Non-organic farms may spray the tea with pesticides. Since most manufacturers don't wash the tea before it is distributed into bags, those pesticides will end up directly in your cup.
Another big issue comes from the tea bags themselves. Tea bags are most commonly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (a form of polyester). The problem with these two materials is that they have a glass transition temperature that is quite low. In other words, the molecules that make up these tea bags begin to break down when immersed into hot water. In such an instance, harmful chemicals could easily be released into the water. Paper tea bags also have their issues, as some are treated with harmful chemicals (epichlorohydrin) and bleached with chlorine.
So what can we do?!
My solution: buy organic loose leaf tea and steep it in a tea ball. This gets rid of the tea bag debacle entirely. When you buy organic, you don't have to worry or wonder if there are harmful chemicals floating around in your mug.
There are also several benefits to using loose leaf tea instead of bagged tea:
- Eliminates waste
- No tea bag, string, or tag to dispose of
- Fuller flavor
- Bagged tea tends to be mostly "tea dust" that has already released its essential oils and aroma. Loose leaf tea keeps the leaf intact.
- Portion control
- You can choose how much tea you want to brew at once. A typical tea ball can hold enough for two or more servings.
- With bagged tea, you are limited to whatever you can find in a box. Loose leaf opens up more flavor possibilities. You have the freedom to mix up new blends.