As almost everyone knows, I am very obsessed with tea. My tea collection is a little out of control and takes over half of my living room, but I love it. There’s nothing more comforting than a warm cup of tea on a gloomy day, especially in the colder months.
Over the years, though, I’ve gotten extremely picky about the teas I buy and drink. Most people assume that all tea is “innocent,” but sadly, that’s not the truth. Just like any other food, it’s important to choose organic teas from a good source. Most teas on the market are actually full of pesticides, toxins, GMOs, and artificial ingredients. Conventional tea brands usually just throw the ingredients into the tea bags without washing them first, which means those pesticides are floating around in your tea after you steep it. Not sure about you, but I don’t really want to drink carcinogens. Even teas that are labeled “100% natural” have been shown to be filled with pesticides when tested by independent labs.
Honestly, it really upsets me that the majority of tea companies do this. It just goes to show that something as healthy and seemingly innocent as tea is not always so. CHECK YOUR INGREDIENTS. RESEARCH COMPANIES.
Have you ever actually looked at the ingredient list on your tea? You might be surprised. When I first started checking my teas’ ingredients, I was shocked to see how many contained soy lecithin and gluten. Many also say, “Natural Flavors” or “Artificial Flavors.” What does that really mean? It can mean a number of things. First of all, those “natural” flavors are made by mixing chemicals in a lab, so they are certainly not natural. What’s mixed, exactly? Coal tar and crude oil are two common chemicals used. The terms “natural flavors” and “artificial flavors” are sneaky ways for companies to add in gluten, weird chemicals, soy, and other GMOs into your tea without you realizing it. If you see those terms, I highly suggest you don’t buy those teas.
Another thing I want to mention is that, generally, it’s always better to buy loose leaf tea than tea found in tea bags. Most tea bags are made from plastic and/or genetically modified corn. Even the safest plastics can break down when put in boiling water, which releases their chemicals. Therefore, when you steep your tea in boiling water, you’re drinking those not-so-lovely chemicals. Yes, this includes “mesh, biodegradable tea bags.” Paper tea bags are usually coated with carcinogens, so you should avoid those too.
There was a time when I was drinking about 3 cups of tea a day, and I drank tea from conventional brands that used common ingredients. When I started learning the truth about most tea companies, I decided to take 3 months completely off from drinking any tea to see if it affected my stomach. It did. I felt monumentally better.
People make fun of me for always carrying my own tea with me, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. As someone with a huge tea collection, it really disappointed me to find out all of this information. Since discovering the truth about some of my favorite tea brands, I haven’t bought any new teas with “natural flavors” or “artificial flavors,” and I’m trying to figure out what to do with all of my old teas that no longer meet my health standards. I’m also always on the hunt for high quality, truly healthy teas. My personal favorite teas are organic loose leaf teas from Luna Tea Co, or organic loose leaf teas that I find locally. If I’m at the store, I like to stick with Numi, Rishi, and Traditional Medicinal teas. These brands have safe packaging and no pesticides or “flavors.”
To recap, be picky about your teas, just like you would be with any other food. It’s something that people commonly forget about, and you could accidentally be ingesting harmful chemicals every day if you’re not careful. It might be easier to go to the grocery store and buy whatever tea you see first, but it’s not safe. Quality is the most important thing when it comes to your health.
What’s your favorite tea?!