Better than 2015, but not all good
Prevention of heart attacks and cancer, protection against caries, help with weight loss – green tea is said to have a wide range of health effects. But in our 2015 test, more than half of the products were heavily contaminated. Stiftung Warentest wanted to know if the situation had improved.
So far, we have screened 24 green teas for brewing and 3 matches for critical substances such as pesticides, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and aluminum. Conclusion. There is a clear improvement over 2015, but only two products perform well overall and are therefore test winners.
Green tea and matcha in the dough
- test results. The tables show the Stiftung Warentest scores for 24 green teas and 3 matcha powders. We tested all teas for harmful substances, including well-known brands such as Lebensbaum, Messmer, Teekanne and Tee Gschwendner (prices: from €1.08 to €33.50 per 100 grams). 15 out of 27 products are organic.
- Background. We explain the potential health risks of contaminants such as aluminum, anthraquinone, chlorate, perchlorate, pesticides, and pyrrolizidine alkaloids. You can also learn for free what sustainability labels like Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance mean.
- Journal article in PDF format. If you unlock the topic, you will get access to the report from the 4/2022 test.
All green tea test results and matches 04/2022
All green teas in the dough contain aluminum
We tested tea for aluminum for the first time. The tea plant Camellia sinensis, from which green tea is made, absorbs it from the soil. Depending on the growing area, the soil sometimes contains more or less light metal.
Older tea leaves usually contain more aluminum than younger ones. In the long term, high levels can damage nerves, kidneys, and bones. Even the best green tea and matcha naturally contain some aluminum. Three are clearly loaded in the test. They should not be used in excess.
Green tea – myths about health have been verified
Is green tea as healthy as people say? Or does its consumption cause side effects? Stiftung Warentest tested eight myths about green tea for their truth.
How do harmful substances get into tea?
Cultivation, harvesting, drying, storage, transportation, packaging – at every stage of production, contaminants can enter tea. These include pesticides that can be used on conventional tea plantations to control pests and fungi, for example.
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids can get between the tea leaves if the weeds are accidentally picked. These plant toxins are considered harmful to the liver and possibly carcinogenic. Meanwhile, the tea industry has gone to great lengths to avoid pyrrolizidine alkaloids in tea. Compared to 2015, we really saw an improvement.
Advice: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids can also be found in other foods. In 2020, Stiftung Warentest also tested oregano and marjoram for these substances.
Matcha is in trend: green tea for special moments
Matcha consists of ground green tea, usually the powder is whipped with hot water until foam is formed. Traditionally, the Japanese drink matcha during the tea ceremony, a ritual of peace and serenity. Matcha is now a trend and is also used, for example, in smoothies and desserts – it tastes bitter and tart, often a little sweet.
Tea time at Stiftung Warentest
In our Tea FAQ section, we explain the differences between green and black tea and give advice on what to look for when it comes to temperature, brewing time and water. Also read our rooibos tea, black tea and herbal tea reviews, as well as a nettle tea review from our partner organization.