Does drinking hot tea cause cancer?

I’m always interested in reading articles that speak to tea’s amazing effects on reducing cancer risk. Needless to say, when I came across some research out of Peking University regarding esophageal cancer, I was quite disturbed.

Upon reading the article, however, I think I understand why drinking hot tea would be a culprit. The study was conducted looking at 3 risk factors: 1) Hot tea drinkers 2) Heavy alcohol consumption and 3) cigarette smoking. It takes all 3 variables to contribute to an increased prevalence of esophageal cancer. If you take a moment to consider this, it doesn’t take a research project to come to this conclusion.  Imagine a person who has been drinking and smoking to excess. Enter tea – or any excessively hot beverage. The hot liquid would burn the delicate tissue as it runs through the esophagus. Cigarette smoke certainly causes inflammation of the tissues and then the burn from a hot liquid – bingo, the damage to the cells would be swift and with repeated exposure, this is a scenario that would encourage cancer cells to dominate.

The researchers conclude that merely drinking hot tea does not, in and of itself, increase one’s risk for this type of cancer. Did we really need a study to come to that conclusion? When one isn’t drunk, it’s easy to learn to wait a bit before drinking our freshly brewed tea so we don’t burn ourselves. It would be interesting to see if these same effects and conditions apply to coffee consumption. Now that would have made a fascinating comparison.

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10 Reasons Why Tea is a Universal Home Remedy

Tea is a widely consumed beverage that seems to be suitable for any occasion, whether it’s a home brunch, a business lunch or a dinner with friends. Some recognize specific teas by their flavor, others prefer them for their health benefits. Tea is usually made of dried leaves, fruit, flower or roots of plants. There are countries which have a specific tea in their traditional culture, such as the Japanese Matcha green tea, Turkish black tea, Chinese Oolong tea or the famous English Earl Grey. For this article’s purpose, we will exclude the grain-based tea-resembling beverages.

Which Types of Tea are There?

Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. The first one is water. Moreover, 80% of the Americans have tea in their homes, while 159 million of them drink at least one cup daily. But which one of those many options make real tea?

  • Tea: Derives from Camellia Sinensis plant. It only includes green, white, black, and oolong tea varieties.
  • Infusion: Herbal products which contain elements from a plant with can be recognized by their taste or effect.

Infusions and tea are not technically alike. However, they have made their way in tradition and culture as types of tea and are perceived as such. They also became parts of the tea serving ritual.

10 Ways Tea Helps You Protect Your Health and Boost Your Mind

  1. Contains Low Calories: A cup of tea without a milk or sugar addition has a couple of calories. Therefore, it’s suitable even as part of a diet and it’s almost as hydrating as water.  
  2. Rich in Antioxidants: Tea boosts your exercise endurance by providing you with an additional dose of antioxidants. This is due to the rich catechins found in many teas, especially in white and green tea. Moreover, antioxidants protect your body from the impact of pollution.
  3. Protects Against Heart Disease. Tea contains flavonoids which prevent cell damage and protect from heart disease and some types of cancer. The health effect comes with drinking one – three cups of tea daily.
  4. Eases Weight Loss. There are tea varieties which promote weight reduction and are even recommended by nutritionists. One of them is green tea, which also improves bone mineral strength and density. Also, your taste buds may perceive the taste of some flavored teas as appealing and, therefore, minimize your appetite.
  5. Boosts Immune System. Some flu or cold treatments include tea, as it contains theanine. This amino acid has direct benefits for your immune system.
  6. Fights Free Radicals. Tea can absorb oxygen radical substances that your body does not always eliminate entirely and protects your DNA.
  7. Lowers Parkinson’s Disease Risk. Tea minimizes the effect of smoking and other factors which might lead to Parkinson’s disease in both men and women.  
  8. Protects You from UV Rays. Green tea has backup sunscreen effects. Furthermore, it protects the cells from damaged caused by exposure to radiation as part of treatments.
  9. Prevents Cavities. Tea may decrease tooth loss, as it changes the pH of your mouth after consumption. However, brush your teeth within one hour, as green or black tea may leave stains.
  10. Works for Your Digestion. Many herbal teeth are antispasmodic and improve digestion. There are specific teas that also come in handy, such as ginger. Ginger tea calms nausea.

