Many of you, whether you like tea bags or loose tea, are wondering: how is organic tea picked? What is its impact on the environment and in your cup? What are the major differences from the plantation to the mug? Regardless of the origin of the tea plant, the most important thing is to respect the Ecocert specifications. This implies specific control measures and a ban on the use of pesticides. Discover the particularities of organic tea cultivation and picking, from planting to tasting.
The particularities of organic tea picking from the plantation to the import
From Japan, China or Sri Lanka, the cultivation of teas can have a negative impact on the environment and the consumer. Choosing to consume products from organic farming is above all respecting the planet. Thus to guarantee a quality of product as pure as possible to the tasting.
In order to preserve the maximum natural flavors of tea, it is essential to cultivate the tea plants without pesticides. In order to limit the occurrence of disease on the tea plant caused by pests or poor soil quality, Ecocert requires the use of 95% natural ingredients as pesticides.
Chemical-free growing methods improve the tannin, caffeine and aroma content of whole tea leaves. To do this, growers use all-plant and soil protection methods. By using straw to preserve the mineral content of the soil, and certain plants to repel insects, they are making the choice of an eco-responsible agriculture.
As for harvesting, the frequency varies according to the geographical location: in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, harvesting is carried out all year round depending on the humidity level. Green teas from China and India are picked from April to November. Picking is done exclusively by women, while planting and production are reserved for men.
Although large producers use accessories and tools for harvesting, it is preferable to pick by hand, so as not to damage the whole leaves.
The benefits of picking organic tea for tasting
The fine plucking presents the harvest of the young shoots of whole leaves around the bud, also called pekoe. They are rich in tannins and flavors. The imperial harvest is done with gloves and by women, known for having delicate hands. This is the pekoe harvest, rich in essential oils.
Organic tea leaves offer different aromas and flavors depending on their position on the tea plant, their size and their color. Producers harvest several types of tea, in order to offer a range of different tastes to the consumer.
The quality of an organic tea makes a big difference compared to a non-organic tea. Indeed, the leaves and buds are never washed. This means that the infusion of your teas and herbal teas is not enough to eliminate the pesticides used in the cultivation of tea plants.
Moreover, its natural flavors and nutritional power are considerably diminished. For example, an earl grey Sencha green tea from China will be completely deprived of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Tea harvesting: a gourmet and eco-responsible choice
The picking of organic tea follows the same general guidelines as the picking of non-organic tea. The difference is in the planting and production. In bulk or in bags, your tea will be impacted by the use of chemical fertilizers during cultivation. If you are a lover of gourmet teas and in search of an explosion of fruity flavors, choose organic tea in bulk.
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