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Spicetrekkers.com - On the hunt for the world's best spices and blends

On the hunt for the world's best spices and blends

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FAQ

Ordering Online

How much is shipping?

Our shipping rates are a flat $10.00 for US and Canadian orders. For orders outside of these two countries, prices may vary. Please contact us by email to get the cost and we will answer you shortly.

Shipping is free for all North American orders of $60.00 or more.

Are there additional fees for international orders?

No. However, when ordering from Spice Trekkers it is possible that your shipment may be inspected by your local customs department and that extra charges might apply. However, because this practice is not systematic, we cannot inform you whether or not your spices will inspected by the customs agents in your country.

We apologize for any incovenience that this may cause.

Why am I being charged in US$ ?

Although we are a Canadian company, our English site is hosted in the United States. After operating for almost 8 years, we felt the need to reach a larger English speaking customer base. As we are a small family-run company, co- hosting the site in Canada proved financially prohibitive. Should you wish to be invoiced in Canadian dollars, we invite you to order from our French website epicesdecru.com. If you require any help navigating this version of our site, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

What is your privacy policy for customers?

We value your privacy as much as we do ours. We do not ever divulge the identities,
purchasing habits or credit information of our customers. You will be required to fill
in all relevant credit information whenever you place an order.

How do you ship your spices?

Our spices are packaged in sturdy cardboard boxes with additional stuffing when
appropriate.

How long will delivery take?

Our shipping schedule: We ship on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
via Canada Post and UPS.
Regular delivery within Canada and the Continental US usually takes 5 working
days.
We deliver outside of North America but the promptness of the deliveries can vary
from country to country.

Do you ship to the United States?
Do you deliver outside of North America?
Do I have to pay sales tax?

Residents of  Canada are required to pay sales taxes on shipping
costs, books and accessories. There are no sales taxes on spices and teas.

Will I receive an invoice for my order?

Invoices and packing slips are always included with your order.

Can my order be gift wrapped?

Sorry, we are big believers in gift giving but unfortunately are not equipped to gift
wrap.

Return policy:

We take great pride and care in choosing our products and can appreciate that our
tastes may not be the same as yours.
We can understand that you may not appreciate the taste of a product that you
ordered. Unfortunately we do not accept returns based on the likes and dislikes of
our customers.

On the other hand, should the product you ordered be flawed, damaged or should a
shipping error have occurred, we would be more than happy to correct the situation
to the best of our ability.
We are reasonable people, so should anything have gone wrong please contact us at
info@spicetrekkers.com and we will do our best to satisfy you. Our goal is to have
happy customers.

About Spices

Are your spices gluten free?

Whole spices contain no gluten and we ensure that there are no gluten based products in our production facility. Trace amounts of gluten may be present however due to the fact that we have to control over which allergens may have come into contact with the raw products in their country of origin. We are continually working on eliminating all traces of allergens from our products, a process that may take several years.

Are your spices sterilized or irradiated?

We do not use chemicals or irradiated spices. They may kill bugs, but we believe they can harm
people too. We do use steam or vacuum sterilization for some spices and make sure that other
untreated spices are safe to use. Our spice facilities are federally inspected by Agriculture Canada.

Why are some of your spices dated from 2 years ago?

We offer only extraordinary spices; we therefore sometimes buy large quantities of crops from specific years if they are exceptional. Unlike other spice companies, we clearly mark the date the spices were harvested – for the sake of transparency. Between shipping times, weather conditions and border issues sometimes our spices have been picked 1 or even 2 years prior to your date of purchase. Our federally inspected, state-of-the-art storage facilities along with our vigilant inspections ensure that all our products remain fresh and of the highest quality. In addition, because most of our spices are sold whole, cracked, un-ground and well packaged, they retain their essential oils much longer and can therefore be safely consumed for years to come.

What is the best way to store spices?

The enemies of spices are air, light, heat, humidity and time.
Spices should be kept whole, whenever possible, at room temperature, in metal, air
tight containers, preferably in a cupboard or a drawer so as to protect them from
light and dramatic temperature fluctuations. Under such conditions whole spices
will keep for years. Don’t forget that they used to be transported by slow camel
caravans across the world not so long ago.

Is it best to use whole or pre-ground spices?

We believe in whole spices. Whole spices are the ultimate guarantee of an
unadulterated product – you can see what you’re getting.
We believe that grinding them just prior to use will release their flavor. Any ground
spice starts losing its flavor immediately. Just taste the difference between store-
bought ground pepper, pepper ground one hour ago and freshly ground pepper –
you be the judge. Many spice merchants say that pre-ground spices allow flavors to “meld” we prefer
to call it “stale”. Nothing will improve your food for less effort than taking 30 seconds to grind whole
spices. Some spices do not have to be ground to a fine powder, a little texture adds a lot of
pleasure.

