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Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?

Tea is something I drink every single day. It’s sacred at my house – I even have a whole drawer devoted to it! I drink it because it is amazing for your health. There are so many varieties of tea that can improve digestion, metabolism and even prevent certain diseases. This investigation into tea ingredients has been in the making for a long time. What I’m about to share with you totally rocked my world forever and I’ll never look at tea in the same way again. Do you really want to know what’s in your tea?…Then read on.

Food Babe's Tea DrawerThe ancient Chinese tradition of drinking tea dates back thousand of years to the early Chinese dynasties and aristocrats who drank the beverage for its medicinal properties. In ancient times, leaves from the Camellia Sinensis (the tea plant) were either ground into a powder or placed as loose leaves directly into water to infuse it with herbal essence. Unfortunately, modern day tea is nothing like the unadulterated version of old tea. Many of today’s tea brands are operating under the guise of providing health benefits and promoting clean living, but are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors and GMOs.

CrazyChemicalsInTea2

Conventional Teas – An Abundance of Pesticides

Did you know that most tea is not washed before it is put it into bags? That means if the tea was sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides, those pesticides go directly into your cup. And this is the reason why tea is on my organic shopping priority list. To prove this point, here are some shocking facts about one of the most well-known tea brands – Celestial Seasonings.

A recent third-party analysis by Glaucus Research and discussed here found that 91 percent of Celestial Seasonings tea tested had pesticide residues exceeding the U.S. limits. For example, Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal contained 0.26 ppm of propachlor, which is a known carcinogen under California’s Propsition 65.

The “Wellness” tea line was found to contain traces of propargite, also a known carcinogen and developmental toxin. The FDA has already issued two warning letters to Celestial Seasonings in regard to poor quality control according to this source. Imagine what happens when pesticide-laden tea is steeped in boiling water.

If grocery store brands don’t provide a clean option for you, perhaps a high-end loose leaf tea would circumvent some of the issues of grocery store brands. Right? Wrong! Take Teavana, which is found in malls across North America for example. Teavana taps into tea culture with the “Teavana Experience.” Convincing their employees to take customers on a sensory journey – they open a huge canister of loose leaf tea and wave the top of the canister so you can smell the tea – touting all of the wonderful health benefits of tea complete with samples and manipulative demonstrations that end in an expensive visit to the tea shop. Is all the extra money worth it? Are customers getting a superior tea product? No.

Teavana tea was tested by an independent lab and 100 percent of it was found to contain pesticides. One tea in particular, Monkey Picked Oolong, contained 23 pesticides. 77 percent of the teas would fail European Union pesticide import standards, and would be banned from import. 62 percent of the teas tested contained traces of endosulfan, a pesticide that has been banned by the U.S., China, the E.U., and 144 other countries because it has been linked to impaired fertility and could harm unborn babies.

UPDATE (May 27, 2014): Glaucus Research funded the research done by Eurofins Scientific (an independent lab) and admits on their disclaimer that they are biased because they would make money if Hain’s stock declines. However – I am not sure that Eurofins’ research should be completely discounted on this point alone. Since I wrote this post, Celestial has been sued in a class-action lawsuit based on the pesticides that Eurofins found in their teas and for mislabeling of them as “100% Natural”.  The jury is still out on whether Eurofins’ research will be considered legit, as this case is still active in California.  The Plaintiffs contend that Celestial’s teas contain “pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, carcinogens, and/or developmental toxins (collectively, “Contaminants”)” and Celestial “did not dispute – and has never disputed – that the tea Products contained Contaminants. Nor has (Celestial) challenged the results of the Eurofins Tests” and “has not claimed that Eurofins was biased or that the Eurofins Tests were not, in fact, accurate”.   Even if it is determined that Eurofins’ research was not accurate – it’s important to note that Celestial’s tea that was tested is NOT organic and some of this tea is sourced from China.  Greenpeace issued a report on the alarming amount of pesticides found on tea from China, followed up by a detailed report on Lipton brand tea from China – in which they recommend only purchasing certified organic tea to avoid these pesticides. Reference law documents: Complaint; Plaintiff’s Memo in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss. Case 8:13-cv-01757-AG-AN

 

Teas Can Contain Artificial Flavoring, Natural Flavors, and Hidden GMOs

Furthermore, a majority of Teavana teas contain added flavor – specifically “artificial flavoring.” If their tea is so high end, why would they be adding ingredients produced by fractional distillation and chemical manipulation of various chemicals like crude oil or coal tar? Coal tar in my tea? No, thanks.

