Drink Fair Trade Organic Tea
Tea and Health
A wealth of information about the health benefits of tea are available all over the web (such as this site). Experts recommend drinking 3-5 cups of white, green, oolong, or black tea per day.
Besides being good for you, tea is also not bad for you. Yup, that's right! As silly as it sounds, quite a few things that we drink aren't so great in the health department so when you can quench your thirst with tea instead of Coke, you're making a good choice (not only that, but the tea companies listed below are awesome and Coke on the other hand - which also makes Dasani and Evian water, Fresca, and Minute Made, Simply Orange, and Odwalla juices - is one of the worst!)
Fun Tea Facts
White, Green, Oolong, and Black tea are made from the same plant. Black is more common in England or India (such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, or Chai) and often drank with milk. Green is more common in China and Japan (such as Jasmine, Sencha, Genmaicha, or many other kinds). Oolong, which is Chinese for "black dragon," is also popular in China. The characters are below:
The first character, meaning black or absence of color, is a picture of a bird with no eye. The second is a dragon. The third is tea, which is pronounced cha in Chinese. The two vertical lines with the horizontal one on the top of the character for tea means "grass."
Herbal tea is also good for you, although the benefits are not identical to green and black tea because its made from different plants. If you specifically wish to drink green tea but you like the taste of herbal, you can find green tea that tastes like herbal.
My first week working in London, I offered to make tea for my office. Except the tea I made was so bad they all poured it out. No one told some of us Americans that you are actually supposed to boil the water (not just heat it). Who knew? The Brits put together this short and humorous tutorial in case there are some other Americans as silly as me lurking around. For a longer diatribe on how exactly to make tea, go here.
The text below is from the Global Exchange site.
Fair Trade involves the following principles:
- Producers receive a fair price - a living wage. For commodities, farmers receive a stable, minimum price.
- Forced labor and exploitative child labor are not allowed
- Buyers and producers trade under direct long-term relationships
- Producers have access to financial and technical assistance
- Sustainable production techniques are encouraged
- Working conditions are healthy and safe
- Equal employment opportunities are provided for all
- All aspects of trade and production are open to public accountability
Organic teas are widely available, so why not choose them? Less pesticides in your drink, and better working conditions for the growers. Not only that but in climate extremes, organic crops are more resilient than conventionally grown ones.
Products and Brands
I'd like to buy loose tea to cut down on the amount of packaging needed, but lately I've found excellent Fair Trade organic teas in bags so I've bought those instead. In the past post, sultansfavorite mentioned Yogi Tea which I am drinking right now (mmm! thanks for the recommendation). blueheron wrote them about the source of their tea, and their response definitely got a "granola" rating! vgnwtch recommended Zhena's Gypsy Tea, which you can find in stores or on the CodePINK website. As for me, I've been hooked on a few types lately: Traditional Medicinals organic golden green and Republic of Tea blueberry black tea.