Loose Leaf or Tea Bag

Feb 14, 2023 | all things tea

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Loose-leaf tea, or process tea bag?

Since the beginning of time tea was consumed loose until the concept of tea bag came into the tea market. It is believed that Thomas Sullivan is the mastermind behind inventing the tea bag concept. However, before his invention Roberta C. Lawson and Mary Molaren were doing experiments on brewing and in 1901, they applied for a patent for “Tea Leaf Holder”.

How to make a tea with “loose leaf tea”? When you make a cup of tea with loose leaf tea, you can use a teapot with an infuser, or infuser mug to allow your tea to steep. Once your tea has infused into the water, you will have to separate the infused leaf and tea brew using a strainer.

How to make a tea with a process “Tea Bag”? When you are going to make a cup of tea with a tea bag, you may just need to put tea bag in a cup of hot water and allow to brew until you get the desired colour.

The concept of tea bagging is more convenient in using compared to the loose-leaf tea. However, there are some major differences and benefits between loose leaf tea and tea bags. Let’s find out those differences and benefits before make your purchasing decision.

How it comes?

Loose leaf tea comes to your hands in an inner carton, pouch or a metal can with a lid and tea bags may come as nylon or filter paper bags with a specific grammage of tea that suitable to prepare a cup of tea.

Size of tea leaves?

Generally loose-leaf teas are consisting of larger tea leaf particles compared to tea bags. Most of the tea bags contain tea grades like dust or fanning’s.

Is there any price benefit?

When it comes to tea bags, it may contain some complex packaging than the loose tea. To complete a tea bag carton basically need materials like filter paper (to form the tea bag), wire, thread, tag, inner pouch, trays, inner carton and cellophane. For a loose-leaf tea carton, it is enough to have an inner pouch, carton and cellophanes. Therefore, certainly there will be an additional packaging cost incurred with tea bags compared to loose-leaf and it will result a high final price of tea bags. When it comes to pyramid tea bags, the cost will rise further as the tea bagging material is Nylon.

Will it effect on quality of the brewed tea?

When you pour boiled water into a cup with loose leaf tea, tea particles may circulate through the water and get swell. This will allow you to have the maximum flavour, aroma, colour, and antioxidants. It means tea leaves need a room to expand the full-bodied flavour.

In terms of tea bags, this type of circulations will be restricted and therefore you might not get the maximum flavour, aroma, colour, and antioxidants. However experienced tea tasters and traders are trying to avoid this circumstance by using fine tea leaves and better-quality filter papers to produce tea bags. In this regard, Pyramid tea bags may perform better than the regular tea bags.

What is the most convenient type?

Definitely using of tea bags is more convenient than the using of loose tea leaves. As tea bags do not create messy tea pots or cups it is easy to clean.
As discussed above, there are some differences and benefits when we compare loose tea leaves vs. process tea bags. Even though most of facts conclude that loose tea has more benefits over tea bags, if you are interested in using tea bags you can select a good quality pyramid style tea bag to achieve the same benefits as loose tea leaves.
The beauty of Tea Lover’s Cafe™ premium loose-leaf is if you don’t have a steeper, you can put it in a disposable tea bag, and still get all the benefits from steeping.
Will your next warm hug in a mug be with loose-leaf tea, or process tea bag?

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