By GMB Nutritionist Melissa Fine.
Tea is tea is tea, right? Umm…not quite. Turns out there really can be a difference between organic and conventional tea.
If you’re a tea drinker, here are just a few reasons why you might like to switch over to organic. Make sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for some organic tea brands we love!
A more obvious one, but drinking certified organic tea over the conventional stuff means you’ll likely be reducing your intake of foods contaminated with pesticides and fertilisers. These are environmental toxins that contain free radicals, undesirable cell-damaging compounds. Free radicals have an oxidising effect on cells, encouraging the progression of disease and ageing. Free radicals are what antioxidants (the ‘good guys’) try to neutralise, or ‘fight off’.
Doesn’t processing remove some of these nasty chemicals? To a degree, yes, but some chemicals are water-soluble, and are retained in the tea leaves. So, when you steep your tea, these chemicals might leach into the hot water…we’ll have our tea free radical-free, thanks!
Not all tea cultivators have access to protective masks and gloves, and even when they do, these don’t necessarily provide adequate protection. This means that tea field workers are likely to be breathing in whatever they’re spraying, not to mention absorbing some of the chemicals on the tea leaves that they’re handling. Perhaps something to think about next time you’re making a cuppa.
Tea plants tend to be grown at a higher elevation…so, in addition to contaminating the ecosystems in their immediate surroundings, any applied chemicals may travel downward, affecting ecosystems far and wide.
Also note that a healthy tea plant is a happy one. Pesticides and other farming chemicals aren’t tailor-made to cater to the needs of individual plants, and so don’t work according to what each tea plant actually needs to thrive.
By choosing organic tea brands, you’ll be increasing the demand for this market. Keen to make the switch? Here’s a handful of organic tea brands we love:
Do yourself a favour and try Higher Living’s Organic Cocoa + Chilli Tea…GMB Founder Peta’s fave! Steep this one for a good five minutes for a tea that tastes like legit hot chocolate! The licorice and fennel in here provide sweetness without sugar, and the warming spices give the cocoa a nice kick.
‘Protecting people, plants and planet’, Pukka tea guarantees 100% certified organic herbs. They do everything from black to green to countless herbal teas, but Three Ginger is my go-to.
This herbal tea brand has been around since 1887! Although not certified organic, Onno Behrends is a fair trade business with a strict non-GM (Genetically Modified) policy - and ‘organic’ and ‘GMO free’ go hand-in-hand. We also like that there are no synthetic ingredients in the range, and that the packaging is comprised of recycled materials whenever possible.
If you’re a green or white tea person, this Aussie brand with a conscience is for you. Specialising in organic green and white tea blends, their bags are also bleach-free, and contain no glue or aluminium staples.
Offering a wide range of organic teas, what makes this brand unique is its unbleached teabags; they may not look as pretty, but they’re free from contaminants that may be inherent to conventional bleached tea bags. Oh, and their malty, rich Organic Assam & Vanilla tea makes the perfect morning pick-me-up.
Do you have a favourite organic tea brand? Please share the love in the Comments!