What are Tea Insects?

A lot of tea drinkers have heard of tea insects but are unsure whether these are dafe for tea consumption.  Here we break down all the ways insects are used with tea and what is acceptable.

Understanding Tea Insects

  • Two Categories: Tea insects can be divided into two categories: white worms (paper bugs) and grey/black bugs.
  • White Worms (Paper Bugs): These insects do not consume tea leaves but are attracted to packaging papers. They leave holes in the packaging but pose no threat to the tea’s quality.
  • Grey/Black Bugs (Real Tea Insects): These insects exclusively consume tea leaves, especially high-quality Pu-erh tea leaves. They are not a detriment to the tea’s quality and are considered beneficial.

Managing Insects on Tea Leaves

  • Paper Bugs Solution: To address paper bugs, simply brush the tea leaves and store them in a well-ventilated, dry place.
  • Real Tea Insects: These insects are usually found in high-quality Pu-erh tea. Their presence is not negative, as they contribute to the tea’s flavor. Their excrement can even be processed into a unique tea variety called “Dragon Ball Tea,” known for its high nutritional value.

Preventing Insect Infestation

  • Regular Checks: To ensure tea leaves remain insect-free, conduct regular inspections and take preventive measures during storage.
  • Natural Aspect: The presence of real tea insects does not harm the tea’s quality but is considered a natural element of the tea.

Overall, such insects are less concern than you think. In fact, many insects chew on tea leaves, giving them a unique sweet flavor. For the safest results, it is best to check for insects, remove them, rinse your tea at boiling, and then consume.