Jul 9th, '13, 21:06
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New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by dbachy » Jul 9th, '13, 21:06

Serious tea drinkers usually wash their tea before drinking to wake it up and wash off the tannins and pesticides, but there's doubt about how well this actually removes chemical residue.

Baking soda is often used to clean tea-ware because its residue is safe and neutral flavored. Baking soda is also widely used to soak pesticides off fruit immediately before consumption. So then... how about using a dash of baking soda with every tea washing? But before I fill up a salt shaker with baking soda, what do you think?

The trade off may be that baking soda absorbs precious aroma from the leaves, but hopefully very little during a 30-second wash. The question may be how much baking soda to soak for how many seconds.

I'm not willing to compromise my tea experience with substandard tasting tea, so I have accepted some risk that my premium Formosa oolong will have a certain small amount of nasty unnatural residue. Life will go on.

But I still want to lower the risk if its worth it. The problem of pesticides in tea was again thrust into the spotlight after Greenpeace's report last year of Teavana's dirty tea. Apparently, even "organic" tea from Asia often comes with chemicals. This isn't a problem which can be ignored, but I'd like to see it minimized.

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Jul 9th, '13, 21:12
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Re: New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by edkrueger » Jul 9th, '13, 21:12

dbachy wrote:...neutral flavored...


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Jul 9th, '13, 21:38
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Re: New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by jayinhk » Jul 9th, '13, 21:38

I'd drink less tea before I started mixing baking soda in...

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Jul 10th, '13, 06:56
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Re: New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by David R. » Jul 10th, '13, 06:56

fake ?

in any case, just buy from people who test their teas against pesticides, it is much easier...

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Jul 10th, '13, 09:23
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Re: New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by Math » Jul 10th, '13, 09:23

Instead of accepting the problem and finding ways around to live with it, wouldn't it be better if we all try to promote the solutions to the problem instead by buying tea from trusted vendors that say no to pesticide farmed tea. By empowering these sellers and their suppliers we help create more demand for sustainable pesticide-free tea and tea farming. In this way we consumers can make a difference and not be a part of the problem.

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Jul 10th, '13, 13:39
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Re: New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by teaisme » Jul 10th, '13, 13:39

there's plenty of clean tea out there, I'd skip the baking soda and just drink those

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Jul 10th, '13, 14:11
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Re: New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by bambooforest » Jul 10th, '13, 14:11

Unless your entire diet consists of nothing but organic foods, then I have to wonder why you or anyone else would single-out tea.

I'm no scientist, but I think the pesticide residues on many teas are quite small and only a fraction of what you'll find on other food sources, not to mention that often much of the pesticides on the leaf never even gets into your water depending on the water solubility of the pesticides used.

I do sometimes get concerned about Chinese tea because of the lack of enforced regulations there, but I feel fairly confident with Taiwanese tea and very confident with Japanese tea when it comes to conventionally grown tea. For me, the main concern with Taiwanese tea is the possibility that some of it has been mixed with tea from other countries.

Jul 25th, '13, 21:14
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Re: New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by John Delaney » Jul 25th, '13, 21:14


In my opinion, I don't believe most people are actually washing away pesticides with the wash. It is disingenious to assume you could remove any substantial pesticides in this way. I believe this is normally said by experts as a way to remove dust, fannings or other smaller particles from the steeping to create a more consistent steeping in the 2nd steeping. They simply tell people it is to wash away the pesticides as a way to set people's mind at ease who think they are losing some product when the fanning and dust is washed away. These people are already conditioned to this phrasing due to the known process of washing fruits and vegetables. I believe it is simply a way to get them to be comfortable with the process.

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Jul 28th, '13, 14:13
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Re: New Way to Wash Pesticides Off Tea

by donaldosborne » Jul 28th, '13, 14:13

I think similiar, no way that they washing out the pesticides - this is bussines too and time is money...

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