What is Good About the Tea Bag?
About the only thing good about the tea bag is the convenience factor. In the past, many Americans were willing to sacrifice taste and quality for convenience. This trend is now changing.
It is commonly held among tea drinking experts that the tea bag provides an inferior taste and tea drinking experience. The paper used for the bag can also be tasted, which can detract from the tea’s flavor. Because fannings and dust are a lower quality of the tea to begin with, the tea found in tea bags is more tolerant when it comes to brewing time and temperature. But the taste suffers in quality.
The main difference between loose teas and bagged teas is the size and quality of the leaves . Tea leaves contain chemicals and essential oils, which are the basis for the wonderful flavor of tea. When the tea leaves are broken up, those oils can evaporate, leaving a dull and tasteless tea as well as losing many of the health benefits of loose leaf tea.
There is also the space factor. Tea leaves need space to swell, expand and unfurl. Good water circulation around the leaves is important, which doesn’t typically happen in a tea bag.
Loose leaf tea comes in greater variety than bagged tea when one considers the multitude of blends and flavors that are loose leaf tea offerings. There is at least one or more tea blends for the palette of any individual tea drinker.
Additional reasons why bag tea is considered lower quality include:
• Dried tea loses its flavor quickly on exposure to air. Most bag teas contain leaves broken into small pieces; the great surface area to volume ratio of the leaves in tea bags exposes them to more air, and results in stale tea.
• Loose tea leaves are likely to be full formed and larger and are robust for multiple infusion of the leaves. This results in a lower cost per cup.
• Breaking up the leaves for bags disperses flavored oils and other oils that support health benefits.
• The small size of the bag does not allow leaves to diffuse and steep properly.
The Reemerge of Loose Leaf Tea
Every day more tea drinkers are realizing the benefits of loose leaf tea: high quality, fresh taste, better health and well being and greater variety offered. As a result the popularity of loose leaf has grown tremendously among discriminating tea drinkers.
Loose leaf tea is now enjoyed by millions of tea drinkers who are looking for a beverage that offers significant health benefits combined with good tasting varieties and a low cost per cup.
Is Loose Leaf Tea Expensive?
The answer is no because high quality loose leaf tea can support multiple infusions. Many tea drinkers look at the cost per tin of loose leaf tea and conclude it is expensive. However when viewed on a cost per cup, loose leaf tea is as economical as bagged tea and you receive higher quality tea. Much of the cost for bagged tea is a result of the bagging process and the packaging of the bags.
What About Storage?
Tea in bags has a shorter shelf life than loose leaf tea because the fannings in bagged tea tend to dry out faster.
Loose leaf tea has a longer shelf-life that varies with storage conditions and type of tea. Black tea for example has a longer shelf-life than green tea but all loose leaf tea, properly stored, will maintain freshness for a long time. Tea stays freshest when stored in a dry, cool, dark place in an air-tight container. Black tea stored in a bag inside a sealed opaque canister may keep for two years.
So, join the loose leaf tea drinking revolution for good taste, health and well being. It is something that even the British Empire can not stop!