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Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

worried about pesticides in tea?



 
 
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 18-09-2007, 11:02 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 119
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

On 2007-09-16, Dominic T. wrote:

There is no such thing really as organic tea (my belief in any so-
called organic food is minimal at best anyhow though) Mainly for the
fact that no one can control the ground/soil contents or the rain,
atmosphere, runoff, etc. regardless of what they do. It is a fact of
life today. This whole "organic" business is just that, a business.


Well the whole word is stupid, since anything containing carbon is
technically "organic". Even "organically grown", which is a little more
precise, doesn't really mean anything.

However, when people are talking about certified organic or organically
grown (or transitional) produce, they are talking about stuff grown
without synthetic pesticides. Most certifications require that a farm
not use chemicals for a certain amount of time (during which they are
transitional, but not 'organic'). So while they can't control the soil
contents, they can control the amount of pesticide residue likely to be
in that soil. The rain... of course that's impossible to control, and
will vary by region and amount of rainfall.

Is organic produce at least partially about marketing? Absolutely. Does
it guarantee that produce will be absolutely free of pesticide residue?
Absolutely not. Is everything "natural" (whatever that means) safe and
everything "synthetic" or "natural" bad? Of course not.

But is that a reason not to try and reduce the presence of chemicals
which have been proven to be harmful from the stuff we put in our
bodies?

What would be really great (to me) would be if someone on this group is
able to test stuff (for harmful chemicals and pesticide residue) for
free or cheap, and is willing to do this for some representative samples
of teas from various regions / merchants / ages / types of farm. I would
be happy to contribute samples of tea towards this project.

I also noticed Warren's post he
http://chadao.blogspot.com/2007/09/l...nd-purity.html
which is kind of an outgrowth of this thread, as well as this post:
http://chadao.blogspot.com/2007/08/a...-polluted.html

It would be interesting to do some tests and see if rinsing tea leaves
before brewing them actually results in a significant decrease in
pesticide residue etc..

w

Ads
  #32 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 08:42 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 184
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

NO COMMENT

http://www.tiny.cc/HThSE

Nigel at Teacraft



  #33 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 08:53 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 403
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

On Sep 19, 12:42 am, Nigel wrote:
NO COMMENT

http://www.tiny.cc/HThSE

Nigel at Teacraft


Excellent link, Nigel. very interesting.
Has there been follow-up to check the efficacy of this kit?
Shen

  #34 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 09:24 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 136
Default worried about pesticides in tea?


"Scott Dorsey" wrote in message
...
Melinda wrote:

This brings up something I've been meaning to ask the group...if I wanted
to
take a sample of tea from my cupboard and get it analyzed for pesticides
etc., how would I go aobut doing that? I imagine a lab, but what kind, how
would I find one, and would they do such a thing for a member of the
general
public?


Here in Virginia, the agricultural extension service has access to a lab
at Virginia Tech that can do pesticide assays for very low prices.

Your extension service may have something similar.

Some commercial labs include http://www.wcaslab.com and
http://www.emalab.com. I have not used either, though.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


Excellent, thanks Scott. I never thought about the Extension Service.

Melinda


  #35 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 09:25 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 136
Default worried about pesticides in tea?


"Shen" wrote in message
ups.com...
On Sep 17, 2:11 am, "Melinda" wrote:
wrote in message

oups.com...



On Sep 16, 3:32 am, Tea Sunrise wrote:
Since a lot of the tea we drink comes from China and Indonesia, are
you ever worried that the tea leaves were sprayed with pesticides such
as DDT or other harmful chemicals? I'd hate to think that I could
be drinking a cup full of toxins or pesticides along with my EGCG.


Is the correct move to switch to organic teas? Does anyone really
know if tea bushes are completely safe for consumption?


Any input is highly appreciated. thanks.


