Friday, April 4, 2014

A Moment of Conscious Convenience

There are those moments when I'm in want of a shot of caffeine. In some of those cases I may turn to a cup of coffee (and the Underground Tea Syndicate collectively gasps!).

And there are those moments when there's so much going on or I'm on the run and...

yes. Your eyes are not deceiving you. That's a tea bag in the rooster mug (and the Underground Tea Syndicate collectively allows their jaw to drop.).

Here's the thing. There are bags of tea that are a part of my heritage. Red Rose tea, for example. Constant Comment, for another. Sleepytime, if you want to know more. They are a part of my beautiful tea journey. And there are more recent discoveries, like Live Your Love teas, which support Sri Lankan communities affected by the last devastating tsunami. 

Whether or not you agree (and I know The Devotea will certainly not), tea bags are convenient. And Americans, in particular, are about nothing if not convenience (government excluded). 

Most recently, I was introduced, or rather re-introduced, to another part of my tea heritage, The Republic of Tea. My mom and I both have a certain affinity for their Ginger Peach tea bags. But their newest addition to the Republic is one that meets a couple of needs. Convenience and Extra Caffeine. 

While I'm not usually a fan of berry blends, I found Pom-Berry Black to have the very best of all worlds. The black tea is robust and serious enough to be my morning companion, and the pomegranate and blueberry are subtle enough to be influential but without that syrupy-sweet aftertaste that I often find with fruity teas. The Hi-Caf is noticeable, too, which is a plus for those morning that need an extra oomph. 

And while some of you may not be fans of tea bags, let's break that down a little further as well.

I'll save the "quality of tea" debate for another day. There's a wide range of opinions here, but my bottom line will always be that you like what you like, and there is always room to explore new and better teas no matter where your palate is today.

And then there is the scary "hidden dangers of tea bags" debate. There are tea bags that are made from plastics or plastic compounds, which can potentially leach cancer-causing agents into the tea when placed in hot water. Paper tea bags are not much better, apparently, as many of them may contain epichlorohydrin, a compound  used in the production of epoxy resins. Tea bags are not the only potentially dangerous household products containing this particular chemical. Coffee filters, water filters and sausage casings are on the list as well.

When I asked The Republic of Tea about their tea bags, they shared that their unbleached teabags are made from wood pulp fibers which do not contain epichlorohydrin or plastic. They are free of chemicals, toxins and do not contain gluten, GMO's or corn.

So there you have it. Sold!

As for me, I'm kind of liking what their new Hi-Caf  "Buzz" is all about.

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