Why buy bulk or wholesale tea?

According to the U.S. Tea Association, consumption of tea in America reached 3.8 billion gallons; that’s over 84 billion servings of tea in 2018. Part of teas success is due to its adaptability. Tea is perfect served hot during colder months, and can be the perfect summer refresher when served iced. The ready to drink tea market has seen massive growth in the beverage industry. As tea’s global popularity continues to rise – even in countries not traditionally known for consuming tea – many industries are looking to tea manufacturers for their knowledge and expertise when it comes to anything related to the cultivation and business of tea.

Here at Ikeda Tea World, we receive a wide variety of questions ranging from farming practices, to the logistics and distribution of bulk matcha. We gathered a list of 5 things anyone looking to buy bulk matcha green tea needs to know when looking for the right tea supplier.


wholesale matcha pouch next to bulk matcha palette

1. Know the difference between wholesale matcha and bulk matcha

Bulk and wholesale are used interchangeably online, and with the rise of “bulk” food suppliers, it is easy to get confused when searching the web for bulk matcha or wholesale matcha. So what’s the difference between wholesale and bulk? Many online grocers and outlets that offer individually packaged matcha pouches or tins as “bulk” orders are actually resellers who purchase their tea from a large-scale tea manufacturer.

A matcha manufacturer produces its own tea using green tea leaves they gather from local farmers, and sell warehouse size palettes of tea to other businesses. These palette-sized quantities that are sold to other businesses are considered bulk. Resellers purchase their tea from these manufacturers, and resell in smaller quantities under their own brand name. Picture the twelve or sixteen ounce bags of matcha sold online that can be purchased in sets of three; these are considered wholesale. Wholesale businesses are important because they fill the demand for smaller quantities needed by resellers, boutique tea shops and cafes, or individual customers. 

Bulk matcha producers, like Ikeda Tea World, fill the demand for large, commercial companies like food and beverage manufacturers, ingredient buyers and distributors, or grocery store chains operating on a national or global scale. Large-scale bulk Japanese matcha manufacturers own and operate their own tea manufacturing facilities, and distribute their tea in very large quantities. Manufacturers usually have a minimum order quantity that starts with a few hundred kilos or pounds.

Imagine several large palettes of tea, holding fifty to sixty boxes in a refrigerated warehouse – this is what a tea supplier considers to be bulk.

To find the right matcha supplier, it is important to have a clear estimate on how much tea you’re looking to purchase, and if those quantities fall under the wholesale or bulk category. 


matcha leaves on a scale 

2. Know how much you’ll need and when

Knowing how much matcha you need is an excellent first step. Alternatively, having a set price for how much a business is willing to spend on matcha is a good starting point. Buying directly from a bulk matcha manufacturer as opposed to a wholesale matcha reseller can save a company a lot of money, depending on the quantity needed. The right tea supplier can provide clarity on the matcha grades that will best fit a set budget, and provide accurate pricing based on quantity and timeline while also providing specifics and transparency behind their manufacturing and farming practices. Premium Japanese matcha manufacturers who have been a part of the industry for a long time, like Ikeda Tea World, have a team of experts ready to answer any questions for first timers looking buy wholesale matcha, to seasoned industry professionals looking for a new and exciting new bulk matcha manufacturer to keep up with the growing demand for matcha products. Contact premium bulk matcha supplier Ikeda Tea World today for additional information or a free custom quote on your next order of bulk Japanese matcha.


matcha supplier standing in warehouse

3. Find the right matcha supplier

Choosing the right bulk matcha for business can make all the difference in starting or continuing a brand that relies on matcha green tea by itself or as an ingredient. Bulk matcha suppliers have a long history of growing their own green tea leaves. They take great pride in their process and want to make sure that the matcha they provide to their clients is at its peak flavor. After all, they matcha they deliver is a reflection of their years of hard work and expertise. Like any business, a bulk matcha company looks for a solid and trusting long-term partnership when it comes to collaborating with any business. Since the supplier is the go-to source for valuable information on buying matcha in bulk, an experienced matcha supplier has a team of experts ready to answer any questions relating to operations and logistics, order forecasting, lab testing, quality control and proper matcha storage. The right Japanese bulk matcha supplier will also provide additional information when it comes to the fine details of the matcha business, like research and development, and information regarding certifications, like Non-GMO Project verification, Certified Organic, tea traceability and more.

 ceremonial grade matcha in a bowl

4. Find the right kind matcha

For many newcomers, it's a surprise to find out that there are many matcha grades. There is a wide variety of products and uses for matcha, and understanding the end use of each product is important when it comes to selecting the proper grade of matcha. An experienced matcha tea manufacturer will help the business they are partnering with determine the right matcha profile for each individual product they are looking to produce. The decision is based on the color, texture, smell, flavor, consistency and purpose of the matcha. What works for a boutique cafe may not necessarily work for a large-scale cafe chain that offers matcha beverages. Similarly, private label matcha that is perfect for the shelf of your favorite grocery chain may not necessarily be ideal to use as an ingredient for a supplement. This is where the expertise of your matcha supplier is key.


bulk matcha being stored in metallic bag

5. Know about proper matcha storage

Making sure their matcha is being handled with the utmost care and expertise is just as important for the supplier as it is for the buyer. The importance of keeping matcha fresh cannot be stressed enough, and it is often something that is overlooked. The flavor of green tea can be affected by humidity, light, heat and other environmental factors which need to be considered when packaging and shipping; especially if your matcha is coming from very far, like Japan. Experienced matcha manufacturers offer advice and support when it comes to finding the right packaging, storage, and delivery methods for tea. The wholesaler works closely with buyers and purchasing managers, considering their location, delivery time, refrigeration and logistics to determine how much matcha they’ll need and when. While focusing on these smaller details may seem strenuous, it is an important factor when working with bulk matcha, because knowing these specific details will maximize the freshness of the tea.