Tea Bags come in many various forms, sizes and shapes. Additionally, there are some key differences between tea bags and whole leaf tea that should be discovered. It ends up being personal preference which type of tea bag you use, or if you use whole leaf tea, but as a true tea connoisseur, it will be important to understand the differences.
Tea bags can come in a variety of packages, such as porous paper, silk or nylon. There are also tea bags made for loose tealeaves, which is described as a foil wrapper. Most tea bags contain what is known, as fanning's, the crumbs of the loose tea. There are a few companies that sell tea bags containing whole-tea leaves, but those companies are rare. Most tea bags are square or rectangle, but some come in circular shapes. The tea bags that contain the whole tea leaves are generally a bit larger than average. One last, but important note, on the tea bag materials is that tea bag paper is similar to the paper found in coffee filters, made with a blend of wood and vegetable fibers. This tea bag is all natural. Heat sealed teabags on the other hand are made with thermoplastics such as PVC or polypropylene. Of course, the all-natural tea bag would be better for your health.
There are also pyramidal silk tea bags. Though the teabag has been traditionally square, recently, the development of circular and pyramidal teabags has made it quite successfully to market. The primary claim to fame for these teabags is the quality of brew that they provide. The amount of adhesive used to seal the teabags is reduced in these shapes therefore making it not only more cost effective to produce, but a healthier brew in the end. The pyramidal shape also allows more room for the tea to steep, and generally contains fragments of the tealeaf instead of the tiny leftover particles found in most bulk manufactured tea bags. Lastly, most health and environment conscious consumers prefer silk pyramidal tea bags to nylon.
Another choice among teabags is that of the empty teabag used to fill your own, generally with tea leaves. This gives you flexibility and a wider range of teas available for home brew. This large open-ended tea bag contains a large flap. You can fill it to a desired amount of tealeaves, which can also aid in the room left for the tea to expand. The more room the tea has to steep, the better the end product. This option provides the ease and convenience of commercialized teabags but offers a better cup of tea.
There are other uses for teabags. Most notably, the art and hobby of teabag folding, which is believed to have started in the Netherlands, is where hobbyists fold decorative teabags to form origami's. This craft has become popular in the United States as well as the United Kingdom in recent years. Some people believe that placing cool teabags on sunburn helps to relieve the pain and prevent the skin from peeling.
Most people focus on the tea itself when there are reasons to pay attention to the teabag. The manufacturing of the teabag has rarely been a consideration when choosing which tea one will drink for the health and wellness. Besides affecting the taste of the tea, some teabags contain harmful adhesives such as the PVC discussed earlier. Additionally, little attention is usually given to how much room the tea has to steep or the difference between loose tea and the left over shavings. Now, we can spot the difference.
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