It is interesting to take a moment to consider how tea was consumed historically. In the villages of Ancient China, tea was a treasure, but it was also a product of the local agriculture. In today’s world, tea has been separated from nature by major corporations as much as possible in order to sell more of it. In the eyes of these companies, tea’s origin as a product of farming is something to be cleverly hidden by snappy slogans and vibrantly coloured packages.
The same phenomenon can be seen in the way we eat food today. The food industry has tried to separate what we eat from where it came from. In the grocery store aisles, the origins and farming methods of the food being sold are rarely, if ever, discusses. At Herbal Republic, we believe this is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. Food should be recognizable as a product of our planet. The same is true of tea. Tea is a result of the hard work and refined expertise of farmers and tea masters who work with the variables provided by nature to create what truly is a work of art. At Herbal Republic, we believe that this mastery should show in the products we sell. Our Japanese green teas are a prime example of our devotion to display nature’s finest in the products we sell.
Japanese green tea has a long tradition of striving for the utmost in purity. Land is quite a limited resource in Japan and as such, tea farming has been refined to an art over hundreds of years. Unfortunately, some tea farmers in Japan are encouraged by markets to maximize profits by using pesticides and fertilizers in shocking amounts to grow their crops. The high cost of land, paired with a high international demand for japanese green teas has inflated this phenomenon to an even larger issue in the last decade. When buying Japanese green teas today, it can be difficult to know what teas contain harmful pesticides and what teas do not. We guarantee the quality of our Japanese green teas and can confidently ensure that they are grown with the utmost care and with the highest standards of health and safety.
We sell 6 unblended Japanese green teas; Kukicha Special, Matcha Special Grade, Matcha Ceremonial Grade, Sencha Special, Sencha Supreme, and Bancha Select. All of the Japanese green teas we sell are first pick of the season. Selling only first pick of the season teas gives us the advantage of being able to offer our clients a higher concentration of flavour and vibrancy in the finished cup. In young, early season tea leaves, the leaves on the plant are somewhat smaller than later season harvests. This essentially means that the vitamins and minerals (not to mention the oils that usually give tea its flavour) are more concentrated in the young leaves. As an added bonus, by not pumping the plant with artificial pesticides, the leaves are allowed to mature more slowly. The result is a leaf that is smaller than normal, but contains far more flavour than leaves harvest later on in the season and that are grown using harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
We source all of our Japanese green teas from a family business that has high standards for protecting the land they farm on. As we have made very clear, preserving this planet is one of our key focuses at Herbal Republic. If we can provide our clients with the highest quality of tea possible, while working with the sustainable farming community, we have accomplished our mission.
One of the greatest tragedies of our time is that tea companies have increasingly been attempting to remove tea from its origins as an agricultural product. This goes against tea’s history. Tea is grown on farms. By people. Skillful hands work the land and nurture a tea plant over years and years. After long periods of hard work and tedious care, the leaves are meticulously plucked by the hands of the farmers that grew them. This is the natural state of tea. Businesses today have placed profits above purity. At Herbal Republic we pledge to preserve the quality of the teas we sell. We guarantee that they are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and that the plants are grown in the most sustainable way.
Japan has a long history of green tea production. It is important to preserve this history and keep it from devolving into merely a commodity industry. It is our responsibility as tea drinkers to make sure that the art of Japanese tea stays as an art, not turning into an industrial venture. When we preserve Japanese tea’s historic growing methods, we protect our bodies from harmful chemicals and pesticides.