Most of you know, I am a tea-a-holic. I have an entire cabinet area dedicated to teas. At work, I also have a few tea selections. This week I ran out of tea and decided to choose some from the office break room. The Lipton Blueberry pomegranate and Peach Mango teas caught my eye. I picked up the Lipton box to learn more about the flavors look at the ingredient list…
I was shocked! The ingredients included:
- Modified corn starch?!!!
- It contains both white and green tea but marketed as a White tea. ( Learn the difference between white and green tea)
- Sunflower lecithin – I didn’t know what this was. I looked it up and apparently it is an alternative to soy lecithin.
I immediately put the tea boxes away and began to do a some research. I had no idea tea had so many issues! I compiled a few of my favorite tips as well as some new advice on what to look for when choosing tea.
Reading is Fundamental: Reading the ingredient list can indicate if a tea brand is good or not. If there is something you don’t understand or too many ingredients, don’t pick it.
Trusted Brands: Choose brands wisely. Several brands use bleach free tea bags; while others use only organic and fair-trade leaves. While these brands may a few bucks more, you will probably receive most of the nutrients and beneficial properties you want from the tea. Organic and fair trade teas offer the most flavor and are pesticide free. Fair Trade US, list and explains, which companies are fair trade, organic and suitable. Here are a few suggestions as well.
- Twinings of London –Good brand for those who want to use tea bags
- Bigelow Tea – Great prices, organic, sustainability, kosher and gluten free teas are some of their options. All of their tea bags are also toxin-free.
Buy in Bulk: I love Natural Grocers because they have tons of tea in their bulk section. Buying in bulk = savings. Here are a few online places to buy bulk and loose-leaf tea:
- Bulk Herb Store – This is my favorite site. They offer a variety of “blended” teas and tons of information on various tea properties. Shipping is very fast and their prices are budget-friendly.
- Tea Spot – Organic and fair trade loose-leaf tea is the focus of this woman-owned business. I love their to-go filters and steep ware sets.
Choose loose-leaf tea: I switched to loose leaf tea a while ago. Most people assume loose leaf tea is more expensive but it’s actually cheaper. A box of Bigelow loose leaf green tea cost $6.95. The equivalent amount of the same tea in tea bag form would cost $20-$30! Loose-leaf tea is higher quality and has more flavor. Bag teas often are filled with the lowest grade of tea.
Do-It-Yourself: Since most tea bags are chemically treated, you can make your own tea bags with paper tea filters for a fraction of the cost. You can also buy tea filters or infusers to fill with your own loose teas. Here are a few suggestions for tea bags and infusers: