Tea is our national drink, and most people enjoy a nice pot of tea. However many brands tend to be made of ‘tea dust’ and packed in plastic. If you use tea bags, then choose organic brands without string (never dump used tea bags with string in the garden, as they could strangle birds that pick them up to make nests). Ideally use loose tea, for best flavour. And choose no-bone china mugs to drink from.
NHS advises no more than 2 cups of tea for pregnancy/nursing, and avoid strong teas (lemongrass, hibiscus, liquorice). Liquorice tea should also be avoided for heart, blood pressure or liver issues. Do not drive or operate machinery for at least several hours after drinking teas to help you sleep.
Loose Leaf Tea Infuser is a universal in-cup infuser basket that fits all cups, mugs and pots. This makes brewing loose leaf tea effortless and hassle-free.
This loose leaf tea gravity steeper (also in a large version) is ideal to avoid disposable tea bags. Just pop on top of a mug and watch the tea filter through the bottom. This is a simple and hassle-free way to brew loose leaf organic tea.
This infuser globe for loose tea makes it easy to brew a nice cup of tea, with loose leaves. The larger globe size means the tea leaves have more room to breathe, for better flavour. Instead of cramming tea leaves into a smaller standard infuser, use this for a better cup of tea.
You can use as little or as much tea as you want, to suit your tastes. It’s also big enough to use in a teapot. Just add loose leaf tea into the infuser, place in a mug and fill with freshly boiled water. Leave to brew the required time, remove and enjoy. Stainless steel. Gentle hand wash. Not for microwave or dishwasher.
This tea infuser for loose tea is the perfect gift for anyone who likes a nice cuppa. It allows the tea leaves to move freely, so you get more flavour out of your blend. It has collapsible handles to fit any cup and most teapots, so you can now enjoy a nice cup of tea the traditional way, without any tea bags.
To use, just add loose tea into the infuser, then place the infuser into your mug. Fill the mug with freshly boiled water, then place the lid over the infuser to capture the heat and aroma. Leave to brew for the required time, then remove the infuser and place in the upside down lid, to avoid spills. Made from stainless steel. Gentle hand wash. Not suitable for microwave or dishwasher.
This loose leaf tea starter kit includes all you need to indulge in a pot of indulgent tea. You’ll find a glass teapot with an inbuilt filter, a tea scoop and 50g of your chosen blend of Hoogly Tea. Choose from any of their teas including black, green, white, herbal infusions or rooibos (including sweet flavours like Danish pastry and ginger biscuits).
Switch to Reusable Tea Bags
This Set of Reusable Tea Bags makes an ideal alternative to tea bags. It includes an organic cotton grocery bag with 4 tea bags made from cotton and bamboo. Handmade in England, they are simple to use. Just add 1/2 teaspoon of your favourite organic loose tea to one of the bags, and place in hot water. After use, just empty the tea leaves into the compost bin (or throw away, they won’t do any harm). Then rinse the tea bag and use again. You can wash the bags by hand or in your washing machine (place inside the grocery bag, so they don’t get lost.
This Organic Cotton Reusable Tea Bag is ideal to replace plastic commercial tea bags. Many tea bags are not biodegradable and use a lot more energy and resources. This bag is made from certified organic cotton, and the unbleached organic cotton string is long enough to use with mugs or a teapot.
After use, you can wash the tea bag and use it again. You can also use it to replace disposable filters. To use, just add loose tea and enjoy a fresh cuppa. Then rinse or wash and enjoy again and again. After use, turn the bag inside out and compost the tea leaves. Soak in cold water to help prevent stains, and then hand wash in your sink with a little biodegradable washing up liquid, then a quick rinse under the tap. Line dry. For a deeper clean, soak the tea bag for a few hours in vinegar and water (apple cider vinegar or white vinegar – 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). If you are using milk, hand wash after each use. If drinking black, rinse and reuse 1 to 2 times (same day) and then hand-wash.
These reusable cotton tea bags are made from organic cotton muslin. Sold in a set of 2 to biodegrade, just add loose leaf, pull the cords to close the bag, place in a mug and add freshly drawn boiled water.
Self Fill Unbleached Paper Teabags are ideal, if you prefer a tea bag. These are sold in packs of 50. Just use and wash and reuse, to avoid the use of disposable tea bags.
