Loose Leaf Tea
If you are a true tea connoisseur, or aspiring to be, you will want to try loose leaf tea over tea bags. Loose leaf tea will always beat out tea bags with more flavor, more aroma and certainly more health benefits. There are several reasons why loose leaf tea is much more desirable then tea bags. First, when a tea leaf is broken, it instantly loses flavor and essential oils evaporate leaving a product that is less potent and less beneficial. Secondly, loose leaf tea yields a finer cup of tea because the water is free to move around the expanding and contracting tea leaf, soaking each leaf for all of the tasty, aromatic and healthy properties. When tea is bagged, it generally is broken up and offers little room for the water to extract all of those beneficial properties.
There are some decent bagged teas that are usually found in gourmet tea boutiques. The difference is that the gourmet shops generally offer larger tea leaf pieces rather than the small and ground tea found in traditional bagged tea available in mainstream retail locations. Additionally, the tea you will find in tea bags commonly includes stems and other parts and isn't consistent of just the whole tea leaves themselves.
The grading of tea is actually based on the leaf size. Orange Pekoe is thought of as a flavor, but it is actually a mid grade tea, not a scent or a taste. You can even try Keemun or Assam black teas in loose leaf varieties, which is usually what is found in your typical tea bag. Some of the best loose leaf tea comes from Ceylon (or Sri Lanka). Although hard to find Pure Ceylon Loose Leaf Tea is a pleasure to drink. Another perk to buying whole leaf or loose leaf teas is the wide variety of types and flavors available. You will find many more choices when shopping in this manner.
Quality and variety aren't the only considerations when choosing between loose leaf tea and teabags. Another benefit of loose leaf tea is the cost. It is a myth that loose leaf tea costs more than a teabag. The truth is that good to excellent loose leaf tea costs under ten cents per cup and competition level or world class loose leaf tea will cost under twenty cents per cup. With that said, teabags which offer mid to average grade tea will cost between ten and twenty cents per cup and higher quality teabags will run up to seventy cents per cup. With the higher cost per cup of a lower grade tea it makes logical sense that loose leaf tea is the way to go.
It is assumed that loose leaf tea takes more work than a teabag. It is a different method, but no more difficult or time consuming. Today, there are methods for steeping loose leaf tea such as in pot brewing baskets, in cup brewing baskets and of course DIY disposable teabags.
Of all the arguments one can have to promote the teabag, only one is really accurate. Teabags provide more consistency than loose leaf tea, even though it is of lesser quality. Loose leaf tea will always provide a better quality in every cup, but the consistency will vary. On the other hand, loose leaf tea offers the opportunity to blend, mix and experiment until you find a perfect blend unique to your taste and on a commercial level, it can be used as a signature product. Notably, loose leaf teas are following a popular trend while teabags are remaining steady in sales but lacking any growth opportunities.
Even if you are used to using tea bags and doing so routinely, it is worth trying a new product that will yield a better quality cup of tea at a lower cost. From the increased health benefit to the more flavorful and aromatic, the extensive choices in loose leaf teas will provide you with an interesting adventure and an ability to call yourself a true tea connoisseur.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, consultation and services of a qualified Medical Practitioner. All information presented is in summary form and intended only for informational purposes. Always seek immediate medical attention for any illness you may have and never disregard the advice from qualified Medical Practitioners as something you have read on this site (or related sites) could be misinterpreted.