Take a Sip

Herbal teas provide you with plenty of health benefits. All you need to do is research and see which plant specializes in your desired effect.

Tea usually contains less caffeine than regular coffee, which makes it suitable for consumption on any occasion. However, there are teas which provide you with energy and are recommended for morning consumption. Choose your favorite tea and take a sip!

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Author Bio

Susan Hamilton is a food engineer and a homemade-everything type of woman. When she’s not growing her own fruits and vegetables or creating homemade recipes for her family, she likes wandering around and having different meetups with her friends. Even with a hectic schedule, she loves writing and editing articles for HomeRemedyBook, where she shares her knowledge about following a healthy lifestyle.

Tea Tasting: An Art for the Tea Lovers

Guest Post By: Rupal Sharma

Tea– As soon as the word ‘tea’ is heard, it recollects the image of warm water mixed with milk and sugar and all the other additives. Who would have known that the real teas are not the concocted liquors but the natural tea leaf extracts merged in warm water?

Tea Tasting Culture

Tea tasting has been an art since the very first cup of tea ever made in the world. However, the varieties of tea kept changing and evolved as the most preferred and beneficial health drinks all over the world.

Drinking tea has revolutionised and was made popular by not just being a drink over the taste buds of the tea consumers but reflecting joy on the faces. That joy was uncountable as the tea drinkers found their happiness in that one slurpy sip.

Emergence of Tea Tasting

Though tea is abundantly available in the current market and that too in different tastes, the tea drinkers have found their kind of art in tea tasting. The taste buds of these people have become so used to the taste of tea that in one sip they are able to detect the etymology of tea and its place of origination. They have reached a level of so much expertise that they possess a power to even convince the non-tea drinkers to enjoy tea with them.

Awareness of Tea as a Luxury Drink

If I talk about my personal experience, the art of tea tasting has been undoubtedly introduced in the place where I work. Being a tea lover, it has been a great experience in working with the core members of the tea business. I have tasted lots of varieties of tea as well as witnessed the tea tasting procedure; it has been a one of a kind experience as the tea experts guided me with approximately 20 kinds of teas and let me taste all of them. It is very rare that you would find a real tea connoisseur around you. But in my case, when I met Mr. Rishabh Dugar (founder of Te.Cha), I have always found him being involved in teas and explaining the art of consuming natural teas, just like a true tea connoisseur. Well, I have always had the tea with the addition of milk and sugar and other flavours, but the real magic of drinking natural tea has immaculately stunned me with the finesse in its taste.

Tea tasting has been compared to an art form as it is rarest of all that we could ever find anyone so much involved in tea that he thinks and talks only tea. The art of tea tasting reflects the voyage of the tea taster, and how much tea he or she has consumed and of how many varieties. Tasting different kinds of teas depend on the varieties of teas available in the market and these varieties are made from a very interesting and special technique, ‘cloning’. The clones of teas are being tested and then grown in different tea producing regions and they never fail to mesmerise the taste buds of the tea consumers.

Tea tasting has been a form of art for many decades and is growing at a rapid pace in today’s world. As the people from different places incline more towards living natural and healthy, tea has gained enormous popularity worldwide. It has become a natural source, where people find their leisure while drinking tea and sharing their happiness, get-togethers, formal or informal meetings, or any special occasion.

Tea has always been an art to consume whole-heartedly!

Author Bio: Rupal Sharma works at Te.Cha-Specialty Tea Boutique ( in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India.

Writing has always been my passion and there is no other platform than sharing your thoughts through different write-ups and articles. I also have a fondness of singing and dancing and all other creative things that I find attractive and worth investing time for.

Success Mantra: ‘Smile as much as you can!’

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The post Tea Tasting: An Art for the Tea Lovers appeared first on T Ching.

Blast From the Past: Two styles of white tea

Author: Tiffany Williams

“Do not pick on the day that has seen rain nor when clouds spoil the sky. Pick tea only on a clear day.”
—Lu Yu

I hated my first white tea experience. It was a Lipton white tea blend in a tea bag and it put me off of white tea for years. Then I had real white tea: Silver Needle. Made with tea buds, Sliver Needle tea brews a rich delicate liquid with notes of fruit and honey – truly a robust flavor for a delicate light-colored tea. I fell in love with Silver Needle, but the high price stopped my budding addiction.

white_peonyThe most famous white teas originate in Fujian Province in China.  Fujian produces two main types of white tea: Silver Needle and White Peony.

