What is Plantation-Free?

What is Plantation Free Tea?

Love Some Tea is what we term ‘plantation free’ tea. Our tea comes from the forests of Northern Thailand. The tea seeds were brought to Thailand in 1980 as an alternative to farmers growing poppy’s (mostly for heroin). There are two types of tea seeds, Camelia Sinensis (which is used most frequently in worldwide tea production) and Camelia Sinensis Assamica (the seeds that Love Some Tea uses). The Camelia Sinensis seeds have some advantages. They are produced in high quantity, they are lesser quality tea but popular, and are easy to pick by both machine and hand. These seeds however have significant disadvantages too. It leads to deforestation, destroys walking tracks for elephants, causes the need to use fertilizer and pesticides, and has lost some of its natural properties and anti-oxidants.

The Camelia Sinensis Assamica seeds are what our Hill tribe Farmers use to make the Love Some Tea products. These seeds have some good advantages. There is no deforestation and animals can live openly and freely. These seeds have high quantities of Tanin (Bioflavonoids) which is a natural defense versus insects which means no pesticides are needed. Since these seeds grow naturally in the forest no fertilizers are necessary. The disadvantages are minimal, larger tea leaves make processing a little more time consuming, and these teas can have a more natural taste (can be a little bitter which we take care of in the flavoring).

When LST says, ‘our teas are plantation free’ we mean that because we use the Camelia Sinensis Assamica seeds our teas grow naturally in the forest without pesticides or fertilizers. 85% of the tea harvested in the world is grown on plantations with the Camelia Sinensis seeds which deforest natural areas, destroy animal habitats, and are not sustainable. Love Some Tea has chosen to work with Thai Hill Tribe Farmers using Cameila Sinensis Assamica seeds because we want to sell and promote natural teas with amazing flavors that don’t use pesticides or fertilizers and do not harm local animals or their natural habitats.


Travel in Thailand

Love Some Tea founders Rob and Scott are Thailand travel veterans.  Rob lives in Chiang Mai and Scott lived there for 2 years.  Both have traveled extensively around Thailand and this Blog will be a travel guide for those wanting to visit the Country of Smiles.

I’ll start off by telling people to be prepared to meet some of the friendliest people in the world.  The Thai people are wonderful.  They will do all they can to help you on your travels, from giving directions, to inviting you to eat and drink with them.  They call Thailand the land of smiles for a reason.

Here are some initial tips:

  1. Don’t bring a Thai/English dictionary with you.  Unless you have studied Thai you will not be able to just translate it.  Thai is a language based on tonal speaking, just saying the words phonetically is not going to work.  Leave the dictionary at home and if you are so inclined let Thai people help you speak.
  2. Get ready for it to be hot, and then hotter.  Depending on what time of the year you travel, you will see temperatures from 90 to over 100 degrees.  The hottest months are March – May.  June – September is monsoon time, so you’ll see lots of rain (everyday).  It’ll also be humid.  October – February is high season, the temperatures are cooler (especially in Northern Thailand).  Make sure you drink and always have water with you.
  3. Eat from street vendors.  It’s some of the most delicious food in Thailand and it’s safe.  Thai people are known for being very clean and tidy.  Also, don’t worry about Thai people serving you water that isn’t safe. They know you are not native and they know to give you bottled water.  Oh by the way, ice is fine too.
  4. Tuk-Tuk’s can be fun but be careful.  Nothing dangerous but especially in Bangkok Tuk-Tuk drivers will try to take you to stores they have relationships with, so if you don’t want to do that insist (nicely) that you want to go to your destination.  If they refuse, politely decline and find a taxi.
  5. Remember when at a Buddhist temple to take off your shoes when entering the main temple.  Never sit with your legs out in front, because the feet are the lowest point of the body and this is considered very disrespectful.  Sit with your legs behind you or squat on your knees. 
  6. It is considered very disrespectful to walk around without a shirt on unless you are at the beach. This is totally unacceptable in cities and town.  Most Thai people would not say anything but don’t do it.  Also, public displays of affection are also not welcomed.

Places:

Bangkok – wonderful city to explore.  See the temples, go to Wat Run in the center of town.  The floating market is fun, and in fact take a boat ride for a few hours.  Go to the weekend market, which you could never fully explore in a weekend, but it’s a great place to shop.  Too many restaurants and hotels to mention, but if you send me a note (info@lovesometea.com) I’d be happy to help.


What makes Natural and Organic Teas better?

Love some tea is grown in the mountains of northern Thailand. Our Tea is unique because it is grown wild meaning it is not grown on a plantation. There are no pesticides or fertilizer used on on our teas, in fact they really aren't tended to much other than picking and trimming here and there. The Hill Tribe people pick and flavor this tea as they have for thousands of years.

In todays tea production a lot of un-natural chemicals are used as well as preservatives to grow the tea faster and also to preserve it longer. Many tea plantations use extensive irrigation and fertilizers which further deplete our natural resources. We don’t know yet what all the effects on the human body are from many of the chemicals used in traditional Tea production, although many of them have been shown to be carcinogenic and have other health ramifications.

We don’t use any of these un-natural chemicals. Our tea is as nature intended it to be, wild and Plantation Free.  We are currently in the process of having each of the tea areas and processing villages certified as Organic and hope to have this completed by spring of 2018. By choosing Natural and Organic teas you are not only making a conscious decision for your health, but a commitment to protect the planet and its many natural resources.