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Is CBD Tea an Opportunity for You?

John Grams black tea

Is CBD Tea Right for YOU?

As legalized cannabis grows across America, the big question remains who will reap the revenues.  Will CBD Tea be sold by Tea Shops, or Cannabis retailers?  Here are a few facts, from folks inside the tea industry, to help you decide if CBD Tea is an opportunity for you.

Reaching the Tea Market with CBD

Although people can put the CBD drops on their tongue, the real opportunity is delivering this emerging product in ways that fit consumer habit.  The tea industry has seen tremendous interest in CBD Tea as a preferred way to ingest.  It improves the taste, and relaxing moments are already part of the tea culture. 

Like CBD, tea is renowned for a myriad of health benefits, many supported by clinical studies. 

Tea has already established the health story CBD is presenting.  Next to water, tea is the most popular drink in the world.  It already has an established following of health-conscious people.  It is their preferred way to relax. 

Is CBD Tea a Product or Prepared-at-Home?  

It is difficult to make a satisfying CBD Tea at home.  You cannot just add a few drops of CBD oil to your tea and get the drink you are hoping.

In fact, many producers are learning there are some tricks to producing a quality product.  The first CBD Teas on the market used oil-based CBD.  Carrier oil helps the CBD to keep longer instead of going rancid.

Unfortunately, CBD oil is not soluble in water. The oils don’t extract into the hot water.  The CBD does not become part of the tea nor is it absorbed by the body.  The customer bought a CBD Tea with no benefits.

Companies like Tea Composer have spent a great deal of effort in the lab confronting the concept of ‘bioavailability.’  It is the rate at which CBD is absorbed into the tea, so it can be absorbed by the body.

Jim Fahrny, founder of Tea Composer, created a water soluble CBD carrier so his compound would extract into hot tea. It made his CBD bioavailable, allowing customers to feel the full effect of the tea and its benefits.

Buddha Teas has also resolved this issue, becoming one of the leading CBD Teas in the industry.

For a customer to make CBD Tea at home, they will probably add fresh cannabis to hot water.  But the heat of the water won’t extract the cannabinoids.  They may be pleased with the tea, but not because of CBD.  Heating the cannabis will extract terpenes.  Terpenes offer a mild therapeutic effect people may notice, but not the greater benefits of CBD.  Releasing the cannabinoids is more complex. 

First, the plant material must be heated to transforms the cannabinoids into CBD.  This isn’t boiling.  It is baking the cannabis in an oven for an hour or more.  From this point, there are many recipes online for CBD Tea, but they all include mixing, marinating, simmering and other time-consuming preparations.  People may prepare their CBD Tea at home their first time.  But CBD Tea is a RTD retail product.

The Right Tea

This is how we at Mana Organics have become so knowledgeable about the CBD Tea process.  At first, everyone thought green tea was the right CBD Tea.  It just seemed appropriate because of its association with health benefits.  But CBD Tea preparation requires higher temperatures and longer steeping than green tea could withstand.  The most successful CBD teas today are made with Assam black tea.  It combines naturally with the brewing requirements which range between 190⁰ and 200⁰ F and steeping as long as 4-5 minutes.  These demands are perfect for Assam.  The Organic teas of Mana seem to fit with the expectations of CBD drinkers for a pure tea with no chemicals or pesticides.  Further, we’ve found brewers appreciate the flexibility of our three grades of CTC for blending.  CBD producers may want to establish a Grower-Direct relationship with an organic Assam Tea Estate like Chota Tingrai of Mana Organics.  Grower-Direct is how tea retailers source their tea.  Such a partnership can help lead CBD producers into a knowledge-base of tea as well as a cost-effective way to capture their share of this growing CBD segment.

Chota Tingrai is a small estate in the Assam valley of India.  We produce an organic, single estate tea in an array of grades.

Avantika Jalan, our director, is the 4th-generation of a tea-grower family.  Her great-grandfather Murleidhor Jalan is recognized as the first Indian founder of a tea estate in upper Assam, starting the family business in 1924.  Today, the family also runs the Durrung Tea Estate, one of the oldest in Assam, started in 1864. 

Avantika operates the estate with her husband John and a team that uniquely includes two women field managers, a woman to run the green tea factory and two women that manage the business office.

Community Development at Chota Tingrai is managed by three women who carry our social mission forward.  Chota Tingrai is home to 2200 people. We are a small town, operating two elementary schools, a hospital, a library, public utilities and housing. Part of our mission is to shape this community into a self-sufficient, sustainable and healthy society. 

Avantika and John both hold a Master of Development Practice from UC Berkeley.  Their passion is as much about community development as it is tea.  And they make an exceptional tea.