Updated: Aug 7
This week I am looking into if my coffee and teas are peanut free, and processed in a peanut free facility. I started my lists of food and products safe for those of us with a peanut allergy on the No Peanut Foods site by looking first at the food brands I had in my own panty, then the bath/body oral care brands. The other day I was enjoying my morning cup of Groundwork Venice blend coffee and I realized that I had overlooked reaching out to the brands that make my coffee and tea. I wondered, ‘could there be peanuts in my coffee or tea, could there be a risk of cross contact from peanuts at the processing facility?’.
At first I thought this was very farfetched, after all I had never seen peanuts listed anywhere on any coffee or tea that I had purchased. When I reached out to food brands I learned that many of the items that I thought were safe for me to have, such as extra virgin olive oil and pasta (you can read about that on another blog post), were actually made in the same facility as foods with peanuts. Those brands informed me that their products were not safe for me to have due to the cross contamination risk from peanuts when I reached out to them. I decided to reach out to the coffee and tea brands that I have in my own pantry to learn if they are safe for me to drink. Is my coffee and tea both peanut free and processed in a peanut free facility?
I always start my research into if a brand is safe for me to have by checking the faqs section on their website. If I do not see a section on peanut allergies I email or call them. I checked out these companies: Art of Tea, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Blue Bottle Coffee, City Bean Roasters, GGET-Go Get Em Tiger, Groundwork Coffee, Harney and Sons Tea, Heavenly Honey Company Teas, Illy Coffee, Intelligentsia Coffee, Joshua Tree Coffee, Kauai Coffee, LAMILL Coffee, Mighty Leaf Tea, Numi Tea, Peet's Coffee, PG Tips Tea, Rishi Tea and Botanicals, Sight Glass Coffee, Stumptown Coffee, The Republic of Tea, Traditional Medicinals Tea, Twinings , Two Leaves and a Bud, Verve Coffee Roasters and Whidbey Tea.
Here is what I sent the companies I emailed:
I am wondering if any of your coffee or teas contain peanuts, or are made in a facility with peanuts? I have a peanut allergy and I cannot have anything where peanuts are present in the facility. I am only asking about peanuts, I am not asking about other nuts/tree nuts or other allergens, only peanuts. I did not see any peanuts listed anywhere on your products, but I thought it best to check. I keep reading about the risk of cross contact in production facilities so I just wanted to check with you. I also found out that a different tea brand is not safe for me because they make tea with peanuts on the same line with their other teas and it made me think it best to check with you. Please let me know. Thank you very much!
Which brands are Safe and which are Not Safe? Here is what I learned:
Art of Tea sent me several kind, understanding and thorough emails, here are the pertinent excerpts from these emails:
To answer your question - no, not any of our teas contain peanuts. Nor are our teas processed in a facility that is exposed to peanuts from outside sources. The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority so we implement specific procedures and protocols to contain the allergens that are present in our facility (i.e. chocolate, milk, egg, tree nuts, wheat, and coconut). These procedures are implemented daily and are closely regulated...Bryan, our quality control manager, did ask me to suggest to you that it might be a good idea to stay away from the blends that contain chocolate powder. The chocolate powder provided by our supplier is processed in a plant that may or may not also process peanut products. That is the only potential cross-contamination that he is concerned with. The only teas of ours that contain chocolate powder are below:
1) Aztec Spice: ( https://www.artoftea.com/products/aztec-spice)
2) Velvet: ( https://www.artoftea.com/products/velvet-tea)
Surprisingly, our Dark Chocolate Peppermint ( https://wholesale.artoftea.com/products/dark-chocolate-peppermint) only contains cacao nibs and not chocolate powder. Simply wanted to clarify that now in case you come across that particular blend while exploring our website and wondered. Although, the full list of ingredients for each tea is listed on its product page - just below the photographs.
Safe(mostly)-I am so impressed with Art of Tea' customer service. They answered my questions so completely and with such kindness that I cannot wait to try their teas. I will of curse keep in mind what they said about the two teas that might have potential for cross contamination from peanuts in the chocolate powder so I will not try those two teas listed above. It is because of these two teas that I have added Art of Tea to my Some Products OK List on the No Peanut Foods site just to air on the side of caution.
