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Anyone Been Glutened By Earl Grey Tea?


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27 replies to this topic

#1 bridgetm

 
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Posted 26 September 2010 - 08:12 PM

I went to a coffee shop this morning and ordered an Earl Grey tea, not bothering to ask if it was gluten free because I've never had a problem with tea and it is doubtful that the 16-year-olds would have been able to help (it took two of them 5 minutes to figure out how to get hot water). I drank less than 8 ounces before I had an upset stomach. At first I thought it was too much caffeine (I quit drinking coffee just before I went gluten-free and haven't been drinking much dark tea) or maybe that on top of a big breakfast (an Udi's muffin, a banana and a slice of gluten-free banana bread). But by 4 this evening I had cramping and mild D. Around 10, the D got much worse and I only made it five feet from the toilet before I had to throw up. I've had the nausea before with gluten, but have not vomited until tonight. My mom made the banana bread and just assured me that the pans were safe and that she did everything she could to avoid CC. That leaves the tea.

Any tips?
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#2 psawyer

 
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Posted 26 September 2010 - 08:20 PM

Tea, by itself, is gluten-free. If a flavor is added it is possible, although very unlikely, that there could be gluten in the flavor.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#3 cyberprof

 
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Posted 26 September 2010 - 08:39 PM

I went to a coffee shop this morning and ordered an Earl Grey tea, not bothering to ask if it was gluten free because I've never had a problem with tea and it is doubtful that the 16-year-olds would have been able to help (it took two of them 5 minutes to figure out how to get hot water). I drank less than 8 ounces before I had an upset stomach. At first I thought it was too much caffeine (I quit drinking coffee just before I went gluten-free and haven't been drinking much dark tea) or maybe that on top of a big breakfast (an Udi's muffin, a banana and a slice of gluten-free banana bread). But by 4 this evening I had cramping and mild D. Around 10, the D got much worse and I only made it five feet from the toilet before I had to throw up. I've had the nausea before with gluten, but have not vomited until tonight. My mom made the banana bread and just assured me that the pans were safe and that she did everything she could to avoid CC. That leaves the tea.

Any tips?


I know that there are some teas that have gluten, especially Japanese teas that have barley in them. Some herbal teas may too. I don't know about Earl Grey, except that I haven't had any in 20 years because it made me sick (pre-diagnosis). I do always ask to see the label in a coffee shop, and usually check the brands out before I go (for example I think some Tzao teas at Starbucks have gluten but I'm not sure which...so I wouldn't go to starbucks without checking with them first).


After having said all that I bet it's the banana bread. There are som many ways to get CC. One of the most common would be, for example, using sugar where the wheat flour measuring cups were previously used in the sugar bin during gluten cooking. Or using a fabric pot holder that has gluten on it. Or using a plastic mixing bowl that is contaminated. Just MHO.
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#4 precious831

 
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Posted 26 September 2010 - 09:59 PM

I was told that sometimes wheat starch is used to seal the bag, so I'd be careful with bagged teas. I stick with loose tea.
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#5 psawyer

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:27 AM

I was told that sometimes wheat starch is used to seal the bag, so I'd be careful with bagged teas.

This is a myth. The process used to seal tea bags involves heat and pressure and nothing else.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#6 jackay

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:33 AM

You could have gotten cc from a dirty cup. Was it a reusable or disposable cup?
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#7 bridgetm

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:10 AM

It was a disposable cup but now that I think of it the bag was unsealed. It was one of those bags for loose teas. I wonder what the girl used to scoop the leaves.

That said, I plan on not eating anymore of the banana bread. It was a $10 mix that made two loaves so I'd hate to waste it, but it's not worth the risk. Luckily my roommate likes it; I'll just pawn it off on her.

I decided during my 3 am bathroom trip that the remainder of last week's check is going towards new pots, pans, etc. (pot holders, too. Thanks Cyberprof) I've been using only the scratch-free ones and unused stuff that's just been laying around, but I'm realizing that I am much more sensitive than I thought. I keep my own PB jar and butter but I never even considered the sugar and other ingredients.

Thank you all for the replies. I drive myself crazy thinking through this on my own.

-B
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#8 quincy

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:16 AM

I went to a coffee shop this morning and ordered an Earl Grey tea, not bothering to ask if it was gluten free because I've never had a problem with tea and it is doubtful that the 16-year-olds would have been able to help (it took two of them 5 minutes to figure out how to get hot water). I drank less than 8 ounces before I had an upset stomach. At first I thought it was too much caffeine (I quit drinking coffee just before I went gluten-free and haven't been drinking much dark tea) or maybe that on top of a big breakfast (an Udi's muffin, a banana and a slice of gluten-free banana bread). But by 4 this evening I had cramping and mild D. Around 10, the D got much worse and I only made it five feet from the toilet before I had to throw up. I've had the nausea before with gluten, but have not vomited until tonight. My mom made the banana bread and just assured me that the pans were safe and that she did everything she could to avoid CC. That leaves the tea.

Any tips?

any thoughts to having a dairy intolerance? if you put milk in the tea and the banana bread was made with milk
ingredients. I get the same reaction to milk that I do with gluten... just a thought. most early grey has a special flavoring but its a natural substance. u have to check all herbal teas as some of them have barley.
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#9 bridgetm

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:40 AM

any thoughts to having a dairy intolerance? if you put milk in the tea and the banana bread was made with milk
ingredients. I get the same reaction to milk that I do with gluten... just a thought. most early grey has a special flavoring but its a natural substance. u have to check all herbal teas as some of them have barley.


