What Is Actually In Your Tea

tea healthy hayles

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a tea fanatic. Black, green, chai, matcha…you name it, I love it.

Tea is known to reduce anxiety, improve digestion and boost your immune system. Tea is high in antioxidants and green tea especially is shown to help fight against the free radicals involved in cancer and heart disease. 

However, it wasn’t until just recently I discovered many tea brands are more than just tea and include: toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavours and GMOs. 

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) published an article comparing popular tea brands and what pesticides can be found in them. The brands identified with highest concentration of pesticides included: Lipton, Red Rose, Tetley and Twinings! You can read the full article here

So what do you do the next time you want a cup of tea? First, I recommend looking at this chart below to see how your favourite tea brand stacks up:



  • Non organic teas are oxidized (air-dried) without being washed. This means that chemicals steep directly into your cup.
  • Organic teas are cultivated without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.
  • Choosing organic not only preserves our earth's resources and protects the health of the farmers, but ensures that what is going into our bodies is natural.



  • Some teas brands use mesh bags to showcase their tea, but these bags are made of plastic. So, while the plastic itself won’t melt in your tea, it could potentially leak out harmful phthalates.
  • Loose leaf = zero packaging concerns. 


Rishi Tea: My absolute favourite!  Their certified organic line is bagged with polylactic acid, creating “silken” bags that are corn and potato starch-based. Their Natural Fiber Loose Leaf Tea Filters are made without glue or any other binding agent.

Numi: Teas are pesticide-free and non-GMO. Their tea bags are made from manila hemp cellulose. The tags are made from 100% recycled material and soy-based inks.

Pukka Tea: Organic, gluten free and fair trade. 


Teas I avoid: Tetley, Twinings, Lipton, Celestial Seasonings


Madura: This is my favourite in Australia. It is owned by four local Australian families with 50 acres of tea. Their tea range is insecticide and pesticide free.

Nerada: Made locally in Queensland and contains 100% Australian grown pesticide-free tea. Packaging is made from 95% recycled cardboard.  

Planet Organic: Australian Certified Organic and bagged in safe oxygen-bleached paper. Some varieties are Fair trade certified.


Teas I avoid: Billy Tea, Bushells, Twinlings