The Basics of Organic Tea

There has been much talk about organic foods over the past several years. Worries about the impact of pesticides or genetically modified plants seem to be growing. And I must say, as a tea cup who’s been around the global block a time or two, I feel comfortable in saying that I’m not willing to steep just any ol’ tea bag.

I’m happiest when I see “USDA Organic” or “Certified Organic” on a label because, first, it lets me know that it was grown by farmers who care about long-term impact their work is having on the environment, and second, that it is at least 95% free of synthetic additives, meaning pesticides, dyes, chemical fertilizers and more, as specified by the USDA. When it comes to our tea bags, I like knowing we’re a close to nature’s offering as possible!

Tea is a cup of comfort. Throughout centuries, drinkers of tea have named it as a source of relaxation, contemplation, concentration, connection, and inspiration. Char was never without a passport or a cup of tea. For Kat, it’s a cup of tea and her camera. The choice of organic is simply that: a choice. But I think having that choice is a beautiful thing so that you can be mindful, aware and intentional about what you’re consuming

Simply Balanced Organic Teas from Target

Simply Balanced Organic Teas from Target

I guess what put me in mind of the subject was Kat’s recent Target run. She bought some new white bath towels (so delightfully fluffy!), and stocked up on a couple of her favorite teas. It tickled me to see that she had selected what I think of as her “bookend” teas:  the ones she typically starts and ends her day with.

The first, Simply Balanced Organic Black Tea Breakfast Blend. As with all of the Simply Balanced Teas, this one is Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International. To warm the cockles of your heart even further, it is Fair Trade Certified, which means the tea farmers are empowered to get fair prices in order to ensure a sustainable livelihood. And then there is the tea itself. Kat tells me some of her friends are skeptical that one can get “decent” tea at a grocery store or retail mecca like Target. But she and I agree that they couldn’t be more wrong. This black tea breakfast blend is bold, with a hint of maltiness, and you can steep this tea to your liking without encountering any bitterness. Kat usually drinks it black in the morning, but she’s been known to add a dash of milk and a  lump of sugar now and again.

The second is the Simply Balanced Organic Herbal Tea Calming Chamomile. After a long day on a photo shoot, before her first pass at editing, she’ll often reach for this cozy blend. The mellow chamomile is paired with a hint of peppermint, which refreshes Kat just enough to do a little bit of work but won’t keep her awake for hours. It’s the perfect beverage to help the evening wind down nicely.

While I can’t help but wish she had picked up a new tea towel or two, I’m delighted that she took a day to look after herself. I hear her running the bath to try out her new towels, and I’m betting she’ll be filling the kettle to indulge in that calming chamomile tonight. Ah yes. I hear the familiar clatter of the kettle. It’s time for her cuppa!

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