PopularTeaBrandIngredients

Many popular tea brands get away with using the ingredient “natural flavors” to trick the consumer into thinking they are buying better, cleaner ingredients; however companies are just covering up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. Fortunately, there are brands that are putting the kibash on the use of natural flavors and using all real ingredients. I was happy to learn that Ahmed Rahim, CEO of Numi Tea is just as disgusted by this ingredient as I am. He said to me “You can breakdown anything that is found in nature and if it ends up tasting like the flavor you wish to use – you can add it to any product and call it NATURAL FLAVOR on the ingredient label. It could come from a stone in the ground and you’d never know.” This is why when I see the words “natural flavor” listed on a label – I put the product down and run far far away. I want to know what I am eating! Don’t you?

Additionally, the added risk of consuming possible GMOs is not something many people think about when consuming teas. Before this investigation and witnessing tea companies using modified corn starch and soy lecithin in tea (additives likely made from genetically engineered corn and soy), I didn’t think about it either! I can’t imagine having a serious soy allergy, considering all the places companies try to hide it.

TjsTea

Why The Tea Bag & Packaging Matters

A recent article in The Atlantic discusses the “silky sachet” and “luxurious mesh bags” that hold loose leaf teas (like in brands Tea Forte and Mighty Leaf). Turns out, these modern day bags meant to showcase the tea leaves, are made of plastic.

PLA (polylactic acid) is a (likely GMO) corn-based tea bag material that has attracted major tea companies due to its nice look and its claims of biodegradability. Terms like “silky sachets” and “corn-based biodegradable tea bags” mislead customers into believing a product is more natural and sustainable than it really is. While the processing for PLA removes all traces of genetic material, it is still made with genetically modified corn. Although the actual tea bag is not an ingredient like teas and herbs, it is an element that is put into boiling water.

According to The Atlantic, tea bags are most commonly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which are two of what’s considered the safest plastics on the scale of harmful leaching potential. However, Dr. Mercola disagrees, he states:

“While these plastics are generally considered among the safest in terms of leaching potential, the molecules in these plastic tea bags may still in fact break down and leach out when steeped in boiling water…” Well, isn’t that how tea is prepared?

Another temperature consumers need to worry about in tea is the “glass transition” temperature. Here’s the science behind the glass transition temperature or, Tg, and why it becomes dangerous according to The Atlantic:

“That is the temperature at which the molecule in certain materials such as polymers begin to break down. As a rule, the Tg of a material is always lower than the melting point. In the case of PET and food grade nylon (either nylon 6 or nylon 6-6), all have a Tg lower than the temperature of boiling water. For example, while the melting point of PET is 482 degrees Fahrenheit, the Tg is about 169 degrees. Both nylons have a lower glass transition temperature than PET. (Remember that water boils at 212 degrees.) This means the molecules that make up these plastic tea bags begin to break down in hot water.”

 

So, while the plastic itself won’t melt in your tea, the glass transition temperature could potentially leak out harmful phthalates if there are such things in your tea. Another thing to worry about is that some of the newer tea bags are made with a variety of plastics. Some plastics are nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene.

Beware of paper tea bags too, which can be worse than plastic tea bags.

GET THIS: Also according to Dr. Mercola, many “paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It has also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats) and suppressed immune function.”

So what do you do the next time you want a cup of tea? Antioxidant rich teas aren’t going to do much to counterbalance the chemicals, additives and artificial flavorings in today’s modern teas.

