Chirolife said

Organic Tea

Who can recommend a good supplier/online shop for certified organic, sustainable tea varieties?

8 Replies
Rich select said

Yuuki Cha has some great organic Japaneseteaa.

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Arby said

Westholme tea farm (www.teafarm.ca/) and Tea Forte (https://www.teaforte.com/store/gourmet-tea/organic-tea/) offer some tasty organic teas.

Yunnan sourcing also does testing on all their teas for heavy metals and pesticides. Most of the little family farms they buy from can’t afford to get the official certification, but he only sells teas that don’t have pesticide or heavy metal residues.

On Yunnan Sourcing’s website there is no mention whatsoever about heavy metal testing, only pesticides. Any link?
I do buy from them and i’m sure it’s one of the safest sources; yet i wonder where you got the info about heavy metal residues and testing for it. It would be nice, but it seems it’s not the case; hope i’m wrong.

Arby said

Check out the European Commission’s Safety Standards for pesticide content. It includes heavy metals, that is what makes most pesticides dangerous. The less dangerous ones (usually not organic) are far safer because they are only toxic to certain organisms (insects or fungi, usually) and not mammals. Pesticides containing heavy metals are banned in most places because they are toxic to most/all life forms and do not degrade like synthesised compounds do. Luckily, the EU and most developed countries continue to ban dangerous broad spectrum pesticides in favour of safe alternatives. However, they are sometimes used overseas (or contaminated soil/water is used in the growing). Most regulatory committees mandate that food/consumables are tested for heavy metals, especially because imported items have a chance of being unsafe.

Here is a good place to start if you want to learn about which substances are being tested for by Yunnan Sourcing, and anyone else who follows the EU guidelines.
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:l21290
https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/pesticides/max_residue_levels_en

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I read the links; still: testing for pesticides imply testing individually for each pesticide. If you find one over the legal limit, it will bring with it it’s associated heavy metal content.
You are NOT testing specifically for heavy metals that might be there for other reasons or in other compounds, nor i suppose considering the total heavy metal content of all the pesticides that individually can be under the legal linmit.
Unfortunately there is no specific information on this at the links…
Still, to quote your first message: “Yunnan sourcing also does testing on all their teas for heavy metals and pesticides.”; thisi is not corerect, as they only test for pesticides and they declare so. To find heavy metals while testing for pesticides is NOT the same thing as specifically testing for heavy metals…

Arby said

If you aren’t satisfied with pesticide testing and the heavy metal testing the EU standard specifies, you are welcome to do your own research on what YS and other companies test for, or you can find tea companies that specify they do not do testing.

If you are really curious, you can email the store owner. I was just providing information, I’m not here to argue with you.

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AllanK said

Your post makes me realize I don’t know a single tea shop that specializes in organic teas and I have bought from many web stores. I know of a couple that test for pesticides and offer some organic teas but none that sell them exclusively. I do know that when you buy from China and buy an organic tea unless your source is very reliable like Yunnan Sourcing they may be organic but by what standard? There are quite a few standards for organic, some more stringent than others. Organic Chinese teas have a reputation for low grade organic certificates that don’t meet the American or EU standards.

Arby said

I’ve heard that the organic standards for China can’t be trusted, but I think if they are imported into EU or North am. then they can’t be sold as organic if they don’t also fit the local standards. The Chinese regulatory body seem to compare themselves to other standards (or at least plans to aim towards them), but does not provide a lot of information on the subject.
http://www.ioas.org/certification_body/organic-food-development-certification-center-of-china/

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