Is it greener to drink instant iced tea or brew it the old-fashioned way from bags? While powdered tea may seem greener since there's virtually no waste, there is a significant amount of energy used to turn regular tea into instant tea at the factory. Plus, the process removes up to 90 percent of the healthy antioxidants found in traditional brewed tea. The best bet? Brew from tea bags -- organic, whenever possible -- and compost the used bags in your backyard.