In honor of Labor Day (and the much-needed 3-day weekend that results), I thought it would be a fitting idea to briefly explain just how much work goes into making just one cup of tea. This is no small task not only for the hard-working folks at Tavalon that bring it to you, but every step of the path from the very seed which it was grown.
Even separating the “good” seeds from the “bad” can take up to 48 hours, as to properly germinate health seeds you first have to soak the seeds, then inspect and evaluate which of the floating seeds (the healthiest) have developed a crack (known as an “eye”) from which the plant will grow. And once the acceptable seeds have been planted, just getting the tea plant to acceptable size can take up to three, even four months.
On top of that, there are many factors, such as temperature, elevation, humidity and soil play a critical role in the health of the tea plant and must be continuously observed and controlled. Even with such close attention, tea is very susceptible to bacterial and fungal infection which would destroy the plant. This also must be monitored constantly and vigilantly.
Tea harvesting itself is a laborious task that first requires some training (which, of course, takes time) in order to yield the best results. When plucking the leaves for a top-quality tea, you only pluck the top bud, the second and third leaves. The tea then goes on to be processed, which (depending on the tea) can take upwards of a month to come to a finished product.
One tea bush will usually only produce about three thousand tea leaves a year, which sounds like a lot, but really only equals about one pound of fully processed tea. That means that for you to enjoy just one cup of tea, it takes, on average, about 2 days to fully process from seed to cup!
So this holiday weekend, when you and your friends are relaxing with your favorite tea, take a moment to pay homage to the amount of labor tea folks go through for your enjoyment!