Is Tea Gluten Free?
As society becomes increasingly health-conscious, we’re beginning to care more about what goes into our food and drink. In the UK alone, we consume an estimated 100 million cups of Tea a day. It seems only right and fair that many might ask the question, “Is Tea Gluten Free?”
In this article, we will look at the definition of gluten and why it’s essential for some people to avoid it. We will then explore whether a gluten-free cup of Tea is a reality. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company pride ourselves on being clear and transparent.
What Is Gluten?
Around 13% of the UK population avoid gluten. But what is it? “Gluten” is an umbrella term of sorts. It generally refers to gluey proteins found in wheat (e.g. wheatberries, durum, spelt), barley, rye and triticale - a cross between wheat and rye. Examples of food to contain gluten include:
|Breads||Malt (e.g. malted barley flour, |
milkshakes, malt vinegar)
|Baked Goods||Food colouring||Rye bread|
Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, quite literally acting as the glue that holds it together. Having too much gluten in your diet, however, can cause damage to the small intestine. Unpleasant symptoms include diarrhoea, wind, constipation, stomach pains, cramping, bloating and fatigue.
Such issues most often arise in those living with coeliac disease, a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten. 1 in 100 people has this condition. Statistics from the United States suggest that 1% of the population are coeliacs, 97% of whom are undiagnosed.
It’s worth noting, however, that between 6% and 8% of people that choose a gluten-free diet are now classed as having non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. Research into non-coeliac gluten sensitivity is still in its preliminary stages, but it’s suggested that a gluten-free diet has a significantly positive influence. So where does Tea come into the equation?
Is Tea Gluten Free?
Is pure Loose Leaf Tea gluten-free? The short answer is yes. Any Tea to originate from the Camellia sinensis plant (e.g. Green, Black, White, Oolong) contains 0% gluten. This is because the Tea plant is not related to wheat, barley or rye.
The same is true of most Herbal and Fruit Tisanes. It’s vital, however, to carefully read the ingredients of each and every one if you have any concerns. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company are clear about what goes into your morning cuppa. You will find detailed descriptions of all of our products online and in store.
Some customers have previously had concerns and ask Is Tea Gluten Free that contain rice. Examples of this include our Japanese Sencha Genmai Cha, Matcha Genmai Cha and Strawberry Genmaicha Green Tea. However, you’ll be pleased to know that rice is gluten-free, too! That means that all of these Teas, as well as most of our products, contain 0% gluten. We will state on our website if any do.
With this knowledge in mind, it’s time to browse our vast selection of Teas and Coffees. We pack everything fresh to order, ensuring not only quality but also consistency.