Loose Leaf Tea vs Tea Bags
There is so much debate over whether to use loose tea leaves or a tea bag when brewing a cup. Though there does not seem to be a vast difference between the two, many expert tea lovers can identify the distinguished taste of a cup made with loose leaf and a tea bag. So it is safe to say there are noticeable differences in both. Whether one is better than the other solely depends on ones preferences, 50% may prefer loose leaf tea while the rest may prefer tea bags.
High quality loose tea leaves are made from the finest hand-picked buds, whole tea leaves, large pieces of leaves or a combination of all these parts. The time of the year and the growing conditions greatly affect the final quality of tea, all these factors contribute to the distinctive flavors and characteristics of tea. Tea leaves contain essential oils which are the basis for the delicious flavor of tea.
Tea found in tea bags consist of smaller pieces of tea leaves or tea fannings (also known as dust) which may provide you with a quicker brew but may lack the prominent and full flavors of the larger loose leaf teas. There are various types of loose leaf teas that can be re-steeped which produces multiple cups of flavorful and healthy tea. While tea bags release more tannings than loose leaf teas, it can sometimes give your tea a harsher flavor than the desired mild and sweet flavor.
Along with the size of the leaf it is important to consider the space factor. In order to produce a flavorsome cup of tea it is essential for the tea leaves to expand, swell and unfurl and a great deal of room to do so. Tea bags tend to have a limited expansion area and therefor the quality of tea is diminished and it was the solution to this problem that resulted in tea bags having smaller leaves, where less room is required to expand. The convenience of it all is what draws us to tea bags and lets us forget that we are compromising the taste and flavors for convenience.
There are various misconceptions regarding loose tea leaves. Many believe that loose tea leaves are priced rather high, but in fact they are very much affordable. One thing to keep in mind is that when you but good quality to tea the prices are a bit high but in no way are they unreasonable. Overall the cost of loose tea isn’t as high as you might expect it to be but rather very much affordable.
Another misconception is that fact that some people tend to believe that loos tea is a hassle. The tidiness of the tea bag may be compelling but may people tend to forget the sacrifice they are making when it comes to the flavor of loose tea. Yes, loose tea leaves may require a bit of elbow grease but it is not rocket science. The rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves per 6-ounces of water. This rule applies to mainly black, green or white teas, where as herbal teas may require an additional spoon or two.
Yet another misconception is that loose tea takes longer to brew. The steps to making tea is the same whether you use tea bags or loose tea leaves. Regardless of the for your tea comes in there are standard steeping times recommended for a great cup of tea. So whether you use tea bags or loose leaf tea, you may steep your green tea for 2-3 minutes and about 3-4 minutes the rest of the varieties.
So next time when you debate over which for of tea is better, keep in mind these simple facts. And don’t compromise the scrumptious flavors of loose leaf tea for the convenience of tea bags and its lacking flavors.