First, I recommend looking at this chart below to see how your favorite tea brand stacks up:

Tea Comparison Updated 2 2015

And then when brewing and picking out the safest tea remember these tips:

1. Choose an organic & non-GMO certified brand of tea. (My favorites are Numi, Traditional Medicinals, and Rishi Tea (loose leaf)).

2. Check the ingredient list on the back of the tea package to make sure there are no added flavors, GMO ingredients like soy lecithin and corn starch added to the tea leaves.

3. Make sure the brand you buy uses a safe form of packaging material or buy loose leaf tea and use a stainless steel or glass tea strainer. Have the company verify that bags do not contain epichlorophydrin, and avoid plastic tea bags all together. (Numi and Traditional Medicinals are some of the only brands I trust in this category because they have publicly stated they do not use this harmful ingredient or GMO packaging and are Non-GMO Project verified.)

4. The majority of restaurants use some of the most pesticide ridden tea and brands that have harmful packaging like Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, etc. Don’t fall victim to this. Bring your own tea when eating out or going to restaurants and ask for pot or cup of boiling water (remember to leave a good tip if you do this). I even do this at Starbucks because I like to vote with my dollars and not buy tea brands that are harmful. If you drink iced tea, brew your own at home and carry an insulated water bottle with you.

5. Remember these temps and times for brewing the perfect cup of tea

TeaBrewTimes

 

If you know someone who loves to drink tea, please share this post with them. I was just as shocked as you probably are about all of this craziness – knowing what’s in our tea and what we put in our body matters! Let’s change the world together.

Xo,

Vani 

 

 

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1,537 responses to “Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?

  1. I had a long conversation ( close to an hour) with Starbucks who work with both Tazo and Teavana and the Associate I spoke to read to me the ingredients on the boxes of the teas that were i question here and other teas that they serve and there were NO artificial flavorings or “Natural Flavors” We checked about pesticides and paper, and the plantation and companies that Starbucks and Tazo, and Teavana use now are okay.
    from my email.
    Our contact center can be reached at 877-309-3180 Monday-Friday 5am-8pm and Saturday 7am-4pm (PST).

    1. I’m a little late in the game (reading this article) and my heart sank when I saw my favorite brand on the list. I couldn’t help but check their site to read more or at least get an email address to ask for ingredients or better yet ask if there is any chance they will be adding themselves to the Non-GMO label. As I was reading, I saw it! The little “Non-GMO Project” certification. Needless to say, I’m a little confused. Is this valid or a “bait & switch”? Is it possible that some brands have now gained the “Non-GMO” since this article was released (2013)? Any chance an update of the investigation can be done? Just a thought.
      Thanks for all of your hard work and investigating! Keep it up! 🙂

      1. Dania, you are never too late in the game to learn about Tea.

        about the non gmo project, I looked them up
        they are very real and very trustworthy.
        http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/understanding-our-seal/

        they even have a list of Good teas under beverages. I suggest you look for the phone number or web site of every tea producer you have. (Tazo, Octavia, Tetley,…) and start emailing, or calling. companies love it when their consumers contact them to ask questions. it shows that they care about what is going into their product. for instance I asked Starbucks, did they know which plantations Tazo and Teavana got their tea from and if the tea plantations were using pesticides or GMO’s ask them about their suppliers, where they get their tea leaves, how It’s prepared, packaged shipped. because by the time some companies get the tea, the damage is done. pesticides have been used, not properly washed off, gmo’s may have been used and all without their knowledge. by our asking, we may start something.

      2. Hi, Parts of this article are good but the tea chart is completely wrong. A lot of the tea brands listed there do have organic choices. If it is an organic or non-gmo label verified on the tea then it is fine and perfectly healthy to drink. Celestical seasonings and mighty leaf for sure have organic teas.

