#1 It’s all about the Tea: Review of unbleached tea bags – Shibui and TeaCakes

Dear all,
World Naturelle WatermarkSo far I’ve been mainly posting blogs about natural cosmetics. Despite the fact that I do love natural cosmetics, my all-time and ultimate passion are teas. Started when I was in my teens with first black teas, then green teas and for the past couple of years I’m more and more enthusiastic about herbal teas. They are so often enough for any sorts of condition you come across to. I always buy either organic or wild crafted ones and love to make my own blends. In order to do so, you’ll need tea bags. I use them not only for teas: I also make a one-time herbal shower packs with dried herbs and flowers and I often make dried packs for health purposes (like vaginal douche).

Naturally, I want the most natural ones, unbleached and chlorine free.World Naturelle Watermark2 I figured, how difficult can it be to find that kind of tea bags in London right? Well, you’d be surprised at the amount of time it took me to find them. I mainly move between Camden, Kentish town, Harringay and every time a tea house or a health food store crossed my way, I would ask them for the tea bags. They didn’t have the usual one, so I stopped dreaming about getting unbleached ones.

However, here comes Amazon. I finally looked it up, despite wanting to have them asap. I found two brands and immediately ordered them. To my surprise, I got them way earlier that expected and I was super excited when I got them-.
World Naturelle Watermark_7So, here’s the first review. The first brand is Shibui where you’ll be getting 100 unbleached, chlorine free and biodegradable tea bags which are suitable for 1 – 3 cups of tea. They cost £4.25 and have a string to close the tea bag. Enclosed to my package was also a sample of their English breakfast tea and their card, which had a personal message, thanking me for the order. I thought that was a nice touch. Not only that, I also got a promotional code for their website for my next purchase! For which I have a distinct feeling I’ll be using very soon 🙂 Here’s their website where you’ll notice that the price is somewhat cheaper; £3.95 instead of £4.25 as on Amazon. They have quite a variety of teas and I can’t wait to give them a try. http://www.shibui-tea.co.uk/collections/teaware/products/shibui-tea-filters
World Naturelle Watermark_3The other brand is called TeaCakes of Yorkshire and they are saying that they are passionate for tradition. The price for 100 tea bags is £5.95 and these are slightly bigger; they’re for 2 – 4 cups. Even though in the description at Amazon it says that they are biodegradable and from unbleached paper, the packaging doesn’t include non of this. Which I don’t find ok. Anyhow, it also says that for the green, white or Oolong teas tea bags can be reused 3 – 4 times each. Pretty cool right? Will give this a try and get back to you. Here’s their website from which you can see the description of the tea bags and where you learn that they are also selling bigger loose tea bags and that they have a very nice selection of teas. Great place for us tea lovers 🙂 http://www.teacakesyork.co.uk/loose-leaf-tea-bags.html

Which ones should you buy? It really depends on what you’re looking for. The Shibui’s good points are (1) description on Amazon and packaging matches), (2) the string is a really nice touch in order to keep all your lovely herbs inside, however it does seem it could get torn by the tea bag quickly so be gentle, (3) even the outer package of the tea bags is a cartoon, therefore more eco friendly than plastic. Furthermore, (4) it is easier to get the herbs inside the tea bag then the other one, since the gap is bigger and not to mention (5) the tester tea and a promotional code with a personalised note that was attached to my purchase. The promotional code together with personal note makes it more likely to revisit the website and repurchase. Again, a nice touch.World Naturelle Watermark_5
The strong points of the TeaCakes of Yorkshire’s tea bags are (1) big capacity, suitable from one to 4 cups, (2) open and diagonal gap of the tea bag which enables you to put your herbs inside very easily, on the other hand, it is more likely that these tea bags will open due to not having a string, (3) packaging is smaller but it is plastic and (4) as mentioned above, no mentioning of the description that was written on the Amazon, on the packaging.
World Naturelle Watermark_4Today I’ll be using three of the tea bags. One will be for vaginal douche where I usually blend the Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) and Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla xanthochlora) , but today I decided to also add chamomile to calm the area even greatly. The second one is the same blend, with slightly different proportions of the herbs where after adding 0.25l of boiling water in a 0.5l mug, I’ll also be adding lavender essential oil and either coconut oil, coconut butter or just almond oil; i am preparing my n herbl shower pack. I think I’m gonna go with the butter since it resembles a gentle scrub and the skin is amazing afterwards. For this one I filled up a TeaCakes tea bag since the quantity for showering is greater.

The last tea bag will be used for the tea, naturally 🙂 I’m down with a fever so for the past couple of days I’ve been making this blend: fresh parsley for the kidney detox and general detoxifying properties for the whole body, yarrow for enhancing the sweat, thus getting rid of the toxins built up in your body and lastly, the elderflower for the support of the immune system and 0.5l of boiling water. I also suggest a lovely mug to go with it. This tea blend is no ordinary. You need to drink while taking a shower, or if you’re lucky enough, when taking a bath. Beforehand make sure you prepare a hot watter bottle and put it under the blanket. I also make myself another tea, after bath since I won’t have the time to make another when I get back from the shower. When you’re good to go, start showering, making your body warmer and warmer and start drinking your tea. You’ll already feel your body sweating even though you haven’t even finished your shower yet. Afterwards, dry yourself with the towel and try not to expose yourself to colder temperatures (aka open window) and quickly slip under the blanket. It is advisable to do it in the evening and make sure you have either a TV remote in your proximity or an already prepared movie on your computer. When you’re very sick, you can do this in the morning and in the evening. Hope you feel better soon 🙂

To sum up, it really comes down to what you prefer. I think I’m going more into the direction of the TeaCakes one because I love that I am not limited with the space.World Naturelle Watermark_6You know how much space dried herbs can take. However, I’ve given them a try and I really like the Shibui ones as well: there was enough space for the herbs and tea bags itself are so nice that you feel guilty throwing them away afterwards; which is why i reuse them after drinking white tea. Both of the tea bags are nice, herbs really come to their best, be it a tea or a herbal shower pack in my case. As for the herbal shower pack, I smelt amazingly of chamomile and these tea bags are such an amazing contribution and make it really easy to do. All in all, I use both of the tea bags, even though I still like to use the classic tea filters (ceramic). Be it the TeaCakes, which is slightly bigger or the Shibui which has the option to close up with a string (as seen on the last picture), and despite having slight preference for Shibui tea bags, I use both brands and I am happy to recommend both of them.

Hope you found this review useful and type to you soon. 🙂

****Update****

Due to many questions I receive, I am now offering a free session – since this article I’ve became a Herbalist, Life Coach and Healthy Foodie and would love to chat with you! It can be about this article, any questions you may have, about food, herbalism or life coaching 🙂 You can book your session here. Yay, I’m really excited to be speaking with you! 🙂

“Life is like a cup of tea. It’s all in how you make it.” – Irish Proverb

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