Sliver Needle tea features long, tender, young tea buds with small hairs, carefully plucked after winter hibernation. In early spring, the tea bushes in Fujian sprout the first green leaves and buds. A stem has a new bud with two leaves below it. About three weeks before plucking, the tea bushes are shaded. Tea buds are picked on clear sunny days.

According to legend, young female virgins wearing silk gloves were the only ones to pick this special tea during Imperial China. Today, workers carefully pluck the best buds and let them wither in an open-air shaded area. Shading prevents further chlorophyll development from the sun. Drying the tea buds in the open air at a low temperature for about 24 hours allows the oxidation process to start. Over 10,000 tea buds can be found in one kilogram of Silver Needle tea, making it one of the most expensive teas in the world. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the emperor demanded this tea to be paid as tribute. However, there is a less expensive white tea you can enjoy – White Peony.

White Peony tea is a new leaf style white tea. This tea is made from the first bunch of new leaves located under a new tea bud. Tea masters blend a few different White Peony styles –  a tea bud and one leaf (the highest grade), the first leaf alone, a tea bud and an imperfect first leaf, and a tea bud and the first and second true leaves. The first leaf under the bud is porous, allowing for complete drying during the air-drying process. After plucking, White Peony tea leaves are dried in the shade and then baked. Because of the air drying, this tea is 8-15 percent oxidized.  White Peony varieties have the delicate flavors of flowers and honey.

So, how do you brew white tea? Heat filtered water until a column of steam rises. Pour the water over the tea leaves, cover, and steep for 90 seconds to two minutes. The amount of leaves in a cup is based on personal taste. Use more leaves for a stronger cup of tea. Do not use boiling or microwave water because the tea will taste bitter and burned.

White tea is a flavorful treat for all tea drinkers. Appreciate the specific plucking and manufacturing to create a flavorful and delicious cup. You can enjoy the traditional Silver Needle style and the new White Peony leaf style. Both are manufactured to tea perfection. Once I tasted high-quality, loose-leaf white teas, I became a fan. I like to drink white tea on hot days. It makes a great cold-brewed iced tea.

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This article was originally posted in February 2013.

You Can Eat Your Tea!

Infusing tea into every corner of your dining experience is not a new concept, but certainly a fun one. Tea is the perfect flavor complement in baked cookies, stir-fries, rubs, salad dressing, and even popcorn! Eating various teas can provide a unique profile and sweet or savory flavor personality that is sure to enhance your dining experience.

I greatly enjoy DAVIDsTEA Soup Teas. And, to my TEAlight, I discovered how Spicy Rasam’s blended soup packet—with green tea, cumin, turmeric, and spicy chili—gives an irresistible South Indian-style curry kick to my food. The light touch of fire is a perfect complement for my Pear and Mixed Green Salad, as well as a delicious addition sprinkled over my popcorn.

TEAlicious Salad dressing

2 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of DAVIDsTEA Spicy Rasam Soup Tea

  • Whisk ingredients together for a few minutes until blended.

Pear and Mixed Green Salad.

Mixed greens: arugula, baby spinach, dandelion greens
Baby beet tops
Chunks of Bosc pear

  • Mix chunks of Bosc pear, baby beet tops, and mixed greens together.
  • Pour TEAlicious Salad Dressing onto the salad.
  • Toss lightly until dressing thoroughly coats all ingredients.


Spicy Rasam Popcorn

1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (for popping)
2 tablespoons DAVIDsTEA Spicy Rasam Soup Tea

Select a pot large enough to account for the expanding popcorn. The pot should also be on the thin side. Turn the heat up to high and place 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into the pot. Test readiness by adding two kernels of popcorn. Cover the pot and wait. When the two kernels pop, remove the pot from the heat, scoop out the two popped kernels, and then add the remaining unpopped kernels. Cover the pot and give it a good shake. Let the kernels sit for one minute. This allows the kernels to heat up evenly.

