Everyone in our family loves a nice, cold glass of iced tea. Oddly though, it isn’t very easy to find a tea that is both gluten and corn-free. And if you do a search on Gluten Zap for gluten-free tea, you’ll find that several brands of tea that are promoted as gluten-free, many in the community have had reactions to or they have used home gluten testing kits to detect that they do actually contain hidden sources of gluten.
Are There Any Certified Gluten-Free Teas?
The Republic of Tea is the first and only tea company in the United States to be certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). This certification is for most of their full-leaf and bagged teas. The certificiation specifies that the teas contain less than 10 ppm of gluten. The certified gluten-free teas and other products will be labeled with gluten-free logo with the Gluten-Free certification.
Do They Use Corn When They Make the Teabags?
It's great that many of their teas are gluten-free but are they also corn-free? Although often the tea is corn-free, lately there's been a trend to make environmentally friendly biodegradable teabags. And normally I’d cheer when I hear news like this, but when I hear it now all I can think of is one four letter word – CORN.
And unfortunately, the Eco Friendly teabags used by The Republic of Tea contain corn. This is from their website concerning their tea bags.
In addition to our eco-friendly tea bags, The Republic of Tea is proud to offer our Embassies Eco Friendly Full-Leaf Round Tea Bags for table service. The open-weave design allows optimum full-leaf infusion and full-leaf flavor. Each bag is made of renewable resources, including all-natural bamboo sewn with all-natural bamboo string. The tag, complete with brewing instructions printed with soy ink, is also fashioned from all-natural bamboo and recycled paper. The mesh tea bag fabric of the Eco-Friendly Full-Leaf Round Tea Bags is a byproduct of corn and sewn with bamboo string. Both are an all-natural, renewable resource.
Stash Tea is another company that makes gluten-free tea. On their website in the FAQ section when asked if their teas contained any gluten their response was:
All of the flavors used in our blends are gluten-free. We do not use barley malt in any of our blends.
But once again like The Republic of Tea, Stash uses corn, in the form of cornstarch in their Iced Green Tea Powders to help disperse the green tea powder in water.
Grow Your Own Tea Garden
We like natural, herbal caffeine-free teas. And believe it or not, I’ve been looking into growing my own herbs for tea. P. Allen Smith makes it look pretty simple in this video. Be sure to start with some organic or heirloom, non-gmo seeds or plants.
Finding a Safe Tea
Loose tea seems to be the best bet for those avoiding gluten or corn, but again that’s not always the case. There are still several loose teas that contain gluten or corn.
And contacting the manufacturers to have them verify that the product doesn't contain an allergen doesn't always work either. I called recently to see if Numi's Organic Green Rooibos Tea contained any corn or gluten and was told very emphatically it did not, but then I had a reaction to it within minutes after drinking it.
What Tea Are You Drinking?
We're always searching for some great allergen-free teas. Do you and your family drink tea? Have you found a gluten-free, corn-free tea?