As a tea lover, you must have, at least once, had a thought regarding which is better, freshly packed loose leaf tea or tea bags. Maybe you concluded on a decision, but later, seeing both the options available in front of you, you have doubted your choice again. Let us see how one differs from the other.
We would love to help you with whichever choice you make. Tea is, after all, dependent on your taste and likes. Your preferences are unique, and no discussion or argument can change how your taste buds feel when you have tea.
Freshly Packed Loose Leaf Tea vs Tea Bags: The Differences
If you come to think about it, there are innumerable differences that distinguish fresh-packed loose tea leaves from tea bags. A major difference is the quality of these. Loose tea leaves always have superior quality as compared to tea bags. This compromise in quality comes because tea bags and tea leaves have a different target audience.
Tea Bags are for people who travel a lot or care more about the caffeine content than the taste of the specific tea variety. Connoisseurs usually choose tea leaves, so that they can enjoy the aroma, the individual taste of the variety, and the ingredients in the leaves. Most tea bags contain only the dust and fannings of broken tea leaves, which loses a majority of its essential oils and aroma.
On steeping, the tea in teabags releases more tannin, as compared to whole tea leaves, causing it to have a tinge of bitterness in its taste. Tea leaves need space to expand and release their flavors while steeping. The teabag acts as an infuser for the tea dust, but for the fresh leaves, you would need more space and a dedicated infuser for the purpose.
The infusers available on the TeaSwan website would be a very good choice if you prefer tea leaves over tea bags. Loose tea leaves expand and release more flavor, aroma, and antioxidants into the water, or milk. It is more pleasurable than the tiny leaf bits and stale tea dust in most mass-produced tea bags, which may sit in a warehouse or on a shelf for a long time.
The tea in tea bags is usually processed by machines, as compared to loose tea leaves, which are usually processed manually.
Loose Leaf Tea vs Tea Bag Health Benefits
Tea is a great source of nutrients that help keep you safe or helps in detoxification It is a rich source of fluoride, magnesium, and zinc. The nutrients attributed to affecting the human brain the most are catechins, caffeine, and L-theanine.
While catechin has anti-oxidizing properties, caffeine improves brain function and provides a sudden burst of energy, and makes us alert. L-theanine, on the other hand, is believed to have relaxing properties.
Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood prefers a tea bag over loose leaves because the excessive brewing can raise the pH levels of the tea causing several health problems. The health benefits associated with tea come out when it is brewed properly.
The longer tea is brewed, the more bioagents it releases, and makes the taste stronger.
Loose Leaf vs Tea Bags Cost
In case you are wondering the reason behind the huge cost difference between loose tea leaves and tea bags, let us help you understand. Teabags are produced in the industry, in batches with the help of heavy machinery. The tea leaves are not there, but rather dust and fannings of the broken leaves.
It is produced in huge batches and stored before it can be sold to consumers and retailers, from where you buy it. Loose tea leaves, on the other hand, are completely processed manually, in small quantities. This preserves the flavor and aroma of the tea, and it gives immense relief and pleasure to have tea in this form.
Because of the superior quality, and the localized production, the market prices of loose tea leaves are usually higher than teabags. However, for tea lovers, the price should not really move your decision, as it has both the quality and love that teabags lack. It is indeed wise spending to purchase loose tea over bagged tea.
Is loose leaf tea better for the environment?
From the point of view of an environmentalist, or simply a nature lover, you must always consider how your actions affect the environment. Teabags are obviously a cheap choice, but they are not really environment-friendly, as the materials used to produce the bags are not composable.
In view of this fact, tea leaves are better, as it composes into the ground, and provides nutrition to the plant, and the soil. Though many companies claim that they have developed nature-friendly compostable tea bags, they are not abundant in the market.
Some reports state that even these biodegradable bags are not completely composable, and leave behind traces of harmful material in the soil. No wonder loose tea leaves are a better option for the environment.
Why Choose One Over the Other?
You may be thinking that the fight, freshly packed loose leaf tea vs tea bags, can never really be won by either. However, it is not really a fight if you love tea. There are several reasons why you should switch to loose tea leaves. Though the commercially produced bagged tea is easy on the pocket and brewing it is not really rocket science, loose leaf tea has its benefits.
You do not deserve the broken and dusted tea leaves, YOU DESERVE BETTER.
The ‘dust and fannings’ in tea bags lose most of their properties and produce a bland taste and flavor. Expecting aromatic tea from tea bags is expecting too much. The broken tea leaves release more tannin and can leave a bitter taste in the tea, which is not really favorable. Using loose tea leaves gives you more flexibility as to the number of leaves you use.
You can fully enjoy the intricate mixture of flavor and aroma. Teabags are often produced in batches, in industries overseas, and are shelved for months and years before you receive it. No wonder, fresh loose tea leaves are better than tea bags.
However, you have your own preferences and choices. We, at TeaSwan, would be happy to assist you in your purchase of tea to calm yourself and enjoy the drink. With every purchase you make, we send two free samples based on our likes. We do hope you would like it because you can have more than one liking. TeaSwan would always be there to support your tea choices and replenish your stock whenever the lovely leaves run out.