Finding small bugs or even beetles in your tea is disgusting! Yet it might not be a big deal. Tea is a natural product. No matter what quality control a company has in place, there’s always a change that bugs get into the tea. At least, you know there where no pesticides used to chase them away.
There’s generally no reason for worry about whether the tea is still good to drink. Simply remove the insects and continue to brew your tea.
However, sometimes bugs can appear after the tea is processed and packed, which often happens with pu erh tea cakes.
Imagine that you have friends over, and you are about to drink some fine pu erh tea together. Sound nice, isn’t it? You get the tea cake out of storage, then unwrap the cotton paper, and find some tiny white bugs dance underneath. What a surprise!
What are these bugs? Is this good old tea cake gone? Don’t worry. These bugs are harmless other than leaving some holes on the wrapping paper. They look like miniature crickets, love to eat and only eat the cotton paper wrapper. That’s why they got the nickname ‘paper bugs’.
Although they won’t affect the quality of the tea, their appearance is a sign of humidity. You may want to store your tea in a drier and more ventilated environment to make the bugs go away.
If you happen to encounter greyish-black kind of insects in your tea, don’t feel sick and throw the tea away. They are probably friendly tea bugs that often appear in dark tea.
Unlike paper bugs, they only munch on tea leaves. In fact, they are quite picky as only good tea could please them! Having these bugs in your tea is a good thing – it means your tea is made of high quality raw materials without chemical residue. Tea bugs have a short life cycle. When they die, they become a part of the tea, along with their poop.
You may wonder: is the tea still drinkable with the bug droppings? The answer is yes. As a matter of fact, there is even a special kind of tea called bug poop tea. It has a similar concept of civet coffee, but it’s different. The making of this type is more deliberate though.
If you haven’t treated yourself some bug shit tea, you perhaps should. Don’t think of it of something disgusting, but rather as a culinary opportunity. It’s good shit you seriously don’t want to miss!