Tom and Alex visited their green tea in China.
Tom and Alex visited their green tea in China. Or, to be more precise, the FAIRTRADE smallholder cooperative in Qingzhushan. What are the implications of sustainable cultivation for the local people? What is the plant’s significance in China? How did the experts in the mother country of the tea like all i need? Here you’ll find all the answers.
Fair and sustainable cooperation on an equal footing with local smallholders all over the world. That’s the essence of all i need’s philosophy. And that is also what has led Tom and Alex to the green tea fields in China. Saying “hi”, or, in this case, „nǐ hǎo“!
Vienna – Shanghai – Changsha – Qingzhushan
Sounds like a long journey. And it is! But the hour-long drives already offered Tom and Alex the opportunity to get an impression of the local customs and conventions. And here, tea plays an important role. Served from morning to night and drunk during the whole day, it is an integral part of the Chinese way of life.
Upon their arrival in the so-called “Tea-Estate”, Tom and Alex were immediately greeted with great enthusiasm and kindness by the spokesman of the FAIRTRADE cooperative. Everyone bowed, hugs were given, hands were shaken. A few selfies and then straight into the green tea fields.
And they presented a picture book image. A slightly drizzly weather put a smooth veil of mist over the organic cultivation. A good moment for asking an important question: What is it that makes this tea so special?
Digression: how does tea become green tea?
Green tea can be harvested from spring to the beginning of winter. While at first the plant’s delicate tips are harvested, later on they grow into thick bushes that carry large amounts of tea leaves. Once harvested, those leaves end up in the cooperative’s “factory”. Actually, this is a rather small building, in which the leaves are processed into tea using different techniques.
Quick questions: Can the tea plant, if it isn’t cut back, grow into a tree and are the same leaves used for producing green and black tea? The answers: Yes, and yes.
all i need and two tons of green tea
As this year all i need is going to import about 2,000 kg of green tea to Vienna, Tom and Alex immediately started to help out with the harvest. The objective of working on an equal footing was achieved here as well, which became quite clear when the pickers pointed out that, considering their picking-speed, Tom and Alex would never manage to harvest the two tons in one year…
Europe and the sugar
The locals were rather skeptical at tasting the imported refreshment all i need. European and American drinks always were extremely sweet, they claimed. So Tom and Alex were even more excited to see their reaction. And look at that – it doesn’t taste European at all, which in this case was a big compliment for the green tea beverage, which is sweetened only with agave juice.
How organic and sustainable farming changes peoples lives.
Tea is extremely important in China. Because of the sustainable and organic cultivation, the FAIRTRADE cooperative can achieve higher prices for the high-quality tea, which helps everyone. Due to the strict quality controls during processing, the export and the import, it is safe to say that the highest possible quality is achieved. This makes the owner of the cooperative very proud, as his family has been cultivating the fields for generations.
Bottom line: mission accomplished!
Visited the green tea cooperative – check.
Made new friends – check.
Once again convinced that sustainable production is possible and important – check.
Having all i need’s taste approved by the green tea experts – check.