There’s a lot of debate thrown around with “Why you shouldn’t buy organic” or “Organic vs Conventional”. When we started Thea, we tried over 50 different samples of matcha from lots of different farms. It was more than price, but about the farm, their practices and having a direct relationship with the farm.
We decided to go with organic as we drink this on mostly a daily basis, so knowing that we are ingesting tea that was grown without the synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and genetically modified organisms was important to us. The organic certification used to certify this process is the JAS – Japanese Agricultural Organic Standard.
We order our matcha in small batches to ensure it’s freshness - they are given a year for it’s best before date – you may see some that are dated 2 years but by that time it would’ve lost of a lot it’s colour and freshness.
So what’s the difference with farming?
Both conventional and organic farming are grown in the same way, there are strict farming practices for organic – the type of fertilisers used and the ban of synthetic pesticides used to protect the tea leaves from pests.
Matcha is grown differently to other tea plants. Because of its shade-growing process, the plant cannot rely on sunlight to help with generating nutrients. That means it needs to use the soil to produce its nutrients. This may affect the taste and colour of organic matcha when compared to conventional – organic matcha maybe lighter in taste and colour than conventional. However, the taste differences and nutrients between the two are quite minute!
So if a plant is drawing most of it's nutrients from chemicals in the soil... Then hopefully you can draw the conclusion on what you would be consuming!
While organic farming isn’t just about the quality of the crop, it’s also about the environment. We’ve seen the consequences of intensive agriculture where once fertile lands are now desert. A few factors contribute to the loss of topsoil such as chemicals, overgrazing, and deforestation. With organic agriculture, you are limiting the use of synthetic chemicals and resort to natural ways to deal with pest management. Ceres Organics has written a great article explaining organic farming and why it matters for the sustainability of the planet.