, over time it will diminish in flavor and aroma.  We generally recommend consuming tea within 8 – 10 of purchase.  However, the specifics will vary according to variety.  The Japanese green teas are most delicate, and may begin to show age after six months.  Black and Oolong varieties will stay fresh much longer, and may continue to have a good echo for many years to come.

• Teas and infusions with fruits and nuts: consume within 8 – 10 months from date of purchase

• Straight teas: White and Green teas are best consumed within 6 – 8 months, while Oolongs (depending on oxidation levels) and Blacks are good for quite a few years.

How do I make iced tea?

Method 1

Iced tea is the number one way tea is enjoyed in the United States.  Brewing great iced tea from loose tea leaves is simple when you follow these instructions.

Method 2

How is your tea decaffeinated?

Decaf tea is any tea that has undergone a process which eliminates most of the caffeine content.  Two processes are currently used to commercially decaffeinate tea, an ethyl acetate and a CO2 method.  While the ethyl acetate method is cheaper and easier, the CO2 method has been proven much safer.  All of Tin Roof’s decaf teas undergo the CO2 process.

Is your tea sold loose or in teabags?

We do have a very small pre-bagged selection, but for the most part Tin Roof Teas sells mostly loose leaf teas.  The bulk of our selection is in loose leaf tea because we specialize in sourcing high-quality whole leaf tea, which is principally available in loose leaf form.  The main difference between whole leaf tea and the tea found in a teabag is its method of production.  Both whole leaf tea and bagged tea begin with the same tea leaf from the same plant, camellia sinensis.  The tea leaf can be processed using one of two methods, orthodox or CTC. Orthodox production is used to create the whole leaf teas that we offer at Tin Roof Teas, while CTC production is used primarily in mass-market teabags. Orthodox production, whether done by hand or machine, generally preserves the integrity of the tea leaf. On the other hand, CTC manufacturing (or “crush-tear-curl”) uses machines to mince, shred or crush the leaf. Both methods can produce excellent teas, but the orthodox method is considered the more “traditional,” and results in tea that is generally more complex in flavor and aroma.

Do you have a printed catalog?

No, we have opted to keep our catalog on-line.