Did you know that there are more types of tea than there are coffee? And that it takes about 5 years for a tea plant to become a tea leaf producer? But farming processes, weather and growing seasons are all changing and this has a big effect on consumption.
Something that we may not have thought about is climate change and its effect on our everyday cup of tea. I don’t think I would like to live in a world where tea didn’t exist and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. Like most, the tea industry has its challenges and won’t be able to escape from one of the most impactful: Climate Change.
How long will we be able to enjoy our cups of tea? Well we we can’t tell you exactly, however, even now we are starting to see that the flavour of our tea has changed over time since it was first used in the U.K. and Europe in the 16th century and this is because like wine the flavours come from the growing conditions and nutrients in the soil. Degradation of soil and leaves means that flavours that once used to exist are extremely rare to find now and already have or will disappear in the near future if something more is not done.
Freak weather systems, hail, heavy rain and dry seasons have lead to a loss of nutrients and stability in soil. Conventional methods of growing and the changes in soil nutrition, over time can lead to areas that can’t produce tea anymore. This means that we need to adapt our growing methods to the changing situation.
Are smaller farming systems with more biodiversity and smaller scale production the answer?
What does this mean for the everyday consumer like us and how can we help? Well, besides us being more eco friendly ourselves, we could consider:
- Shopping single estate teas
- Supporting tea companies that are helping to support growers by improving and adapting to new techniques
- Supporting tea businesses that are also sustainable and environmentally friendly in their practices.
Want to know and understand more? Below is a very informational video that explains in more detail the impacts, and was produced by Treehaven Productions in association with the Northwest Tea Festival, featuring three tea industry experts Nigel Melican, Kevin Gascoyne and Elise Petersen. in September 2019.
Could you live in a world without tea? Leave a comment below to let us know!
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Hello, I’m Elle a Tea Champion through the UK Tea Academy. I started Mindful Roots Tea as I have a passion for all things tea. I curate delicious, fun, all-natural tea blends that have added wellness benefits.