There’s nothing like a warm mug wafting with the scents of your favorite tea, and even in the summer, iced tea is SUCH a joy. There are so many delightful teas out there. I love knowing I’m sipping my start to the day with a selection from organic tea brands where holistic sustainability is the priority.
So, today I’ll be sharing some insights and recommendations on why organic tea brands are your best bet in navigating the fragrant and delicious world of tea. Put that kettle on and settle in with a good sustainable book, a zero waste documentary, or a fantastic environmental podcast.
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What are the health benefits of tea?
Tea has been consumed worldwide for thousands of years and numerous studies have covered the myriad health benefits of various teas. Teas can be beneficial to your immune, digestive and respiratory systems and may also help reduce inflammation. Tea is rich in antioxidants and detoxification powers. Organic tea brands are the best way to maximize the many health benefits of tea while minimizing environmental impact and the potential health risks of chemicals. What is the difference between organic tea and regular tea?
Certified organic tea brands are those that have passed a rigorous certification process ensuring that no synthetic chemicals have been used in tea production. Conventional, non-organic teas are grown with synthetic chemicals to maximize crop yields. Conventionally grown tea is often dried for consumption without rinsing, so chemicals can ultimately directly end up in your cup. Since tea is an infusion, prioritizing organic tea brands is an important health choice, because who wants to infuse harmful chemical residue into their favorite mug?
Are organic teas healthy?
Not only are organic tea brands healthier for you, but they’re also a more responsible choice for the environment. Organic growing does not release chemical runoff into the soil and water, which helps sustain local insect and wildlife populations by preserving the greater ecosystem. It even sequesters carbon in the soil and requires less energy overall, making eco friendly organic tea a climate-conscious choice.
What is the difference between USDA-Certified and organically grown?
The USDA organic certification process is the national standard in the United States for ensuring that products are fully organic according to a strict and rigorous set of criteria. Food and drink products can only be labeled as organic in US markets with USDA approval. This means that organic tea brands must be grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or bioengineered genes (GMOs).
Growing conditions must also include chemical-free soil and adequate separation from non-organic crops. Some tea is organically grown without being USDA-certified, which is to say that synthetic chemical products are not directly applied to the tea when it is growing. Given the nature of tea and the high risk of chemical residue making its way to your cup, any reduction is a positive step, but organically grown tea is not the same powerful guarantee of organic purity that the USDA process ensures.
Did you know some tea bags contain plastic?
Choosing organic tea brands to avoid chemical residue is a great first step, but it’s also important to think of the way that you steep your tea. Some bags are made entirely of plastic while other paper-based bags contain a plastic sealant along the edges. Research from Canada’s McGill University has shown that pouring boiling water over fully plastic tea bags can release billions of plastic nanoparticles into a single cup. That’s a microplastic concentration far higher than most other foods and drinks.
Even plastic free more sustainable tea bags can be treated with a chemical called epichlorohydrin. This potential carcinogen and reproductive toxin leaches out when exposed to hot water and is another synthetic that you want to be sure isn’t part of your tea. Choosing an eco friendly tea bag takes a bit more awareness, but is certainly worth it to avoid harmful toxins and microplastics in your mug.
Our top recommendations for organic tea brands
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at my favorite sustainable tea brands where eco friendly organic tea is the focus and there is an emphasis on sustainable practices, sourcing, and packaging.
Traditional Medicinals is one of the leading organic tea brands in Canada and the United States, offering delicious and comforting eco friendly organic tea with a wide range of health and wellness benefits. With a variety of impressive sustainability efforts, Traditional Medicinals is also a climate-conscious choice. They create over 50 different herbal tea blends that showcase the great diversity, flavor, and plant-based power of sustainable tea brands!
Traditional Medicinals Sustainability Practices
To produce a comprehensive eco friendly organic tea, Traditional Medicinals integrates sustainability throughout its operations and publishes information about its climate impacts. The use of 88% renewable electricity in their facilities greatly lowers their carbon footprint, and any remaining greenhouse gas emissions are offset through carbon-storing organic green tea production. They are also committed to zero waste certification and currently divert over 86% of their operational waste away from the landfill!
