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Monthly Archives: January 2016

  • Tea News: World’s Oldest Tea Leaves Discovered

    China landscape

    This month, researchers identified what archaeologists discovered as the world’s oldest tea. It was buried with the Han Dynasty Jing Emperor Liu Qi. The Han Yangling Mausoleum was first discovered in the 1990’s and is located in Tibet, north of the Xi’an, along the north bank of the Weihe River. The Chinese emperor died in 141 BCE, which dates the tea leaves at 2,150 years old.

    The appreciation and enjoyment of tea is reflected in its oldest textual reference in 59BCE, during the Western Han Dynasty. This, however, is the oldest actual tea discovered.

    How Did They Know It was Tea?

    Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences made this discovery by measuring crystals caught in hairs on the surface of the leaves using liquid and gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The tea was buried in a wooden box among other items ritualistically placed in pits surrounding the emperor’s tomb complex. Aside from food and drink, he was interred with full size chariots and horses, sculptures, pottery and weapons.

    What Do We Know About This Ruling Tea Drinker?

    Han Dynasty Jing Emperor Liu Qi was an unusually evolved ruler; he reduced taxes to improve the quality of life for his subjects, insisted on the humane treatment of criminals and worked to reduce the power of the ruling class.

    It is poignant that tea lovers were so fond of the drink. As quoted by Professor Dorian Fuller, Director of the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (based in UCL London), “The discovery shows how modern science can reveal important previously unknown details about ancient Chinese culture. The identification of the tea found in the emperor’s tomb complex gives us a rare glimpse into very ancient traditions which shed light on the origins of one of the world’s favourite beverages”.

    The enjoyment of tea was clearly appreciated by the finest palates. Chinese royals were customarily buried with anything that they would need or want in the afterlife. Of course, this included a cup of tea. We can completely relate!

  • Four Things to Know About Your Tea Company

    These days, more and more tea drinkers are choosing tea companies that operate under high standards. To this end, here are four things that you will want to know about your tea company.

    Your Tea Company is Organic

    soil association organic standard logo

    When a tea company is organic it operates based on a ‘whole system’ approach to farming and the food production system. From soil to consumer, your tea company functions in accordance with the natural systems, cycles, and levels of plants, animals, and soil. This helps the soil maintain fertility and biological activity and protects sensitive habitats and landscape features.

    Organic companies minimise waste and pollution, work with local systems and distribution teams, and provide their workers with a fair, healthy, and equitable way of life. Organic companies respect geographical differences while implementing appropriate practices. At Luponde, we are certified by one of the UK’s top organic organisations (Soil Association Certification Ltd.)

    Your Organic Tea Company Is Certified as Fair Trade

    FairTrade certification logo

    At Luponde we’ve been Fairtrade certified since 1994. This means that the price of our organic tea is negotiated by growers and buyers and must cover the cost of sustainable production. Buyers also pay an additional sum, which funds development projects to benefit workers and their communities. Examples include the construction of schools and day-to-day running of local hospitals.

    Your Organic Tea Company is Rainforest Alliance Certified

    rainforest alliance certified logo

    What does it mean to be Rainforest Alliance Certified? It means that we protect our land and its workers by safeguarding ecosystems and providing complete training and safe conditions for our workers including health care and housing. We support the prevention of deforestation, agricultural expansion and timber extraction. Luponde has been Rainforest Alliance Certified since 2012 and we are honoured to demonstrate that sustainable companies can flourish in the modern economy.

    Your Tea Company is Kosher

    Kosher logo KLBD

    Kosher principles are followed in Jewish life because it is believed that they are healthy for both the body and spirit. The word ‘kosher’ means ‘proper or acceptable’. We are pleased to provide a product that is certified by KLBD Kosher, one of the world’s leading kosher certification agencies.

    All four of the criteria listed are standards that our own tea company, Luponde adheres to. For more information on our products and practices, contact Luponde here.

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