I completely agree with you. I recently read a newspaper article
about a woman who became ill due to drinking green tea which was
contaminated with DDT (she drink the same tea for a couple of years -
a cheap Chinese green tea). While I agree that "going organic" is no
guarantee of avoiding toxins, I do think that going organic can help
to reduce the chance of your tea being contaminated. I recently asked
Upton Tea about how they ensure that their teas are organic - they
told me that they do test most of the organic teas from time to time
to make sure everything is ok. I also read that in 2000 the EU
introduced new standards for tea. The number of restricted chemicals
jumped from 7 to 134. From what I understand, these standards actually
require testing of the end product as opposed to merely making sure no
pesticides are used, etc. According to this China Daily article the
result of the new EU regulations was that in 2001 tea exports from
China to the EU dropped by 37%. (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/
doc/2004-04/13/content_322923.htm) (Sorry, not trying to pick on
Chinese teas.) As a result I have tried ordering some teas from the
EU. Specifically I ordered some teas from Jing Tea in the UK. (http://
jingtea.com/). The only problem is expense.


Another tea shop that actually tests every tea they sell is a German
tea company (Tea Gschwender) which has a shop in Chicago that you can
order from. I just tried something from there as well. They seem to
be slow in stocking new Chinese greens and oolongs. (http://
www.teagschwendner.com/)


I have to admit I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the US and
other organic certifications really mean. I do find the concept of
actually testing the tea easier to understand!


Good luck in you search for toxin-free tea. I'm doing the same.


This brings up something I've been meaning to ask the group...if I wanted
to
take a sample of tea from my cupboard and get it analyzed for pesticides
etc., how would I go aobut doing that? I imagine a lab, but what kind,
how
would I find one, and would they do such a thing for a member of the
general
public?

Melinda


University of California, Davis - well-known for their agricultural
additive studies.
Not expensive, at all.
Shen


Thank-you Shen. If it really isn't expensive this would be a really
interesting experiment for us to try (or me).

Melinda


  #36 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 09:27 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 117
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

Mynight, thanks for the helpful reply.

I had a lot of Tie Guan Yin that tasted really good. Unfortunately,
most of those flavors are unnatural additives. The "tea shoot" thing
is mostly about green tea. What about Wulong?


The quality of Tieguanyin tends to increase with its durability. A top
Tieguanyin Wang can easily last 9 infusions, and still tastes honeyed,
not astringent and retaining a slight orchid fragrance. An experienced
taster (which I would say apply to many people participating in this
group) should have the confidence to tell the real from the fake.

These teas are not only "unavailable" in the West; a great percentage
of Chinese never even SEE these teas. They are carted away for the
royality and the uber-rich. The best green teas do come from the
small countryside places. Most famous teas, like Longjing, are
guaranteed to be dirty. See above about quality vs. quantity.


A famous Chinese tea is not just about a Longjing tea or a Taiping
Houkui tea etc. It has specific meaning referring to exactly where it
is produced, and its grade (usually determined by the timing of the
harvest and the quality of leaves)

The 10 famous teas were coined in the 1950s. At that time, THE
Longjing tea refers to the Xihu Longjing tea, which then consisted of
only the Lion peak mountain (the original Xihu) and the surrounding
Mejiawu (later added).

Today, Longjing tea is produced all over China in 20 provinces.

Similarly, the original TPHK tea were produced in the 3 villages
around Hou Gan.

Today it is produced in the entire Yellow mountain area, plus all the
fakes.

As Mynight rightly pointed out, these truly authentic high grades are
seldom available. A top quality famous tea now sells at US$110 (per 50
grams) at Chinese street prices.

These teas wholesaled at $20+. They are seldom available in the West.
99% of tea vendors are not selling these high grades.

Yes, Longjing tea can be dirty. I have specific concerns with those
teas coming from Meijiawu. Not due to pesticides. But because of road
traffic.

But internet retailing is changing this, making authentic high grades
available at better prices.

For example, Sevencup currently sells their Tribute Longjing tea at
$75. We do it for half the price. These teas go directly to the
Chinese White House and get tested for regularly. So there is no
question about their quality. Imagine, Westerners paying less than
Chinese people. Is there a catch? It is the nature of internet
retailing.

