Tea cultivation

In order to preserve all their flavor, the tea leaves are not washed. Residues of pesticides and other chemicals are therefore deposited on the tea leaves and end up in your cup, in bulk rather than in bags. The cultivation of organic tea is a guarantee for a healthy diet and a commitment to respect the environment, the plantations and the producers.

The production of tea leaves, organic and non-organic, in the world

The aroma and flavor of tea is determined by the terroir, altitude, climate, type of leaf selected, manufacturing and quality of the plantation.

Cultivation in tea gardens

From the camellia family, the tea plant likes a warm and humid climate with a good amount of sunshine. In tea gardens, tall trees filter the sun's rays and balance the soil ecology. Altitude, which can reach up to 2,500 m in tropical regions, improves the quality of the tea, sometimes at the expense of yield. Sloping land favors water drainage and watering of the plants.

The tea tree is cut at a height of 1 m to facilitate a largely manual and artisanal picking. Harvesting is done several times a year and consists of pinching the buds to recover the pekoe and picking the young leaves (from 1 to 3 after the bud), more loaded with aroma.

The production of tea leaves in China and in the world

The first teas were cultivated from wild tea plants. The oldest plantations are still exploited in China, in the Yunnan region. They are close to an organic culture, even if they do not have the label.

The largest producing countries are India, China, Japan and Sri Lanka. A journey through the plantations of the world takes you on a discovery of flavors and colors: black teas (including Darjeeling or Ceylon tea), green teas, white teas, Assam, oolong or rooibos. In 2020, there were four tea plantations in mainland France and on the island of Reunion.

The plantations to the challenge of the culture of organic tea

The objective of organic tea cultivation is to create plantations that are part of sustainable development and an ecological approach that does not pollute the soil, air and water.

A quality production for organic tea leaves

In the tea gardens planted in staircases, an ecosystem is recreated by associating the plants with other plants. Biodiversity protects and limits the use of chemicals. It participates in the composition of the fertilizer (provided by animal husbandry), the removal of parasites or the fight against soil erosion.

Organic tea cultivation therefore requires more work for a production three times less important and a higher final price. A large workforce is essential for digging, preparing compost, controlling weeds and diseases and applying natural fertilizers. Green tea producers in Japan have largely opted for this sustainable approach.

Organic products for economic development

Organic tea cultivation is governed by regulated charters. The AB label in France and the Euro-leaf label in Europe guarantee the organic production of natural tea leaves, respectful of the environment and the working conditions of the different actors. From planting to packaging, all imported teas must comply with the rules of organic production.

In some regions of the world, organic farming is a strategy for local economic development and poverty reduction. Combined with fair trade, it contributes to the improvement of producers' lifestyles.