Thank you for reaching out, we sure are in love with the Tres Dragones too!
All our products from our coffee to our house made syrups are produced in a facility that is 100% peanut free.
Safe-My sister bought me some of their Tres Dragones beans as a present and before trying it I reached out to them. They wrote me back right away and I am happy to receive such a kind response from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. Their coffee is consistently rated some of the best and I thrilled that it is safe to try both their coffee beans and house made syrups. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for waiting! Here's the response from our team: Thank you for your inquiry about the potential for our coffee beans to come into cross-contact with peanuts. We use shared equipment in our cafes and production facilities and they are not dedicated allergen-free. As such, while we use good manufacturing practices to prevent cross-contact with allergens, we are unable to validate that our products are completely free of allergens such as peanuts. Don't hesitate to reach out with any further questions! Sincerely,
Not Safe-I had to exchange a couple emails back and forth with Blue Bottle Coffee to find out a concrete answer. Unfortunately, because they have peanuts in both their production facility and cafes they are not safe. I have added them to my Not OK- Peanuts in Facility list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Regarding the facility where the coffee is roasted peanut-free, yes there's no other food production at the roastery at the moment but there will be when the commissary moves over!
Not Safe-After they answered my email they did move their roasting facility to the same place where they make their food and much of their menu contains peanuts. Unfortunately their coffee is no safe to enjoy since it roasted, packaged where peanuts are present. I have added them to my Not OK- Peanuts in Facility list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Good afternoon Elizabeth,
Thank you for reaching out to us with your allergen concerns. Happily I can assure you that in our coffee roasting/packaging facility we do not have any allergens present and all of our tea suppliers have documented allergen control programs in place as necessary. Our coffee roasting and packaging, along with our tea packaging occurs in North Hollywood and our commissary, where we bake our pastries and make our sandwiches and salads, is at a separate location in Venice.
I hope this alleviates any of your concerns and that you'll feel safe as you continue to enjoy our products.
Compliance / QA Officer
Safe-I really like Groundwork's and am so relieved to know that their coffee and teas are peanut free, and processed in a peanut free facility. But be aware, as of November 2020 Groundwork is now offering a latte made with peanuts!! This means that their coffee shops, which are scattered around Los Angeles, are no longer safe to visit. They have assured me however that their prepackaged coffee is still safe to enjoy and is still roasted and packaged in their allergen free facility in North Hollywood.
My favorite coffee blend they offer is the Venice blend. I appreciate that they are are certified organic, fairly traded, and ethically sourced all of which are very important to me. I am glad they took the time to send me a thorough, and understanding response to my inquiry. Once again only their prepackaged coffee/tea is safe to enjoy. Because of this I have added them to my Some Products OK List on the No Peanut Foods site.
Hi Elizabeth, Our teas are gluten free, sugar free, and vegan. We are not a nut free facility, we do have blends with tree nuts, peanuts, and coconut that are made on shared equipment. Best, Courtney
Not Safe-Unfortunately Harney & Sons teas are not safe at all, and I have added them to my Not OK- Peanuts in Facility list on the No Peanut Foods site. I am always grateful when a company provides me with a actual yes/no answer; even if the answer is not one that I want to hear.
Good Afternoon Elizabeth,
Thank you for your email. Our coffee products are peanut free. The facility where the coffee is produced is also free of any peanut products as only coffee is produced in the facility. Please feel free to contact us at customer care at 877-455-9347 should you have any further questions or concerns.
Safe-Most of the larger brands do not take the time to write back, or respond with a inadequate and unhelpful answer, like PG Tips did. I regularly drink Illy espresso at restaurants and I am so happy that they wrote me back a through and complete answer letting me know there coffee is peanut free and produced in a peanut free facility. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Hi, Elizabeth! Thanks for your question. In our Chicago facility, the only items actually produced and packed in our facility are coffee and tea. None of our teas contain peanuts. In our Los Angeles facility, we only produce and package coffee — no tea is mixed or packed there, at all. There is no risk of cross contamination from products containing peanuts in either facility. But yes, it's always a very good idea to check! Thanks again, Katie O'Shea | Customer Experience Manager | Intelligentsia Coffee, Inc.
