Celebrate! The Japanese teas coming from Shizuoka Prefecture, the main tea growing area, has been declared radiation free, so you can feel free to order away from this year's crop. You can also be reassured that all teas are again tested before they enter this country for sale. Any reputable company will be more than happy to answer any and all questions you have along this line.
World Tea News is reporting that Fair Trade sales have grown by over 8% this year. I don't know all the ins and outs of Fair Trade, but on the whole, I believe is a step forward for tea and tea workers, as they try to improve the workers lot and the way tea is grown and processed, which in the long run will benefit all of us.
Archaeologists have discovered the residue of a drink made from a holly bush and containing theobromines - found in tea - in an area near St. Louis. If you remember, I wrote about this holly, Yaupon Ilex vomitora, a few months ago. They have dated the site to about 1050 AD. The name indicates its use, although the vomiting was self-induced.
Canada has released information on 100 teas that it tested for the presence of pesticides and heavy metals. Although small trace amounts were found in some, they were too small to create any sort of problem for people drinking tea. I still prefer organic, if I can get it.