5 Things to Look for When Buying Tea
When perusing the tea section in a grocery store, it can often be overwhelming. The sheer volume of tea products containing hard-to-pronounce ingredients from faraway places, all with promises "to cure what ails ya." We broke down some of the most important things to consider the next time you're looking to try a new tea product.
- Is it Organic?
Non-organic food often contains harmful hormones and pesticides. Pesticides are poisonous, designed to kill, and have been linked to neurological problems, cancer, infertility, allergies, asthma, and more. In addition to certifying there are no harmful chemicals on our food, the organic label on our tea also guarantees there are no GMOs present in the blend. GMO crops have been genetically altered to withstand the application of herbicides and pesticides; chemicals that protect harvests from viruses and bugs. Non-organic food also creates water runoff filled with pesticides and chemicals that can find their way into our waterways, soil, and the air we breathe.
- Is it caffeinated?
Different teas contain varying caffeine levels which you will want to familiarize yourself with if you are sensitive to caffeine. Black tea has the highest levels of caffeine (60 - 90 mg), followed by Oolong tea (50 - 75 mg), then Green tea (35 - 70 mg), and White tea (30 - 55 mg). The majority of Clover tea is caffeine-free except for our Energy blend, which contains Yerba Mate and is lightly caffeinated (20 mg). Our Energy blend also contains cognition boosting, stress level balancing herbs, and botanicals like Rhodiola and Ginseng to help get you up and at em' without the jitters.
- Is “Natural Flavouring” on the Ingredient List?
Natural flavours are the 4th most common ingredient on food labels today. In fact, the only ingredients you'll see listed more often are salt, water, and sugar. Natural flavouring is vague by design, offering a false sense of security to consumers quickly scanning ingredient labels. The majority of tea products on the market today use "natural flavouring" to mask the lack of quality, purity, and freshness in their blends. Using "natural" flavours helps companies bring costs down by adding chemical filler into their blends. These "natural flavours" are designed by Big Food to be addictive and often go unregulated by the FDA.
- Do the tea bags contain plastic?
You might be surprised to learn that most tea bags contain plastic. For this reason, they cannot completely decompose and do not belong in the compost bin. Not to mention the harmful endocrine-disrupting health effects of ingesting microplastics. Our teabags (pyramid sachets) are biodegradable, made from compostable bio mesh otherwise known as (PLA) and sealed ultrasonically without glue. This way, we're able to offer the convenience of bagged tea without worrying about glue, plastic, staples, bleached strings, or other questionable things that would contaminate our all-natural botanical blends.
- How is it packaged?
It's not just what's on the inside that counts. When purchasing tea, it's essential to consider the complete picture. The inner, outer, and shipping packaging required to get the tea to you, all contribute to the true environmental cost of your purchase. Our blends are packaged in canisters made from 100% recycled North American steel. Iron and steel are the world's most recycled materials and among the easiest materials to reprocess, as they can be separated magnetically from the waste stream. Steel, unlike other recyclable materials, can be recycled an infinite number of times without loss of strength or durability. Recovered metal feeds the production cycle, feeding an endless recycling loop without "down-cycling" or degrading in quality or strength.
Those are some essential points to consider when you're picking out tea at the grocery store. Now more than ever, consumer voices matter, and as the saying goes, "every dollar you spend is casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in."
Greater demand for organic products leads to more regenerative farming practices. Higher expectations for sustainable packaging lead to eco-friendly packaging innovation. We're proud to create a product that is good for you and the earth, and we are continually fine-tuning our processes to do so in a way that is the least harmful to our planet.