Teatime again

I have finally said goodbye to teabags for my daily cuppa. My tea is now in the form of leaves and made using an infuser – either in a pot or a mug. This means that there are no more teabags containing plastic going on my compost heap.

Left: Nilgiri; Right: Yunnan

Left: Nilgiri; Right: Yunnan

I have sampled a number of types of tea… dismissing the ones made from ‘fannings’. One of the reasons I have avoided  leaf tea for so long is that I detest having debris in the bottom of my cup – those little fragments that escape through the strainer or infuser. Fannings are the smallest grade of loose tea (the stuff called ‘dust’ goes into teabags) and they often get into the brew. A conversation with the very knowledgeable owner of our local tea and coffee shop, The Mecca, helped me to identify some suitable candidate teas of a better grade and I have now settled on buying China Yunnan FOP a lovely medium strength tea and Nilgiri SFTGFOP , which doesn’t seem to get stewed if you leave it brewing for a long time…  a boon for someone as easily distracted as me!

I now know that FOP stands for Flowery Orange Pekoe and is a “high quality whole leaf tea made from the first two leaves and bud of the shoot”, whilst SFTGFOP is Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe – “an even higher quality with more tips than FOP”.  Both grades make tea with little debris in the cup.

New tea tins

New tea tins

This morning I bought supplies of both these teas along with suitable receptacles for them. I chose tins with tight-fitting lids, which I can take into the shop to be refilled. In this way, I will be able to avoid any plastic packaging as well as the plastic in the tea. I know that lots of people enjoy the ‘ceremony’ associated with making tea, but I’m afraid that this is not something that I relish, so I have also ordered an infuser designed to sit in a mug (the diameter of the current one is too small to sit over the rim of the mug – it is specifically designed for its teapot) so that I can quickly make tea without all that mucking about with a pot (sorry tea aficionados).

And, thus, hopefully, ends the saga of the plastic tea (which started here). Who would ever have though that something as simple as a cup of tea would lead me on such a journey of discovery?

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19 Comments

  1. You just can’t beat a nice cup of tea! Glad your teabag journey ended happily.

    Reply
  2. Im really pleased to hear you’ve managed to find some tasty tea. You have inspired me to look at ditching the bags. I really like ceylon tea these days so shall have a go at getting some loose leaf.
    Out of interest how much plastic makes up a tea bag?

    Reply
    • It’s only a very small amount in each teabag, but I reckon that it all adds up… and is unnecessary. Our local tea emporium sells all manner of teas and there are lots of on-line shops. I’m sure you will be able to find loose leaves in a variety that you like.

      Reply
  3. Very attractive tins. I’m glad you not only found those but also two suitable tea you can enjoy without the nasty bits at the bottom. I still like the idea of a teapot but if your new infuser works, who knows.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Reply
    • Really I just want a good cup of tea and it not to cost the world. Jon pointed out the other day that I have a big glass Bodum teapot which is lurking at the back of the cupboard… I think that will be coming into service again very soon as it’s perfect for the new teas.
      xxx blustery hugs xxx

      Reply
  4. Lovely tins! The only argument as a non tea drinker I can muster in favour of teapots is the ability to decorate them with tea cosies!

    Reply
  5. And hopefully you still have the voyage of flavour discovery for all the leaf teas ahead of you. Large leaf tea is so much more complex and interesting than teabag dust. The latter has its place for the rush cuppa, but you get a much nicer experience with leaf.

    Reply
  6. jennyhud

     /  March 31, 2015

    I have the same tin (the red and black one)! I recently stopped drinking coffee and now only drink loose teas. There are great tea clubs online that send monthly samples.

    Reply
  7. I like your tins. One thing you might consider (though now you’ve ordered your new infusers, maybe not) is buying the little muslin bags with string tops meant for cooking with herbs. They’re sold in cooking stores and they work really well for teas as well as herbs–and they’re reusable!

    Reply
    • I like the idea of the reusable teabags… I’ve got some muslin and so I might make some of my own to try out the idea…. they would be nice and portable.

      Reply
  8. I’m glad you found what you were looking for. I sent this link to my daughter who loves her tea. She can no longer drink coffee and is very fussy about her tea. Me, I’m happy with what I get. Very few have the time to do fussy tea so I’m glad you resolved that problem as well. I love the pretty tins. We have some too.

    Reply
  9. I’ll have to go back and read your ‘tea in plastic’ post. That doesn’t sound good at all. I’m like you with the tea: I want a quick cup without all the fuss. I recently found unbleached open bags that you spoon into the bag and let fold over the side of the cup. They go into the compost, but don’t have any chemicals or plastic to mess with the mix. You are inspiring. Now off to read that post.

    Reply
  10. I believe there are a couple of brands where you can get teabags without the plastic. A fellow allotmenteer collects all the tea leaves, (bagged or otherwise) from his place of work to take back to his compost.

    However I have been avoiding tea bags whenever possible for years and I quite enjoy all the faff involved in doing it properly! (Interesting, spell checker doesn’t object to faff and I am sure it isn’t a word I added to the dictionary!)

    Reply
    • The only teabags I can find that don’t have plastic in them are the tagged and stapled ones. There was a suggestion (in The Guardian I think) that Jackson’s of Piccadilly teabags were plastic-free, but they do not respond to queries and so I can only assume that this is not true. I too used to collect teabags from work (colleagues finally got used to me) and never had a problem with them in my compost, but really my issue is that I want to avoid as much plastic as possible and this seems to be a particularly unnecessary way of putting it in the environment.
      I’m rather fond of the word ‘faff’ and I’ve just checked and found that it does appear in my copy of the Concise OED… good old English language!

      Reply
  11. Interesting tea journey. Never knew tea bags had plastic 😦

    Reply
  12. tea bags contain plastic! WTF? Thank you I am going to look further into this and read your other post. Sorry to almost swear but it was a shock. Plus I stick them in the compost?

    Reply
  13. We drink a lot of tea at our place. The Fella often has a couple of pots while he does the dishes in the morning. We only use leaf tea. Maybe I am a drink snob, but to me teabags are in the same category as instant coffee — not something I want to waste my time on ☺️ Give me a lovely big teapot with a teacosy and I am a happy woman!

    Reply
  1. It’s still there even if you can’t see it | The Snail of Happiness

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