Safe-I often walk to to meet friends at Intelligentsia. Their espresso is wonderful, and I love that they use Straus Organic Milk, my favorite milk, and what I use at home in my coffee every morning. I appreciate that they answered my question, explaining where each product is packaged and processed; making me feel even more comfortable that their coffee and teas are both peanut free and processed in peanut free facilities. They also did not make me feel crazy that I asked; some companies have not been so nice. I am very glad that I can continue to drink Intelligentsia Coffee and Teas and support them. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Thank you for reaching out and posing a great question! We do not have any open products in our café/roastery that contain peanuts, we do, however sell prepackaged cookies from Alternative Baking Company that do.
They are not in contact with our roasting or packaging areas and are never opened in the shop so there should not be any contact risk but we do understand the severity of some allergies and want to be completely open about it.
I hope this adequately answers your question, thank you for choosing our coffee and if there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know!
Joshua Tree Coffee Support
Safe- I am looking forward to trying Joshua Tree Coffee because they offer organic blends and I have heard their coffee is delicious. I am glad that they replied with a through answer, even mentioning the packaged cookies they have at their space. This makes me feel very comfortable trying their coffee knowing that they understood my question and took it seriously. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
From their website: For all of our consumers that are concerned about nut allergies, we are proud to operate facilities that are free from tree nuts and peanuts. We also have a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) process in place to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination. The process includes extensive cleaning of machines and does not allow for two processes with different allergens to be produced on the same day. Our coffee beans are roasted and packed in separate facilities from our canned products and do not contain any type of tree nut or peanut allergens in any process.
Hi Elizabeth, Thank you for contacting Peet's Customer Experience and my sincere apologies for the delay. Our coffee and tea are both packaged in a facility that does not handle peanuts!
Have a wonderful day and again my apologies for the long wait.
Iris | Customer Experience Advocate| Peet's Coffee & Tea | Mon-Fri 6am-6pm PST | 800.999.2132
Safe-Mighty Leaf Tea is part of Peets Coffee. I love the Mighty Leaf Jasmine Green Tea, it is smooth and fragrant and not harsh like many green teas can be. I regularly drink Peet's coffee and enjoy their espresso too. Peet's Coffee is my regular destination to meet my Mom and I am so glad I can continue to visit their shops, and drink their teas and coffee. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Thank you for contacting us and I apologize for any delay in response that you have received in the past. With regards to your question about peanuts, all Numi products are peanut free. Our teas are packaged in facilities and on machines that do not process or work with peanuts. Our teas do not come into contact with soy, dairy, or gluten products either.
Our teabags are compostable and made from Manila hemp cellulose. They are non-GMO verified, oxygen whitened and the tag is made from 100% recycled material and soy-based inks. They do not contain any peanuts.
Hope this information is helpful!
Numi Organic Tea
Safe-I am happy that Numi Tea wrote me back; even if it took two emails and a Instagram post to get the answers I needed. Their teas are organic and made with real ingredients, nothing artificial and no preservatives or additives. I particularly like their jasmine green tea, its floral and delicious. I am very happy that I can continue to enjoy it. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Dear Elizabeth, Thank you for contacting PG Tips. Like any food manufacturing facility, Unilever manufacturing facilities are not allergen-free. However, we have a robust Food Safety and Allergen Control Program in place for all of our products and ingredients. As well, our labels are in compliance with all guidance and regulations with regard to allergen labeling. Regulatory guidance directs that companies take proper precautions and have thorough cleaning procedures. Even though we take these extra precautions, there is no guarantee that our products are allergen-free. Therefore, if this is something that is of concern, we suggest not using the product. If you need any further information please feel free to contact us back. Sincerely, PG Tips Consumer Services
Not Safe-PG Tips has provided me with my least favorite kind of answer; a non-answer. They do not bother to even look into which allergen I am inquiring about. I am not asking if their tea, or processing facility, is allergen free, only peanut free, and there is no mention of peanuts in their email. If a company cannot provide me with a answer then they are added to my Not OK-Peanuts in Facility List, and that is where I have placed PG Tips. I do not feel comfortable continuing to support this brand, or drink their tea, which is a real shame because I really liked their black tea.