      3. (to Michelle)

        Hi Michelle –

        http://www.onlinehealthmag.com/is-your-tea-healthy-or-toxic/

        Celestical Teas also fights the labeling of their products – they spend big money fighting which to me says if they will not allow the consumers who buy their products know what’s in their product then I will not buy them. Fighting labeling is just a bad as using GMO products.
        Here is another good article on teas – both Tazo and Celestical are mentioned in this article .
        Ihttp://naturalsociety.com/pesticides-lurking-favorite-cup-tea/

        This makes me very sad as my cup of tea was my favorite way to start my day!! I shall curse Monsanto every day from now on!!! 😉

      4. Wow! I had no ideal about the Tea. I just discovered your website tonight. I’m so glad I found it. I just bought Miracle tree certified organic by the USDA. But I’m not sure if that’s a good thing! I’m not sure about the bag though. I think I’ll just take the tea out of the bag and put it in my tea ball

    2. Well I just looked at some of Teavana’s most popular teas (the ones they sample in store, including Youth Berry and Wild Orange Blossom, Rasberry Limeade and Winterberry) and found natural and artificial ingredients on the list…

    3. I just checked the loose leaf herbal Tevana tea on the Starbucks website (March 14, 2015). The only two canisters I see both say “naturally and artificially flavored” right on the product in the picture. If that’s what they put in their loose leaf tea, I would guess their bagged tea has a similar or lower standard.

  2. I am a tea junkie so this was helpful. But, like the companies and lobbyists out there, how do we knoe Numi teas isnt paying you to showcase a “clean tea”?

    1. Even if this was the case – I think the most important point in the article are the areas that we need to look out for.. especially as I was reading this in a cafe, whilst sipping a cup of White Gingerlily tea in all its “mesh plastic packaging” glory. As you can probably guess, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for a refill of hot water as I would normally do.

      So whatever the agenda, and though Numi is now a brand I’ll remember, at least I now know some of the things to look out for when buying tea – even if it isn’t Numi’s.

  3. Thank you for this timely post. I just received a gift from my 77 year old mother. I love tea and my mother found the Teavana winter tea collection on sale and thought I would love it. I never drink Teavana teas but thought I would take a look. When I reviewed the ingredients I found EACH tea packet contained artificial flavorings. I was very disappointed that Teavana continues to include these flavorings with the well known negative impact they have on health. Tea and tea blends are so flavorful there is not need to add artificial ingredients. It is just as easy to blend a fantastic organic loose leaf tea with organic herbs and spices. This way I know what I’m getting. My favorite blend is Black with Rose. I’ll stick with my favorite tea company (SevenCups) over Teavana any day of the week!

  4. I was so sad when I looked at the ingredients to my USDA organic Mighty Leaf teas and saw that they all contain “natural flavors.” I found an article in Scientific American explaining that natural flavors can in fact be more dangerous than artificial flavors because they are not subject to the same rigorous level of safety testing required for artificial flavors. They can be the exact same chemicals as those found in artificial flavoring, but the fact that they’re naturally sourced means they don’t have to be tested in a lab for safety.

    So I’ve begun to purchase mainly straight tea since the flavored teas are the primary culprits here. If I want to buy a mint, jasmine or lemongrass tea, I look for products with very straightforward ingredients lists — and don’t assume that the organic label covers many bases other than “minimal or no pesticides.”

    I hadn’t realized Numi didn’t use natural flavors — I’ll certainly revisit them now that I know that.

    I don’t mind consuming GMO agricultural products since the scientific community unanimously agrees that no rigorous tests have ever found any evidence that they pose any dangers.

