Organic tea refers to tea that has been grown and treated using natural chemicals only. This includes the fertilizers used to grow the plants and pesticides used for the leaves. Only animal and vegetable products are used and no synthetic chemicals are involved.
Organic tea may also contain no preservatives or natural preservatives only.
Organic tea must be verified by the relevant organization, such as the USDA. Only tea that has been verified can be labeled as organic tea. Before being verified, the tea must past several specific requirements.
Some organic tea may also be labeled as "Fair Trade", which refers to their origins. Organic tea labeled "Fair Trade" have been sourced from local growers using traditional methods or from companies prepared to pay workers a livable wage.
While organic tea is usually more expensive and difficult to find than tea produced using conventional methods, proponents claim organic tea is more beneficial. The scarcity of organic tea in comparison to conventional tea is partly due to the smaller yield organic farming produces. Organic farming is also more intensive, hence the higher prices to cover the extra cost.
Organic tea has become increasingly popular as drinkers have become more aware of some of the health issues surrounding conventional chemicals used to treat tea plants.
Benefits of organic tea
Organic tea is beneficial for several reasons.
Firstly, organic tea is non-toxic. Several pesticides containing artificial chemicals can have an adverse effect on humans. For instance, certain chemicals used in conventional pesticides can mimic hormones such as estrogen when inside the human body.
Organic tea is better for the environment because it does not release foreign free radicals into the surrounding area. Organic tea production also consumes less fertilizer and pesticides, and the latter is due partly to the concept of "natural pesticides". This concept is based on the idea that a plant will produce its own pesticides when healthy.
Organic tea is claimed to be more nutritious and also more fully-flavored than tea produced using conventional methods.
Black organic tea
Black organic tea is black tea grown organically. It is becoming increasingly popular in India and Sri Lanka, two places where black tea is widely grown.
Green organic Tea
Green organic tea is green tea grown organically. Japanese green teas are increasingly being grown using this method.
Herbal organic Tea
Herbal organic tea refers to herbal tea whose ingredients are grown organically. This can include any and all herbs used in the tea.