organic tea brands
Tammy Catania
Tammy Catania
May 23, 2024 ·  4 min read

Top 10 Pesticide Free Organic Tea Brands & 7 You Should Never Drink

One of the first things I do when I am feeling under the weather is to make myself a cup of tea, but what you don’t expect when you pour that healing cup is that it may contain microplastics or synthetic pesticides, especially when you’re under the impression of buying “organic tea brands.” Fortunately, there are pesticide-free tea brands out there that offer a healthier, earth-friendly option.

Interestingly, tea is the world’s most popular beverage. The amount of tea Canadians drink is astonishing; it’s about 10 billion cups a year. Choosing a pesticide-free tea should be important to everyone who drinks it—Canadians 16 and older drink 83 liters per person every year, a number that has been increasing. Even my toddler has Chamomile tea when he isn’t feeling well. Now I wonder, how much of that tea is safe to drink? CBC Marketplace has found those answers for us.

Pesticide Free Tea Brands? Testing Teas for Pesticides

Natural bay leaf herbal tea in glass cup on rustic wooden table
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According to a report done by CBC Marketplace, pesticides in some teas exceed the allowable limit. CBC had ten different teas tested by an accredited lab, using the same testing method as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Half of the teas tested contained pesticide residues above the allowable limits in Canada. As per the test results, eight of the ten brands tested contained multiple chemicals, with one brand containing residues of 22 different pesticides. (1)

But what is the allowable pesticide residue in tea? As per the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, it is 0.1ppm. (2)

Read More: 13 Potentially Harmful Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy

Other Countries Are Banning These Ingredients

A cup of melissa (lemon balm) tea on a table with fresh melissa leaves in the background
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Two of the chemicals that they found are actually in the process of being banned in other countries.

One of the chemicals found was Endosulfan. This chemical is one of the most toxic pesticides on the market today. It is responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world. Endosulfan is also a xenoestrogen—a synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogens—and it can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans. (3)

The second chemical they found was Monocrotophos. It is acutely toxic to birds and humans. Being also a persistent organic pollutant, it has been banned in the U.S. and many other countries (4)

The top brands of tea that CBC Marketplace had tested

Female hands pouring boiling water from a modern metal stainless kettle in a glass cup for brewing tea in the kitchen at home
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  • Uncle Lee’s Legends of China – Green tea and Jasmine green tea
  • No Name- Black tea
  • King Cole- Orange pekoe
  • Signal- Orange pekoe two cups
  • Twinlings- Earl grey
  • Lipton- Pure green tea and Yellow-label black tea
  • Red Rose – Orange pekoe
  • Tetley- Pure green tea

Read More: Is Your Teabag Exposing You to Microplastics? Yes, According to Research

Pesticide Free Teas

Spring composition flat lay with white cup of lemon tea, beautiful bouquet of lilacs, sweater. Concept of spring and comfort. Still life spring photography for card, poster, banner, wallpaper.
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Did you know that pesticides have been linked to a wide range of human health hazards, ranging from short-term impacts such as headaches and nausea to chronic impacts like cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption? Some of the Acute dangers – such as nerve, skin, and eye irritation and damage, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and systemic poisoning – can sometimes be dramatic, and even occasionally fatal. (5)

Some of the symptoms of Mild Poisoning or Early Symptoms of Acute Poisoning are headache, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, restlessness, nervousness, perspiration, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, thirst, moodiness, soreness in joints, skin irritation, eye irritation, irritation of the nose and throat. (6)

The good news is that there are still safe pesticide-free tea brands out there, and here are a few that I approve of.

Top 10 Pesticide-Free Tea Brands

Fresh green tea with tea leaves in the water
Source: Shutterstock
  • Numi Organic Tea
  • Stash Tea
  • Tea Leaf Company
  • Yogi Tea
  • Traditional Medicinals
  • Rishi Tea
  • Choice Organic Tea
  • Zhena’s Gypsy Tea
  • Mighty Leaf 
  • Pukka Tea

Another great place to get amazingly healthy, pesticide-free tea is from Mountain Rose Herbs, which is definitely my go-to when it comes to organic tea brands.

How to Choose Quality Tea

Concept Coffee Cup, Mug, hot drink, espresso, breakfast. close-up natural steam smoke of coffee from hot coffee cup on old wooden table in morning warm sunlight flare, outdoor background
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  • If you want only to drink organic tea brands, look for the certified organic label on the package so you know that your tea was cultivated without synthetic pesticides. You can find information on Organic certification HERE
  • You can grow your own herbs and make your own tea.
  • Be careful of buying tea grown in China or India, even if they state they are organic. Here is some information on pesticide use in India and China .

Read More: Does Tea Equal a Healthier Brain? Research Points to Yes

Sources

  1. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/pesticide-traces-in-some-tea-exceed-allowable-limits-1.2564624
  2. http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/chemical-residues-microbiology/chemical-residues/pesticides/eng/1351913846907/1351913943956
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endosulfan
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monocrotophos
  5. http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/pesticides
  6. http://psep.cce.cornell.edu/Tutorials/core-tutorial/module09/index.aspx

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 23, 2016, and has since been updated.