Are you concerned about pesticides in your teas? If so, how much?
Of course we all read those articles from a couple years back, but how concerned are you all about pesticides in your tea?
I ask because I live in China and buy quite a bit of tea here, the only tea I know to be free of pesticides is the Yunnan Sourcing pu’er. Are all others laden with pesticides? Is it a matter of great concern for you all who buy Chinese teas?
There was s thread about this a while back. Puerhshop also tests at least some teas for pesticides as do I think a couple of others.
Yeah I read that. There are some sellers in China that claim to test but I don’t know how accurate it is. Also there is a brand called TuLin where some of theirs are organic (according to Yunnan Sourcing) but I can’t find any info on that.
Unfortunately we live in times where pesticide free food is a rarity and tea is no exception to it. It is not just limited to Chinese teas, I therefore try to buy certified teas as much as possible or do research into the plantations on the web before buying my teas.
Yep, chemically produced tea is a deal breaker for me. With very few exceptions, I stick to vendors who sell sustainably farmed tea.
I’m not particularly worried, but I typically drink teas that I already know a lot about, or from people I know really well. Use of pesticides can depend a lot on the farmer and how they manage their trees/bushes. There are some out there, especially those who have precious old/ancient/wild/other-special-magical-quality trees on their land, who practice responsible farming and don’t use pesticides, don’t use fertilizers, don’t over-pick the trees, etc. You can verify this a bit better when you see the land and the condition of the “garden” (for lack of better word).
Seeing the land first hand is not an option for most end consumers though, and ultimately no words are going to hold up as well as a (legitimate) piece of paper that certifies there’s no pesticides.
Yunnan Sourcing test all their Pu-erhs in a lab? Wow that must cost them a fortune!
I am more concerned about pesticides in my vegetable then my tea.
Yes… It’s about $170 per test now. We use Sinoanalytica. 191 Pesticide Profile. We test only our own brand Pu-erh Tea “Yunnan Sourcing Brand”. We don’t test other tea factories tea. For the Spring 2016 cakes we did 28 tests at a total cost $4760 USD (roughly). We had to reject a batch of ripe tea because it was not within EU MRL limits. The other 3 ripe were just fine. Contrary to what people say most of the pesticides cannot be detected by taste or feeling. You’ve got to spend the money. Typically the cost of testing adds to the price of the tea, but in my opinion it’s worth it. For a 50kg batch of raw pu-erh it adds $3.40 per kilogram to the cost, or $1.36 per 400 gram cake.
I eat Taco Bell weekly… Even though I like my goood leaf, I don’t even think about this topic here.
I believe it is possible to buy your own pesticide testing kit, probably sold on Amazon, but I have no idea the price.
Those aren’t as reliable as professional tests. I think it just changes color if there is detectable pesticide residue. It doesn’t tell you the amount nor specifies the pesticides found. An example of a detailed pesticide test report from Teavivre: (http://www.teavivre.com/media/wysiwyg/certificate_of_premium_dragon_well_long_jing03.jpg).
IMO, it’s just easier buying responsibly farmed tea from a reputable vendor.
Matters to me quite a bit. So does lead in Chinese tea, though I haven’t researched it!
I just signed in today to see if anyone had a rec for organic matcha…
When I first joined steepster I just wanted to try great teas but now I’m reining in the desire for any that aren’t organic. I understand the official certification is expensive, so if I find that the producer/importer has paid attention to growing without pesticides that’s good enough, at least for now.
I’d be surprised if Yunomi doesn’t sell organic Matcha although I’ve never specifically looked for it there. They sell a lot of different Matcha.
Lead in Chinese tea – here’s a start. Like all things, the source of tea is a big factor.
I’ve worked at an herbicide and pesticide production plant so no I’m not worried about trace amounts from my tea. A farmer would have to have to be doing some egregious spraying with some nastier than needed pesticides in order for my tea to have levels harmful enough to affect my health.
I read somewhere that you would have to drink a huge amount of tea (75+ cups a day) every day of highly tainted tea to really make an impact. Is that true?
It would be hard to pin it to one number since it would depend on a lot of factors, but a lot of contamination is really small as it’s usually measured in ppm (parts per million) or pub (parts per billion) so that might not be far fetched.
Drink enough tea and you’ll be able to taste the chemicals.
The amount of pesticides in tea “may” be negligible, but you don’t live on tea alone do you? But drink enough tea with pesticides over many years and can have an impact on your long term health. Toxins are called toxins for a reason…they’re toxic.
Add pesticide residues from your tea to the benzene fumes you breath in while sitting in traffic with your window down, or the fumes from pumping gas, the whiff of formaldehyde from your natural gas stove every morning when you cook breakfast, the pesticides in your broccoli/apple/carrot, the antibiotics in your chicken dinner, the BPA and petro-chemicals from your water bottles and ziplock bags, the obesegens and hormone disruptors used as preservatives in other foods you eat, chlorine/chloramine and fluoride in your tap water, heavy metals in your tuna…etc etc etc…altogether the pollution adds up to a LOT of toxin exposure in your day to day. Now add the pesticide laden tea? Just another source of exposure.
If you don’t care, then don’t care. Drink whatever. But if you’re concerned, why stop at tea? Root out the toxin exposure everywhere in your life.
So yes, I am concerned about pesticides in my tea but do not think tea alone will cause significant harm. Its a cumulative effect being bombarded from all areas of life with toxins. So a reduction of any exposure will have a positive impact on long term health. Sometimes, the effects of prevention cannot be measured immediately, but need time to see their effects.