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Our Response to COVID-19

 

During this unprecedented time, safety remains our foremost priority. Since the earliest cases of COVID-19 in the United States, Red Blossom has taken proactive measures to ensure the continued health of our staff and customers, and the safety of our products.

 

Timeline of Our Response

In late February 2020, with the first report of a community-transmitted case of COVID-19 in California, we elected to close our San Francisco retail shop and tasting room to the general public, switching to an appointment-only model. We took this step as a proactive measure (weeks before the issuance of local and statewide shelter-in-place orders) to maintain a healthy and food-safe environment for our staff and our teas. In the following days, we further limited physical traffic to our store, and by early March had fully transitioned our business to online-only.

On 08 May 2020, we launched Doorside Pickup, providing more flexibility for our local customers; our store remained closed to the public.

On 15 June 2020, we re-opened our San Francisco store on an appointment-only basis, as permitted by the City of San Francisco at the time.

On 19 September 2020, we launched Premium Tea to Go & RBT Tea Bags to Go allowing customers to enjoy freshly brewed artisanal teas in a convenient and safe way.

On 01 November 2020, we suspended our in-store shopping appointments and tea-to-go service due to the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases.

On 01 May 2021, we resumed our RBT Tea Bags to Go service, allowing guests to safely order freshly brewed tea at our door. In-store shopping appointments and tea tastings remained suspended. We continued to offer doorside ordering and online order pickup at our store.

As of 01 July 2021, we now offer the following services at our showroom:

  • Outdoor Tea Tastings:¬†By appointment on Saturdays & Sundays, 11am to 3pm.¬†Proof of vaccination required.
  • In-store Shopping: Available¬†Saturdays & Sundays, 11am to 3pm, and weekdays by appointment. Proof of vaccination required.
  • Doorside Ordering¬†and Store¬†Pickup:¬†Available daily,¬†11am to 5pm.¬†

 

Enhanced Safety Measures

Since initiating our response to the pandemic, we have implemented enhanced safety measures in addition to our standard food safety protocol to protect our staff and customers. We sanitize our store daily, and limit the number of staff allowed on site at any given time to promote social distancing. Staff are only permitted to work as long as they are healthy, and during their time on site are required to wash their hands frequently and wear protective equipment, including face masks, face shields, and gloves.

We require proof of vaccination inside our store and for tasting flights.

 

Impact on Tea ‚ÄĒ Harvests, Importing, & Food Safety

We frequently receive questions regarding how the pandemic has impacted tea production in China and Taiwan, and if the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) presents any food safety concerns with regards to tea.

The tea regions which supply our teas are far from large metropolitan areas and the major epicenters of the outbreak in China and Taiwan, and were thankfully spared the worst of the pandemic in those countries. In general, tea production was unaffected this year and we were still able to source many new products. For the most up-to-date information on new arrivals, please sign up for our newsletter.

Ensuring the health of our customers through the food safety of our teas has always been our top priority; this is why we voluntarily submit our crops to SGS Food Labs each year for third-party screening of pesticides, heavy metals, and chemical residues. Based on available science regarding the surface stability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there is no reason to suspect an impact on the food safety of 2020 tea crops. If you have any concerns or questions regarding this or other issues, we are happy to answer them at questions@redblossomtea.com.

 

Continuity of Service

Tea Tastings

As of 01 July 2021, we have resumed our tea tasting service with guided outdoor tea tastings, available by appointment on Saturdays & Sundays, 11am - 3pm (call 415-395-0868 to schedule). Proof of vaccination required.

In-store Shopping

As of 01 July 2021, we have re-opened our showroom to in-store shopping, available by appointment, 11am - 3pm daily (call 415-395-0868 to schedule). Proof of vaccination required.

Shipping

We are continuing to fulfill orders here from our online store; orders are collected by UPS & USPS Monday-Friday. Learn more about how we ship, including our FREE shipping option for orders $75+.

Store Pickup

We offer a convenient and FREE store pickup option for our local customers, available daily, 11am - 5pm at our San Francisco showroom. Proof of vaccination is required to enter our store, or we are happy to bring your order to the door.

 

Thank You for Supporting Us

We are deeply grateful for the kindness and support you have given us throughout this crisis; knowing that our teas are helping to restore a sense of comfort and normalcy for you during these difficult times is our motivation each day. Should you have any questions, please reach out to us at questions@redblossomtea.com. We wish you continued health, happy sipping, and a swift return to balance.

With warm regards,
The RBT Team