Mortar and pestle vs. coffee grinder.

Both a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder are efficient, but a mortar is more
romantic, and helps release daily frustrations. The smells coming out of a mortar
will rise directly to your nose as you grind – smell is memory and a great source of
inspiration.

What is the shelf life for your spices? When do they start losing their flavor?

Well packaged, appropriately stored spices retain all their volatile oils for at
least four years, after which time they begin to slowly lose their flavor. They can
however still be used, as the date stamped on the can is only an indication of “best
before” not “do not use after”. Spices are among the least perishable of all foods. If
they still smell good, just use them.

What can I substitute if I don’t have the right spices on hand?

It is important to know into which taste category of your spices fall; sweet, sour,
acid, hot, bitter or umami. That knowledge allows you to substitute any one spice
with another which shares the same taste, e.g. the bitterness characteristic of cumin
is easily replaced by another bitter spice or herb such as fenugreek or oregano. By
respecting the taste profile of your spice, substitution becomes simple; the flavor
however will be affected, as cumin and fenugreek for example do not have the same
flavor, but the taste profile of your dish will remain the same.

About Tea

I want to start drinking tea. Where do I start?

There are so many teas out there, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Consult our 7 Tea Families post to decide which flavor profile suit you best. If you like fresh and light teas, green is a good place to start, but if you like strong tasting teas, black tea, black oolongs and Pu Erhs are for you.

I want to wean myself off of coffee. Which tea is the best substitute?

Tea will never replace the strong, bitter flavor of coffee, but if you are looking for a tea with a strong caffeine content to energize you, try Ginseng Oolong. Also, if you like your black tea to be stronger, try steeping it longer than the recommended time.

How much caffeine is in each cup of tea?

Each tea had a different caffeine content, Black Tea having the highest, White Tea the lowest. If you want your tea to have a lower caffeine content, try steeping it for 1-2 min a first time, throw it away and the following brews will have a lower caffeine content.

How much tea do I need per cup?

On average, you should use 1 teaspoon of tea per cup, but this can vary with different varieties of tea. Check out our 7 Tea Families post for more details

Tea bags vs. Loose leaf

Most tea bags are made up of the dust, dregs and branches left over from the production of loose leaf teas. This means that that teabags brew faster than loose leaf teas, but the quality of the brew is lessened. Tea bags make for a more bitter brew, and do not allow for the full flavors of the tea to come out. Loose leaf teas allow you to control the flavor of the brew better, and are great for re-infusion.

How long will your tea stay fresh?

Green, White, Yellow and Oolong loose leaf teas, kept in a dry place away from light can keep for up to a year, whereas black teas can be kept for up to two years. Pu Erh teas can be kept for much, much longer and they only get better with time. Like a fine red wine, Pu Erhs mellow and their flavor become more complex over time. You can keep your Pu Erh for several years, given that they are kept away from light and humidity.

Can I steep my tea more than once?

Of course! With each progressive brew, the flavor and caffeine content of the tea will lessen, but you may find that you prefer the second or third brews more than the first. When re-infusing your tea, make sure you steep it for a bit longer than you did the previous time. Most green and yellow teas can be re-infused at least twice, and most Oolong, Black and Pu Erh teas can be infused 2 to 4 times, while some varieties can be steeped up to 8 times!

 

About Us

Do your products contain artificial preservatives or other additives?

No. We have spices in our spices – that’s all. Spices are the best preservatives of
all. Some of our blends such as our rubs and zaatar contain salt. Unlike many spice
companies we list all our spices on our labels.

Where do you get your spices from?

We buy our spices from over 25 different countries. We proudly display on our
packaging the country of origin of our single spices, the very same ones that are
found in our blends.

Are your products Fair Trade?

Our products are not certified Fair Trade.
We have had long standing relationships with most of our suppliers and always
pay the price they ask. Call it what you want, we consider the fairness of our
relationships to be essential to our success. That is the way we guarantee a steady
supply of the world’s best spices year after year.

You don’t have the spice I’m looking for. Can you get it in stock?

Yes, of course, please contact us. Many of the spices we now carry have come from
customer requests. We also have some very rare spices in stock that are not listed.

Do your blends contain MSG?

No MSG added. Our blends contain spices – that’s all. However, some spices are very
rich in natural glutamates – like seaweed.