After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Around 70 countries in the world are producing tea, i.e. Camellia sinesis, with the total yearly output being around 6 million tonnes and rising every year. This amount is enough for each and every person in this world to get almost a kilo of tea per year. However, are all of these, at least 6000000000000 grams good?
Why you should know the origin of your tea
All real tea originates in China. White, yellow, green, oolong, black and pu’erh are what we call real tea types. With thousands of different herbs and blends on the market, the story of tea gets even more interesting, and more complicated. How are all these teas and botanicals made? Are they grown and sold using organic methods with keeping both people and nature in mind? Or are they mass produced, filled with pesticides often harming farmers throughout the process.
Here are the reasons why you should care where your tea is coming from:
To support the right cause
Tea industry is huge, so it doesn’t surprise there is good, and there is bad tea. More than ever tea producers are starting to paying attention to the wellbeing of farmers, and all those that are at the very beginning of the tea chain that leads to your cup. It’s not rare that tea pluckers earn incredibly low wages, live without a basic amenities or necessary medication. Ethical producers are trying to improve the livelihood of tea pluckers, farmers and others by supporting initiatives that:
- Empower women
- Provide schooling for children
- Provide sanitary facilities
- Pay a decent wage
- Provide housing and medical care, etc.
To take care of your wellbeing
Just like food, tea can be adulterated. Chemicals, pesticides and herbicides are not the only cause of concern. Regular tea bags may contain tea dust and small leaf particles, leftovers from tea production. They are easy for manipulation and adulteration with artificial colours, flavours and even substances like clay to increase the total weight. Choose whole leaf, unbroken leaves and herbs which are undamaged by over processing and free of artificial preservatives.
To help protect the planet
Chemicals used for treating tea leaves and increasing the yield are not only harmful for people. They are harmful for the earth and many plants and generations to come. Organic farming principles ensure both the land and products are clean of chemicals and non-GMO. Furthermore, testing on animals is not only a concern in the beauty industry, tea companies do it too. Responsible and ethical producers are mindful of all aspects of our ecosystem – from people to animals, from earth to water.
To truly enjoy the tea
If the tea you are drinking comes with a terrible story, can it really offer satisfaction? Once you learn the whole process of tea production, understand how many people are behind your cup of tea, you will be able to develop a certain appreciation and respect for people behind the process. 2.5 grams of tea leaves are not just dried herbs, they are effort, hard work, knowledge, dedication and heritage.
Drinking tea should be a healing process for everyone – starting from you, going back to those who made it, and keeping in mind those who will drink teas made from the plants grown on the soil we are now using.
TIP: Be sure to check for ethical certifications when you buy tea. We're proud to say that The Leaf Collective is a Soil Association organic certified company, which ensures that all of our ingredients are free of chemicals and growing practices are in harmony with nature - protecting your health, the health of workers and wildlife in farming regions.
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