Organic Tea - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Organic Tea is tea produced in a manner that follows the guidelines set by the National Organic Program of USDA. Certified Organic Tea must not be grown using any artificial pesticides or fertilizers. The land on which the Organic Tea is grown also must not have been treated with chemicals such as synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides for at least three years prior to organic certification. Organic Tea must be produced without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or other chemicals such as synthetic preservatives or flavorings. In addition, an audit trail must be available for Certified Organic Tea which allows production and sales to be traced it its origin. Organic farming also supports the environment by developing sustainable agricultural practices such as crop rotation, natural soil enrichment and water conservation. Organic farms and production facilities are subject to periodic inspection by USDA accredited certifying agencies which ensure that their national Certified Organic standards are being met.

Organic Tea has been cultivated for nearly 4,700 years and spread as an important trading commodity from its origin in Asia westward to the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the world. In fact, tea is so popular that after water, it is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Tea is prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over tea leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant and brewing the tea leaves for a period of time dependent upon the type of tea. The most common types of tea are Black Tea, Green Tea, White Tea, Oolong Tea and Pu-erh Tea. White Tea is the least processed of all tea leaves and retains the most antioxidants and lowest amount of caffeine of unpowdered leaf tea. Green Tea is slightly more processed and partially fermented, and prized for its abundance of antioxidants. Oolong Tea is semi-fermented and known for its flowery qualities, and Black Tea, the world’s most popular tea, is fully fermented with the most caffeine of all teas. Pu-erh Tea is a specially fermented black tea produced only in China.

Organic Tea is often categorized in different ways, such as bagged or loose, by growing region, blend or age. Tea that is shade grown often refers to Japanese tea that is partially shaded prior to harvest, which encourages higher chlorophyll production and hence a richer color and higher caffeine content. Fair Trade tea is produced in a way to encourage fair pricing and sustainability for tea farmers’ communities as well as the environment. Some teas are mixed with flowers or fruits in order to create scented or flavored teas.

Organic Tea has long been appreciated for its many health benefits. Caffeine and theanine are present in Tea which appear to bolster mental alertness and calmness. Tea, especially Green Tea has been acclaimed for its antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols. The most potent flavonoid in Green Tea, EGCG, may help fight free radical damage which can cause disease. Green Tea's antioxidants may obstruct growth of certain types of cancers and prevent clogging of the arteries, reduce risk of stroke and improve cholesterol levels. Since White Tea is unfermented, one study has shown White Tea to have the most anti-cancer properties of all teas. Although fermenting or processing a tea reduces its polyphenol content, teas like Oolong and Black Tea still offer many benefits from their antioxidants. It has been found that Black Tea may reduce risk of stroke and shield lungs from cigarette smoke damage. Oolong Tea and Pu-erh may to help reduce "bad" or LDL cholesterol levels.

Our USDA Certified Organic Tea products are not just popular with the granola set, but have wide appeal. Serving Certified Organic Tea is a way to enjoy the beneficial properties of tea without contamination from pesticides or other undesirable chemicals. Our Organic Tea, all of which is certified organic by the USDA, tastes great and makes a great cup of tea. Organic Tea is a treat in the US that has already become mainstream in other parts of the world.

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