So, we are learning quite a bit about his tea business as we go along here. I guess that’s the point. Now, the figures I am going to quote you are, I’m sure, a bit off but let me try…
There are 22 government tea factories here run by private companies. The tea business is a 365 day a year business. The plants may be picked each week and just keep producing “two leafs and a bud” for about 9 years, are pruned back and then they start over again, lasting possibly 100 years or so, as long as they are free of disease.
Companies like Dilmah produce the tea. Its then tested by brokers and rated. Then, it all goes to auction where Dilmah, and companies like them, have to compete with others at the auction to buy their tea back. The auction is held every Wednesday in Colombo, and samples are shipped from the factories daily for testing and tasting. A typical auction price is about 400 rupees per kilo for basic black tea.
Now, the beautiful thing about all of this is finding products like Dilmah which, except for the chamomile (which comes from Egypt), are all estate grown teas. Meaning, there’s NO blending of the tea to lessen the cost and save money. The teas are picked and packed basically in the same 24-hour period. Companies like Lipton attend the same auctions and their buyers, and companies similar to Lipton, buy tea from all over the globe which, in my opinion, lacks a sort of integrity- you never know where the tea is coming from. Dilmah Teas come from one place and one place only. Right here!
Buying teas from the conglomerates equates out to buying boxed beef at Costco or BJ’s. You are only helping the stockholders of those companies. If you buy teas from the source, like Dilmah, who are helping people, that means YOU are helping people. If you don’t know where its from or what/how its been fed, you are taking a risk. Remember, you are what you eat! If you care, and I am one that believes you should. Our food supply is in severe duress. The hormones and antibiotics used in the production of our foods are making us sick and putting more pressure on our already-fragile health care system. I would know the origin of your product and buy what you know.
I know- its just tea, right? Its not just tea. Its a society of people. We can put a face on it. You can’t say that about the conglomerates.
Now, how’s that for a rant?