While perusing the aisles of the supermarket, eyeing the various produce before us, ‘organic’ is a word we tend to gravitate toward. We like the word because we take it to mean the quality is higher, the product is more natural and often times we assume it to mean sustainable. It’s nice to shop organic, but many of us don’t. When it comes to tea, however, you want organic as often as you can manage it. We take pride in bringing to you only teas that are organic. But why buy organic tea, and what does it mean to do so?
As with any produce and plant, tea leaves – the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant – are subject to being nibbled on by insects. They can do a great deal from damage a crop to wipe out entire harvests, as most of us know. So in many cases the plants are sprayed with pesticides, which are effective in keeping the little pests away but at the same time are harmful to us when ingested. Ingesting pesticides can cause neurological disorders, respiratory disorders, even cancers. When we steep a leaf that’s been covered in pesticides, we release all of those harmful chemicals into our tea and proceed to drink them. We take a drink that’s meant to be healthy, that has a great deal of amazing benefits gleaned from the consumption of it, and we harm ourselves instead.
But going organic doesn’t just benefit us, the drinkers. In many places where tea is grown, the pesticides used on the crops washes down to the water sources available to the rest of the community. So when we use a product that isn’t organic, we aren’t the only ones being harmed by it. Pesticides are damaging to the farmers who are exposed to it, to the families in the surrounding areas who drink the water, to the drinkers who ingest the chemicals in their supposedly healthy cuppa. A product that is organic is grown and cared for with means that are chemical-free and natural, thus keeping everyone involved in the process safe from dangerous chemicals.
This extends also to what we steep our teas in. Putting our tea leaves in bleached tea bags, as are often used with grocery-store brand bagged teas, is just as harmful to us. As we pour hot water over the tea in the bag, the excess amounts of fluoride and bleach are released into our tea. Unbleached tea bags are better, but a stainless steel infuser works just as well and can be better for the environment.
At Nineteen-02, we take pride in our selection of organic, healthy teas. We have one of the largest ranges of organic loose leaf tea in North America and while it can be more difficult to get and harder to source, we wouldn’t have it any other way.