Traditional Medicinals Tea Sourcing
Traditional Medicinals take great care to source high-quality tea ingredients because growing conditions can have a big impact on herbal wellness-enhancing properties. The combination of long-term (some as long as 30 years!) supplier relationships, with Fair Trade and Fair Wild standards, help ensure the continued success of sustainable tea brands.
Traditional Medicinals Packaging
This sustainable tea company uses natural fiber to create an eco friendly tea bag that is completely compostable, made without chemical sealants, and Rainforest Alliance certified for sustainability. GMO free cotton strings and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper tags create all-around sustainable tea bags. They also continually work to eliminate packaging waste by removing staples from their sustainable tea bags and reducing package size.
2. Numi Tea
Numi Tea is a sustainable tea company offering a wide selection of teas made from organic herbs, fruits, and flowers. Their products include Fair Trade green and black teas, herbal teasans, as well several chocolate teas!
Numi Tea has an excellent sustainability policy with a strong climate focus. They publish data about their carbon footprint, outline their plans to achieve emissions reductions, and use forestry conservation programs to offset whatever emissions they can’t reduce. By prioritizing organic and regenerative tea farming, their tea producers store more carbon than they emit, ensuring a climate-conscious eco friendly organic tea in your morning cup!
Numi Tea is passionate about sustainably sourced local ingredients, and their long term relationships with farmers help them trace the ingredients in your brew right down to the individual farm and grower level. In sourcing over 130 eco friendly organic tea ingredients from 34 countries, Numi Tea also prioritizes the well-being of its suppliers through Fair Trade and Labor Verifications.
Striving to make an eco friendly tea bag, in 2020 Numi Tea launched a fully compostable plant-based tea bag wrapper made from non-GMO sugarcane. This new packaging eliminates over 14 tonnes of plastic per year, and produces 67% fewer greenhouse gas emissions per wrapper! Their sustainable tea bags are plastic/chemical-free and made from compostable hemp fibers. Numi Tea expands its impacts through a coalition of over 40 brands, and consumer awareness programs to help spread municipal and at-home composting programs.
Woodland Herbal Teas is in the category of herbalist organic tea brands. This family-owned sustainable tea brand forages and home grows their unique herbal care blends that promote a healthy body, mind, and soul. Their artisanal loose leaf organic teas and tinctures are lovingly handcrafted and made fresh to order, ensuring the highest quality. Try one of their soothing daily blends for digestive health, immune boosting, or tension relief.
To enhance the impact of their eco friendly organic tea, Woodland Herbal has planted 100 wildflower seeds for every item sold since 2020 choosing from a diverse mix of organic North American native flowers. They’ve already planted over 25 million wildflowers and several thousand trees, helping to restore natural ecosystems and support bee populations.
Woodland Herbal sources many of its ingredients from their gardens, local foraging, or sourcing directly from talented farmers and herbalists. These small-scale sourcing practices help ensure high medicinal quality to enhance the wellness benefits of their blends.
Woodland Herbal’s loose leaf eco friendly organic teas mainly come in recyclable metal tins, and the lack of tea bag ensures you get all of the wellness-enhancing deliciousness of their blends, without any harmful chemicals or microplastics.
Loose Leaf Tea Market handcrafts over 30 blends of eco friendly organic tea that focus on health and wellness outcomes like stress relief, energy/mood management, or detoxification. Their artisanal small batch teas are always fresh and combine a rich flavor with plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and health benefits.
Bagless tea not only produces less waste, but also cuts down on the greenhouse gas emissions normally produced from tea bags decomposing in landfills. Like many organic tea brands, they focus on waste reduction and organic sourcing to reduce the environmental impact of their tea supply chain, and help bring you a variety of healthy and sustainable blends.
Every batch of tea includes healing medicinal herbs and is made without artificial ingredients or additives, and also sourced from a small number of trusted suppliers to ensure high-quality eco friendly organic tea. Their ingredients undergo quality control testing to ensure their tea is without heavy metals, additives, or preservatives.
