Fancy a brew?
In the UK we love our tea! It’s comforting, warming, hydrating (not to mention healthier than coffee) and in most offices a ritualistic practice. In fact, according to the Tea & Infusions Association 80% of us find out more work related news whilst enjoying a cup of tea than in any other way.
Tea in its purest white form (not green, contrary to common belief) has many health benefits. However, in our modern world where speed and convenience are paramount we naturally adopt the ‘bag’ approach when making tea. Unfortunately, paper, plastic and nylon tea bags are accompanied by negative health benefits.
You may have not given your tea bag a second thought, but sat in your cup is a multitude of potentially harmful and in some cases carcinogenic toxins, making your favourite drink a harmful cocktail.
Modern plastic bags often include toxic plastics such as PVC which cause issues with normal hormone function. Others are frequently made from food grade nylon which begins to break down and leach into your cup when in contact with heat much lower than the boiling point of water. Paper bags are often treated with epichlorohydrin which can cause issues with fertility and a weakened immune system.
Some tea bag manufacturers are beginning to wise up to this threat, yet in the meantime is it worth the risk? Why not switch to ‘retro’ loose leaf tea for a safer and what many believe to be a superior brew?
Here are the Tea & Infusions Association recommendations for making the best loose leaf cup of tea:
- Use a good quality loose leaf or bagged tea
- This must be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature
- Always use freshly drawn boiling water when preparing black tea; the boiling water (100c) “energises” the leaf and extracts all the character and value efficiently from the tea
- The water temperature for green tea should be around 80c; using a lower temperature avoids the bitterness that can be experienced using freshly boiled water
- To draw the best flavour out of the tea the water must contain oxygen, this is reduced if the water is boiled more than once
- Measure the tea carefully
- Use one rounded teaspoon of loose tea for each cup you serve
- Allow the tea to brew for the recommended time before pouring