Time For Tea

Posted by Hillary Miller on

FANCY A BREW?

Here in the UK we're a nation of tea lovers, in fact we love it so much we have a day for it and 21st April is National Tea Day.

I love my tea and despite being a wine lover if I could only drink one more drink for the rest of my life it would be tea. By the bucket load!

PLASTIC BAGS

Unfortunately lots of tea bags contain polypropylene which is a type of plastic that in this case is used to seal the bags. As a result when you make your tea tiny microplastics are released into every cup. Eek!

And the problem doesn't stop there.

If you put your used bag into the compost then microplastics will also leach into the ground and will generally hang around for a very, very long time.

But here at Switch and Ditch we don't like problems, we like solutions.....!

PLASTIC FREE TEA

Tea companies are getting better and there are now lots of plastic free tea bags available - yipeee.

A quick look on-line will let you know if your favourite tea is plastic free and if not there are plenty of others which are as well as some other TEA-lightful options!

But be aware of bags that are sold as biodegradable. It's not always as good as it sounds and doesn't necessarily mean plastic free. Biodegradable just means something will break down naturally however in some case it will continue to leach microplastics into the environment.

LOOSE LEAF TEA

Choosing sustainably packaged loose leaf tea is a great plastic free option for a cup of tea. When combined with its best friend the tea basket (tea infuser) you can make the perfect brew every time.

Simply pop your loose leaf tea into the basket, place it in your cup or tea pot and add freshly boiled water then allow to brew accordingly.

There are so many loose leaf options available for all tastes and budgets so why not have a look next time you’re doing a shop. I recently tried a lemongrass and ginger blend which was delicious.

HOME MADE BREWS

For the more adventurous you could have a go at making your own tea with both fresh and dried ingredients. The options are endless and the results may have you ditching the bags for good.

By starting with a base of black or green tea and adding your own personal blend of ingredients you could end up with some TEA-riffic drinks.

Alternatively make your own caffeine free herbal drinks by skipping the tea leaves completely.

The tea basket is ideal for the leaves and dried ingredients.

Why not try some of these yummy home-made teas:

Green Tea with fresh fruit such as peaches or berries.

Chai Tea made from black tea, milk of your choice and a blend of star-anise, cloves, all-spice, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom seeds and sugar.

Turmeric, fresh ginger and orange zest.

Honey and lemon.

Black Tea with lemongrass and fresh ginger.

Depending on preferences and taste you can add honey or sugar to sweeten or citric juice such as lemon or lime for a bit more tang.

Other ingredients you can steep for your home blend are chamomile, fresh mint, lavender, basil, vanilla and to be honest countless more.

TOP ECO TEA TIPS

To make your tea as eco-friendly as possible here are some top eco tea tips:

Choose tea with plastic free packaging.

Select loose tea leaves.

Save water and electricity by only boiling the water you need. Don't boil a full kettle for just one cup.

Decant excess hot water/tea into a thermal flask so you've got another hot cup of tea to look forward to (the only thing better than one tea is two!)

Make more than one cup per bag and reduce the amount of waste.

Compost your tea bags/leaves/ingredients or add to your food waste bin. But ensure the bags are plastic free.

Use a thermal cup for on-the-go. Make your brew before you leave home to avoid single use take-away cups.

So go on - make a brew (or two) and put your feet up. You deserve it.

 

Picture credit: Arthur Solarz - Unsplash 


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