I am sure as time goes by people would discover more high quality but
less famous tea to sell at more affordable price, delivering more
value to your money.

Most Chinese can't see in the long term and it is part of their
culture. What is acquired today can be taken away tomorrow by the CCP
or anyone else with a little power.


Organic farming is a long term strategy. Misuse of chemical and
pesticides kill the yield of the tea garden. It poisons the water
sources and harms the worker health. .There is no conflict here. The
best tea gardens have every incentive to keep their tea as clean as
possible. It is in their best interests.

Authentic tea gardens have been farming teas for hundreds of years.
They existed even before China industrialised. They are not poor, they
tend to be prosperous farmers who command high premiums for their
teas. They know that customers come back to them because their teas
taste different from competitions.

I understand all your concerns about pesticides in tea. I agree with
many of your suggestions, especially tea testing and Taiwanese tea.
But I think there are many GREAT teas around, from China/Taiwan/India
etc, tasting good and highly organic. Call me an optimist, I think
there will be even more of them available in the future.

Julian
http://www.amazing-green-tea.com

  #37 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 10:52 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 3
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

On 18 Sep, 17:02, Will Yardley wrote:
It would be interesting to do some tests and see if rinsing tea leaves
before brewing them actually results in a significant decrease in
pesticide residue etc..


There was a study in the UK recently (read about it in a newspaper
about a month or two ago, sorry don't have any more specific info)
that was testing the benefits of washing your fruit to remove
pesticides. They found that washing removes dirt and that is good. But
any chemicals appear to penetrate the skin of the fruit. They found
that washing did not reduce the amount of chemicals, but peeling did.
The conclusion was that most pesticides end up accumulating in the
skin of fruit.

My assumption from this would be that rinsing tea won't get rid of any
pesticides.

Robby

  #38 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 01:08 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 352
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

The quality of Tieguanyin tends to increase with its durability. A top
Tieguanyin Wang can easily last 9 infusions, and still tastes honeyed,
not astringent and retaining a slight orchid fragrance. An experienced
taster (which I would say apply to many people participating in this
group) should have the confidence to tell the real from the fake.


This is also marketing. If a tea does or does not yield a huge amount
of brewings, it can have a lot to do with weather conditions or how
they cooked the tea. Most of the TieGuanYin I have drank, and I've
bought some top grade in the past, did hold up for many brewings,
maybe upwards to 10 or 11, but I think it says little about the
pollution levels or the quality of the tea. The crappy red tea I am
drinking from Yixing can brew 15 times without tasting like an old
sock. The general grade TGY has about 3 or 4 brewings in it before
all of the spray-on flavor washes off.

The main thing about this tea that bothers me is what was told to me
by a local of GanDe county in AnXi. He said something like, "Twenty
years ago, the tea tasted nothing like it does today. Most older
locals here won't even drink it."

Wonder why that is...

A famous Chinese tea is not just about a Longjing tea or a Taiping
Houkui tea etc. It has specific meaning referring to exactly where it
is produced, and its grade (usually determined by the timing of the
harvest and the quality of leaves)


It's grade depends more highly upon weather conditions and the growing
process. They do pick greens early in the spring, and the first pick,
as with all teas, is always the best. Geography is also important in
a tea's quality.

The 10 famous teas were coined in the 1950s. At that time, THE
Longjing tea refers to the Xihu Longjing tea, which then consisted of
only the Lion peak mountain (the original Xihu) and the surrounding
Mejiawu (later added).


You mean Shi Feng. There are slight differences between Xihu and
ShiFeng.

Today, Longjing tea is produced all over China in 20 provinces.


Yes, indeed. Most people drink Longjing that comes from Sichuan and
they don't even realize it. Vendors early as 10 years ago began to
investigate other options in buying raw stock leaves for their
factories because of the insane prices that the farmers in Hangzhou
offer. You ever seen a Chinese farmer with a car and a 3-storey
house? Go to XiHu village.

Similarly, the original TPHK tea were produced in the 3 villages
around Hou Gan.

