Tea is raw, natural goodness from the Earth. Leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant and water is all it takes to make a cup. Unless you're like me, then there's probably agave in there too. Tea comes in four basic types; white, green, black, and oolong. Herbal teas or tisanes, such as peppermint and chamomile use the leaves of those plants instead of the Camellia sinensis. Each naturally caffeinated cup carries ample amounts of antioxidants to protect the body. It's versatile, often drank hot or cold, and even used in a growing amount of recipes. Why would anyone want to taint such purity with pesticides and other harmful chemicals?
Tea has been an important part of many cultures for hundreds of years. The tradition of drinking tea dates back to the third millenium BC in China. It can be found in rituals throughout Japan, India, and even Argentina. It's delicate flavor can have such universal appeal that tea is now a trendy, healthier alternative to coffee worldwide. The tea section of major grocery stores seem to have a new tea brand every year. They're well designed, proud of where their tea comes from, and happiest to share they're fair-trade. What manufacturers don't make as known are the harmful effects of other ingredients added before it reaches your cup. Tea is unlike other food products that are washed before consumption. Leaves are dried in tea gardens prior to packaging and first come in contact with water when steeped or brewed. For a person who drinks 2-3 cups daily, the exposure to direct chemicals can be daunting. Many of your favorite brands, the ones lining grocery store shelves, are the main culprits. Organic tea helps ensure the bond you're forming with tea is as true as the oldest traditions. Each cup should be drank to promote health and wellbeing. Choosing organic also helps maintain nutrients and integrity of the soil where tea plants are grown.
It took some research and endless cups of tea but we're not complaining. Here are a few organic brands you'll love:
1. Numi Tea
Mate Lemon Green Tea
The founders of Numi are just as passionate about tea as they are about positively impacting the world. People, Planet, Pure Tea are pillars of their brand. Tea leaves are sourced from fair trade gardens in China, Egypt, and India. Every Numi Tea is organic. The packaging is 85% post-consumer recycled materials and the tea bag is a biodegradable filter rather than nylon. Printed on the inside of each box you'll find surprising recipes. The Orange Spice white tea includes a recipe for melt-in-your-mouth pancakes. White Rose white tea lends its delicate flavor to sticky rice in another. It's hard to only have one favorite when each cup is like returning home after a stressful day.
Ambrosia Plum White Tea
The word gypsy describes this tea perfectly. Each flavor whisks you away to somewhere new and often exotic. The Ambrosia Plum is like a Spring garden Italy. The tropical green tea blends like Coconut Rum and Mint Mojito conjure up paradise in every sip. The tea leaves themselves travel across the world from fair-trade tea gardens where artisans handcraft the perfect blends. Tin-plated steel is used for packaging and is fully recyclable. Refills are encouraged to extend the life of your tin. Their Facebook is constantly flooded with coupon codes and inspirational tea images to grow their community of tea and Earth lovers.
Peach Nectar White Tea
Sanskrit for "one who is a seer, sage, or seeker of truth". At Rishi, they continually seek the highest quality, organic teas to bring natural truth to a world quite removed from it. Known for their loose leaf varieties, Rishi has pioneered a knit-tea bag to offer more portable options. It's made from plant-based materials to yield greater extraction of tea. You can find a video on the evolution of the tea bag on their website. The founder, a traveler at heart began Rishi after returning to the Unites States and realizing that he could not find quality tea. Rishi buyers document travelogues as they bring tea lovers closer to the tea gardens and people who produce them. You can find those videos on their website as well.
You know that thing you do when you have something you love and don't want to share it all. You stash some away for your private use. Well, that's just where Stash gets it's name from. Stash pays homage to the 5,000 year old tea tradition with high quality organic teas and blends. They're so good you'll always keep some stashed away. If you're like me there's a teabag in every purse, just in case. This Breakfast Blend is rich with a slightly spicy depth. To brighten it up squeeze a lemon. For a creamier treat add a splash of milk. Stash is headquartered in Oregon where they have two retail store/ tea bar locations to enjoy.
Strawberry Basil Iced Tea
This brand has a range of teas that is hard to beat. Iced tea gets blended with coconut water, strawberry, and basil for a refreshening cup. There's a line of Hi-Caf Teas, in flavors like Cinnamon Toast, that give an extra buzz with added green tea extract and pure caffeine. Their SuperGreen Immunity tea is a classic nutty green when you're feeling traditional. Jackfruit Honey black tea is a sweeter, smoother morning option than typical Earl Grey. Republic of Tea customers are called citizens and are encouraged to embrace a sip by sip lifestyle in such a hectic world. Their distinctive tins are air-tight, light resistant, and 100% recyclable.
Founded by students of an Indian yogi who taught yoga in Southern California. His original recipe included 5 main spices; cardamom seed, clove bud, cinnamon bark, ginger root, and black pepper. The blend left students feeling revitalized and alive. There's a medicinal quality to each cup that's tasted and felt. You can still find the original recipe on the website along with over 60 new offerings. Inspiring thought and joy with every cup is a part of their philosophy. Inspirational messages like "Empty yourself and let the universe fill you" are on each tea tag. Get in on the inspiration by creating your own with #yogitea on Twitter and Instagram.
As you can tell, we primarily recommended white and green teas. Studies show that all teas aren't the same when it comes to health benefits. For instance, green and white teas show higher antiviral properties to boost the immune system. Green tea is known to protect arteries more than black tea. And, tea without dairy milk whether black or green protected arteries better. Lead contamination is another factor to be aware if you're a heavy tea drinker. Black and oolong teas utilize older tea leaves giving them more time to be contaminated. Tea can be a healthy and satisfying addition to your diet when organic like it has been traditionally!