Teaconomics in a Nutshell–or Rather, Teacup

It’s time for a little lesson in how the tea industry works.

When we get past the glitz and the glam and the–wait, that’s Toddlers and Tiaras.


When we get past the snobbery and hoi-tea-toi-tea language, tea is really based on a slew of socio-economic factors that just to happen to manifest in your favorite brewed leaves.

Call it tea-conomics.

The 30-Second Guide to Tea-conomics
(Just enough time for an oolong or pu-erh, if you’re looking to mul-tea-task.)

Steep 1 Ethical trading practices = happy tea farms

Steep 2.  Happy tea farms = dedicated work; care and effort maintained in cul-tea-vation and processing

Steep 3.  Dedicated work = true quali-tea

Steep 4. True quali-tea = happy tea-drinking folks

Steep 5.  Happy tea-drinking folks = happy profiting tea companies

Steep 6.  Happy profiting tea companies = continued ethical trading practices

And the cycle goes on.

Now, if all those steps get chucked aside in favor of the tea company getting as much money as possible out of the product while making sure that the farmers get almost no liveable income in return, then that gives you bad tea. A suffering tea-growing community doesn’t have the energy, mo-tea-vation, or resources to give their crop the me-tea-culous attention it needs to yield Actual Good Tea.

Plus, the resulting mass-produced tea is so heavily processed that the cup is no more sa-tea-sfying than a Big Mac. (Feels great in your mouth for the five seconds that it takes to scarf down, then an hour later you’re hungry again.)

Thus, when all those tea-conomic phenomena get steeped in your cup, that’s why you get tea-feelings. Sen-tea-ments, if you will.

It all comes down to money, culture, and science. Not mystical leaf juju.


About Natasha 245 Articles
How do you get into tea? Drink it.

2 Comments on Teaconomics in a Nutshell–or Rather, Teacup

  1. Hello,
    Just wondering what’s up with the hundreds of dollars worth of Korean money? I live just outside of Seoul. Just wondering if there’s another N. American tea drinker if the vacini-tea?

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