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Tea inspection

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Tea inspection is a process of quality control of goods at different stages of logistic chain, which minimizes major trade risks related to the likelihood of cargo delivered or received not according to agreed specification, not being supplied in agreed quantity or incomplete set of accompanying documents agreed between parties for tea export/import operations are issued and received. There are more than 1,000 varieties of tea on the market, including elite Chinese teas, herbal teas, red, yellow, green teas, fruit teas and flavored teas.

CISS GROUP provides tea inspection services to large tea and international trading companies at intermediate storage warehouses or in ports around the world.

The peculiarity of the inspection of tea is that teas are able to quickly absorb moisture, as well as a variety of odors, which means that the goods can deteriorate. That is why it is important to always maintain the proper microclimate of the places of storage and transportation units. During the storage of dry tea, chemical changes in its composition may occur, although extremely slowly. They increase when moistened and lead into the decomposition of essential oils, which cause decrease in quality. To avoid such changes, it is necessary to strictly observe the rules of packaging, transportation and storage.

The defects of tea include:

  1. clogging (petioles, coarse leaf, fibers and other impurities) - due to the collection of coarse tea leaves from bushes and insufficient cleaning during sorting
  2. mixed tea caused by poor sorting or wrong selection of blended varieties
  3. sour taste and smell due to poor processing, fermentation, and/or drying
  4. the "watery", "empty" taste of the infusion - which may be caused by too strong twisting or too long fermentation of the tea leaf;
  5. cloudy infusion which may appear due to un proper fermentation of tea;
  6. musty, moldy and other foreign odors which may arise due to a violation of the technology of storing tea leaves and increased humidity (more than 9%) of tea during storage. Such tea is unsuitable for consumption;

In general, tea inspection includes:

  • Checking the weight and quantity of tea.
  • Inspection of equipment for loading, unloading and storing tea.
  • A representative sampling of tea for laboratory tests.
  • Certification of the quantity and quality of tea.
  • Inspection of trucks.
  • Physical evaluation of tea.
  • Chemical evaluation of tea.
  • Entomological evaluation of tea and spices.
  • Testing of essential oils.
  • Testing for aflatoxin.
  • Microbiological analysis.
  • Testing of pesticide residues.
  • Particle size.
  • Fragrance.
  • Color.

Highly professional inspectors and laboratory assistants of CISS GROUP carry out tea inspection at any point of the supply chain.

The main stages of checking tea:

Tea inspection service photo

Incoming/outgoing tea check.

It is carried out during the delivery of tea to production facilities, temporary storage warehouses or containers for transportation. The CISS GROUP inspector will visually assess the condition of the premises for its suitability of cargo storage, check the cargo itself so that it is whole, dry, not mixed with other cargo, not damaged, wet, without pests, impurities, mold or foreign odors.

Acceptance of containers for cleanliness before loading tea.

It is a visual inspection of containers for cleanliness and its suitability for transportation of tea. Tea is transported in boxes or bags by all modes of transport in accordance with the current rules of cargo transportation. Vehicles must be covered, dry, clean and uninfected by pests. The inspector carefully examines their internal surfaces, locks, hinges and other fasteners on container doors, rubber seals of container doors.

Visual control of the loading process and sampling of tea.

During the loading of tea, the inspector monitors the condition of the packaging material, labels, the content of inscriptions, the quality of wrapping and pasting, the clarity of printing, brightness and combination of colors, whether the product corresponds to the technical documentation for designated type of product in each box, records the production date, net weight in the packaging unit of packaged tea, the number of boxes, the number of packaging units in one box, gross/net weight during weighing . Tea sampling is the most important stage of product examination. The purpose of sampling is to deliver for laboratory testing the minimum part of the product that reliably reflects its qualitative characteristics. At the end of loading, the inspector seals the loaded containers. He enters all the data into reports to which the client gets direct access.

Note that CISS GROUP inspection during loading and sampling can be carried out around the clock!

stages of tea inspection photo

Laboratory analyses of the quality of tea.

We check the quality of tea exclusively in accredited laboratories in accordance with the requirements of existing international standards. The standard indicators of tea quality determined include: the color, shade of tea leaves, the degree or quality of the twisting of tea leaves, the size of tea leaves, the presence of tips, the presence of moldy lumps, smell and taste.

In addition to basic analyses, laboratory tests are conducted to determine the content of soluble solids in tea extracts in tea; the total content of phenolic substances; the total content of flavonoids; the total content of tannins; antiradical activity by the DPPH method; restoring power by the FRAP method. From the safety indicators, the content of toxic elements (Pb, As, Cd, Cu), aflatoxin B1, radionuclides (Cs-137 and Sr-90) is normalized in tea. The number of mesophilic aerobic and facultative anaerobic microorganisms, the presence of E. coli bacteria, the presence of pathogenic microorganisms. The presence of foreign impurities in tea and tea products is not allowed. At the request of the client, during the loading process, we also carry out an organoleptic analysis for each lot.

Photo and video report.

The inspector records each stage of the inspection with photos and videos. All such data contain the date and time of recorded stage of inspection. At the end of the tea inspection, CISS GROUP provides a detailed photo report of all stages of control and inspection.


Based on the results of the tea inspection the final certificate or reports are issued. The client can check the authenticity of the documents using a unique QR code, which is the "key" to the CISS GROUP website, where pdf versions of certificates are stored. Our certificates are protected with a digital cryptographic signature, which also guarantees their reliability and security.

Digitally signed certificates are often required by banks to verify the integrity of trading process when financing trade operations in the form of a letter of credit.

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