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Tea Time

December 29, 2007

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When the weather gets cold, herbal tea is my best friend. A steaming cup of hydration goodness is the perfect welcome home or companion to a crossword puzzle on a lazy afternoon. But I’ve never liked all the packaging required for tea bags. Not only is there a large box, but individual wrappings for each bag, plus the bags themselves. Seems like a lot of extraneous material.

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So I reduced the packaging and increased my potential enjoyment by getting a tea ball. It’s basically a reusable metal tea bag, which not only allows me to get loose leaf tea but customize my concoctions. Loose leaf tea is hard to find in a standard grocery stores, but Whole Foods and other local culinary outlets often have a good selection. It comes in larger cans or bags with no additional interior packaging. Because it’s loose, you decide the amount of each tea to put in the ball, not the manufacturer. So whether you like Earl Grey-Rosemary, Mint-White, or Chai-Oolong-Dandelion, you can go for it. I’ve been favoring a Chrysanthemum-Chamomile-Rose Petal mix lately; the Chrysanthemum was recommended for my digestion, and the rest help mask the flavor of the former. The tea is also more flavorful as the larger leaves retain more of their natural oils and have more surface contact with the water in a tea ball.

This winter I’ll reduce my tea waste by 91 cubic inches by using the tea ball. It’s assuming I drink 1 cup of tea each day all winter, and that the waste from a tea bag and packaging is about 2″x2″x.25″. I know it’s not much, but this is not only contributing to habits of sustainability; it’s improving my experience and encouraging better hydration through a more flavorful and customizable tea. Anytime I can do that AND help the environment, it’s a no brainer.

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2 comments

  1. Bulk Barn (in Canada) is another good source for inexpensive loose tea, also if you have a green house or live in the proper climate, growing your own may be a good idea!


  2. Actually, larger leaves would decrease surface area. Thats why things that are ground up are more potent and why ,in scientific procedures, solids are ground into powder (they dissolve faster). Your’e probably right about retaining their oils though.



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