Tea is one of the most important ingredients in home brewed kombucha, second only to the quality of your SCOBY. The type of tea can dramatically impact the growth of your SCOBY and the taste of your brew, and over time flavored tea can negatively impact the health of your culture.
Finding the right tea for our brew kits was a priority. Since ancient times, black tea has been used to brew kombucha but it is more common today for brewers to experiment with green, oolong, white and herbal teas as well. (Just one of the many reasons why home brew is so fun!) Just as important as finding a tea that brewed great booch, we also wanted to find a farm that supported the community it is grown in.
Through all the ups and downs of tea testing we finally discovered our perfect match, Organic Black Colombian Tea from Bitaco Tea Farm. Grown in the clouds at 6,000 feet in the Andes Mountains, Bitaco Tea Farm is committed to growing the finest tea in South America. The three tenets of the farm’s mission resonated with us deeply: sustainable farming, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship.
Today, Bitaco is overseen by Paulo, a farmer who cares deeply for the quality of his tea. He is highly knowledgeable about the relationships between the different species in this unique ecosystem. Instead of pesticides, Paulo and his team depend upon the citronella plant and the birds to protect the tea leaves from insects. In return, Paulo cultivates new plant growth with saplings and the birds are conserved in this natural sanctuary with plenty of food. The mutually beneficial relationship seen here reminds us of the relationship between the bacteria and yeast in kombucha brewing.
The farm itself is located in a nature preserve and many of the workers live in the surrounding town.
- Bitaco Tea promotes equal employment and fair wages.
- They hire men and women who are compensated with the security of standard wages rather than the common practice of being paid by the bushel.
- The farm funds the local school and daycare center.
- They support special programs like music, PE and computer education.
We know our dollar has power which is why we choose to support a tea company that is radically empowering people and making the world a healthier place. Now, each time you purchase a kit or bag of tea, you are supporting this mission and can see your dollar go further too. We are proud to partner with Bitaco Tea!