The benefits of drinking tea are multifaceted and scientists are still discovering the positive effects. The many varieties of tea can be used to improve a range of health issues, such as sleep disorders and anxiety, and can even help with weight loss. Green tea in particular is full of antioxidants and is ideal for soothing a sore throat or cough. Drinking your fill of green tea is also said to increase good cholesterol and fight bacteria within the body, according to the Latin Times. Research points to many reasons as to why consumers will continue to purchase tea for years to come. To get your start in the tea importing business, your first step is to look for tea suppliers. An abundance of suppliers can be found through attending a trade show featuring suppliers within the industry. Meeting with suppliers will expedite the process for you and you’ll feel more at ease after conversing with your future supplier face-to-face. A quick search on the internet will direct you to trade shows in your area. You can also check out Events Eye and Canton Fair. We suggest investing in a site like Import Genius. This database holds shipping manifests for all imports coming into the United States so you can research suppliers and see who other companies are working with. The information comes directly from U.S. customs and Import Genius makes the raw data searchable. This easy to use web application allows you to search by several variations, such as looking for a particular product, consignee or supplier. Searching for the popular brand ‘TAZO’ tea, the shipping database shows that a shipment of TAZO received by STARBUCKS CORP. was supplied by ‘FAIANCAS PRIMAGERA SA’, which is also a supplier for TJ MAXX and MARSHALL’S. The visual mapping feature shows that both STARBUCKS and CELESTIAL SEASONINGS work with the supplier ‘KRAEUTER MIX GMBH’. This feature allows you to view the supply chain with a quick click! You’ll want to invest some time in researching suppliers to ensure you’re choosing one that is reliable and trustworthy. Remember that your goal is to develop a long-term business relationship, and a consistent supplier makes conducting business a lot easier. A trustworthy supplier also simplifies the payment process. If you’re confident in who you’re working with, you can place a down payment of 20-30% on the total order. You’ll make the remaining payment when the goods are ready to ship. An alternative would be to obtain a letter of credit from your bank. With this method, the payment is issued once the supplier has met the terms of the deal and the goods are confirmed to be in good condition. Now it’s time to make arrangements for when your shipment arrives. We recommend hiring a U.S. customs broker to take care of the dirty work for you. Your broker will be well-versed on any regulations necessary for importing tea, and he will complete paperwork on your behalf for customs clearance. Once your goods are at port ready to pick up, your broker can also help you secure a drayage company to transport the goods right to your warehouse. You can locate a broker at USCustomsBrokers.org. Happy importing and tea drinking!