Is Tea Organic?


With so many of us setting intentions to be mindful of what’s going into our bodies, organic is certainly a label worth considering.  Simply speaking, organic means that something is grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers and without genetic modification.  It seems obvious from this that organic would be the best choice for your health and overall well-being. But is it? In this post, we’re going to take a look at the relationship between tea and the label organic.



In order to prove that a tea is organic, a voluntary certification is necessary.  In the U.S., this is done with the USDA’s Certified Organic Label, guaranteeing that any tea with this label is following organic regulations, both on the land in which the tea is grown, and throughout the process, with yearly testing being done to ensure that regulations are still being followed.  Not only is organic considered better for your health but it’s also better for the environment because it prevents contamination with pesticides.



The taste is one of the first things that we think of when we’re considering tea. So let’s take a look at how tea gets its flavor: from the phytochemicals that they contain.  Because organic plants need to naturally defend themselves against pests, these phytochemicals are allowed to build up, which can lead to more flavor.  The best tasting tea comes from plants that are allowed to ripen at a natural pace, building up their flavors. So, because organic plants are allowed to do this, organic tea might taste better.  But traditional farming methods allow for this process to occur too and, in some cases, non-organic might even taste better because the plant is able to bloom to its full potential. Another thing to keep in mind is where the plant is grown: a plant grown in its natural environment is much more likely to be successful, meaning that it’s more flavorful.  Therefore, it’s about how and where the ingredients for your teas are grown rather than just about the organic label.



The benefits of organic are clear: truly organic tea is free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers that can be disruptive to your hormones and endocrine system.  But even when something is certified organic, it can still contain some pesticide residue thanks to natural causes like wind and water run-off. And even if a tea doesn’t have the certified organic label, doesn’t mean that it is grown using unsafe methods.  Because the organic label is so expensive, many smaller tea farms and companies using safe growing methods are not able to afford this certification, even though they offer clean tea. Plus, there’s more to consider than just organic. The packaging that your tea company uses is important to consider for those concerned about the environment and contaminants, as well as fair trade growing practices, which ensure that tea farmers are compensated fairly.  Rather than just looking at organic, you can learn even more about how your tea is grown by learning about the company creating and blending it.



Chico Chai: Sarah’s chai blends are made using certified organic spices and teas, and are blended in small batches.  Plus, after the blends are brewed, the used spices are offered as compost, giving back even further. Enjoy their Turmeric Chai, a spicy blend which can be served with or without milk.

Asheville Tea Company:  Founder Jessie Dean is all about farm-to-teacup blends, meaning that the ingredients used in their teas are gathered from 12 local and regional farms.  They’re all about supporting sustainable and mindful farms, transparent in where each ingredient comes from. Try their Elderflower Mint or cozy up with a cuppa Asheville Grey Loose Leaf.

Heavenly Tea Leaves: Heavenly Tea Leaves is all about organic tea, supporting small and organic independently run farms that follow organic practices. Enjoy it in their unique Jasmine Green or Key Lime Pie.

Aesthete Tea: Women-led Aesthete Tea is all about creating blends using organic tea leaves and herbs.  Their herbs are sourced from local Oregon farms, whereas tea is sourced from small family farms using great practices.  We love their Golden Milk, made with a blend of organic spices, or their La Vie En Rose herbal tea blend.

Interested in trying these teas and others? Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more here.

About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate. 


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