Once popped, pour the popcorn into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle Spicy Rasam onto the popcorn while hot and then toss lightly until evenly coated. I chose not to use butter on my popcorn. But, If you choose to do so, add melted butter before you sprinkling on the Spicy Rasam soup packet.

Relax and enjoy this flavorful treat!

Discover more recipe ideas and edible teas here:

Interested in individually designed tea reviews? Weaving compelling visual stories for social media is a passion of mine. I love creating immersive illustrated reviews that awaken people to tea and culture. If you desire an illustrated review to engage your followers, please contact me.

How A Japanese Tea Farm is Fighting Against Japan’s Biggest Problem – Age – Part One

The Japanese tea industry is facing a huge problem.

This problem is hitting many of the respected tea farmers who have been in the industry for decades or even centuries. 

The problem is: Japanese people are getting old.

In particular, tea drinkers in Japan are getting old. This article will show you why the green tea industry is facing the problem and a story of how one tea farmer is trying to combat the problem today.

Japanese tea drinkers are getting old

The average age of a Japanese green tea drinker is said to be 55 years old.  In 2018, the Japanese population had the second highest median age in the world next to Monaco. Based on 2014 estimates, 33% of the Japanese population is above the age of 60.  

Green tea is typically enjoyed by the older generation in Japan, and younger populations tend to be favoring other kinds of drinks such as coffee, soda and other sweet drinks, including fruit juice. 

If you stop on any corner in Tokyo, the self-serving vending machines show you the truth of this favoring. Although green tea is still the most common beverage in Japan, when you stop at stations such as Harajuku where the younger generation tends to hang out more, you see lines of “sweet drinks” in the vending machines.   (I wrote a comprehensive article about vending machine culture and green tea trend in Japan here.)

There is even a word for this in Japan now.  Ochabanare (お茶離れ), which literally means “leaving tea trend,” which describes young people leaving the culture and drinking of tea.

Due to the younger generation not drinking green tea, consumption of green tea in Japan has been decreasing year after year. 

As of 2018, Japan is the eighth largest tea producer in the world (88900 tons/year); however, tea farming itself has unfortunately decreased in recent years.

According to statistics released by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in 2016, the area used for tea farming has decreased from 46200 hectares in 2011 to 43100 hectares in 2016.  That is a 7% decrease in just 5 years.  This is said to be due to multiple reasons:

  1. Imports of tea from other countries such as China is increasing, reducing the price of tea.
  2. Also, farming in general is lacking young labor forces.  Farming is viewed as not “trendy” among the young population, causing a reduction in the labor force.
  3. The younger generation not drinking green tea is surely another main reason for this decline.  

Since tea was introduced to Japan from China in the 7th century, a unique tea culture has evolved in Japan. (Read more about unique Japanese tea culture in my other article.) Tea was initially valued as medicine due to its health benefits and was only available to the rich. Because tea was valued so highly and such a novel product, a unique culture evolved around tea in Japan; a good example is tea ceremonies which were practiced initially among high-class and rich people.    

Because of this novel status, tea farmers have been one of the most respected farmers in Japan for a very long time. Anywhere or any time in history where there are more resources, more inventions happen. A variety of different cultivation methods have evolved in tea industries in Japan over time to get the best tea available to the consumers. One of the most well-known examples of this is Matcha.

Matcha is cultivated by shading tea before harvesting, which increases many health-beneficial chemicals by basically “hungering” the tea plant to crave more sunlight. (Read more about matcha trivia here.)

Another example of such cultivation method is the Chagusaba method( 茶草場). This is a labor-intensive cultivation method commonly practiced over centuries in Shizuoka prefecture where dirt around tea leaves is covered by shrubs of different plants to protect roots from freezing in winter and making the tea taste sweeter. (Try green tea grown by Chagusaba method.)

Though this cultivation method is being designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System by the United Nations, due to the above-mentioned reasons, farmers are not able to sustain the method. (Read more about Chagusaba method.)

Though faced with many challenges, Japanese tea farmers are finding new ways to survive and thrive. Arahataen Green Tea Farms has been one of the most innovative leaders of tea farms in Japan, and very well respected by peer tea farmers.    

