It is widely believed that tea is beneficial to your health, especially in comparison to other drinks like coffee. Still, most people don’t actually know what’s in the tea they drink. Today, many popular American and European tea companies abuse the concept of “organic” tea and instead sell tea bags filled with pesticides, toxins and artificial flavors. I encourage you to be aware of this possibility as you shop and as you sip, especially because quality tea really does do wonders for your body.
Some of the tea bags that people buy (including those sold by Lipton, Tazo and Trader Joe’s) contain pesticides because certain companies choose to bag products without washing their contents first. This could mean that whatever was sprayed onto the plants before their leaves were harvested is now in your cup and in your body.
For some, this may not be surprising. Many people already know these facts and thus try to buy “organic” teas, or even choose to shop at high-end tea stores. People can be tricked by the high prices and ambiance of such shops, however, and could end up buying lower quality teas. For example, an independent lab tested Teavana teas and claimed that 100% of the samples contained pesticides. In addition, 62% of the teas contained traces of endosulfan, which is banned in many countries (including the U.S.) because it has been linked to impaired fertility and birth defects. (Source: Glaucus Research)
Some tea companies also use artificial flavorings, which is absurd if you consider how tea is meant to have natural tastes and flavors. Consider Lipton Black Tea Vanilla Caramel: along with natural flavors, the tea bags also contain ingredients like caramel powder and modified corn starch.
Another factor to address about modern tea bags is their packaging. Some tea bags that look like mesh are actually made of plastic. When placed into boiling water these bag won’t melt, but they could leak harmful phthalates into your tea, which are forms of phthalic acids added to plastics to make them flexible and durable.
In order to buy quality tea bags, try an organic or non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) brand like Traditional Medicinals or Numi. Be sure to check the box for the ingredients list to see if any unsavory additives are lingering in the tea bags you select, as well as to make sure the bags themselves are safe.
Now that you’re armed with this information, go out and buy some safe and delicious tea bags for yourself! A cup of tea should be as healthy as we all believe it to be.