Tea Bags vs. Loose Leaf Tea; a story of Pros & Cons
Brightly colored boxes line store shelves boasting interesting flavors and that new healthy lifestyle we are all looking for in the New Year. You choose the box that not only ticks those healthy lifestyle boxes as far as flavor goes, but also appeals to the more aesthetic side of you. I am a sucker for packaging.
You get home, anxiously await for your water to boil, and then shower your new tea bag with the scalding water. While your tea steeps (and cools, we've all been there where we've gone in too soon. Ouch.), you day dream about the flavors that are about to dance across your tongue. Finally, it's ready. You take your first sip... hmm... tastes like hot water. Not exactly what you were hoping for but you drink it anyways because you bought it and maybe more flavor will come out later.
But why do we go through this disappointment over and over again trying bag after bag of what promises to be the best flavor yet? Convenience. And, maybe we just don't know any better. Or, we just haven't discovered better yet.
Tea bags offer convenience, that's for sure. You pick a box (that you can literally find in ANY grocery store), drop the bag in boiling water, enjoy (kinda), and then toss the bag in the trash. Easy, but not entirely satisfying.
So what does better look like? More importantly, what does better taste like?
Loose leaf tea is where it's at my friend. Loose leaf tea literally holds the key to flavor town. But why? What's the difference? The number one difference is quality. While the industry has evolved and tea bags have gotten better, the traditional tea bag is made using primarily, what we call, "fannings" of tea. In other words, tea crumbs. It's just impossible for these tiny bits of tea fragments to hold any real flavor and/or health benefits. With loose leaf tea, you get to enjoy the entire tea leaf in your cup. Boasting with flavor and not held back by the constraints of a tight tea bag that doesn't allow for the entire leaf to not only be present, but also open up to it's full potential.