October Unprocessed, Day Eight: Processed Ingredients in Tea

Tea and Leaves

We’ve been having problems with our internet service provider, so I apologize for the lengthy time between October Unprocessed posts. I think we’ve got it sorted out. We simply went with a different provider.

When we decided to give up on our current provider, I knew I needed to find wifi for the interim.  Starbucks is the first place I thought of that had free wifi. The weather just changed, so I won’t be sitting outside on their patio. But I thought a cup of hot tea and computer time would be pleasant.

On researching the teas they offer, I found that many of them contain natural flavors. Dining out and keeping everything completely unprocessed is not easy. I looked up several national chains online last year and found only a few that had unprocessed offerings.

However, I was surprised to find that tea might have natural flavorings added.  I talked a bit about natural flavorings last October.  They aren’t natural at all.

I think of tea as that “pure” sort of drink. No high fructose corn syrup or caramel coloring added, like in soft drinks. Just leaves picked from a lovely camellia bush and dried, then put in my cup with hot water. I know there’s more to tea than that, but not a whole lot.

Several of Starbucks’ tea offerings had natural flavorings added. My favorite, their passion tea, has “natural tropical flavors” included. Their Earl Grey has “essence of bergamot”. Essence may or may not indicate a chemical derivation. Sometimes this unprocessed stuff can be frustrating.

There are plenty of tea brands that don’t include processed ingredients. Choice Teas and Guayaki yerba mate are two brands that keep things natural. They also both use Fair Trade ingredients (and October is Fair Trade month). My month won’t be tea-free, but I’ll still have to check labels for tea.

What’s next? Checking labels for water?

Tea and leaves photo via Shutterstock

2 Comments

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  1. Tea is delightful, but it’s a shame chain stores charge you way more than it’s market value. I recommend Yogi Tea. It has natural flavours, but it’s certified organic!

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