Spring Blossoming at The Tea Table
Springtime at The Tea Table - April 22, 2016
The trees around our office in full bloom. This is just a few feet outside our front door.

Welcome to The Tea Table

We are an online store offering over 200 loose leaf teas, tea accessories, teapots, Tea of the Month Clubs, and great customer service.

Our History

The Tea Table started in 2000 as a walk-in retail shop where customers here in Fort Collins, Colorado, would come to leisurely browse our beautiful tea things and select from about 100 loose-leaf teas. The only shop of its kind in this area, we had a loyal following!

During our three-years there, we also put up the first version of our web site. Slowly, the site grew, and we had it re-designed for better functionality and beauty. When our lease expired for our retail space, we decided for practical reasons to simply forgo the storefront and be an online-only store in the hopes of being able to reach a much larger audience while keeping our overhead low.

Our business has continued to grow and flourish since then. In fact, we've had to move to larger quarters three times, but now are in a facility large enough to sustain us for several years. Even though we continue to grow, The Tea Table remains a small privately owned company. The core members of our staff have worked here from the beginning. We prefer to remain a bit smaller and stay true to our original vision of what we can offer, while being flexible enough to change and grow in directions that feel right to us.

Long's Peak
Long's Peak on a Stormy Day - March 13, 2016
The Northernmost 14er (14,000+ foot peak) in the Rocky Mountains, viewed not far from The Tea Table.

The People of The Tea Table

The character of a business is defined by its people. The Tea Table has a core of people that rarely changes, lending to the consistency of quality and service we have provided for over 15 years.

Lori Way: Lori is the founder of The Tea Table and a registered dietitian, which prompted her interest in the health benefits of tea. She opened a small gift shop in the lobby of a Bed and Breakfast selling English teas, teapots, and other tea accessories. She knew she wanted to expand the gift shop, so she looked for a bigger space in downtown Fort Collins, CO. In 2000 The Tea Table was founded and began to grow and evolve. After a few years, the original tea-themed gift shop went online and became a specialized seller of premium loose leaf teas and accessories. Eventually, the Brick and Mortar part of the business was closed as the online part grew. In fact, it outgrew the size Lori wanted to manage, and in 2009 she turned over day-to-day operations to John, eventually selling him the business in 2013. In her spare time, Lori loves to bike in the mountains near Fort Collins, CO, play with her three cats, Spot, Peanut, and Sherlock, cook tons, read, walk, collect antiques, and listen to a variety of music. Her favorite tea is Yunnan Supreme Golden Tips, followed by Ultimate Breakfast and Masala Chai. When she needs less caffeine, she mixes Decaffeinated Assam with either Supreme Breakfast or Assam Mangalam.

John Rice: John is the Owner and General Manager of The Tea Table. John's background is in Commercial Photography and he started with The Tea Table as the photographer for print ads when the business first opened in 2000. When he grew tired of Commercial Photography, John was hired on a more permanent basis and started to streamline shipping and general operations. Eventually, he became General Manager in Spring 2009 and has been running the business ever since, becoming owner in 2013. In John's spare time, he loves to watch movies and listen to a wide variety of music. John has always been a tea lover and some of his favorite teas include Yunnan Golden Buds, Keemun Mao Feng, Yunnan Supreme Golden Tips, Five O'Clock Tea and Earl Grey White Tip.

A the Colorado Symphony
Kelly and Sharon at The Colorado Symphony
John is behind the camera, as usual.

Sharon Glesmann: Sharon was the very first employee at The Tea Table, hired in 2000 to work the counter at the walk-in store, where she waited on customers, prepared orders, gift wrapped, and did more than her share of grunt work unpacking incoming shipments and cleaning every inch of the place. (Oh, the filth that crept into a downtown storefront!) Sharon now works in the Tea Room, which is where we package tea. Hers is one of the names you see in the hand-written "Thank You" on invoices. In addition to that, she often delivers our pick-up orders to Everyday Joe's Coffee Shop and Pringle's Fine Wine, and does gift wrapping as well as writing our custom gift cards. In the past she has run both a glass business and an alpaca farm. In her spare time she loves to ballroom dance and attend book club. Her favorite teas? Assam Mangalam, White Monkey Paw, and Nine Bend Black Dragon.

Harvesting Tea
Harvesting Premium Tea

More Information about The Tea Table

  • Tea is packed when you place your order

    • We carefully prepare each order by hand rather than pre-package the tea. Two benefits of this are that the tea is as fresh as possible, and you can always get the size bag you want because we won't run out of a certain size bag while other sizes linger and get old.

  • Flexible package sizes

    • Because we package your tea to order, we do not need to be limited to certain size packages. It's no harder for us to pack 7 oz, bag than it is to pack a 4 oz. bag. Our customers order all kinds of odd sizes, and that's fine with us.

  • Fair prices & volume discounts

    • We've thought very carefully about our pricing structure. We know exactly what it costs us to acquire and package our tea, down to the penny, and we price each tea separately. Then we offer volume discounts for all our teas, so you get a better price per ounce if you buy a 16-oz. bag than if you buy a 4-oz. bag.

    • We monitor our shipping costs very carefully. We ship using UPS and the US Postal Service, and are very familiar with the ins and outs of both services. Thanks to our central location in Colorado, most orders are delivered in two to four days after shipment with our reasonable flat-rate and free (on orders of $99 or more) shipping options. There are various other shipping options, and at checkout you'll see the price for each listed.

  • Free Samples

    • You can choose 3 free tea samples (each enough to make a few cups of tea) with every order so you can taste new teas before you buy. It's important for an online store to offer samples since you can't even smell the tea first! You can also buy 1-oz. bags of any tea (enough to make about 15 cups), which is typically very inexpensive, so it's easy to test the waters before you commit.

  • Customer Service

    • We are happy to help customers via phone and email in any capacity that we can. Email submissions and missed phone calls are attended to promptly.

    • We have a fast turn-around time for orders (typically within 24 hours during business hours), but we also take pride in carefully processing orders to make sure they are correct and securely packaged for shipping. The rarely occurring breakage or error will be handled quickly and painlessly--just let us know and we'll handle it from there.

    • Our local Colorado customers can pick up their orders at either of two local businesses and avoid shipping charges. More Local Pick-up Info.

    • When you order, you can give us special instructions. If you want something sent at a particular time, for example, or packaged in a particular way, or whatever, we'll make every effort to do what you want.

  • Education

    • We have an extensive Tea 101 section that covers all sorts of tea topics, including its preparation, storage, definitions of related terminology, even tips on how to buy tea for other people. The Tea Table's Blog also covers these types of topics.

    • We strive to responsibly promote tea as a healthful beverage. However, we believe that truthfulness is more important than sales. We will never use unsupported statements or exaggerated claims regarding the health benefits of tea. Yes, tea is good for you, but it isn't a magic bullet. The information about tea on our site is not based on hyped-up media stories or unsubstantiated claims.

    Customer Service is available through our Contact Form, which is the most efficient way to contact us.