What are we really drinking?

For general/other topics related to tea.

Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby wyardley » Nov 29th, '12, 21:59

As I understand it, in many cases, the surface of the tea is washed before it's processed. So I imagine the risk would mostly be pesticide residue that's absorbed by the tea plant, rather than what's on the surface of the tea. As to whether any of that would be released during the rinse, and thus washed out, I'm not sure if there's any credible research on that -- I wouldn't count on it, though. I'm no chemist, but just as all the caffeine isn't washed out during the rinse, I wouldn't expect that any toxic substances necessarily would be either.

Ultimately, I don't try to worry about it too directly, especially since there's not much (if any) tea I'd want to drink that is certified organically grown by any certifying authority with any teeth at all. I try to buy from credible and trustworthy sellers who work with small producers, and hedge my bets a bit by not buying all my tea from one source.

If you want to reduce your overall pesticide consumption, changing things in your diet is probably more logical than changing things in your tea consumption.

I think as time goes on, there will be an improvement in these certifying standards in the main tea producing countries. But even so, as with farms in the US, certification is often too large a burden for the smallest producers (who, as with farms growing produce), often produce the best product.

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby jayinhk » Nov 29th, '12, 22:23

At least stateside, you are somewhat protected against pesticide levels in food and the US govt is pretty restrictive about what can and can't be used. Here in Asia, DDT is still in use and once a pesticide is banned people often keep on using it until stocks run out.

Chinese companies often own large plantations and fields and hire unskilled workers to tend to them. Recently, farmers at a farm that supplies HK supermarkets with vegetables (one of the chains is incidentally owned by China's richest man according to Forbes) admitted they just went ahead and sprayed multiple pesticides they were told to use without any knowledge of what they were or how to use them. These vegetables were later found to have unsafe levels of pesticides by Greenpeace, who bought them at retail level.

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_deta ... con_type=1

Earlier in the year:

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_deta ... con_type=1

China will make advances as far as food safety goes, but it may be a while to come. For now it may be better to buy from legitimate EU sources if you value your tea safety since their inspections are more thorough than US standards, and they don't just let everything float on in.

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby teabone » Dec 3rd, '12, 00:44

Why don't we ask Juergen Link what he's drinking these days. The guy cared so much about only selling clean teas when he owned Specialteas (you know, before he sold the company and his soul to Teavana). I'd bet my favorite teapot he sure as s**t is not drinking Teavana teas!

Last edited by teabone on Dec 4th, '12, 10:15, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby edkrueger » Dec 3rd, '12, 11:01

Special Teas and Teavana had the same teas for a while. They always have been the same sort of thing.

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby oolong » Apr 5th, '13, 09:09

I am from Germany and we have two independent magazines which test different products and food. One is called STIFTUNG WARENTEST and the other is called ÖKO-TEST (the latter mostly testing products and food in respects of safety). They both have tested different teas and especially green teas several times over the last couple of years.
The results have always been very frightening. Because most of the teas contained pesticides.

Teekanne (a famous tea brand for tea bags available in supermarkets), Meßmer and, yes, also Lipton contained pesticides.

This is why I order from a franchise tea store chain in Germany who always received A's for their teas and they can also send you test sheets from the labatory if you request them, because they regularly test their teas.

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby futurebird » Apr 7th, '13, 15:43

I'm not shocked that anything owned by unilever is filled with pesticides.

But "drink Japanse tea?" ... you mean nothing but matcha forever... :cry: is there even Japanese puerh? :lol:

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby Evan Draper » Apr 8th, '13, 11:52

futurebird wrote:But "drink Japanse tea?" ... you mean nothing but matcha forever... :cry: is there even Japanese puerh? :lol:

Yes.
http://www.osadaen.co.jp/english.pdf
There's a thread about this, maybe someone else can find it....

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby Alex » Apr 9th, '13, 06:57

I know UK jing tea has all their teas tasted in Germany. Are there any other companies that do that?

http://jingtea.com/tea-knowledge/2007/0 ... des-in-tea

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby David R. » Apr 10th, '13, 06:53

Alex wrote:I know UK jing tea has all their teas tasted in Germany. Are there any other companies that do that?

http://jingtea.com/tea-knowledge/2007/0 ... des-in-tea


I know that Hojo tests all his teas as well.

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby oolong » Jul 28th, '13, 05:29

If you are really looking for safe teas, I can only recommend Tee Gschwendner, a German franchise, who have been tested several times by independent magazines. While most other companies got horrendous reviews, they always got the best reviews.

For example they ship in the US too: http://shop.tgtea.com/

I can really recommend them.

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby donaldosborne » Jul 28th, '13, 14:10

Yeah, Tee Gschwendner is good, they have good quality tea, always.

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Re: What are we really drinking?

Postby danny » Aug 16th, '13, 04:09

Hm, somehow these links and what you've written makes me think about my tea drinking habits... Never cared about pesticides and something like that.

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