1. Are The Steepery Tea Co’s teas organic?
Firstly, The Steepery Tea Co. would never share a tea that we wouldn’t drink ourselves or recommend to our family and dear friends. Sourcing is very important to us and great care is taken to ensure that we understand the origins of our teas and how the tea bushes interact with their terroir. We completely understand and support those who have similar views to our own, in order to protect themselves from harmful chemicals often used in the production of tea.
The Steepery Tea Co recognises that the use and labelling of certified organic teas is increasing each year. For more mature tea economies (e.g., Japan and South Korea) it is best practice for the tea gardens to adhere to their national organic labelling body and standards. It is beneficial for tea producers as they recoup the additional costs associated with organic certification through higher market prices on their tea. For this reason, you will see that we only offer organic Japanese and South Korean teas. We will continue to build our organic tea range for regions that are at higher risk of chemical spraying in the production of tea. We also use organic products in our pure blends.
The remaining loose-leaf teas within the store are not certified organic. However, we really encourage you to consider trying these teas as they have been very carefully chosen to meet our strict selection criteria. Our teas are:
- single known origin - teas sourced using this methodology provide greater certainty of the purity of a tea as you can better assess the risk of chemical use when reviewing tea garden, production method and specific areas the tea is grown
- orthodox processed - predominantly plucked and traditionally produced by hand, with quality in mind and not volume (i.e. quality over quantity)
- often produced in remote and high altitude areas - therefore less reliant on chemicals as they are less prone to disease and insects
considered artisanal and specialty tea products - offered to the market by the tea producers at a higher price encouraging them to continue their craft and skill.
We encourage you to read more about Tai Ping Hou Kui, a tea that is truly representative of artisanal and authentic tea production.
Also, many of our teas are produced by very small tea gardens. They are unlikely to be able to afford to pay for costly organic certification despite often meeting and exceeding the requirements. This is why we continue to support these artisanal and specialty loose-leaf producers as this encourages them to continue small batch and authentic production methods. The flavours and aromas from these teas are very special and pure.
Once again, we emphasise The Steepery Tea Co’s focus on our supply chain and truly understanding the origins of our teas. At times there are trade-offs between organic certification and trusting in your supply chain and tea producers who are producing genuine and clean teas in very limited quantities. Often these smaller tea gardens have positive environmental and ecological methods to tea garden management and treat their tea workers fairly. We tend to give greater weight to smaller tea gardens meeting these criteria over a larger corporation who has certified organic tea.