was established in 2002 by two doctorstea has long been regarded
as both a medicinal herb and a spiritual pursuit, so it is fitting
that one should be a medical doctor and the other a doctor of philosophy.
After many years of drinking and learning about tea in the U.S., Europe
and Asia, they joined forces to create TRIBUTE.TEA,
offering an international selection of premium teas from China, Japan,
India, Taiwan and Sri Lanka.
In the last 20 years, the tea business in the U.S. has developed
and become more specialized, and TRIBUTE.TEA
has changed with the times. Since relocating to the Seattle area in
2005, TRIBUTE.TEA has narrowed
its focus to Japanese tea, especially matcha
- the famous powdered green tea.
Due to its high cost and delicate nature, good, fresh Japanese
tea remains hard to come by outside of Japan, which led TRIBUTE.TEA
to develop close ties with producers in Japan's premier tea-producing
region of Kyoto prefecture.
Having a source for good tea in Japan, however, is only the
first step on the path to offering good tea for sale in the U.S. Next,
we have to transport it from there to here. The vast majority of tea
imported by sea - which costs the least, but can take up to two months
- a voyage that can be very damaging to delicate tea leaves and powder
sitting in a container on the deck of a cargo ship. Instead, our teas
are sent out of Osaka by air - which means we receive it within days
of processing, not weeks or months. Air-shipping enables us to provide
our customers with the freshest, greenest, healthiest, best-tasting
tea possible - which is important to us because, at TRIBUTE.TEA,
we're not just purveyors of fine tea; we drink it everyday, too. ENJOY!
One of TRIBUTE.TEA's
founders photographed for a Seattle Times story
ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES)