People often mistake "zero detection of pesticides in tea" or "non-toxic tea" as "organic tea", but in fact, there are great differences between them. Non-toxic tea, even the so-called zero detection of pesticides in tea, is only the most basic requirement of organic tea, and they are not equal to "organic tea".
Three grades of non-toxic tea
In detail, in fact, safe tea can be divided into three levels:
1. Low standard: It is stipulated by Taiwan tea inspection. As long as the detected pesticide content is within the specified concentration, it is considered to be safe.
2. Medium standard: As stipulated in the "EU Inspection Standard", the pesticide residue content must be ND (zero residue), that is, no pesticide residue can be detected at all. Laoyeliang tea is one of the few teas in Taiwan that has achieved zero pesticide residues. Each batch of tea has passed the strict pesticide residue testing of EU standards, and all of them have zero detection, so they must be exported to the EU.
3. High standard: In fact, zero pesticide residue is not the highest standard for safe tea. The highest standard of true safe tea is what the masters insist on.organically grown”, which means that no pesticides and fertilizers are used in the planting process. Even the weeds in and around the tea garden are not weeded with herbicides, but must be weeded by manpower supplemented by machines, or "grass cultivation" is used to cover other areas other than tea trees.
In addition, the highest standard of organic tea in Taiwan must be awarded the "Tea Organic Certification" issued by the Government's Council of Agriculture, as well as the "Taiwan Tea Production and Marketing History" and "Taiwan Origin Certification Mark" issued by the Taiwan Agriculture and Food Administration. Those who have obtained these three certifications at the same time are authentic Taiwanese organic teas, and they are also the highest standard organic teas in the Taiwanese industry.
Certification Mechanism for Organic Tea in Taiwan
The certification mechanism of Taiwan's organic tea is very strict, and it adopts the so-called "dual-track system". The dual-track system includes the "Government Agriculture Council" (hereinafter referred to as GAC) and "Private Professional Organization" (hereinafter referred to as PPO). The GAC delegates inspection and certification matters primarily to the PPO.
These PPOs include some universities and other professional accreditation bodies in Taiwan. They are commissioned and supervised by the GAC to implement organic certification for the tea industry. Therefore, there are two agencies that supervise tea farmers, including the GAC and the PPO, the "dual supervision" or "dual-track system". The advantage of "dual supervision" is to avoid that after the tea farmers and the PPO are familiar with each other, the PPO certifier may relax the control of the tea farmers due to interpersonal relationships.
The process of applying for Taiwan organic tea certification is not easy. It includes the following programs:
1. Application period: PPC personnel will check the tea garden for heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers and herbicide residues. In addition, they will check for uncontaminated clean water. Depending on the organic quality of the tea garden, this process can be as short as a year or more than a decade. If the tea plantation is uncontaminated virgin forest land, the application period may only be one year. However, tea gardens may have been contaminated in the past (contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides). The tea garden then has to wait for these harmful substances to decrease until the amount of harmful substances drops to zero. In this case, the application period may take more than ten years.
2. Transition period: After the application period, the transition period will be entered. During the transition period, the GAC and PPO will check soil quality several times to see if it continues to meet organic standards. This process takes about three years. Over a three-year period, the tea gardens will be randomly inspected several times by two oversight groups. A tea garden is certified organic if it consistently meets organic standards.
3. Organic certification period: After obtaining organic certification, the double supervision unit will still conduct random inspections every year. Ensure that tea farmers strictly adhere to organic standards. In addition, GAC and PPO staff will rotate every three years and will be in charge of tea plantations in different regions. This is designed to prevent tea farmers from becoming familiar with GAC and PPO inspectors who will then relax their oversight.
Due to the rigor and strictness of Taiwan's tea organic certification, if you can obtain the "Organic Tea Certification", plus the "Taiwan Tea Production and Marketing History" and "Taiwan Origin Certification Mark" issued by the Taiwan Agriculture and Food Administration, it can be regarded as a Taiwanese industry. Organic tea of the highest standard. Master Liang's organic tea has obtained these three certifications at the same time, which can be regarded as the benchmark for Taiwan organic tea.
Organic tea bag material
Organic tea is made into tea bags, and great attention should be paid to the material of the tea bags.
A recent report from the United News Network pointed out that plastic tea bags will release billions of plastic particles (https://udn.com/news/story/7266/4071380). The report pointed out that researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, found that some tea bags may release billions of plastic particles during the hot water brewing process. The study was published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology and received media attention and coverage.
Why do tea bags release billions of plastic particles during hot water brewing? The reason is that the outer packaging of the tea bag uses a material containing plastic ingredients.
At present, there are five common tea bag materials on the market, namely nylon, PET, non-woven fabric, cotton, and paper. Their heat resistance is different, and the doubts about the release of plasticizers are also different after long-term foaming at high temperature.
Lao Ye Liang uses PLA polylactic acid fiber as the tea bag packaging material, also known as "corn starch". The source of raw materials is from plants (for example: corn). After the products are discarded, they can be decomposed into carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide by microorganisms in the soil or ocean. Water, high temperature resistance up to 130 degrees C, will not emit poisonous gas when burning, and will not cause pollution. It is an internationally recognized green food packaging material. Lao Yeliang imported this packaging material from Japan, and made it into a three-dimensional tea bag, so that the tea leaves can have proper space to stretch.
Therefore, the highest standard of organic tea bags in the industry, not only the tea industry itself must meet the highest standards of organic, but also the packaging materials of tea bags must be organic. No matter the cost, Lao Ye Liang uses the highest quality tea and packaging materials to make consumers feel at ease and healthy.