Arahataen has always been the first brave tea farm to try out new systems in the tea industry.  For example, they were the first farm to use a deep steaming method (Fukamushi 深蒸し) back in 60s to combat the problem of harder tea leaves due to excessive sun in the region. By successfully steaming tea for longer durations, they were able to introduce better tasting tea which was exposed to more sunlight. (Read more about deep steaming here.)

Arahataen was one of the first ones in Japan to adopt “mail subscription” services when TV shopping became popular in Japan, and of course one of the first to utilize the “online subscription” system. This made them the tea company with the highest online sales in Japan in 2016.

Images provided by author.

To Be Continued Tomorrow…

How A Japanese Tea Farm is Fighting Against Japan’s Biggest Problem – Age – Part Two

This is part two, continued from yesterday.

Arahataen’s newest and biggest challenge now is the problem every industry is facing in Japan: Age. With young people leaving tea drinking and the tea culture, what can a company do to solve the problem which is getting more serious every year?

Mr. Arahata’s idea was very simple. “Let’s ask the young people about it.”

Although much of the population of Japan is aging, there are young kids who are full of energy for a better and brighter future. Mr. Arahata’s idea was to get help from the “future” of Japan.

Unlike other countries, such as the USA, Japan has many high schools and junior high schools that specialize in a specific industry.  Many kids study to get into the high school of their dreams, which usually leads them into a university specializing in the industry. If a kid knows what they want to do in the future, Japan is a very good place for them because they get exposure to that industry from a very early age.  (Side note: In fact, I also went to an architect-specialized school (Shibaura Institute of Technology Junior and Senior High School) for my junior high school and part of high school before I came to the USA.)

Arahataen approached the local high school specializing in business industry, Shizuoka Commercial High School (静岡商業高等学校). The school had 844 students in 2017 and is well connected to the local farming industry from a commercial perspective.

Students from Shizuoka Commercial High School

With a partnership with Shizuoka Commercial High School, Arahataen Tea Farm became the teacher of a course for the 8th grade students for a period of one year.

Arahataen’s job as a teacher is to teach kids the basics of tea farming, harvesting, and production. Students were exposed to the real everyday life of the tea industry for one year. As noted above, Arahataen is one of the oldest tea farms of the region, and they handle not only farming but also packaging, distribution, and marketing. Kids were very excited to get hands-on experience in growing tea and distributing into the mass market of the world.  

As part of Curriculum, the goal of the year-long course was to find a way to market the tea to the youth.

After a number of brainstorming sessions, a student came up with the idea to add “something” to the tea so that young people will like it. Their idea was to look for ingredients by learning from drinks popular among students.  They listed drinks they usually drink. The list included drinks such as Cokes, fruit juice, Calpis (popular Japanese soft drink) and cocoa drinks. What was common among all the products were “sweet” and often “sour.”

After the brainstorming sessions, with help from actual production facilities, students prototyped a number of different drinks and snacks.  They shared the prototyped products and surveyed the entire region’s high schools to see which ones they liked the most.

The result of this one-year journey was: Green tea with Lemon.

Students trying to come up with ideas for new tea product

Student trying out prototype tea

Event at school to present the new product developed over one year of effort

With help from Arahataen’s wide and strong connections with local farms, students were able to source local lemon to add to the tea.  Arahataen decided to use one of the most premium teas grown by the Chagusaba method (see above about this method) with sugar cane.  They have powdered the premium tea so that it is easier to mix and drink with cold or hot water, as the kids suggested, since most of them don’t have tea kettles at home.

Powdered tea (Konacha粉茶) is usually made with the non-prime part of green tea. It is usually the result of using the “leftover” tea so that all parts of tea can be sold.  Arahataen did not want to go with low-quality tea. Therefore, they powdered the most premium crops to preserve the healthiest and best part of the tea.  

They have also partnered with a local orange farm of Japanese Orange Mikan to come up with the second product of the line called Green tea with Japanese Orange.  Mikan is also known as Japanese Citrus which is very similar to mandarin.

Since the introduction of the product, both products have been catching boom in Japan now and are featured by national TV shows as well.

You can also try this in the USA from the Japanese Green Tea Company here:

Green Tea with Lemon:  

Green Tea with Japanese Orange (Mikan):

Images provided by author.

Tea Benefits for Alzheimer’s – T Ching

Guest post by Franco Colomba.

