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Have our teas with Japanese matcha been contaminated by the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima?

Nobody can ignore what happened in Fukushima in 2011. Thankfully no important or exporting tea growing region is affected, and the EU authorities have also addressed this issue in depth. Furthermore, a new regulation from 2014 is in place and so everything has been said from our viewpoint. In brief: In more than 10,000 inspections conducted by the EU authorities, no contamination (in tea) was found so that no further inspections are necessary. Tea from Japan is no longer a product that requires a special risk assessment. And that would also be a pity, because in our view many of the best and most carefully produced green teas in the world come from Japan. The original text in the regulation stated the following: “As tea exhibited no contamination in the third growing season after the accident and it is improbable that tea from Fukushima will be exported, and also inv view of the guarantees presented by the Japanese authorities, it is reasonable to cease demanding declarations of origin for tea originating from prefectures other than Fukushima…”. Background: Up until 2014 we had to present a declaration of origin (region) to the European authorities for every organic tea imported from Japan (and China) into the EU. Every batch to be imported was then tested by the authorities for any radioactivity contained – with the now familiar results. In some cases this greatly delayed our imports.

Why are the individual teabags in the tea delights packaged separately?

We exclusively use outer envelopes made of biologically degradable foil (so-called bio-based plastics from regenerative raw materials, not common plastics!). The reason for using foil instead of paper is product safety. Incidentally, with paper as an outer wrapping, for example, things would be easier and cheaper. So why do we do this?

Outer envelope::
We are unable to avoid the outer envelopes made of biologically degradable foil in order to guarantee product safety over the entire period of the best-before date – and beyond. Some people take paper but unfortunately paper has no barrier properties whatsoever. This is important because the main concern here is to exclude the migration of contaminants from the surroundings of our all-natural organic teas.

Lets take an example:
If the truck driver who takes our teas to the customers only refuels once, we must be able to ensure that no mineral oil constituents (known as MOSH/MOAH or PAO) from the not particularly ideal environmental air of a filling station are able to migrate into our delicious organic teas.

Recycled boxes and migration::
On the supermarket shelf as well, mineral oil constituents from recycled packaging (here printing ink from old newspapers is included in the processing) may migrate from the environment into our product. This is the reason why we do not use any recycled boxes, although we would very much like to. It would also be cheaper yet absolutely counterproductive in terms of a safer product. Mineral oil constituents in our food can cause cancer although they are barely water-soluble and hardly enter the tea when water is added. Unfortunately not all the suppliers on the supermarket shelf follow these principles (avoiding recycled boxes), which forces us to work with secure barriers to the outside (biologically degradable foils). Thanks to the analytical techniques of today, we are able to find a piece of sugar in Lake Constance, even though the water in the lake would certainly not taste any sweeter due to the sugar, or contain more calories. If it is possible to detect such a hazard – regardless of how small it may be – by analysis, then we have to act. In terms of the safety of our organic teas, we have no other choice.

All foils with the desired barrier properties that we use are thankfully biologically degradable, and this indicated on the packaging – admittedly in a not very prominent position (“… from regenerative raw materials”). Through the use of this biologically degradable foil, we avoid any residues continuing to circulate in the world’s oceans and seas and, in the worst case, entering the food chain, which is something that could never be ruled out if petrobased plastics were used.

In our opinion, we are thinking and acting as you would by insisting that a product from controlled organic farming should also and always be accompanied by the appropriate packaging. For many brands this is not an issue – but not in our case. At the end of the day, however, this always involves a compromise between:

1) sustainability (in this case compostable paper would be better suited),
2) sensory qualities and
3) product safety (this forces us to use the more expensive biologically degradable foil).

If any doubt exists, we have to decide in favour of safety.

What is the optimum form of storage for tea?

We recommend an air-tight closed container for storing tea in the home. This maintains the specific flavour, prevents the spread of moisture and avoids any possible transfer from food with an intense aroma, such as spices. In possible, tea should not be stored in the vicinity of a heat source, such as a cooker.

Is too much cinnamon in tea harmful to my health? Where does cinnamon come from?

Cinnamon often contains the natural flavouring coumarin, which may present problems in substantial quantities. The coumarin content depends greatly on the source of the cinnamon. In our Apple & Cinnamon Tea, for example, we use a blend of two varieties of cinnamon, with 8% being the low-coumarin Sri Lanka (Ceylon) variety and merely 4% the Cassia vera cinnamon from Indonesia, which has a somewhat higher coumarin content. Blending the two cinnamon varieties reduces the coumarin content significantly. We use both varieties because the cinnamon taste would not be so pleasantly apparent if we were to use Sri Lanka (Ceylon) cinnamon exclusively. In this case there would be sensory disadvantages.

This way of blending the two cinnamon species means that we are able to ensure a low coumarin content without making any sacrifices in taste. You can therefore enjoy our tea without any concern.

Where can I buy stick & lembke tea in the shops?

You will find a map with all the shops that stock our tea here.

Why can I find more items in the online shop than in a retail outlet?

In our onlineshop, you have the option of choosing from our entire range. In the retail trade, we do of course do our utmost to place as many items on the shelves as possible, but the final decision on this lies with the particular retailer.

What is the different between stick & lembke tea and other organic teas?

diemitohne (exclusively without) – that claim may sound rather strange, but it is in fact quite simple: we make teas without flavourings. There is nothing more and nothing less in our teas than the all-natural taste of fruit, herbs and tea.

