Monday, September 30, 2019

Five in September: Freebies to plastic teabags

September, I hardly knew ye!

This month, I scored two free cups of tea.

1) Freebie #1
Bai Hao Yin Zhen is one of the priciest teas at Davids' Tea ($21.99/50g). This white tea had a light and sweet flavour.

2) Freebie #2
Tea at the White House offered free takeaway teas as a September promo. I had the Quangzhou Milk Oolong, while my mom had the Hawaiian Sunset herbal tea.

3) Chatime Bubble Tea (minus the tapioca pearls)
I visited the Chatime Innovation Bar in Yorkdale Mall where we ordered (left to right): 
a) Blue Crystal Coconut - I don't think it actually contained tea, but it looked and tasted good!
b) Royal Blue Tea Latte (blue = blueberry flavour)
c) London Fog - an Earl Grey tea with vanilla and charcoal (!). I guess the charcoal made the beverage looked grey. I enjoyed it.

4) September Sipdown
My tea empties for this month. My co-workers are VERY supportive of this challenge. HA!

5) New Study on Plastic Teabags
Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash
Silky pyramid sachets have grown in popularity because their shapes give tea leaves room to expand. Some sachets are made of plant-based materials (e.g., corn) and biodegradable. But many sachets are made of plastic compounds (e.g., nylon).

Last week, this Canadian study from McGill University was published: Plastic Teabags Release Billions of Microparticles and Nanoparticles into Tea. The full scientific article is behind a paywall, but McGill's news release summarizes the study's methods and findings for the general public. The scientists are also interviewed in the CBC article.

Approximately 75% of my tea collection is loose leaf tea. The remaining 25% are either traditional teabags or the pyramid sachets. Fortunately, the majority of the sachets in my collection use plant-based technology. Phew! I can't bear the thought of throwing good tea away so for the sachets that I'm not sure about, maybe I'll remove the tea from their teabag and steep them in a metal infuser.

The BBC article quoted Researcher & First Author Laura Hernandez: "The consumer should avoid plastic packaging, not a specific brand, and definitely not the tea that comes inside," ... "We encourage consumers to choose loose teas that is sold without packaging or other teas that come in paper teabags."


  1. I agree with Lorrie, for you being the Tea Queen! I’m also with you on where did September go, but for us here in Texas, it was the hottest on record. I’m ready for some afternoons with a hot cup of tea instead of iced! Your Bigelow Toasted Coconut sounds good to me. Thanks for the info on packaging. Happy sipping to you!

  2. Most of my tea is loose, some traditional teabags, I saw the article too and must check out the silky teabags I have from Davids Tea, which were a gift. It does say sachet and overwrap are biodegradable, but not what they are made of

  3. Girl, yes indeed you are the Tea Queen 👸. I would say that 90% of my teas are bagged teas . The rest is loose teas . I am more of a coffee drinker for sure but i do enjoy a cup of hot tea and especially during cooler weather . I keep some tea at my office too as some days around midday a cup of tea surely relaxes my mind. Coffee it is in the mornings regardless of weather and weather every morning . Ice brewed tea for Sunday dinner . Funny at how we all have our little ways of doing things isn’t it ? Speaking of September ? Girl, where has the last 9 months went ? I hope you have a lovely week Margie ❤️ Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. I got your email about 12:30 A.M. and after reading this I had to check all my tea, mine were good. I would say my tea is 50/50, I like tea bags for when I'm in a rush and loose when I can just relax. Hope your well,, and enjoy beautiful Fall.

  5. Thank you for this information.Happy Fall!

  6. Margie, this is one of the reasons I always drink loose leaf tea. That's a good idea you had of what to do with your sachets you're not sure about--empty the tea out and brew it as loose tea. I know it would be painful to throw them out! :D

  7. Absolutely wonderful post! What a perfect concept. Thank you
    CTC loose Tea


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