I remember sitting at the dinner table watching my mother brew fermented black tea and then ever so delicately pour it into a glass with a spoon to stop the glass from cracking. Then she would wrap a napkin around the glass so she could hold it and not burn her hand, pop a sugar cube into her mouth and slowly sip the tea savoring each taste.
These days having a cup of tea is a bit different and really not that simple. Today there are so many varieties to choose from and we are not only concerned with taste and flavor but whether the tea is Organic, pesticide free, where it is grown, what conditions is it grown under and if it can be used medicinally as well.
Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Root Tea: A True Organic Tea for Health
- 1 cup water or 1 cup Organic Tea
- 1 inch slice of ginger root
- Juice from 1 lemon wedge
- 3 mint leaves
Bring the water and ginger to a boil in a saucepan or tea pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Place lemon juice, and mint leaves in tea cup. Add hot water and enjoy. Can be used in warm or cool weather.
Choice Magazine found that out of 55 Australian tea brands tested, nearly 40% contained pesticide residues, of which a few were much higher than the maximum residue limit. The study also found residues of 17 pesticides not registered for use in foods in Australia.
All brands claiming to be organic were pesticide-free.
Sit down with a sustainable cup of…
Tulsi Teas ($4.95 for 18 bags) are certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture. Varieties from caffeine-free Original to exotic-sounding Pomegranate Green are all made with the anti-stress Indian herb, tulsi (Ocimum sanctum).
Planet Organic.com.au teas (approximately $5 for 25 bags) are Australian Certified Organic, come in oxygen-bleached paper and some varieties, including the Green and English Breakfast teas, are also Fairtrade certified.
Scarborough Fair teas, grown in Sri Lanka, are all certified Fairtrade, and the green tea varieties (approximately $3.50 for 25 bags), including a particularly yummy blend with lemon and lime, are also biodynamic and organic certified.
Mighty Leaf’s organic teas ($15.95 for 15 pouches) come in handcrafted bio-degradable pouches, or loose leaf, in blends from Breakfast to Mint Melange. The leaves are Swiss Certified Organic and the final products certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture.
One of my favorite Organic Green teas is Kukicha, sometimes known as Bancha, is a Japanese Organic green tea made from the twigs and stems of the tea plant. Kukicha is made from stems and branches that are separated in the refining process of Sencha (Green Tea). They are then roasted in cast iron cauldrons to reduce the bitterness and decrease tannin and the roasting aroma and mild flavour are its main characteristics. Japanese folklore says it aids digestion and helps neutralize an acidic digestive system. Kukicha has been the most popular kind of tea because it has less caffeine and can be enjoyed by all tea drinkers, including children.
Next blog: How to use Tea as Medicine