Freshly packed Loose Tea vs Tea Bags- What's your take?

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Loose leaf teas or tea bags?

The answer is pretty simple, right?

I know which I prefer. And I’m sure you do, too.

But there's a huge chance others might prefer teas opposite to you.

So it's not one-sided after all.

Both loose leaf & tea bags have their pros & cons lets have a look and see which tea balances perfectly for you.

Loose leaf teas

Quality, a major bummer for teabags and a deal maker for loose leaf teas. These teas offer far more superior tea quality than tea bags and are the number one reason to drink loose leaf tea over tea bags. Even low-quality leaves offer a better taste and aroma coupled with nutrients than any standard tea bag.

Tea written with loose tea leaf

If you are used to drinking tea from bags, then you will be astounded by the difference. Having whole leaf uninjured (or large portions of the leaf at least) ends with the full flavor and aroma profile of the tea to be released. They also retain the essential oils that are released into your cup.

Most loose tea (apart from the cheapest ones that are mostly blends) consist of the same leaves. For example, you buy a Dragon Well green tea, you only get Dragon well leaves and not a mix of the whole bunch of tea leaves. As a result, you get to taste the unique flavor profile of one single type of tea.

The goodness of loose leaf tea, however, comes with a price, and the most expensive one being it difficult to brew. While you can brew some teas directly in the vessel and drink them with the leaves still inside, many people prefer not to do that, even though they can. 

image of a tea strainer and a cupThis leaves you with the choice of keeping some kind of strainer to keep the leaves out of the cup.


You need to keep in mind the amount leaves used, the temperature of the water and the steeping time. It's a lot of thinking to do so many don’t and just go with bags.

Nonetheless, it is not as complicated as it seems and one can always get a simple strainer for a few dollars at most.

Tea bags

Discovered by a New York tea merchant Thomas Sullivan by accident during the early 1900s, the Tea Bags turned out to be a tea-riffic discovery for tea fanatics all around the world.

image of a tea bag

Teas were now easier and less time consuming to prepare and tasted more or less the same. Teabags were also a lot cheaper and easily available to the masses eliminating the surprises and worrying about searching specialty stores to find the tea you wanted.

However, tea bags constrain the tea leaves from expanding to their full flavor and aroma potential. The quality is also an issue as most tea bags are packed with the residual dust and fannings from quality leaves that have been used for loose tea.

image of a tea bag in a tea cupThe tiny tea particles used lack most of the essential oils and aroma larger leaves have therefore missing out on both nutrients and flavor. When brewed, they also release more tannins which leads to more tartness.

As a result of lacking most of the essential oils and nutrients, tea bags are a lot less healthy and if you are drinking tea for its health benefits, you might wanna opt for loose leaf teas instead.

Often bagged in bleached paper material, some tea bags contain chemicals that can leech into your tea. Even without chemicals, these tea bags tend to give a paper flavor. Some tea bags also have the string stapled to the bag, therefore, giving the tea a slightly metallic taste.

Unlike loose leaf teas that we can generally use for 3-4 times, tea bags are made for one-time use and also lack the freshness of loose leaf tea.

Not only the health, but these tea bags also have an impact on the environment as the disposing of the tea bags and the metal staple will influence the environment. Some premium tea bags are now biodegradable and goes a long way toward reducing the environmental impact.

Although the new tea bags fix these problems, it still lacks behind behind loose leaf tea.

Conclusion

If you are a serious tea drinker, I'm pretty sure you prefer loose leaf teas over bagged varieties and avoid tea bags whenever you can.

If you want to drink tea, but want it to be a simple as possible, bags make sense. They also make sense if you’re going to add sugar and milk to your tea.

But if you want to enjoy the full flavor profile of tea and also the full health benefits, you need to get loose tea leaves.

That said, you can get much closer to loose tea with some of today’s premium tea bags. The most effective and most common among them is the pyramid bag.

Image Credits

Image taken from Pixbay
Image taken from Pixbay
Image taken from Pixbay
Image taken from Pixbay
Image taken from Pixbay

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