Tariffs are a subject that I did not expect to write about when I opened Telsaan Tea in 2015. But here we are. This is just going to be a quick explanation of how tariffs this year are affecting loose leaf tea in Mount Horeb, WI.
I don’t think that anyone will be surprised to learn that tariffs on tea have caused prices to increase. In our store, a typical example of this is a 100 g (3.5 oz) retail package of loose leaf tea increasing from $10.95 to $11.95. Not every tea is affected by this. So, it’s not a huge change, but it is an increase. The price of metal for tea tins has also increased, but the change was small enough that I didn’t increase the price for tea tins in our store.
Having tariffs imposed on tea is an interesting choice in my opinion. The purpose of most tariffs is to protect domestic industries, but there’s really not a whole lot of domestic tea production in the United States. It just doesn’t grow well in most parts of this country, and we’re not set up to grow anywhere close to enough tea to meet the demand in the United States. There are a couple of commercial plantations and a few small artisan growers.
Furthermore, tariffs on tea are one of the reasons that the American Revolution happened. Yep, that’s right. We didn’t like paying taxes on tea, so we started our own country. Admittedly, the circumstances are different today, but I still think that tea tariffs are an interesting choice.
So there we have it. Tariffs have increased tea prices. Domestic production is not significantly affected. I’m not ready to forecast another revolution because of this. Thanks for reading! -Erin