Today it is produced in the entire Yellow mountain area, plus all the
fakes.


I think I drank some of this tea that was produced in Hubei once.


As Mynight rightly pointed out, these truly authentic high grades are
seldom available. A top quality famous tea now sells at US$110 (per 50
grams) at Chinese street prices.


Uh, either you were cheated or you are in a different China than I
am. I paid more than 100 bucks a few times for 500g of the tea that
you mention from trusted, personal friends and sources. Such a high
price for 50g could only be found in TianFu (TenRen) or similar chains
where everything is insanely overpriced anyway.

But internet retailing is changing this, making authentic high grades
available at better prices.


To be honest, I have never been impressed by teas that I tried from
the net. I would usually go to hang out with a basic understanding of
tea that paid top dollar for their stuff. I've had teas in
cornershops here that were better...

For example, Sevencup currently sells their Tribute Longjing tea at
$75. We do it for half the price. These teas go directly to the
Chinese White House and get tested for regularly. So there is no
question about their quality. Imagine, Westerners paying less than
Chinese people. Is there a catch? It is the nature of internet
retailing.


Tribute Longjing means what exactly? Westerners paying less than
Chinese people...you must be joking. This only happens here if you
ask someone to go buy the tea for you or if your best friend is in
tea. I hope you can develop better marketing in the future.

I am sure as time goes by people would discover more high quality but
less famous tea to sell at more affordable price, delivering more
value to your money.


In our dreams...

Organic farming is a long term strategy. Misuse of chemical and
pesticides kill the yield of the tea garden. It poisons the water
sources and harms the worker health. .There is no conflict here. The
best tea gardens have every incentive to keep their tea as clean as
possible. It is in their best interests.


Misuse of chemical and pesticides increases yield, thus allowing more
tea to be produced. I think most tea gardens have figured out how to
keep a balance by now, don't you?

I understand all your concerns about pesticides in tea. I agree with
many of your suggestions, especially tea testing and Taiwanese tea.
But I think there are many GREAT teas around, from China/Taiwan/India
etc, tasting good and highly organic. Call me an optimist, I think
there will be even more of them available in the future.


I repeat what I said befo THERE IS NO ORGANIC TEA IN CHINA.

That's all. I am not a pessimist, only a realist.

  #39 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 02:33 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 1,100
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

On Sep 19, 3:53 am, Shen wrote:
On Sep 19, 12:42 am, Nigel wrote:

NO COMMENT


http://www.tiny.cc/HThSE


Nigel at Teacraft


Excellent link, Nigel. very interesting.
Has there been follow-up to check the efficacy of this kit?
Shen


Or even just what exactly it tests for. I hunted around for a short
while and came up empty, I'll have to look into it further later. I
never thought about it, but I may speak with someone at my university
to see if they have the equipment or interest in doing some research.
I will certainly talk to some people at my Alma Mater (Penn State)
since they are a huge agriculture and research school.

I never would have thought about the accessibility to testing
resources if it weren't for this thread.

- Dominic

  #40 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 05:13 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 88
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

On Sep 18, 11:59 pm, SN wrote:
heres a reply from a commercial testing lab:

---
You are looking at about

$500 for a pesticide screen,
$400 for a metals screen, and
$500 for an organics screen.
Depending on what vitamins you are looking for the cost is from $100
on up for each individual one.
--

well... that sure ruins my plans


easier option - send the samples to me - i will have them tested at
1/10th the price, i guess.

  #41 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2007, 11:12 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 117
Default worried about pesticides in tea?


easier option - send the samples to me - i will have them tested at
1/10th the price, i guess.


Ankit, I will be more than happy to send it to you, if you don't mind
the hassle.

What kinds of chemicals do you screen for? I have in my mind lead,
fluoride, aluminun (not sure why) and pesticides.

We can potentially collate the information in one big database to
share the results between the tea community.

Julian
http://www.amazing-green-tea.com

  #42 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-2007, 01:10 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 88
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

On Sep 20, 3:12 am, juliantai wrote:
easier option - send the samples to me - i will have them tested at
1/10th the price, i guess.


