The LiberoMondo green tea comes from the province of Lao Cai in northern Vietnam. It is grown in gardens located in a mountainous area which is characterized by a cool and damp climate with limited temperature changes. The cultivation area, found in the commune of Ban Lien, is far from populated centers and thus from the main sources of pollution. This feature has enabled the tea to receive organic certification and a high quality standard.
The plants are grown in a non-intensive way and only the last two leaves and the bud of new shoots are harvested by hand, with a gentle movement of the fingers in a downwards manner: this way the leaves are not damaged, possible fermentation is avoided and the correct drying and preservation process is applied.
The freshly picked leaves (starting in February) are placed in the sun on a bamboo bed, for the initial withering and then are placed in a warm environment (steam) to prevent the onset of fermentation. After which come the drying stages to enhance dehydration. The drying makes the leaves soft, almost soggy, and this leads to the next step, in which they are folded and rolled up. The leaves are then left, for a second phase, to dry in the sun. This method preserves the integrity of certain substances, including phenolic compounds, which give the characteristic aroma to green tea.
Our green tea is an infusion of yellowy color with an aromatic taste which is delicate and fragrant, slightly more intense compared to traditional Chinese and Japanese green teas.
Roughly 200 families are involved In the cultivation of the tea gardens (and subsequent processing) and are organized by the Ban Lien Organic Tea Cooperative. The families are divided, depending on geographic location, into eight groups and are entrusted with taking care of the various cultivating areas. The families, which are members of the cooperative, cultivate a total of around 250 hectares, intended for the most part in cultivating tea and another part for growing crops (rice, corn, vegetables, cassava ...) for self-consumption. The total production of tea is roughly 30 tons and it represents a very important source of income for the cooperative members.
The technical and managerial training, as well as the marketing and export are handled by Ecolink, a company established in 2003 with the aim to support organizations of small farmers by encouraging the development of organic agriculture. Ecolink also provided assistance and the know-how required to obtain the organic and Fair Trade certification.