TTT: “New Year, New Tea”
In case you weren’t aware, January marks itself as Hot Tea Month in the States. While a perfectly brewed pot of tea can be delightful, certain tea practices actually do the planet more harm than good. Here are a few tips and products you can snag to ensure minimal waste and maximum taste.
Switch to Loose Leaf Tea
Tea bags are super convenient, and normally convenience and conservation don’t go hand-in-hand.
While the tea bags themselves are compostable (after ripping off the metal staples and discarding them—think Bigelow, Twinings tea bags), the initial foil-lined paper package isn’t easily recyclable. As a result, these bits of hybrid-paper often end up in landfills.
Instead, purchase tea leaves loose, or tea bags without unnecessary packaging. If you’re really feeling crafty and hell-bent on tea-bags, invest in some food-grade muslin or cheesecloth and make your own!
Consider Organic and Fair-Trade Teas
Buying organic teas ensures you are consuming a product from a source that has made a commitment to better land management. Farmers who follow that promise tend to produce a better brew for you. If you go the extra mile and purchase a fair-trade tea, individuals growing your tea abroad will receive fair wages, and that’s an ethical thing for a Flora Bat to do.
Since there are thousands of blends to choose from, there’s no reason for your taste buds to ever be bored. Most places will sell you a tin to store your tea, and you can bring that back each time you refill at your favourite tea shop.
Plus, when finished with the leaves, chuck them in your compost pail, or freeze them to drop off at a local compost drop-site.
Invest in Thoughtful Tea Tools
If you’re going to stock up on loose leaf teas, a tea strainer is a certain necessity. As varying as the teas themselves, there are tons of creepy and adorably odd strainers to purchase. However, it would be in your best interest to skip over the food-grade silicon and stick with stainless-steel or ceramic ones instead.
Usually, ceramic strainers come with teapot sets such as this one. Steel ones come in all sizes and complexities. A simple ball strainer’s perfect for a single cup, while this celestial strainer’s great for a two-cup pot of tea.
Take Time For Tea
Perhaps in every corner of the world, there is a structure, ceremony, or ritual in place for the consumption of tea—and rightly so! Victorian tea-service celebrates opulence and exudes an aristocratic elegance that has made its mark as a Gothic standard. Japanese tea ceremonies focus on the balance between discipline and beauty, a bridge between nature and man.
Whichever way you wish to view tea, consider using your tea time—even if it’s just ten minutes—as a period for reflection and brief meditation. Take note of the floral aromas, bask in the warmth (or chill!) of the beverage and really get to know your drink and yourself. Just like Slow Food, Slow Tea is a great practice that is good for the mind and body.
Tea’s a wonderful beverage that should be included in your daily life. If you’re particular about making healthier decisions this year, this is a great way to start.
Let’s just…steer clear of the health goth
cult trend, yes?