Whole Leaf Tea, Immaculate Leaf, and Tea Companies Without Websites

I just published a new article on Whole Leaf Tea or Full Leaf Tea, on RateTea.  The article hits on several points, including the lack of a precise legal definition of whole leaf tea or full leaf tea, and how the term is often casually applied to larger broken leaf tea, and on the advantages (and possible downsides) of whole leaf.

Screenshot of the RateTea article on whole leaf tea

Tangentially related, I want to highlight a company that gave me some samples of outstanding whole leaf oolong tea, at World Tea East.  I’ve held off on posting reviews because the company’s website has been incomplete, but this may be a case of a company for which the website is not very important.  There’s an email, and if you’re looking for a supplier, contact info is all you need.

This company is Immaculate Leaf.  Their green Taiwanese oolongs are among some of the best I’ve ever sampled.  If you’re looking for a wholesaler supplier of top-notch Taiwanese oolongs, I’d recommend getting in touch with these people.  Their website has been “coming soon” for months now, which may signify that they haven’t pulled their business fully together yet, but it could also signify that they don’t particularly need the websites.  I put off posting about them for months, waiting for their website to be completed, but I finally decided that it’s more important for me to write about them while my impression of their teas is still fresh in my mind.

Can Tea Companies Get By Without Websites?

Although we are solidly in the information age, there are still many successful business out there that either have poor or incomplete websites, or no websites at all, simply because their marketing strategy is completely successful without a website.

To give another example of a successful tea company that has a broken or under construction website, check out Jacksons of Piccadilly.  This company’s website has been incomplete or under construction for at least three and a half years; it looks the same now as it did when I founded RateTea back in 2009.  Jacksons of Piccadilly is a UK based company that impressed me with the quality of one of their Darjeeling tea bags that I picked up in a discount market years ago in Delaware: the tea bag was stuffed with generous quantities of leaf, with a highly heterogeneous color tending towards the greener end of the spectrum, like a lot of good first flush teas.  It had all the qualities I love in Darjeeling, a complex aroma with a greener character overall, but a lot of bite to it too.  This company is, to my knowledge, still in existence.  Its teas have never been easy to get your hands on in the U.S., but there are a number of online UK-based retailers that sell their teas.

What do you think?

  • What do you think about the article on whole leaf tea?
  • Have you ever tried anything from Immaculate Leaf?  Did you have an opportunity to sample their teas at World Tea East?
  • How many businesses can you think up which don’t have a website or have an incomplete website?  Do you know of any tea companies like this?

14 thoughts on “Whole Leaf Tea, Immaculate Leaf, and Tea Companies Without Websites”

  1. I know English is not my first language but whole leaf tea should be just that and not a marketing thing.

    Regarding companies and websites, it seems surprising nowadays but it depends on their size, their targets.
    For example, a small company targeting a local market could do without one.

    1. I agree; when I first encountered terms like “whole leaf tea” and “full leaf tea” being thrown around by some of the brands marketing high-end pyramid sachets, I just assumed they meant unbroken leaf–as this is both what the words literally mean, and how both tea connoisseurs and reputable retailers of loose-leaf tea tend to use the term.

      But when I look closely at a lot of the sachets of some of these companies touting the benifts of how their sachets allow their “whole leaf tea” room to expand, the leaf is clearly broken.

      It seems deceptive or dishonest to me.

      1. I have a horrible feeling “whole leaf tea” here means “made from whole leaf tea. One other possibility, the leaves crumble once in the bags.

    1. I’d hesitate to assume that this company is local–I think wholesalers are a different beast; a lot of the time, they don’t need a good website because they often get most of their business through making personal connections at trade shows. If you show up at a place like World Tea East or the World Tea Expo and you have a good product for a good price, I’d imagine there’s a lot less of a need for a functional website, although given the low amount of energy and money needed to make a basic website these days, I’d still make one ASAP if I were in a business like this.

        1. My comment was generic but this company doesn’t seem to sell directly to people, so they don’t really need an website for everybody (but it could depend on whom they sell to).

      1. Immaculate is primarily a wholesale purveyor, specializing in Taiwanese Oolong and is becoming more widely available through retail shops. They have won top awards in Tea Expo Competitions 2012 and 2013. If you are from the NJ area they are available at Tea-For-All Tea Shoppe, 37 West Broad Street, Hopewell, NJ 08525 or we mail order anywhere. My website too is under construction! Email me for full information on Immaculate Leaf Teas at deborah.teaforall@gmail.com or call 1-855-4-TEA-For-ALL (855-483-2367) We carry the full line of Immaculate Leaf Oolong from Bao Zhong’s to Aged and everything in between.

  2. Perhaps it’s a small start-up whose owners are too busy actually sourcing good tea and selling wholesale? I know several companies in different markets who either don’t have a website, or no longer update their sites simply because they have enough customers and don’t need the site. However, I do think that it’s worth sending them an email if you’re interested in purchasing. Who knows right?

    1. These are exactly the sorts of thoughts that I had too! I will say, their teas were fantastic…some of the best Tawainese oolongs I’ve ever sampled. I don’t know anything about their prices but the tea is definitely top-notch.

      So I’d definitely recommend checking them out, if you’re looking for a wholesaler of high-quality Taiwanese oolongs.

      1. Search no longer, my booth in Philadelphia last year for World Tea East is where I asked Immaculate Tea to join me. I am Brenda Board, founder, sommelier, truffiere, chef Patissiere of Oliver & Company Tea Room. And, we too, are without a website. During the 2012 World Tea East, we celebrated 20 years. I paired a premium aged oolong with truffles. Please feel free to telephone (215) 397-1724. Immaculate Leaf fine Oolongs per founder of the company will only be found and sold at Oliver & Company Tea Room. As of this writing, we are sharing a booth in Las Vegas pairing Oolongs a marriage of two fine companies without websites…..coming soon. Google Oliver & Company Tea Room. We are located in Philadelphia and will ship to you right away.

  3. I was curious about Immaculate leaf, so I did a google search and found them at immaculateleaf.com. Pretty decent website. Primarily, wholesale distributors, but, they do have a 150 g for available to anyone who orders through their website.

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