Where can I find my favorite red tea?
July 26, 2009 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy Kromland Farm Rooibos tea now that Whole Foods stopped carrying it?

Can I get this delicious tea some way other than shipping it from the UK? All the online retailers I have found are in the UK, and I would prefer not to pay that much for shipping. Are there any US-based stores or online retailers who sell it? I'm in the Philadelphia area.

Or can you recommend a similarly yummy alternative? I've tried several brands of Rooibos but none are as smooth as this one.
posted by ellenaim to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
The only brand of rooibos tea that I have tried is Numi. It is really the only tea that I drink. I could not get it to link directly to the rooibos page but it is listed under herbal teasans as Red Mellow Bush.
posted by calumet43 at 8:55 AM on July 26, 2009

I just discovered rooibos yesterday at my favorite local coffee shop (Boston area). I'm headed over there shortly and will inquire about their supplier.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:34 AM on July 26, 2009

There's kind of a general process you can follow to track down food and drink items sold at retail. First, you call the actual manufacturer of the food (here, Kromland Farm) and ask if they have any distributors in your geographic area. The person who picks up the phone / answers the email may not know, but if it's a small enough operation, they can usually ask around and get back to you.

Then, you contact the distributor and ask what retail stores they distribute to in your area. Now, distributors aren't used to dealing with end-customers; their customers are manufacturers and retail stores. In fact they may even think it's suspicious that you're calling up and asking for a list of their customers; if you explain the situation it should put them at ease. But this is the step where things usually fall apart - good luck.

Then, just pick one of those retail stores and check it out. If they don't have the product you're looking for, you can go ahead and ask someone at the store to special order it for you. Tell them you know one of their distributors handles it, so they can easily get it. For this to work out, you may need to be willing to buy a large quantity to make it worth their while. Actually, have you asked Whole Foods yet if they're willing to order it for you? There's a good chance they're the only one in the area working with this distributor.

Obviously this is a lot of work, and it's mostly only worth doing for things that are quite expensive or have sentimental value (for example, this is how I tracked down a case of Kenyan beer for a reunion of my study abroad crowd once). Also, fyi, Kromland Farm appears to be South African, not British, so there's some small chance you could save on shipping by ordering directly from the source rather than running it through Europe first. And at least one of the pages where I found it was taken down in the last 3 weeks, so the company may have gone belly up, in which case the UK retailers are working through the end of their stock and no more will be forthcoming.
posted by rkent at 9:39 AM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

I get my favorite rooibos at africanredtea.com.
posted by Sassyfras at 9:43 AM on July 26, 2009

I'm now sipping on a delicious iced rooibos soy latte at my favorite coffee place. They say they use MEM Tea, which is based in Somerville, MA and appears to cater, for the most part, to businesses. Cardullo's does online ordering, but they don't have the plain rooibos listed, so you may need to contact them directly.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:45 AM on July 26, 2009

I have had really good experience with Adagio tea. It isn't specifically "kromland farm," but as a South African who drinks a lot of rooibos, this is good stuff. The quality, taste, and price is hard to match unless you buy from South Africa (where it is ridiculously cheap and common).

posted by bradly at 8:21 AM on July 27, 2009

Teavana sells good rooibos.
posted by Citrus at 12:45 PM on July 27, 2009

Seconding Adagio. Big fan of their teas. Great customer service too.

Vanilla rooibos + touch of sugar = awesome
posted by jeversol at 2:02 PM on July 27, 2009

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