Good Brands of Tea
Maverick Coffee Company is a family affair, that offers sustainable tea and coffee from West Sussex. Everything they do is focused on helping the planet, as well as tasting good. All the unique blends are sourced from trusted suppliers, and meet quality ethical standards.
The luxury loose leaf tea and biodegradable pyramid bag burst with flavour. Each tea is hand-blended, and the beautiful eco-tubes look so good, you won’t want to hide them away in a kitchen cupboard. Even the plastic-free letterbox-size refill bags can be composted at home. The range includes:
- English Breakfast Tea is blended with leaves from India, Kenya & Sri Lanka
- Peppermint & Green Tea is packed full of antioxidants
- Red Fruits is packed with berries and fruit pieces
- Roobios is naturally caffeine-free, so perfect for an evening tea
- White Pear & Vanilla is a natural winter warmer
Clipper was the world’s first Fair Trade tea company, and has an extensive range of teas, all in sustainable packaging. Everything can be composted from the paper and card to the unbleached paper tea bags. The range includes:
- English Breakfast Tea
- Organic Assam Tea
- Green Tea with Lemon & Echinacea
- White Tea with Peppermint
- Lemon & Ginger Tea
- Fennel Tea
- Chamomile Tea
- Nettle Tea
- Earl Grey
- Organic Decaff
Gourmet Teas from Leftover Cacao Shells
Tea in the Moment is a unique brand that blends tea with the outer shells of cacao (a by-product of the chocolate making process), to produce teas that taste like dark chocolate. In many blends including Rose Cacao (similar to Turkish Delight) and Chocolate Orange. Avoid these teas for pregnancy/nursing.
Teas (that help refugees)
Nemi Teas (London) offers whole leaf organic tea blends, in biodegradable packaging. These Fair Trade teas provide employment to refugees, to give them local work experience and job readiness skills, to enter the workforce and integrate into broader society. Also available as loose tea, the flavours include:
- English Breakfast Tea
- Earl Grey
- Green Tea
- Cardamom Chai
- Spicy Chai
Charitea (UK) is a unique company that makes lovely iced teas in glass bottles, then uses profits to fund social projects around the world. Made from organic and Fair Trade ingredients, the leaves are bought from co-ops and plantations around the world – from the Sri Lankan mountains to the hot South African sun. Each bottle gives 5 cents to the foundation that already has raised over 6 million Euros for social projects in the growing regions. It’s best to avoid caffeine for pregnancy/breastfeeding.
You can buy CharitTea in cafes, restaurants and health shops, or buy in bulk online at Drinking Helps (they also offer trade pricing for wholesalers). Unlike most tea, this company is independent so not owned by one of the big food companies. Only the ChariTea green is not vegan (contains honey) but everything else is fine, and the iced teas are sweetened with a little natural agave syrup. The range includes black tea (for a proper English cuppa) and a wild rooibos red tea from South Africa.
Lemonaid to Change the World!
Lemonaid is a kind of sister company that is sold on the same premise, but for sparkling real lemonades, also in glass bottles. The projects that benefit in developing countries include solar collectors (this helps to rid Africa of dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps), sustainable agriculture and peace projects for children, especially those who suffer from sexual exploitation).
Warm & Soothing Ginger Tea (Minimalist Baker) is very easy to make, and is a nice change from caffeinated black tea. Very strong and easy to adjust, you can add cinnamon to make the tea more sweet, or fennel to help an icky digestion. You could also add some orange peel for zesty flavour, or tumeric to make it an anti-inflammatory tea.
Ginger is a fresh spice from the east, and traditionally known to help an upset tummy, although excess ginger should be avoided in pregnancy, as it contracts the uterus, and could cause an early labour. For everyone else, it’s a good way to settle an upset stomach, and can also be used to prevent travel sickness.
Making your own tea is better as you get the benefits of fresh herbs and spices, without the dried out flavour of some commercial teas. And no plastic packaging. All you need is a kettle!
A great way to hydrate, try this Iced Tea from Long Island (Crowded Kitchen) made with black tea, and a refreshing citrus taste.
Wild Tea is a book to brew your own tea, from foraged ingredients. Discover the uses of 40 homegrown ingredients, wiht brew-it-yourself recipes. You can brew your own tea blends and infusions, using berries, roots, seeds, leaves and flowers to make night-time and hangover teas, mint and barley tea, and even dandelion coffee. Other ingredients can be used such as ginger, cinnamon, and valerian.