Will Biodegradable Teabags Make The Perfect Cup of Tea?

Some Teabags Are More Biodegradable Than Others

I was pleasantly surprised when I reached for a pack of my favourite teabags in the supermarket the other week. It stated that the teabags were now completely biodegradable.

Until last year I had always imagined that teabags were made out of paper and were fully biodegradable, although I was mystified by the fact that they didn’t seem to rot down in my compost heap and were always getting stuck on the end of my fork when I was digging my vegetable patch. The reason for this is that until recently most teabags use polypropylene (plastic) which, when heated, made the seams of the teabag stick together. However, now some tea manufacturers have developed a teabag which uses a ‘plant based material derived from corn’ to replace the polypropylene.

Well it’s about time. Although there is a caveat that says the teabags will take a very long time to rot down in your garden compost and it’s a good idea to put them in the food waste bin for the council to take to an industrial composter.

So, it’s partially good news but you need to check the box to make sure your manufacturer’s teabags are biodegradable and if you put them into your own compost heap you’ll probably still end up with that bag stuck on the end of your garden fork.

PG Tips Original Rainforest Alliance Certified Tea Bags Biodegradable 240 Tea Bags, Pack of 4

How to Make Greener Tea

No, not green tea – that’s frankly foul – but if you want an eco-friendly cup of black tea, the best thing to do is to get yourself a teapot and buy loose tea. This is how tea is supposed to be made!

How To Make The Perfect Cup of Tea with a Teapot and Loose Tea

  1. Fill a kettle and boil the water
  2. Place your loose tea into the teapot. You can buy tea scoops or measuring spoons and the general rule is one scoop for each person and one for the pot. (However, you can alter this depending on whether you like your tea strong or weak.)
  3. When the water is nearly boiling, warm the teapot by pouring a small amount of water from the kettle into it, swirling it around and emptying it into the sink.
  4. Put the kettle back on to boil
  5. As soon as the water has boiled pour it into your teapot.
  6. Leave the tea to brew (draw or steep) – around 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. I always put the milk into the teacup first but you can put it in last if you prefer.
  8. Make sure you use a tea strainer! If you forget this vital step you will get a mouthful of tea leaves when you get to drain your cup which is horrible (although you then may be able to tell your fortune from ‘reading’ your tea leaves!).
  9. Remember to use a china cup and saucer for the best possible tasting tea.
Teapigs Everyday Brew Black Loose Tea Made With Whole Leaves (1 Pack of 250g Loose Tea)

Dispose of the Tea Leaves

Whatever you do, remember to NOT empty your teapot down the kitchen sink. Those loose tea leaves will block your sink in no time. Simply keep a bucket outside your kitchen door and empty the dregs into it. When the bucket is full, you can empty the contents around the roots of your rose bushes.

And not a single plastic/paper/cornstarched teabag in sight!

Tea is so much better with a tea pot, tea strainer and china cup! Try it and you’ll never look back.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Inspired Design Tea for One Fine China Cup Saucer & Teapot Set
Tea Measuring Spoon for Loose Leaf Tea 1 Perfect Cup Size Stainless Steel
KitchenCraft Loose Tea Strainer with Long Handle and Stand, Stainless Steel, 14 cm
TouchLife Bone China Tea Cup Coffee Cup Set with Saucer and Spoon,Camellia, White and Green,With Gift Box


Now you can admire your beautiful roses whilst you drink the perfect cup of tea and there’s no plastic/paper waste to put into the compost! Forget about those teabags – biodegradable or not – and get back to real loose tea!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s