Pesticide-Free, Whole-Leaf Tea Comes to the County

Leaf of the East’s naturally caffeinated teas are grown without chemical fertilizers, and can be found here in Westchester.



photos courtesy of Leaf of the East

Get your tea fix at the Chappaqua Farmers’ Market this Saturday, where Leaf of the East will be selling its organic whole-leaf teas. The Brooklyn-based company, which launched earlier this year, offers naturally caffeinated teas grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Better yet, the teas are imported directly from Taiwan, where Leaf of the East’s selections are exceptionally crafted by tea farmers.

Founder and Katonah native Markham Sindeband became interested in tea and its cultural influences while studying martial arts and Chinese medicine. “I taught English as a second language in Taiwan for two years and studied Mandarin,” he says. “Speaking Mandarin allows me entry to the Taiwanese culture. The idea behind Leaf of the East took shape as I made connections with artisanal tea farmers in Taiwan and learned that these teas are truly an important cultural artifact.” Even more impressive, Sindeband has spent the last three years working with a tea-making family who has been making tea in the same area of Taiwan since the Qing Dynasty.

Leaf of the East offers varieties of white, green, black, and WuLong teas, all of which are grown in Taiwanese gardens and hand-picked by tea farmers. The gardens give free reign to grasses, weeds, flowers, and insects that collectively work to feed the tea plants. “My goal is to bring this everyday ceremony of living to the culture in the US via very high quality tea grown without petrochemical pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides of any kind,” says Sindeband.

Of the more than 10 varieties of tea offered by Leaf of the East, the most popular flavors are Baozhong WuLong and Eastern Beauty. Prices range from $10 an ounce for green tea to $30 an ounce for premium Eastern Beauty. One ounce of dry whole-leaf tea, when broken into six-gram servings, makes about five pots of tea.

In addition to the Chappaqua Farmers’ Market, Leaf of the East can be purchased at the Muscoot Farmers’ Market and online at www.leafoftheeast.com.


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