I just had a friendly chat with Sebastien of Jing Tea Shop in Guangzhou who was kind and patient enough to answer my question regarding the rampant and worrisome use of pesticide on tea farms. This of course is an issue of health concern whereby ingestion of unwanted / unnatural chemical may be detrimental to our health, whether the effect is felt within a short or long term period. Even the research essay written by Kathy Zhang (see my previous blog dated 7/1/06) mentions:
"[T]he over-use of pesticide in tea shrub planting is a common problem on many tea plantations. Even if it is true that “the older the better”, what is the point of storing for ages a raw brick which might have come from a plantation where pesticides have been over-used? And how can Puer tea enter the world market successfully?" 1
Please click on the read/post comment (or here) to read my conversation with Sebastien. While I understood the lack of independency for his opinion, I do believe his insight was bona fide and a useful thing to know.
1 Thai-Yunnan Project Bulletin 2006, "Why YIWU : A Puer Tea Home Town in Southwest China" by Kathy Zhang, The Australian National University