Does Organic Label Indicate the Best Quality?
Why are we not certified organic? Does that mean Esteemed teas are more contaminated compare to organic teas?
👉🏻 Traditional Tea Farming
Esteemed relies on traditional tea farming at its most fundamental level, leveraging the best terroir for cultivation of Taiwanese oolong tea. We utilize natural methods of pest control, allow biodiversity to keep the soil rich, and cultivate crops with natural fertilizers. Most importantly, we work with responsible and trusted farmers whom have been refining their farming techniques for generations. We rely on nature’s best gift to us, Taiwan’s terroir, and traditional farming methods to produce teas that are 100% natural.
👉🏻 Organically Certified is Just a Marketing Strategy
Having an organic label does not mean farmers are complying with natural farming methods. According to USDA standards, regulations only “decrease” not eliminate the contaminants in an organic tea. Most traditional farms in Taiwan and China are not organically certified even if the teas produced have no synthetic additives. Why is that?
The main reason is the high cost associated with obtaining the certification. In addition to the initial fees farmers need to pay for tests and inspections, a % of sales revenue generated is also required by the farmers for every batch sold. Thus, small tea farms are unwilling to invest a large upfront capital without having had secured a reliable partner.
It is impossible to be a certified organic farm when neighboring farms are not. Crops are easily cross-contaminated. A neighboring farm using pesticides may contaminate the crop, even animal manure used as fertilizer can result in failed inspection.
Lastly, family-run tea farms tend to feel that the traditional tea growing methods passed down from their ancestors can already allow them to produce the best quality tea. They often don't feel the need to rely on a simple paper to prove their expertise.
👉🏻 How We Verify Tea Quality
To ensure that our teas are not chemically contaminated, we send our teas to SGS to verify the safety of our products to ensure they are free of synthetic additives before we package to sell to our customers. We also pay visit to our trusted tea farms once every 2-3 months. When we visit the farms, we are able to see the growing conditions and pest control techniques used by the farms. Our business model is to offer small batch, handcrafted, and 100% natural teas, and most importantly be as transparent as we can to our customers.
Next time you go shopping for tea, don't just look for the organic label, spend some time to try out some traditionally handcrafted teas! 🍵