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  • Cheryl Brady

Would you like your Tea with a dash of plastic? Teabags vs Loose Leaf

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

As a Naturopath and Tea Master the decision to make all SpiritualiTEA herbal teas and teas only available as loose leaf tea was a no brainer. I wanted the teas, herbs, spices and fruits to be in the purest form available to consume as a tea. Plus I didn't want my delicious healing in a teacup to have a dash of plastic.

Plastic in tea ?????

When I started researching for this article, I knew there was a plastic used to seal the teabags but I didn't realise that plastic was actually used in the construction of the teabag itself.

Firstly a plastic polymer called polyprophlene is used to seal the bags and ensure they keep their shape in hot liquid. Secondly, plastic is used in the construction of the material that becomes a teabag. Check out this video showing the construction of the teabag.

How does this equate to what we are consuming in a cup of tea made from a teabag?

Researchers at McGill University in Canada found that a single tea bag releases around 11.6 billion microplastic particles and 3.1 billion even smaller nanoplastic particles into the cup.

That is a lot of plastic per cup in the average cup of tea...using a teabag that is. For me that would be multiplied by a few cups of tea a day. What about the health problems associated with consuming that amount of plastic via a cup of tea? There is some research from the article recently published in Yahoo News Australia stating it causes cellular inflammation and oxidative stress leading to health conditions. Read more from Food Scientist Dr Vincent Candrawinata in this article

Aside from the plastic in teabag made tea, what are the other benefits to a cup of tea made with loose leaf tea?

Loose leaf tea from our range contains herbs, tea, spices and fruits. These ingredients all come in a dried form and they are as close to how they were in their original form as possible. Yes machinery is used, obviously but you can see from the ingredients themselves they are more whole. In a teabag they are cut up by machinery to fill the bag. This changes the form of the ingredient and also allows for less opening up of the fruit, flower, tea, herb and spice. Less expansion of the ingredient. Many black teas are cut into fine particles. Often the black tea in teabags is the dust left from the sorting process of the tea once the leaves are used to produce a higher quality tea.

I love the term paddock to plate. The concept of less processing and hands involved in the process of food arriving at your dinner table. That is what I wanted with my tea range and as Naturopath it is a philosophy I follow for my food and my cup of tea.

Convenience is also a factor in the decision making process of teabags vs loose leaf tea. Many of us are working from home now and making a cup of tea with loose leaf might be a more viable option. Remember you can simply pop the used tea leaves into your compost. We also have easier brewing options available these days with tea for one sets.

All our teas are a healing in a teacup without any plastic. Our herbs, spices and fruits are all organic. Our teas are not all organic and that is a topic for another day. Maybe next weeks blog article :)



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