I have recently heard that teabags can be toxic and can lead to infertility, harm your immune system, etc. As an avid tea lover who drinks bagged teas at work (for convenience) on a daily basis, this is rather scary. I have tried to do some research but not too much information available honestly… What do you know?
Those are interesting links. While they did not show their proof they made a convincing argument. There is very little I drink in the way of bagged tea. I do use large one ounce tea bags bought from Simpson and Vail for cold brewing iced tea as they are quite good. While their is definitely pesticides found in the cheaper supermarket brand teas I would hope that the more expensive ones I use in my cold brew do not have pesticides. They are after all from a loose leaf tea company.
Yeah it was really difficult to find any credible information with evidence behind them. I think brewing teabags in cold water does not seem to have any negative effects – it appears that the harmful substances are only released when they are brewed in hot water. I guess I should gradually switch over to drinking loose leaf teas at work as well.
For me, I just dislike the taste of paper teabags — somehow I can actually pick out a “papery” or “cardboard-like” taste in my tea from the teabag when they are used, so I’ll cut them open and brew the tea in an infuser instead, when I do use a bagged tea (which is a rare occassion, as I typically use whole loose leaf instead). I don’t have any sort of “taste” issues with teabags made from food-grade nylon sachet or corn fiber, so if I’m going to actually use a tea bag, then I’ll use one made from those materials. I also avoid staples. I do have some corn fiber bags that I can fill with my own loose leaf tea.
I’ve come across material that’ve made me question the same thing. It’s hard to say without being able to test and even then it’s not like lab tests are fool proof. But like Mastress Alita said, there is definitely a paper taste that gets transferred sometimes, depending on the teabag. Same thing happens with coffee filters for coffee brewing.
I’d stick to a metal or filter if you’re really concerned. You could just cut the teabag open and strain out the leaves once the steeping’s done too.