    1. I just wanted to respond to your closing comment about GMO, that “the scientific community unanimously agrees that no rigorous tests have ever found any evidence that they pose any dangers.” First, that is a very strong, categorical statement, one that should raise red flags if coming from a scientist. (Scientists are cautious by nature. That’s why it took decades to prove a link between cigarettes and lung cancer.) Second, and more importantly, the problem with GMOs is not the genetic modification per se–scientists argue, reasonably enough, that genetic mutations are happening all the time, whether by our design or by accident–but with the fact that the genetic modifications are meant to enable crops to tolerate otherwise fatal doses of pesticides, fungicides, etc. These chemicals cannot simply be washed off, and they wind up in our food (not to mention in neighboring crops that are not intended to be GMO-modified). Scientists who study the effects of one mutation in a cell line over the course of a 3-month experiment may indeed find no ill effects under those conditions. But those are not the conditions the rest of us are subject to, with thousands of chemicals accumulating in our water supplies, air, food, etc. Studies have shown that newborns contain as many as 200-300 foreign chemicals in their bloodstreams, from maternal exposure to plastics, medicines, pesticides, etc. No one has any idea how these chemical cocktails affect us, because it’s impossible to study so many factors at once–there are no “controls,” i.e., infants who are completely free of such chemicals to whom we could compare the first group over the course of a lifetime. And remember, too, that scientists in Europe are the reason Europe has banned many of those same pesticides used here (such as neonicotinoids, now known to be killing bees). Scientists are human, too, and therefore subject to biases and pressures just like anyone else.

    2. Your final statement concerning GMO’s is dead wrong! You’ve not done your research or you work for a company that sells and promotes GMO products or supportive GMO products. Though Vicky’s response is much more tempered – thank you for being so kind. I avoid GMO like the plague. There are way too many chemicals, medications, lotions and potions that have been all the rage and are now debunked! Take a look at Statin Drugs – their days are numbered now that scientists have admitted cholesterol is not the enemy it once was thought. Statins cause female users to develop Type II Diabetes in 48% of all users – Outrageous! Anti-depressants; the studies on them are fabled myth’s of make believe. Wish I had my statistic’s handy! Only 30-40% have actually shown to be beneficial in all testing, yet millions of people are on them. Much, if not most scientific research is skewed due to greed and pride, but that’s another topic. I hope no one considers your last statement as responsible.

  5. The point of the article is well taken, however, the many health benefits of tea far likely outweigh the potential hazards. Just read the article: “12 Surprising Health Benefits of Tea” in EverythingForTea (dot) com (under the ‘Tea Info Center’ tab).

  6. Great article!

    One thing you might want to look at for future articles is the amount of fluoride in these teas. Fluoride levels are nornally associated with municiiple water systems, but I was shocked to learn high fluoride levels in somes teas (especially in the older leaf black teas) are at levels that could be considered unhealthy.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Green teas are very high in fluoride too. Thankfully I installed a whole house water filter 2 yrs ago – no chemicals in my water – woo woo!

  7. Hi
    Has David’s Tea been verified too?
    Thanks for the great work.I am a tea lover and my favorite label is David’s Tea, so I am confused now after reading this article!
    Thanks

  8. Even so called “Organic” teas are NOT organic. The LAW allows them to use the name “Organic” as long as 51% is organic and 49% is filler trash tea. SO only buy tea that states 100% Organic and also states NO pesticides. Otherwise, you will never know what you are truly drinking.

    1. Please do some additional research on the USDA guidelines for organic labels and such. I will go organic with the label (usda) first. It is required that 95 to 99 percent of the ingredients have to be organic. Certified Organic is a lower standard, however, it is better than NOT. With the label and 100 percent sticker, you are good. When it comes to teas… Numi, Traditional Medicinals, and Rishi teas are at the top of the healthy list. I have done extensive research and am satisfied.

  9. So happy the only tea I drink is looseleaf organic tea from a local shop called Silk Road where I live in Victoria BC. Nothing added like artificial flavors or sweeteners!

  10. You didn’t list Tulsa Teas from Organic India. I wish you had. Tulsa or Holy Basil is healthy and recommended by Dr Mercola, whom you cite in your article.

  11. I am wondering about Japanese green tea brands, such as Yamamotoyama and others such as them.

  12. A recent Time Magazine article about the 50 healthiest foods mentions Rooibus, a red tea from South Africa. Supposedly it is packed with anti-oxidents. The Freshpack brand states the tea is “naturally preservative free.” I wonder what that means?

  13. What exact tea have you found that is organic tea GROWN in the USA? We have spent about an hour on the website trying to find it -Not an organic tea grown in countries where the regulations for organic are lax.