Thank you for contacting Rishi Tea and Botanicals! We appreciate your time in contacting us directly to ensure the tea you enjoy safe. Here at Rishi, we take allergens seriously. To ensure no cross contamination occurs, we have an allergen control program in place. We're proudly Food Safety, SQF Level 2 certified and take the utmost precautions in ensuring these allergens are never cross contaminated. A few of our tea blends contain coconut flakes and we use Ramon nuts at our facility. We do not use peanuts.
We hope this information finds you well. Please let us know if you have any further questions, we’re happy to help!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Customer Support Representative
Update-Some Rishi Teas are Safe- Although this is a great response I was just alerted July 2023 that some Botanical Blend Rishi Teas that contain hibiscus also have a clear ‘may contain’ warning. The hibiscus is sourced from a farm that also grows peanuts and they explain that the hibiscus may contain peanuts. So, although they do not use peanuts in their teas the risk is present in some teas. I have moved Rishi to my ‘Some Items OK’ list and will always check the product package before I consume their tea.
I like Rishi Tea because they make organic, direct trade, high quality teas. One of my favorites is the sweet matcha which has simple ingredients: cane sugar and Japanese matcha green tea, that’s it. It has a taste similar to green tea ice cream, which was one of my favorite ice creams growing up and a flavor I can’t have anymore since I cannot find one that is made in a peanut free facility, so this sweet matcha is a real treat. I have added them to my Some Products OK list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Sight Glass Coffee:
Our roasteries exclusively process coffee and only-coffee. Contact surfaces on processing equipment used for coffee are only used for coffee. Processing equipment and coffee storage areas are isolated in a separate room from the rest of our building and any other food processing activities. There is no room for cross-contamination at our roasteries.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Safe-I am looking forward to trying Sight Glass Coffee as many of their blends sound wonderful and some are organic. They do have several cafes and I do not know if those spaces are safe to visit. I can only confirm that their packaged coffee is free from an peanut cross contamination. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Thanks for reaching out!
We do not process anything besides coffee in our roasting facility, so there is very little chance that the beans came in contact with other allergens, but we can't guarantee that at some point during the coffee beans' life they weren't exposed to any type of nuts.
We've talked with many of our Green Coffee Buyers and in house Roasters, and while they believe you should be safe, Stumptown Coffee Roasters is not certified "nut free." Our coffee has always proven safe for folks with those allergies, however any coffee you purchase from us would be at your own risk.
I hope this helps answer your questions! Please let us know if you need anything else.
Not Safe-Although Stumptown Coffee sent me a nice response it does not put me at ease because I cannot be sure that their coffee is peanut free, and sadly I do not feel safe drinking their coffee after reading their response. I am not going to risk having an allergic reaction. I do appreciate that they took the time to send me a thoughtful response, and took my question seriously. I have added them to my Not OK- Peanuts in Facility list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Dear Citizen, Thank you for your email. None of our teas contain peanuts and we do not produce any items with peanuts. Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp, Minister of Citizen Services
Safe-The Republic of tea has many wonderful teas; my favorites are the British Breakfast, I enjoy a cup with a spoonful of sugar and a splash of milk almost every afternoon, and the Mango Ceylon Black Tea. I am very glad to know I can continue to have their teas and that they are all peanut free and made in a peanut free facility.
Their website states: "We do not use any ingredients that contain dairy, meat, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, corn, or soy in any of our tea products. Our Mother’s Milk Chocolate Fruit & Nut and Honey Cashew Crisp bars contain tree nuts (cashews & almonds) and soy. We practice Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure the proper identification of each ingredient and in order to prevent cross-contamination before the herbs enter our facility, we actively maintain allergen policies with all of our suppliers."
Safe-I love all Traditional Medicinals teas but I particularly like their Throat Coat tea; I drink it whenever I am feeling under the weather, or have a cold, and it helps tremendously. I am very happy that their website states that their teas are peanut free and made in a peanut free facility. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Hello Elizabeth, Twinings does not permit the presence of any of the allergens that require declaring under allergen labelling regulations: · Gluten · Egg· Nuts · Sesame seeds · Soy · Mollusc · Mustard
· Lupin · Wheat · Coconut · Milk (except for Chai Latte & French Vanilla Chai Latte K-Cups®)
· Celery · Crustacean · Fish · Sulphur dioxide Therefore, all our teas and infusions are free from those components and their derivatives. Danesha H.
