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Tea impurities: am I being paranoid?

33 Replies

I feel I have to share a very brief related story. I worked for a restaurant that I heard had a customer that ordered a salad. No big deal, right? Well, right after it was brought to the table, part of it jumped out! It turns out it was a grass hopper. I heard they got their meal comped, and all kinds of apologies, the whole nine yards. I know, bizarre story, and maybe even kinda unnerving, but having worked in the restaurant business for many years that is the only time I heard something jumping out of someone’s salad. And as other have said, whenever you buy something ‘organic’ there will always be the possibility of some uninvited guest coming to dinner, or tea!

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That’s one of those things that’s an unfortunate side effect to Organic or lightly processed vegetation. Bugs and plants have a long, sordid history. It’s funny, I’d never eat a vegetable from the store without washing it. Dirt, bugs, pesticides, improper worker hygiene, who knows what else. Tea? Can’t say the thought of washing it has ever crossed my mind. Probably doesn’t make a lick of sense.

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I once had a cockroach, or some sort of big bug, baked into my potato under the foil. Is Damian’s still open anywhere in the USA? this was years ago…
they comped my meal and everyone else at the table which was nice.

If that had been in my tea… eeek, not sure what I would have done. Stopped making tea for a week maybe!

That ‘takes the cake’ as far as disgusting food stories I’ve heard! I’m sorry to hear you had to experience that. I have never heard of that restaurant, but if I find one here in the States you can bet I’ll look closely at them the before I would even think about patronizing them after your story! I’m trying to look for the positive here … The best I can do for now, is, at such high baking temps I’m sure any "nasties’ (due to cockroaches being a vector) were thoroughly killed by the time the potato reached your table. But still, the ick factor! Uugh!

Oh I agree. It was a full three years before I could touch another baked potato!
Funny thing is, it’s a high end steak house so all of the staff were beside themselves that it happened.
Lucky I didn’t eat much of it. Just the thought of a singed hairy leg in my food… bleh! but you’re right, atleast it would have been bacteria free :)

DukeGus said

Well imagine eating a kebab and there is a huge cockroach inside the meat…Happened to my brother like 2 years ago…

He took a bite and felt something strange and spitted the bite on a paper napkin and there it was…Thinking of it I feel strange…omg!

oh eeeew, that sounds traumatic to the max!! Poor guy. I hope he can still eat kebabs ok!

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Azzrian said

LOL I am not opening this thread anymore its scares the heck out of me ICK ICK ICK I just DON’T want to know …. ignorance is bliss in this case where I am concerned lol

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typhon said

I see some very informative posts. Let me clarify that I found two insect-like things in my tea. After that, I searched about 50grams more in order to take a picture of the “problem” and send it to the seller. Also, the seller claims that the tea is organic. However, after this time-consuming process I could not find any more of these things. But I only found them previously because I unfolded each steeped bud. Otherwise I would not have seen anything. Which is why I got suspicious that other unprocessed teas might have insects inside them. I suppose one disgusting bug shouldn’t be the end of tea drinking! It just disgusts me that some unprocessed whole-leaf teas like Silver Needle have small pieces of dirt inside them. I mean surely some of that goes in the water…Also, rinsing the tea before steeping wouldn’t help because all the impurities are locked inside the buds. But the big question is: Is that dangerous(health-wise obviously)? Or just ignore it?

DukeGus said

Dangerous? In what way?

Microorganisms can’t stand the 70-100C water for long(like more than 1 sec ^^) but there isn’t logical for tea to have any kind of dangerous microorganisms. The process of tea itself(even just sun dried) assures a tiny amount of microorganisms alive, who aren’t dangerous anyway…

Soil hypothetically could have some kind of harmful chemicals, either from the rain because of pollution(if the plantation is in a polluted environment which doesn’t happen often) or because of spraying of chemicals to kill weeds etc.

That’s were your choice is important. If you are too crazy and afraid, you can go with organic tea or even wild ones(which are delicious). I would go with farmers that consider their own health and the health of their customers and they go for quality and not quantity. You get the info from your source.

If you ever find a documentary called the “Bitter taste of Tea” and you’ll see how big multinational companies spray chemicals ON the tea leaves even when they are picked and you’ll never taste a teabag again…Sorry I want no cancer in my tea :)

typhon said

Yes I meant both chemicals and parasites that could be in the ground.
I guess the same goes for any kind of vegetable.
I didn’t know about the teabags…I suppose there are dangers with everything.

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typhon said

I finally confirmed what kind of insects these tiny things were.
They are called melon/cotton aphids and they can infest many kinds of plants such as eggplant, guava and hibiscus.
It appears that they are common tea-pests and as the guide that I read wrote: “Melon
aphids commonly infest the tea shoot, and their body parts
may end up in the finished product.”
This is what they look like…(don’t click the link if you think that it could ruin your tea experience)
http://ecoport.org/PDB/000042/42075.jpg

Thank you for reporting back to us. You didn’t state it here, but from what little I know of aphids they aren’t vectors which carry any kind of disease. So ick factor aside, I believe they are harmless.

Pretty cool close up picture. Thanks!

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typhon said

Yes, thankfully, they do not carry any kind of disease nor do they lay eggs.
The previous picture is from a website I found.
This is a low res picture of my tea:
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/1856/img0550bs.jpg
http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/2632/img0552vs.jpg (after zooming in)
Aside from the disgusting things whose tea I have been drinking for quite a while what do you think of this?
http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/8194/img0540etf.jpg
Those black spots are the impurities I have been talking about. They are present in virtually every tea I own!It’s not anything out of the ordinary, right?

Thanks for more pictures. That close up does make me shiver uncomfortably just a bit. Still, I’m glad to hear they don’t lay eggs.

If you are asking about those tiny black dots along the left of the spine of the leaf on the leaf in the last photo, I wouldn’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I sometimes look closely at the wet leaf, but I’m usually analyzing it for the presence or absence of stems, buds, large discolorations, etc., and not for anything as small as those tiny black spots. Still, I think I have seen that before and thought nothing of it. Hopefully someone else can help with that one.

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