Ankit, I will be more than happy to send it to you, if you don't mind
the hassle.

What kinds of chemicals do you screen for? I have in my mind lead,
fluoride, aluminun (not sure why) and pesticides.

We can potentially collate the information in one big database to
share the results between the tea community.

Julianhttp://www.amazing-green-tea.com


hi julian,

normally we do

moisture content
crude fibre
water extract
ash content
tannic acid
stem content
water soluble alkalinity
water soluble ash
caffeeine content
acid insoluble ash
any essence or additional colors
any foreign matter
mettalic matter
tea used before
reducing polyphenols
yeast and mould
E.coli
coliform
any pollution fungi
any pollution of mushrooms
pesticide residue of
diazinon
melathion
fenamiphos
propargite
heavy metals
lead
copper
arsenic
nickel

we can also do anything additional you want.

expenses on us - dont bother - feel free to send the samples - we can
share the results with everyone.. people can know what they are
drinking.....


  #43 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-2007, 10:30 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 198
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

On Sep 20, 5:10 am, Ankit Lochan wrote:
On Sep 20, 3:12 am, juliantai wrote:

easier option - send the samples to me - i will have them tested at
1/10th the price, i guess.


Ankit, I will be more than happy to send it to you, if you don't mind
the hassle.


What kinds of chemicals do you screen for? I have in my mind lead,
fluoride, aluminun (not sure why) and pesticides.


We can potentially collate the information in one big database to
share the results between the tea community.


Julianhttp://www.amazing-green-tea.com


hi julian,

normally we do

moisture content
crude fibre
water extract
ash content
tannic acid
stem content
water soluble alkalinity
water soluble ash
caffeeine content
acid insoluble ash
any essence or additional colors
any foreign matter
mettalic matter
tea used before
reducing polyphenols
yeast and mould
E.coli
coliform
any pollution fungi
any pollution of mushrooms
pesticide residue of
diazinon
melathion
fenamiphos
propargite
heavy metals
lead
copper
arsenic
nickel

we can also do anything additional you want.

expenses on us - dont bother - feel free to send the samples - we can
share the results with everyone.. people can know what they are
drinking.....


Ankit,

How much sample do you need to analyze the checimal make up of a tea?
I am tempted to have some of the older pu'er analyzed...stuff from the
1950's onwards. Would be interesting to find out what they contain.

Thanks.

Phyll

  #44 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-2007, 10:59 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Posts: 986
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

Phyll writes:

On Sep 20, 5:10 am, Ankit Lochan wrote:
[...lots of things he'll test for...]
we can also do anything additional you want.

expenses on us - dont bother - feel free to send the samples - we can
share the results with everyone.. people can know what they are
drinking.....


Ankit,

How much sample do you need to analyze the checimal make up of a tea?
I am tempted to have some of the older pu'er analyzed...stuff from the
1950's onwards. Would be interesting to find out what they contain.


Phyll, it's noble of you to volunteer to hand over some precious '50s
Pu'er. But, unless you're rich enough to drink that stuff often,
wouldn't it make more sense to test some everyday teas? I mean, this
is about health, no?

/Lew
---
Lew Perin /
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html
recently updated: Fenghuang Dancong
  #45 (permalink)  
Old 21-09-2007, 12:42 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 117
Default worried about pesticides in tea?

Ankit

It is really too kind of you. I suggest you charge some fees, i don't
really want to see you inundated with requests and taking too much of
your time.

Your list is very comprehensive. I suppose your heavymetal will
include fluoride? A lot of my visitors are interested in this
contaminant.

I will be happy to ship a green tea to you, and another oolong tea
that I am considering working with later this year.

How much sample do you need? I will happy to email to get the details
later this year (after the October oolong tea harvest).

I am really excited - putting these great tasting teas to an objective
test! Can pollutants and high grades exist hand in hand? I am
intrigued!

As a special thank you, I will also send you some secret presents.

Julian
http://www.amazing-green-tea.com

 




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