Like most things that scientists get their hands on, they will usually only find a good or a bad. This time around it turns out that it is better than good. In some breakthrough research, scientists have discovered that drinking tea may actually help to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and drastically for that matter.

The study was put out by the National University of Singapore, and observed more than 950 adults aged 55 years or older. Their tea drinking rituals were cross-checked against their cognitive function, across a total study period of six years. It was noted that those who consumed tea regularly, lowered their risk of neurocognitive disorders by 50 percent, and a massive 86 percent to those who were genetically predisposed to the disease.

The type of tea for the risk of Alzheimer’s did not matter either, pending it was brewed from tea leaves and consumed consistently.

So, how does drinking tea actually impact the brain?
The compounds found in tea are what makes it that little bit special for brain health; catechins and theaflavins to be exact. These ingredients are packed to the brim with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory powers that could assist with anti-aging of the brain.

Researchers back in 2012, discovered that a chemical found in green tea (EGCG), boosts memory function too. When tested on lab mice, scientists discovered that EGCG helped the little guys familiarize objects while improving their spatial memory*

Due to the EGCG in green tea, it also makes the cut for foods known for their cancer-fighting properties too.

Increased memory, better alertness, lower mental fatigue, and an aid in the prevention of cancer, all in one little cup! Just some more reasons to enjoy another cup of tea, right?

We have listed below some of the most beneficial ways to enjoy tea and capitalize on its varying health properties.

Embrace real tea leaves
Tea bags can prove a convenient option, however, you need the actual tea leaves to uncover their real benefits. Try to skip the bags wherever possible and brew your tea direct from the leaves alone.

Keep your brewing time to the recommended level
Particularly important with green tea as the release of tannins, caused by steeping the leaves for too long, can bring about a bitter taste.

Keep it natural
A seemingly healthy drink can turn into a blend of un-natural, sugary mess, depending on what is added. Try to steer away from refined additives, if you need to add anything at all. Manuka honey can be a good option with ample health benefits in its own right. If you are a creamy tea lover, opt for organic, full-fat milk or coconut milk as another option (and dairy-free).

Sometimes, it’s pretty remarkable what the world of science uncovers. This time they may have actually wowed us again. Drinking tea to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, protecting our brain from aging, and boosting our memory are some pretty cool benefits to add to the list.

Short bio:

Franco Colomba is a content contributor for Bondi Beach Tea and enjoys providing value for others. Franco knows that the best way to receive is to give your best in everything you do. Aside from writing, he has a passion for riding motorcycles & everything adventurous.

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Blast From the Past: Matcha green tea latte with zen green tea matcha

The trick to preparing a cafe style matcha green tea latte is to make the tea first, then add the hot milk and foam.

latte 1 erin

  •  Sift 1 tsp Zen Green Tea Matcha into a cup
  •  Melt matcha by adding 2 teaspoons of hot water and stirring until the matcha becomes a smooth paste
  •  Pour 6 oz steamed milk over matcha tea
  •  Scoop foamy milk on top
  •  Sprinkle with matcha dust or cocoa powder


  •  Add vanilla, almond or mint flavours
  •  Sweeten with honey or agave nectar

For more delicious matcha recipes or to buy amazing quality yet affordable matcha please visit Zen Green Tea.

“Who needs a coffee latte when you can have a Matcha latte which has a boost of caffeine to last you during your working day and tonnes more health benefits! I absolutely cannot live without my matcha lattes!” – Sarah Gunn

Image Provided by Author.

This article was originally published in February 2015.

Amazon Brand Tea and Tea Bag 101

We’ve all heard of the Amazon effect, and almost no business is immune, including the tea business. While it is platform to sell various types of tea, in 2017 Amazon announced it would enter some snack and ready to eat food markets, including selling their own house tea brand. What does this mean and what are the implications for the tea industry?


Marketed as the “Wickedly Prime” brand, these are a collection of teas covering all the bases – black, oolong, herbal, and even matcha. Other than matcha these teas are sold in 15 count boxes of sachets. 


Bagged tea is often looked down upon as inferior tea, and for the huge mega brands, this is and continues to be true. The reason is that fannings or dust grade tea is used, which is a lower quality compared to what the loose market enjoys. However, some loose tea can also be put in bags for convenience sake, and this is exactly what Amazon has done.


