Aside from water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world, with 25,000 cups consumed every second (1). That’s a lot of tea time!
Alongside the boost of energy that this often caffeinated drink provides, tea is rich in disease-fighting compounds known as polyphenols. These compounds act as antioxidants, which some studies associate with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer (2).
But with conventionally produced tea, the environmental and health risks are of great concern. Buying organic tea ensures that the tea leaves and other ingredients are grown using sustainable farming practices and without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides (3).
What’s more, supporting organic tea brands means supporting producers that do more to protect their workers. While conventionally produced tea often involves unsafe chemical exposure to farm workers, opting for organic tea ensures standards that uphold safe working conditions (4).
Here are tips for selecting an organic tea, 9 of the top-rated teas, and a breakdown of their unique health benefits.
Here are the labels to look for when shopping, plus some ingredients take note of:
Our top-rated organic teas all bear either the certified USDA Organic or Regenerative Organic Certified label, in addition to providing a number of protective health effects.
Chamomile is known for having a wide range of benefits, from boosting the immune system, to improving cardiovascular health, to protecting against cancer (9). This tea holds both the USDA Organic Seal and the Fair Trade Certified label.
Rich in disease-fighting antioxidants and providing a boost of natural caffeine, Yerba Mate is a popular swap for coffee (10). Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate Tea Bags are Regenerative Organic Certified and certified Fair For Life (11, 12).
Flavor is not the only powerful thing about ginger tea. It’s also known to aid in digestion, reduce muscle pain after exercise, and prevent against various cancers (13). This caffeine blend of ginger, rooibos tea, and citrus bears the USDA Organic Seal.
This minty tea is refreshingly delicious and offers some health benefits — including alleviating digestive symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome patients and counteracting hormone imbalances in women (14, 15). This spearmint tea is certified USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified.
Some research suggest that licorice root tea may relieve digestive symptoms and help reduce eczema (16). Although licorice root is generally safe for consumption, it’s important to note that it may cause negative side effects in those with hypertension. This tea carries both the USDA Organic seal and the Fair Wild label.
Studies link fennel to a number of health benefits, including soothing stomach pain, treating insomnia, and relieving constipation. It also contains a variety of antioxidants that offer protective effects against cancer (19). This tea is certified USDA Organic.
A blend of peppermint, fennel, and ginger, this aromatic tea contains ingredients linked to providing digestive support and easing stomach pain (13, 19). This Belly Comfort tea is also certified USDA Organic.
This tea is a blend of passionflower, lavender, chamomile, and catnip, made to soothe your nervous system and help you relax (20). Cup of Calm carries both the certified USDA Organic and the Fair Trade Certified label.
Buying tea with the USDA Organic seal ensures that every ingredient contained in the tea is grown without fertilizers or pesticides.
Another label to look for is a Fair Trade label, including Fair Trade Certified, Fair for Life, The Fairtrade System, Naturland Fair, Small Producers’ Symbol, or Rainforest Alliance Certified label. These provide assurance that your tea, which is most likely produced abroad, meets ethical standards for labor practices.
Lastly, if you’re looking to reduce your intake of added sugar or prefer unsweetened tea, be mindful of added sweeteners loaded into many bottled and powdered teas.
GreenChoice, PBC has evaluated and rated more than 340,000 food & beverage products across hundreds of attributes related to diet, health, and sustainability. Easily find the best products for you, the planet, & your budget. Download the free GreenChoice app for Apple iO or Android!