I am dairy intolerant and have been avoiding milk. I use coconut milk as a substitute if a recipe calls for it. I am trying to find a number for the coffee shop so I can check on the tea (too little, too late, but I'd like answers). The downside is that it's a new coffee/boutique shop, not franchised like Dunn Bros or Starbucks and since it employs only teenage girls on a busy weekend who have difficulty pouring hot water, I have little hope of getting the answers I want.
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#10 rdunbar

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:36 AM

I think it could very well be the tea. I love tea, but I avoid earl grey, because it's basically leftover tea scraps with bergomot flavoring, it's not the whole tea leaves. The tea that goes in there can be from many different sources ( like a port wine?), so therefore there are more risks for contamination.
Also, I decided to quit going to the coffee shop for tea, because of all the pastries everywhere, there are traces of gluten on all the surfaces, and i'm just too paranoid now; or, i'm just desperate to get better, and mad at myself for being careless about exposure to CC for a long time. It sounds really neurotic I geuss, but I just figure that it's a needless risk, I can make tea at home, and take it with me If I want, no big deal really.
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#11 Gemini

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:42 AM

I think it could very well be the tea. I love tea, but I avoid earl grey, because it's basically leftover tea scraps with bergomot flavoring, it's not the whole tea leaves. The tea that goes in there can be from many different sources ( like a port wine?), so therefore there are more risks for contamination.
Also, I decided to quit going to the coffee shop for tea, because of all the pastries everywhere, there are traces of gluten on all the surfaces, and i'm just too paranoid now; or, i'm just desperate to get better, and mad at myself for being careless about exposure to CC for a long time. It sounds really neurotic I geuss, but I just figure that it's a needless risk, I can make tea at home, and take it with me If I want, no big deal really.



I drink Earl Grey all the time and have never been even remotely glutened by it. Your statement about Earl Grey being tea scraps with flavoring is not quite true. It all depends on what brand of tea you buy....the better the brand, the better the tea quality. The vast majority of Earl Grey tea is whole leaf tea unless you buy some cheaper, generic tea. You get what you pay for.

Starbuck's does a very good job of making hot drinks without contaminating them. I stop there at least 2-3 times per week and have never had one moment's problem with their drinks but I always buy the same thing....soy chai latte. I know some are better than others but they usually employ people who speak English and that makes all the difference.
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#12 bridgetm

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 02:58 PM

I drink Earl Grey all the time and have never been even remotely glutened by it. Your statement about Earl Grey being tea scraps with flavoring is not quite true. It all depends on what brand of tea you buy....the better the brand, the better the tea quality. The vast majority of Earl Grey tea is whole leaf tea unless you buy some cheaper, generic tea. You get what you pay for.

Starbuck's does a very good job of making hot drinks without contaminating them. I stop there at least 2-3 times per week and have never had one moment's problem with their drinks but I always buy the same thing....soy chai latte. I know some are better than others but they usually employ people who speak English and that makes all the difference.


I plan to stick with places like Starbucks from now on. I try to avoid the small places, but this was my mom's new favorite spot and she was so excited... Next time she wants to go there I'll bring a thermos of my own brew.

I sat around this morning and skipped class just to make sure the immodium had kicked in and that I could handle water. Laid down around noon thinking I'd take a quick nap and attempt to go to my afternoon classes... Six hours later I just woke up. Thankfully I have understanding professors. Now I just have to hope that I'll be able to get some sleep tonight so I can make it to a 8am lab and then a lunch hour supervising shift. This sucks.
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#13 CarolinaKip

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 03:47 PM

I would look at caffine as something you need to avoid and look at low oxalate diet. I've had to give up coffee and my earl grey. I know I'm not glutened, but have bad bloating and cramps when drinking these. One day I hope to have them back, not sure if it is possible.
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#14 bridgetm

 
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:02 PM

I would look at caffine as something you need to avoid and look at low oxalate diet. I've had to give up coffee and my earl grey. I know I'm not glutened, but have bad bloating and cramps when drinking these. One day I hope to have them back, not sure if it is possible.


Do you think caffeine, acids and large amounts of sugar can set off what would otherwise be minor gluten symptoms?

I quit drinking coffee just before I started the gluten-free diet and I quit most sodas well before that. When I was glutened two weeks ago, my symptoms from a week of built-up CC weren't really bad until I'd had about half a can of Hansen's cane soda (none of the chemicals of mainstream sodas, natural flavors, natural sugar) and this time I made it through about half a cup of Earl Grey. I had had a slice of the banana bread Saturday night and didn't notice any problems, but a larger slice Sunday morning followed by the tea resulted in nausea, cramping, etc.
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#15 Darlingmermaid

 
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Posted 08 March 2013 - 06:27 PM

So I go to my favorite tea shop and share a pot of lovely Earl Grey with my friend. (I've only been gluten free for a couple months)

Less than 10 minutes after finishing my tea I'm hit with TERRIBLE nausea. Two hours later it's vomiting and diarrhea. This lasted for EIGHT HOURS!!! I'm recovering a bit slowly and can't believe I used to feel like this every day before going gluten free.

So- I'm guessing there is something in the Bergamot oil that flavors the tea that is not compatible to a gluten free lifestyle.

 


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