I was with a friend at a tea cafe the other day. I being a lover of Darjeeling tea ordered that particular one. As I waited for my order to be served, I had all the images of hot, flavoured tea popping in my head. To my disappointment, I had to DIY the tea served to me by adding the sugar and milk and dipping the tea bag. But as I dropped the tea bag, I noticed some froth formation in the water. This triggered me to do some research to find out if brewing tea using a tea bag was safe enough. Here s what I found.
Yes, a tea bag is convenient. But if a tea bag is your favourite brew, there is bad news. Tea bags are sometimes coated with the epichlorohydrin, a carcinogen that is active in hot water . As an alternative to paper tea bags, tea bags are now also produced from plastics like PVC and food-grade nylon which begin to break down in water at room temperature . Additionally, many tea bags including the high-end ones also contain pesticide residues and flavouring agent, says nutritionist Aditi Rampal. So while tea leaves take a longer time to brew, it can always be a better idea to choose tea leaves over tea bags. Here are 8 reasons that will make you grab that cup of masala chai right now.
Go for loose organic tea leaves as they have higher levels of antioxidants and other health-boosting compounds. Going for organic tea would also mean that the pesticides levels would be low. If you have never brewed tea with tea leaves, here s how you can do it.
 and : Schwalfenberg, G., Genuis, S. J., & Rodushkin, I. (2013). The Benefits and Risks of Consuming Brewed Tea: Beware of Toxic Element Contamination. Journal of Toxicology, 2013, 370460. http://doi.org/10.1155/2013/370460