A New Cuppa Tea | Transitioning from Tea Bags to Loose Leaf

Coffee is not my cup of tea. Like literally, I am a crazy tea lady and coffee just doesn’t do it for me. I think the love began when I was living in London. Jokes and British stereotypes aside, in my time there I found that a simple cup of English Breakfast really can be the soothing balm to any upset in life and thus became my go-to drink!

While I adore a cup of Yorkshire Tea (did Louis Tomlinson from One Direction influence me, absolutely) their products will not be bioplastics free until 2022.

It sounds silly but this transition wasn’t overnight. First I had to finish off the existing teabags in my cabinet because the only thing worse than waste is unused items going to waste. While my stash dwindled I spent a lot of time researching which company I wanted to start my  “loose leaf” journey with. Good news is there’s a fair amount of options! Bad news, I’m a bit of an indecisive person. 

I selected Arbor Teas out of the lot because they are certified organic, certified fair trade, exist in a solar powered facility, participate in the Carbon Offset fund and their packaging is completely compostable! As I mentioned previously, I’m all about my English Breakfast tea but in the spirit of trying new things I opted to order their black tea sampler, giving me four types of tea to test out!

Seeing as I am new to the loose leaf game the Arbor Teas website provided itself helpful past my purchase as they have a How-To section on their website! They provided written and video instructions on ways to steep, store and dispose of my new teas and upon arrival the package contained a personalized note and instructional pamphlet to ensure I made the most of their product and packaging!

For infusers I went to reliable ol’ Etsy and found a cute small shop that I purchased metal infusers from. She had plenty of cute charms and will even customize them for you upon request for no additional charge! A metal infuser is significantly better than plastic in the long run for recycling purposes, plus they’ll likely last longer.

Now throw travel into the mix. Loose leaf tea may not be as ideal for being on the go and could potentially limit your baggage space… but don’t worry I have solutions! Some eco-friendly alternatives to loose leaf are:

  • compostable and mirco-plastic free tea bags from Pukka, Yogi or Bigelow (can be found at most grocery stores)
  • Reusable cloth tea bags that you can pre-pack with your loose leaf tea and bring along (think a day trip or a day at the office)
  • Compostable, fillable tea bags that you can travel with, use and then compost (think camping, hotel rooms, longer than a day away from home)

Honesty hour, loose leaf tea is not nearly as intimidating as I originally thought and knowing I’ve eliminated a daily waste source from my life is quite gratifying! When it comes to making sustainable adaptations in your life it really is the small things that add up to be major changes. There is no perfect, zero-waste life, but there is always room for advancement!

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