Safe-I like Twinings classic teas like Earl Grey and English Breakfast. You find their teas at many restaurants, and at hotels. I am so glad they took the time to write me back because I have found that many larger companies send a form email basically declining to answer questions about food allergies. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
Our teas are packed in a facility free from any peanuts or tree nuts. The only thing produced in our facilities is tea. When it comes to other allergies, we do recommend that you avoid our teas with flavoring, as we don't test the flavoring for allergens and can't be 100% certain that they are okay for people with other allergies. Here is a list of our teas that have no natural flavoring, so you can be totally confident that you are safe with these: Organic Assam, Organic Darjeeling, Organic English Breakfast, Jasmine Petal, Organic Tamayokucha, Organic Bai Mu Dan, Organic Chamomile, Organic Peppermint, Organic Invigorate, Organic Better Belly, Organic Better Rest, Organic Paisley English Breakfast, Organic Paisley Sencha Green,Organic Paisley Chamomile, Organic Paisley Peppermint.
Safe-I appreciate that Two Leaves and a Bud Tea answered my question with a thoughtful and understanding response, even letting me know to be extra safe and avoid the teas with natural flavorings. Even though they do not have any peanuts in their facility I have added them to my Some Products OK list on the No Peanut Foods site since they do have tea with flavorings and informed me which of their teas I should stick to enjoying.
Verve Coffee Roasters:
Hi Elizabeth, Thank you for reaching out with this question! I can confirm that our coffee is roasted and packaged in a facility with no peanut cross-contamination, and any of our packaged coffee at Whole Foods or our Melrose cafe would be peanut-free. We do use peanuts in some of our commissary food items, so there may cross-contamination in the food items within the cafes. I hope this helps to answer your question, but please let me know if I can share any other details. Thank you again and stay well,
Brynn | Customer Experience Team
VERVE COFFEE ROASTERS
Safe-I am so glad that Verve Coffee Roasters provided me a straight forward and understanding answer to my question. I am looking forward to trying their packaged coffee. I will only be trying their packaged coffee and not any of their foods or drinks at their cafe's due to the risk of cross contamination from peanuts. I have added them to my Some Products OK list on the No Peanut Foods site since they do offer food made with peanuts at their cafes.
Thank you so much for reaching out. Our teas do not contain any peanuts and all our products are manufactured in a facility which does not process peanuts.
Hope this is helpful information. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our teas!
Safe-Whidbey Tea offer a a variety of lovely classic teas. All their teas are organic and I like their English Breakfast, Jasmine Green and Earl Grey Teas. Their teas have deep, rich flavor along with bright notes. Their tea packaging is beautiful, which is always a plus. I have added them to my No Peanuts list on the No Peanut Foods site.
The following Companies have not responded to my inquiry:
City Bean Roasters
Remember that it is important to never assume that a coffee/tea/food/product is safe and free of peanuts just because you do not see an allergen alert on the label. These warnings are placed by brands voluntarily. I have discovered it is those items, the ones that do not mention anything about their facility, do not have any ‘may contain’ or ‘processed in a facility with’ warning, that have actually been the foods and products that hold the most risk. These companies often write me back that their food or products are processed in a facility with peanuts and not safe.
Please only support brands that offer transparency with their ingredients and processing facility, and who take the time to answer questions. As a consumer we can make our voice heard by purchasing from these companies, and not from others. Hopefully, with much encouragement, the FDA labeling laws will change and it will be mandatory to list any allergen cross contact risk so that those of us with a peanut allergy, or any serious food allergy, can feel safe knowing what is in our food and products. You will find the brands that I love and choose to support on my Lists on the No Peanut Foods site.
Please always remember that brands change their facilities and ingredients all the time, so every time you purchase a product, even if it is one you have bought before, always check the ingredients and make sure the formulation has not changed. My lists and research is meant only for guidance.
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