    We have spent weeks online looking for this answer anywhere because we have read horrifying practices overseas. i.e. bacteria infestation, diseased animal findings, etc. We understand it is more expensive to grow in the USA because of its stricter guidlines, but its worth it.

    This is our first visit to your site. We appreciate your concern on health so we thought you may have or be able to find this answer. Thank you!

    1. There is a grower in south or north Carolina that is a small producer, don’t remember if it’s organic or not, but the prices are actually not much more.

  14. hi vanna, I have question iam trying to get away from sugar in my coffee an tea I drink 6-8 cups a day sounds like a lot but I don’t drink pop but lots of water. an been using honey instead of sugar. I bought sue bee white clover honey. got home started using it an guess what i found out it has sugar in it.like 16 grams an warning don’t give to infants. do you know of honey that doesn’t have sugar added thanks Robert

    1. Please do some extensive research on honey. Sue Bee was on the list of bad, recalled, and such. Once you do the research, you will be amazed at your findings. After I started to research, I ended up contacting bee keepers, etc. I believe I am actually becoming paranoid about most things now days.

    2. Hi Robert – Honey is a form of glucose – sugar. The properties of honey – vitamins and enzymes – make it a healthier sweetener, provided you choose raw organic honey that has not been filtered or processed. Store-bought brands of honey are processed and no longer contain the beneficial enzymes and nutrients found in raw honey and sometimes have added high fructose corn syrup. The gut of infants under 1 year of age cannot handle some of the natural properties of honey and therefore these babies can become very ill from ingesting honey, but for everyone else honey in its raw state is a superior sweetener, has healing properties and never spoils. Hope that helps.

    3. Hello Robert. Sorry to inform you of this but honey contains a naturally occurring sugar. I put locally gathered honey in the steel cut oats I cook in the crock pot over night. I started doing this because I had heard from my pharmacist that eating locally collected honey and chewing on the honeycomb can help with your allergies.

  15. Well, I have done a little research after reading this post. I do love Numi teas but they are expensive. Lately I started making Kumbucha which requires a few tea bags every batch. I do want to avoid chemicals but cannot spend a fortune. I contacted 3 companies and the 3 of them assured me they do not use Epichlorohydrin or any chemicals on their tea bags so I thought I’d share if anyone is interested. St.Dalfour, Touch Organic and All teas made by Amazon Trading Co. which include Robert Rothschild, Sun Leaf, Timothy, Tea of life, cup of life. You can find them at Odd Lot, Big Lot, TJ Maxx, Home Goods etc..

    1. Hi Stephanie. In my book, dear girl. I now look for quality. If I really like something, expense is no problem. MY motto? If its worth having, go for it. Enjoy life!

  16. Hi,

    I just came across this article in the form of a post on my Tumblr feed and it completely freaked me out. I drink 2-3 cups of tea a day. I mostly drink oolong, and earl grey black. I get most of my tea from Adagio Teas, a company in NJ (USA). I only buy loose leaf tea and I brew it in a tea ball. I used to use un-dyed tea bags that Adagio sold but eventually switched to the tea ball. I’m very into non-gmo, organic foods & beverages. I look at labels, and don’t [intentionally] ever consume artificial sugars, flavors, dyes, etc. What do you think of Adagio (loose leaf) Teas? The oolong tea I drink is mostly straight from China. My husband goes on business trips there and brings back some awesome oolong. I also buy some oolong from a company in London called Wan Ling Tea House. It is also loose leaf. (I mostly prefer Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea) …Just looking for some insight. Interesting, but scary article. Thanks!

  17. We are in the process of bringing you a Gluten Free, Kosher, & Vegan flavored tea in late 2016, I spent 25 years in the tea business, I will bring you black, & white tea free of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, ethyl alcohol, or teas will be sifted, and our flavors will be applied, and cured in stainless steel. I have been drinking tea for 60 years. I can produce a drinkable tea, with a great flavor, and no other additives either. 90% of current teas are filled with chemicals.

  18. Dear Hari,

    Just wanted to take a minute to tell you I feel your work is excellent. I keep getting invites to join the facebook page Banned by the Food Babe. I won’t. I hope you keep doing what you are doing, and your critics can go jump in the lake.

