Every now and then we get asked about the difference between loose leaf teas and traditional tea bags, and which option is better. Well, it really depends what you are looking for. There are pros and cons to both tea options. Both loose leaf teas and traditional tea bags derive from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. The main difference is the size of the tea leaves.
(Tea from teabag on the left and loose leaf tea on the right, photo credit: www.bcliving.ca/)
Loose leaf teas are made up of whole leaves or unbroken larger pieces of the tea leaves. And traditional tea bags that are commonly found in grocery stores are made of small broken pieces of the tea, which are known as the fannings and dust of the tea leaves.
Our company, The Persimmon Tree, carries only the finest quality loose leaf teas in our online store. Why? Because we strongly believe in superior quality, taste and overall tea experience. Here are our 5 reasons why loose leaf teas are better than tea bags:
Flavor: The flavor of tea originates from essential oils found within the tea leaves. Since loose leaf teas are comprised of unbroken larger pieces of the tea leaves; the large surface of the leaves allow the essential oils to significantly dissolve into the water resulting in a more richer and flavorful tea. On the other hand, the teas from tea bags are comprised of leftovers from the tea manufacturing process which loses some of its essential oils and does not deliver the full flavor.
Quality: Loose leaf teas are carefully selected and hand-picked by tea farmers from around the world for the highest quality possible. During the tea manufacturing process, tea leaves that are unbroken and maintained their natural structure are collected and sold as loose leaf teas. The leftovers or dust of the tea leaves from the manufacturing process are also collected and packaged into small tea bags. The leftovers are considered to be the lowest quality tea.
Re-steep: Unlike traditional tea bags which are meant to be used once, most loose leaf teas (particularly black, green and oolong teas) have the capability to be re-steep multiple times. This allows tea drinkers to get a couple more cups of tea from the same set of tea leaves. Tea-efficiency at it’s finest!
- Shelf life: Both tea options are best consumed when they are fresh. Fortunately, loose leaf teas are larger in structure, they can be stored and last up to a year (two years for some teas) with proper storage before the flavor starts to become dull. On the other hand, tea dusts within tea bags are smaller in structure cannot hold flavor as long as loose leaf teas.
Control: You have full control with the tea ingredients and amount that you wish to brew with loose leaf teas. If you prefer your cup of tea to have a stronger flavor, you can easily add a bit more. With traditional tea bags, you are restricted to whatever is inside the tea bag (and you may not know what is inside) and the established amount.
If you enjoy the convenience of using a disposable tea bag for your loose leaf tea, consider using disposable tea filters. These disposable tea filters are perfect as they have enough room for the loose leaf teas to expand during steeping for a delicious cup of tea.
So the next time you are drinking a cup of tea, think about where you are getting your teas. Are you drinking a cup of loose leaf teas or a cup of leftover tea leaves?