Reflecting on "organic"
Organic, bio and all the other terms used for the very natural growing of food-stuff is very generally speaking the normal, environmental friendly and in the long term efficient way of producing food. It is thus a peculiar situation, where the natural way of doing things has to be certified; instead of labeling what is unnatural and not sound.
But things being the way they are, we have to deal with the situation as it is. Regarding this situation it is necessary to remember that the labeling and certification is also a business that includes a great deal of money. All this focused on a piece of paper with a stamp on it. And there the question arises, if we'd rather trust a person that we can meet, that we can see at work or a piece of paper. We at Länggass-Tee prefer to follow our own judgment, as far as this is possible and to build long lasting relationships with our providers.
"Paper is patient", as it is said, but also: "Better safe than sorry". Although this may not be how we feel personally, we know about our responsibility and the expectation towards us - hence we regularly submit tea from our providers to testing - and so far, we have not been disappointed. Many of our best, rarest and most precious teas grow wildly in remote places and are treated traditionally. In the traditional way of tending to the plants, all contaminants are kept clear from the plants and the soil, but also from the production. The treating of tea plants (and their surrounding) with pesticides and such happens, where the profit is the sole aim, in order to obtain the most efficient production; which has a negative impact on the quality. But when the tea producer is truly dedicated to tea and to achieving the highest quality and genuineness, then he will refrain from using harmful chemicals. It basically boils down to the opposition between quality and quantity.
Thus certified teas fulfill specific rules. Non-certified teas are just that - not certified. But they can fail these specific rules, achieve them or surpass them. Minimally, our teas are within the legal framework; some fulfill the Swiss or even the German (which are more demanding) requirements to be certified as organic and yet others are completely natural, in the sense we described above.
On top of this, one should not forget that tea is made of 98% of Water; it is thus advisable to care as much about the water as about the tea. At our shop, we only use Grander Water.