Posted by: tasteindulgence | October 21, 2009

Loose Leaf Tea vs. Tea Bags

Every true tea lover likely has a preference when it comes to drinking tea.  Are you a loose leaf kind of tea drinker, or a tea bag kind of tea drinker?

I’m sure the loose leaf tea vs. tea bag debate has been around for quite some time. We’re not really interested in trying to sway you in one direction or the other, but let’s take a look at some of the attributes of each to help you make up your mind if you’re still on the fence.

Any honest loose leaf vs. tea bag discussion has to start with the leaves. Most true tea connoisseurs swear by drinking loose leaf tea.  And for good reason, too.  Loose leaf teas have larger leaves and contain natural chemicals and essential oils that heighten the flavor when brewed.

When processed for use in tea bags, the leaves are broken up and these oils can begin to evaporate, which in turn will affect the flavor.  A typical tea bag is filled with the tiniest pieces of broken leaves.  These pieces are called ‘fannings’ or ‘tea dust.’

For the most flavorful cup of tea, the leaves need space to swell, expand and unfurl.  It’s important to have good water circulation around the leaves, which obviously isn’t possible in a cramped little tea bag.

As you may imagine, whole, loose leaf teas also result in much higher antioxidant levels, which makes for a healthier drink.

Perhaps the only advantage the tea bag has over loose leaf tea is the convenience factor.  While real tea lovers savor the entire tea brewing process, many of us prefer the ease of just tossing a tea bag into some hot water and letting it do its thing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some higher quality tea bags out there that use while leaves, but the water circulation will still be inferior to loose leaf.

In just about every category, loose leaf teas seem to outperform their bagged counterpart.  The choice is yours, but to get the very best from your tea drinking experience, it seems that loose leaf is definitely the way to go.

At Taste Indulgence, we carry a large and unique selection of loose leaf teas, as well as a smaller variety of tea bag teas for times when convenience matters most.

Whichever side of this debate you are on, the one thing that matters most is to enjoy your tea!  Savor it like it is supposed to be savored.  Choose the type of tea that suits your lifestyle best and just love your tea.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for your objective viewpoint. Most often tea lovers hate on tea bags but, as we all know, there are good tea bags out there and we all like convenience.

  2. My Puerh rarely comes in teabags though there is a Company, Numi, that sells them. I don’t mind at all because they’re trying to make Puerh more mainstream and I definitely go for that. Puerh is usually loose leaf or compressed into a solid cake.


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