Object contamination in teas is not uncommon: strings, tarpaulin pieces, bamboo pieces, corn kernels, more serious ones even, feathers, hair and metal objects.
Sources of these contamination
The reason for this is that most of premium Chinese teas, green tea, white tea, black tea, jasmine tea or Pu-erh tea, are hand handled: harvested by hands, dried in the open air on bamboo trays or tarpaulin mats, and processed in many stages with different equipment, eg bamboo cylinders. Unless they are factory mass produced, the traditional hand processing method also often occurs in villages in family workshops or small factories. This opens up the possibility that sometimes the small broken piece of the equipment or packaging materials, or air born objects in the environment can fall into the teas while being processed. The most obvious ones would have been picked up during the processing. The teas that are in certain forms, such as the compressed Pu-erh cakes or bricks, the objects can be hidden and retained until their consumption.
How to overcome the potential health hazard
To overcomes these down sides of hand made teas, we recommend:
- Inspect the loose teas carefully before brewing to pick out anything that doesn’t look like part of the tea.
- Rinse the tea leaves with hot water for 5-10 seconds before brewing.