Although the term “gluten free” is a marketing buzzword, it does have some basis in fact. There are some teas that are naturally gluten free, like Assam and black tea. Other teas, like green tea and white tea, contain gluten (but not in significant amounts). And some teas are made from tea leaves that have been fermented with wheat.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is found in the proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Gluten is what gives these grains their elasticity. Gluten is also found in some foods that contain a small amount of these grains: beer, kamut and malt. Gluten can be present in many foods that contain flour, such as baked goods, processed foods and some condiments. When we eat gluten, our bodies break it down into other components called amino acids to make proteins that are important for building tissues and bones.
Whereas gluten free is often used to describe a food that does not contain any gluten. It is a phrase that has become more and more popular in recent years, and has spread from the very well-known to the very unknown. Some of the products we consume on a daily basis may not be gluten free, but if they do not contain any gluten, then they are considered to be gluten free.
There are various types of people who can benefit from a gluten free diet, but there are some that may find it challenging. The most common people who find it difficult to eat a gluten free diet are those with celiac disease. The Celiac Disease Foundation explains that people with celiac disease must avoid eating foods that contain wheat, rye or barley in order to prevent an autoimmune reaction in their body.
As a common breakfast companion, most people drink tea on a daily basis. Now that we know how gluten may affect gluten-sensitive people, it is best to also find out whether or not tea is gluten free.
Is Tea Gluten Free?
In a word, yes. The tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which are grown and processed in a way that does not involve wheat. All tea is supposed to be gluten free. However, some brands of tea may contain gluten. You can always check the label to see if your tea is certified gluten free. You can also check with the manufacturer for a statement about the source of their ingredients. This is because gluten doesn’t necessarily come from the tea plant itself, but also in the facilities and the manufacturing process of the tea.
Most teas, whether they are green, white, or black, contain very little or no gluten. They are usually made from fresh or dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant (the same plant used to make tea). The process of brewing tea is the only thing that causes the leaves to become somewhat glutinous. Therefore, unless you add an ingredient to your tea during the brewing process that contains gluten (such as wheat flour), you should be safe.