As the world grows increasingly more connected, an unfortunate side effect is that it also grows more complicated. Even those who are well-versed in the guidelines of a cruelty-free life often find themselves tripped up by unexpected animal products in their previously trustworthy treats. In times like these, vegans all over NYC and beyond ask questions like, “Is chamomile tea vegan?” and “How can I really trust in my favorite foods and drinks?”
As always, Willow is ready and excited to provide the answers. Since its founding, the team at Willow have worked tirelessly towards helping to establish the ease and enjoyment with which one can partake in a cruelty-free life when in New York. Whether this work is done through helpful guides, delicious at-home recipes, or any of the options available in our world-class restaurant, we are happy to serve!
Is Chamomile Tea Vegan?
In its simplest form, the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes!”
Pure chamomile tea is made entirely from dried chamomile flowers, which infuse the tea with a warm, subtle flavor often associated with bedtime, and this is for good reason. This natural, vegan tea has been used for centuries as a sleep aid. Typically prepared warm, this versatile tea is frequently mixed with a host of other herbs and flavors, serving as the foundation for “sleepytime teas” and “relaxation blends” all over.
This, unfortunately, is often where the problem arises.
Though pure chamomile tea is made entirely without the use of animal products, many of the flavorings and additives mixed in by common tea manufacturers are not. For instance, a closer inspection may reveal that the otherwise compassionately-brewed cup actually contains trace amounts of honey or even dairy. What’s more, many of the “natural flavorings” actually bear a dark history of animal testing.
Checking for Cruelty-free Tea
Though it may initially feel like a daunting task, there is a simple answer to the question of how to ensure you are following a truly cruelty-free life. When purchasing pre-packaged, store-bought tea, simply read through the ingredients label.
As you examine your tea, check for any of the following ingredients, which tend to be a sign that your tea may not be as cruelty-free as you may have originally thought:
- Carmine, Carmic Acid, or Cochineal acid: these coloring dyes were originally derived from insects, making them unsafe for those hoping to stick to a cruelty-free diet.
- Gelatin: this protein– often used to alter the texture of a tea– is typically derived from animal bones. For a safer alternative, enjoy tea that uses agar-agar instead.
- Sodium Caseinate: this chemical-sounding name points to the use of a dairy product derived from animals.
- Honey: as a natural product of bees, this ingredient is best avoided.
- Lactose: this dairy by-product is not safe for anyone hoping to avoid using tea benefiting from the cruelty of the dairy industry. Likewise, milkfat should be avoided.
In studying the ingredient labels, you may notice some of the ingredients below being used. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to tell whether these were made using dairy or other animal products. As such, it’s best to avoid them as well:
- Artificial flavors
- Artificial colors or dyes
- Any ingredient described as “creamy”
- Vague terms like “natural flavors”
With time and patience, you’ll soon learn all the tricks of the industry and be able to enjoy a relaxing mug of chamomile tea in peace! Until that day, don’t feel the need to go without. Turn to restaurants and servers you can trust, like those at Willow in NYC!
Relaxing into a Cruelty-free Meal at Willow
Whether you’re looking for a mid-afternoon break, an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, or a cozy way to end the day, stopping by Willow is the solution to your problems! Savor all your favorite treats as if you’ve never seen them before, served fresh with entirely wholesome, cruelty-free ingredients.
No matter your mood, brighten it up with a trip to Willow! Enjoy your moment of relaxation in the modern, comfortable environment of our Chelsea location, or take your order to go through our easy pickup and delivery options.