    Thank you for all you do,

    Michael Jackson

  19. HI, what about the chinese teas? Any set backs? I normally buy my tea at the chinese place The Butterfly Brand. But these teas are imported from China. I have an email where i am able to get some info. [email protected].

  20. I have written to several tea manufacturers and asked them if their packaging have been or include (if so they can keep it) treated with bpa, bps or phthalates Epi resin or any alkyd resin. After long search I have (so far) found only one manufacturer (not any mentioned here9 Numi has a plastic film inside the envelope (puerh tea) that keep the teabag-haven’t got any explanation from them what material they use for that-perhaps they don’t know!!?) in the world that seem to really live up to to what I want to see! First you put in a lot of labor to keep the pesticides out and then in the end you serve this to people in a package with out any newly added chemicals- simple and good to me!

  21. What about gluten in tea bags, in the glues they use to hold them together. Any thought on Prince of Peace Organic white and oolong teas? Thank you

  22. What about gluten in tea bags, in the glue that holds them together? Any thoughts on Prince of Peace organic white & oolong teas?

    Thank you

  23. You shouldn’t recommend organic or certified organic. As you didn’t know about the teas, you don’t know about the certification of organics. If a processing of GMO or inorganic products is organic, it can be labled as organic! A machine process (organic) of inorganic/GMO allows this crap to be labled organic.

  24. Yeah I’ve been aware of all those disgusting additives. Fact is, I break out in hives when I consume any of those things, so I have been avoiding them like the plague. Fancy having to consume soy lecithin in your cuppa! And natural flavors don’t even taste natural eww!.
    Anyway here in NZ we have an organic brand called Dilmah Organic, which is black tea, i.e. roasted, fermented Camellia Sinensis.
    I found though that I still broke out in hives until I started breaking the bag open and using the tea as if it was loose tea in my cup. The brewing time is the same, the only difference is that there are a few leaves in the cup at the end. Really the convenience of being able to remove the tealeaves is not worth having to consume whatever lignin or plastic chemicals are in the teabag. You are heating them up after all.
    I was surprised you didn’t mention this in your article. The breaking open of the teabag that is.

  25. Could you please tell me where you purchased your drawer organizers? What a great idea to have a tea drawer!

  26. Does anyone know if Harney & Sons is laden with toxins? My daughter and I are hooked on the cinnamon tea they make that comes in a tin can and silk sachets. It’s so flavorful you don’t have to add anything to it. I will be so sad if it is.

  27. Why is not Red Rose orange pekoe tea in your test data? Lab tests were done on Red Rose and they came out ZERO pesticides and right out on top with the best of them, even for flavor. This company had always had high standards.

    1. What do you know about Signature Tea Company Jasmine Tea? Caffeinated or simply herbal? Is the bag safe? Some of the cans have USDA organic label. Some don’t.

  28. What about stash tea? And harney and sons, I know one of my favorite tea from them comes in sachets and I know those have plastic but what if I cut it open remove the tea and use it as loose tea and steep it in a stainless steel infuser.

  29. The typical loose leaf tea with the varieties of tastes including black currant, earl grey, green mango peach, jasmine green, white ambrosia, white ginger pear, African Solstice, chamomile citron, ginger lemongrass, raspberry nectar can meet your different tastes need.

  30. From the Choice tea website:
    “Our staple-free tea bags are made from unbleached natural abaca fiber sewn shut by an unbleached cotton string and paper tea tag (exceptions: Value Packs) No plastics are used to strengthen or seal the tea bag, making it 100% compostable in your garden or municipal facility.”

  31. I am way late to the game. I’ve been drinking 4 cups of organic green tea from Yogi or Numi for years and see that they now have prop 65 warnings. What are your thoughts about the lead, fluoride and heavy metal levels in teas?

  32. Amazing article, i was not aware before what ingredients are in our tea. 🙂 I agree plastic tea bad can harm health. But who will spot this at world level?

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