Our Principles

  1. We work without flavourings and promote: “Free your taste”.
    We don’t wish to condemn the addition of flavourings or so-called oils (these are the flavourings) amongst other producers but we consciously avoid adding them. Our all-natural and in some cases hand-picked teas and ingredients for our tea specialities come from controlled organic farming. We have been certified to this effect by the Gesellschaft für Ressourcenschutz, a control body in Göttingen with the code number DE-ÖKO-039.
    What develops within our recipes is nothing more and nothing less than the natural taste of fruit, herbs and tea. You can taste it.
  2. We would like more transparency and fairness.
    We are experts with decades of experience in the international tea business. We generally know the tea growers and their families at the source personally. Fair trade with them is not only something that we regard as self-evident but also a question of dealing with each other honestly. Wherever possible, we encourage socially balanced and ecological tea production on site. What then links us to the key partners in the business is something that is becoming increasingly unfashionable these days: a long-lasting friendship and business relationship sealed by a handshake.
  3. We remain true to our origins.
    Directly below our office, in a new and modern tea production area, is where we produce our teas. And we also develop our innovative recipes and designs where the tea arrives after its journey from the gardens: in the port of Hamburg. Made in Hamburg/Germany.
  4. We work as sustainably and safely as possible.
    We haven’t yet managed to do everything we had planned. As we also have to set our sights for sustainability in relation to the greatest possible product safety, not every solution that we might wish for is currently feasible. This is unfortunate! But we are working on it. And we will not rest until every component of the packaging also meets our highest standards in terms of sustainability.

What exactly does Ayurveda mean?

Deeply rooted in India’s culture, Ayurveda is regarded in that country as the holistic knowledge of the interrelations between body, mind and soul. Inner harmony and the balance of all the forces resident in the body are the goal of a natural, conscious lifestyle. The theory of Ayurveda talks of three different vital energies, called doshas:

  • Vata (wind, air and ether), the movement principle
  • Pitta (fire and water), the fire or metabolism principle
  • Kapha (earth and water), the structure principle

According to the Ayurvedic system, they occur in every organism because together they enable all processes of that organism. In a healthy organism, these “energies” should be present in a harmonious balance. As an overall impression, one or two doshas generally predominate, while, in rarer cases, all three are equally prominent.

Our Ayurvedic herb and spice infusions are available in five coordinated recipes for moments of personal well-being:

    Balance: tridoshic, supports all 3 doshas
  • Joy: kapha
  • Clarity: vata
  • Serenity: pitta
  • Vitality: kapha

What are pyrrolizidine alkaloids and are these substances contained in tea?

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are secondary plant constituents that are formed by a large number of plant species around the world (approx. 6,000) as protection against predators. It is not the PAs themselves that are harmful but their breakdown products in the liver, which, depending on the dose, may have a toxic effect. In our case, the main concern is soil-borne weeds, which may form PAs in various parts of the plant. Depending on the plant cultivation together with the growing and harvesting techniques, there is a possibility that parts of plants containing PAs from weeds will make their way into the harvest.

We are very concerned and are legally obliged to ensure that the contamination is minimized to levels that can be meaningfully achieved through good practice. Here, too, food safety is our top priority.


Do I have to set up a customer account to place an order?

No, you do not need a customer account to buy from us. We also offer the option of ordering without registering a customer account. To do this, click on “I wish to order as a guest” in the registration form and follow the ordering process.

How do I set up a customer account?

To create a new customer account, click on “I am a new customer”. If you have any items in your shopping basket and you go to the checkout, you will arrive at this page in the ordering process quite automatically.

How can I change my personal information?

You can change your own personal data such as name or address whenever you wish via the customer area. Simply log in with your password and switch to “Your account” in the upper section. Select “Edit customer data” or change your delivery/invoice address in the “Address book”.

I have forgotten my login name or password, how can I retrieve it?

If you have forgotten your password, please click on the link “Password forgotten?”. Enter the e-mail address you have been using in the Shop account in the input window and click on "continue". We will generate a new password and send it to your e-mail address.


How does stick & lembke handle my personal data?

Find out more about our data protection on the subpage "Data protection".

Can I pay for my order securely online?

In the payment management process, your data are protected by means of the reliable SSL encryption method and processed immediately. SSL is a recognized standard protocol that guarantees a secure exchange of data. All of the data that you use for ordering are transferred to Stick & Lembke in encrypted form.


How long are the delivery times?

Delivery takes place within 3-5 working days in Germany. International orders depends on destination.

How can I change my delivery address?

You can change your delivery address whenever you wish via the customer area. Simply log in with your password and switch to “Your account” in the upper section. Select the “Address book” and adjust your delivery/invoice address.

What can I do if I’ve made a mistake in the delivery address?

As long as the order has not been assembled and shipped, we will be glad to help you. Please phone us on the number +49 451 58598-0.

I have not received my order; my parcel seems to be lost. What shall I do?

Please phone us on +49 451 58598-0 or contact us by e-mail at: Post@PSN.de. We will be glad to help you.

How much are the shipping costs for my order?

The shipping costs for Germany are EUR 3.90 and for orders above a value of EUR 40, stick & lembke takes care of the delivery charge.

Is it possible to deliver to a DHL 'Packstation'?

Yes you can. Please fill in your delivery and 'Packstation' Details (for example 123/ 12345678), in the field 'street' at delivery address.

There is a minimum amount for my order?

The minimum value for orders is 5€ in Germany and 40€ for international delivery.


How can I pay for my order?

You will find our current payment terms on the subpage "Payment types".


Can I change or cancel my order at a later date?

As long as the order has not been assembled and shipped, we will be glad to help you. Please phone us on the number +49 451 58598-0.

How can I track the status of my order?

You will receive an order confirmation as well as confirmation of dispatch in which you will find the Tracking Number. You can use this number to monitor the shipment by Track and Trace.

How can I obtain a copy of my invoice?

Please phone us on +49 451 58598-0 or contact us by e-mail at: Post@PSN.de. We will be glad to help you.