In general, only certain types of loose teas can be put into bags. These are usually simpler blends, ones without lots of larger chunks, nut slices or types of tea that grow and expand significantly (think some of the pearl style teas and oolongs) as well as the rare and exotic types that are long whole leaf styles. Manufacturing typically makes it economically infeasible to have a very large selection. Loose tea can be blended in small or large quantities. But the production commitment is higher with bagged teas, so whatever you are going to bag, it needs to be a good seller. 

A popular blend like Snowflake tea with lots of chunky and random shaped ingredients along with nuts are not tea bag friendly.

In theory, you could start a tea company in your basement without any raw materials. You can develop a blend and contract the bagging process out to someone else. This is the same as what Apple does. They design the iPhone in California, and then the actual manufacturing gets done at Foxconn over in China.

When contracting out you can send your raw materials directly over to the bagging company, or many of them have a variety of ‘house’ ingredients you can arrange in any way you like and then settle on a formula. They take care of the rest – including all the packaging. The barrier to entry is very low when it comes to making a custom tea product. The only limitation is if you can meet the minimum runs that most of the contract baggers require – which can vary greatly, but 40,000 bags are usually the starting point depending on the tea. With those minimums, it’s very difficult to have an enormous selection of bagged teas, especially when you are looking at rare and exotic teas. For this reason, the major loose leaf tea blenders only make about 10% of their teas available in bagged form. 

Back to Amazon – for a company of that size, it is pretty easy to get a tea blend ready with a few phone calls. This is also the model that Trader Joe’s uses. Trader Joe’s doesn’t have its own massive manufacturing and R&D facility. Much of their products are simply rebranded products from other companies. The very notion of a brand is shifting rapidly. Old brands that have spent billions on developing their name are seeing market share eroded by store brands.


Cost wise, the Wickedly Prime tea runs for roughly $16 per 45 bags. (they usually sell 3 boxes at a time). The total weight is about 4.8 ounces total. Each box weighs 1.6 ounces, so just doing the math each bag has about a tenth of an ounce of tea in it. Instructions call for 8 ounces of water. Bagged tea usually costs more overall, and in this case, it comes out to be 35 cents a serving. Keep in mind that a lot of tea drinkers like me like to down 16 ounces at a clip. A 45-day supply would really be just over 3 weeks. Which is just about what a typical 4-ounce bag of loose tea will last if you drink about 16 ounces of it per day. The loose tea equivalents of the amazon blends I see typically range from $8-$12.


Like any food product, the reviews vary. Overall, they are meant to please a general audience and they seem to be doing just that with crowd-friendly blends.


The flavored matcha is the one area we would be cautious of. The reason? The ingredients:


In general, a good quality flavored matcha should not have anything besides the tea and natural flavors. 


With a big company like Amazon, forget about getting a lot of information or asking questions. As you can see below, the questions are answered by other users, NOT Amazon themselves. If you need questions answered about the source, ingredients or anything important, you’ll have a hard time.

Is this tea Fair Trade certified?

It does not state Fair Trade on the box
By Robin B. on May 15, 2017

What is the carb count on this? Similar teas have surprised me with carb counts that I didn’t expect.

It isn’t listed and personally I don’t care. It is so good and I don’t drink it with cream or milk or sugar or any sweetener on a paleo like diet and I’ve been losing weight steadily. This is quite good. Sorry can’t answer your carb question.
By PHT on July 11, 2017

What is the country of origin?

Sorry, no idea. Love the hibiscus flavor though. Mango OK.
By Marion vonBeck on November 21, 2017

Is it just me or does the packaging seem extremely environmentally unfriendly?

I do agree. Lots of paper and plastic!
By E Mo on November 1, 2017


For someone that is looking for a casual tea, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the Amazon tea, except the matcha. It seems to be geared toward the less experienced tea person, or someone that values convenience over price.  But if you are looking to expand your horizons to higher end teas, want detailed sourcing information, or get questions answered by someone knowledgeable, then the recommendation is to go to a reputable tea shop (online or local). At the very least, Amazon teas are a good stepping stone for a beginner, that eventually will graduate into the more premium market.