Are our teas organic?

A big question from many customers is always "are your teas organic?" Here's the not-so-short answer to that question.

Our teas are grown and processed by hand the traditional way, but most do not carry formal organic certification. We have strong reasons for this.

Firstly, organic certification is a long and costly process. Most small farms in China that we work with do not typically export their teas, and the domestic tea market in China does not insist on organic certification as a mark of quality (yet).

Secondly, most tea farms in China which do have organic certification charge significantly more for their teas. While the tea may not be better quality, you (the end consumer) end up paying more.

Finally, we're also concerned with some evidence that suggests that foods produced organically can often be less environmentally friendly than other types. Organic certification often results in less efficient use of land, and higher carbon and methane outputs than standard methods.

In most cases, our tea is produced on small, family owned farms where teas have been produced in a traditional way for many generations. Chemicals and machines are not used, and often workers are either extended family members, or part of a close community within the area - it means we never see the kind of worker exploitation often associated with teas produced in Africa for example.

The teas your drink are the same as the teas we enjoy every day, so rest assured that quality and taste are extremely important to us. Where possible, we also look at the carbon footprint of our teas and try to find a balance of price, quality and environmental credentials that means a guilt-free brew for you.