Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Taste the Difference: Organic Tea

By Kaitlin Koppenal

Some people think that just because a product says organic, it automatically means more expensive. With tea however, it is generally not the case. The cost difference is slight and the benefits make up for it. With tons of people eating organic, no chemicals during the growth or processing, tea is one more thing available to them for the pleasure. I think it is great that something I enjoy very much is made available for those with a special diet.

Why is organic tea better?

A simple tea plant can live for more than a hundred year. However, when fertilizers or pesticides are used in the growth of the plant, the life span of the tea plant is cut short drastically. Organic tea is also better for the tea farmer because they do not have to replace the plants as often as non-organic tea plants.

For the consumer, organic tea has its benefits as well. It is free of chemical residues and also tastes better. In many different tea competitions, the taste of organic tea has beaten the taste of non-organic tea. The color, taste, and aroma have been superior over non-organic tea.

Certified Organic?

Many tea plantations are certified organic. This means that they abide the strict regulations of not allowing the tea plants to come into contact with the fertilizers or pesticides. This can be challenging due to facts like rain runoff, if the plantation is downhill from a non-organic farm which would run the fertilizer or pesticides from uphill farms. Because of variables like this, often organic land and farming is much more expensive to make sure the products have no contact with these fertilizers or pesticides. For tea grown in the United States, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the growing conditions. For tea farms outside the United States, the Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) regulates their growing conditions.

When trying organic tea for the first time, use your judgment. The first time I tried organic tea, I could actually taste the difference. For those who haven’t tried organic tea, taste the difference for yourself!


Anonymous said...

I love drinking organic teas. I just found this organic pu-erh tea, Ginger Snap and was wondering if you could explain how a pu-erh tea can be classified as organic? Do you know of any other organic pu-erhs?