While some of us prefer a good leaf tea, there’s no denying the convenience of a tea bag, and most of the six cups a day we drink in Ireland are from bags.
As well as test tasting, we looked at how committed tea producers were to eliminating plastics or other non-biodegradable sealants from their bags. If paper bags are sealed with plastic glue, they are not recyclable or compostable. This goes for plastic tea bags too, so check the labels.
If producers don’t say it on the box, it’s more than likely the plastic has not been removed (you can at least empty the contents of the bags into your compost heap or around your plants).
It’s a large investment for blenders and some have invested heavily to do what is right for the environment and for us. We don’t even need the possibility of plastic leaching into our favorite cuppa. Some of those who did not make the Top 8 due to poor flavor had no mention of sustainability or forest protection.
Tea is a delicate product, the best tea leaves found at the tops of trees, handpicked by laborers who need protection from meagre wages and poor working conditions. Responsible blenders say their farms are well managed and visit them frequently to check up on them.
We liked this Assam tea even more than the Luxury Gold, for its clarity, rich flavor and interesting nuances, The bags are made from polylactic acid (PLA), bio-sourced plastic made from corn or sugar cane. After some science is applied it becomes a fiber that is biodegradable and compostable.