Since 1997, Strand Tea has offered Organic, Bio-Dynamic, Natural Grown, and Premium High Grown "Rational Farming" teas from several regions of the world. For more information see: Social Consciousness, Sustainable Agriculture section of our web site.
Organic Tea cultivation has taken a major step forward in the last few years, and as it does we continue to offer more and more Certified Organic Teas. A few Organic teas today actually have improved taste over their conventional counterparts.
We visit Tea Gardens, talk with the tea farmers, and try to see what they face in moving from conventional to organic practices. It is not easy from a farming/labor perspective, assuming the cost of obtaining official organic certification, or as a simple business decision of 'Can I sell my crop without needing to depend on the Western (primarily Europe and US) market'
In particular, we would like to mention one Organic and Bio-dynamic tea estate—Makaibari Estate in Darjeeling, India. They are a pioneer in Organic, Bio-dynamic, Natural and Fair Trade tea. Makaibari has won numerous acclamations for its tea growing and social responsibility and we are proud to have offered their teas from the beginning of Strand Tea Company.
Three things you should know about Organic, Bio-Dynamic, Natural and Fair Trade Teas:
1. Typically, Organic and Fair Trade teas come from large tea estates. Many smaller, family farms, even though they grow teas with no man made chemicals, can't afford the official organic certification(s). They also don't participate in Fair Trade organizations, because they operate as a family in owning and laboring on the tea farm.
2. Bio-dynamic practices go beyond organic farming by paying attention to the compatibility of plants and animals on the land, and by recognizing the role of healing energies in all aspects of cultivation and production.
3. Lower elevations and homogeneous crop plantings are much more susceptible to pests and soil depletion. Premium teas are grown at higher elevations (generally above 4.000 feet), in smaller patches within tea gardens, under purer air, soil and water conditions, and are hand-harvested. Most tea gardens producing premium teas practice inter-cropping, use indigenous, natural pest-repellent plants, and contain a variety of tea hybrids (cultivars). This reduces the risk of crop destruction while increasing the variety of natural tastes in the final tea leaf.
In addition to the Organic teas listed below, please visit our Rooibos teas.