Like all loose leaf eco friendly organic tea brands, this sustainable tea company helps avoid the waste and potentially harmful side effects of tea bags. They also have fully recyclable packaging, actively promote using reusable diffusers to steep your tea, and offer bulk containers for in-store purchases to avoid bagging those delicious loose leaf blends.
This organic tea brand offers a limited range of high-quality eco friendly organic tea blends full of adaptogens and nootropics to nourish your body and mind. Their organic and wild ingredients are carefully selected to create an amazing course of daily tea. Try Flow, a berry-infused black tea to help you focus, or unwind with Dream, a vanilla chamomile blend, and keep your energy up and thrive with Groove, a crisp green tea infusion.
To augment the impact of their sustainable tea bag design, Steep and Mellow offers helpful tips on how best to compost their material — make sure to tear up the box into tiny pieces to help it along!
Steep and Mellow focuses on sourcing wild organic super ingredients with known medicinal benefits, especially adaptogens that support the body against high blood pressure, stress, and exhaustion. They also seek out nootropics to boost brain activity, productivity, and concentration.
Steep and Mellow offers comprehensively compostable packaging, from tea bags to boxes. Their sustainable tea bags are corn-based bags, and break down in your compost within 30 days. In addition to being entirely compostable, their strings, tags, and packaging boxes are chemical treatment free, made with environmentally safe ink, and sourced from sustainable paper fibers.
6. Art of Tea
Art of Tea is one of the bagless organic tea brands offering high-quality loose leaf teas and sachets with delicate and delicious blends. This sustainable tea brand passionately seeks out rare and unique blends from around the world, curated by their founder, Master Tea Blender Steve Schwartz. Their diverse collection includes single origin, herbal teas, and caffeine-free options.
Recognizing the impact of the long journey that tea takes from grower to drinker, Art of Tea offers customers the ability to offset the emissions from the carbon footprint of each product they order. They’re also working on supply chain projects to directly reduce their own emissions.
Each of Art of Teas blends is lovingly customized to create an eco friendly organic tea, and they work directly with growers to cultivate long-term relationships. According to Art of Tea, their personal relationships with growers help them offer organic ingredients of the highest quality and produce equity throughout the supply chain.
This sustainable tea company offers microplastic-free brews, as well as biodegradable filter bags for their loose tea, and all-around recyclable packaging. Organic loose leaf tea contains none of the chemicals or plastics used in preparing and treating tea bags, ensuring that you taste the delicious delicacy of their blends instead of ingesting harmful ingredients.
7. Tea Drops
Tea Drops is one of the most popular organic tea brands reducing waste by removing the tea bag. Drop one of their ground leaf tea balls into a cup of steaming water and watch it melt into your mug! Tea Drops mix fun shapes like hearts, flowers, and Hello Kitty models, with a large variety of fascinating flavors like Blueberry Acai, or a good old English Breakfast.
In addition to reducing the environmental impact of their packaging, Tea Drops aims to facilitate access to clean water by donating clean water and partnering with the nonprofit “Thirst Project” to build wells for communities in need. Thanks to their bagless design, when you drink a Tea Drop you can be more sure of an eco friendly organic tea without microplastics or chemicals in your mug.
Part of the reason Tea Drops is a sustainable tea company is that they source their tea entirely through fair trade, organic harvesting, and support a female-forward supply chain employing and supporting women growers.
By removing the tea bag, Tea Drops produce about 15% less waste per average cup. Their products come in 10-drop recyclable metal cylinders or 25-drop burlap bags, however, each drop is individually packaged in plastic wrappers.
A final word about organic tea brands
Whether you prefer loose tea, a tea drop, or an eco friendly tea bag without the threats of plastic, there’s an abundance of delightful sustainable tea brands to suit your every tea dream and desire. Do you have a favorite that’s not listed here? Share it below in the comments with your preferred flavor!
These organic tea brands feature such a vibrant range of tastes and aromas, but there’s no limit to the wonders of a tea that’s both healthy for you and the planet. It’s great to feel really good about the nourishing and delectable tea that brings calm to a busy day. And of course, if you found this guide to organic tea brands helpful, be sure to share this article with your fellow tea lovers; you may just be introducing them to a new go-to tea!