Tea’s versatile nature has led its following to such massive numbers, worldwide. It encompasses an entire universe of variants, blends, brewing choices and consumption methods. To cater to convenience in the modern era, the rat race and time crunch of the masses, tea has been further diversified into one broad classification; loose leaf tea and tea bags.
Which is best; Loose Tea Leaves or Tea Bags
Loose tea is made of whole and unbroken tea leaves, or partially cut leaves and buds of a tea plant, renowned for its undiluted flavours, wholesome goodness and potent health benefits. Tea bags, in general are made of finely broken tea leaves, dust and fannings. They have a larger surface area as compared to loose leaves and hence, have more chance of losing their essentials oils, responsible for Tea’s rejuvenating flavours as well as aroma.
This base difference in quality itself clarifies the clear preference, if you don’t want to compromise on quality in your cup of tea. Although in tea bags’ defence, some high quality ones are made of high quality whole leaf tea, but in general tea bags are mass produced and let you down on the flavour and overall benefits front. Listed below are a few factors which clear out the benefits of loose tea leaves.
Advantages of Loose Tea Leaves over Tea Bags
• High on Quality: The quality of tea leaves used in loose leaf tea are of much superior quality and bestows tea lovers with full bodied flavours and aromatic brews.
• Endows More Health benefits: Tea is rich in antioxidants and many micronutrients. It transfers its health benefits through three prominent bioactive compounds; catechins, caffeine and L-theanine. Brewing loose tea leaves may infuse your tea with more bioactive compounds as compared to low quality tea leaves in tea bags.
• Enhances Heart Health: It prevents the risk of cardiovascular diseases, lowers risk of stroke and helps to lower blood pressure levels.
• More Flavoursome and Aromatic: Since loose leaf tea comprises of whole leaves, they retain their full bodied flavours and potential benefits. When brewed, loose tea expands to release more flavour and goodness as compared to tea bags, whose size and tea bag material restricts its expansion and flow.
• Stays Fresh Longer: A rejuvenating brew concocted from loose leaf tea tends to have a longer life and freshness. In contrast, tea bags, loose their freshness soon, since they usually contain dust and fannings of tea, making it taste stale in comparison. Moreover, tea bags are mostly produced in bulk and at times and remain in shelf for years, in contrast to loose leaf tea.
• Can be Re-steeped: Tea brewed from loose leaf tea, can be re-used to make you another fresh cup of wellness. Whereas, you can use a tea bag only once.
• Low on Bitterness: Tea steeped from tea bags usually release more tannins, which result in comparatively bitter brews on prolonged steeping. Whereas, in loose leaf tea, you can adjust the quantity to get your preferred flavour and its strength.
• Traditional Appeal: Fine connoisseurs of tea, prefer their cup to be traditionally brewed from fine loose leaf tea. It’s a culture and ritual that has been followed since centuries, which its avid drinkers are in no haste to change.
• More Variety: Even though there’s a wide range of blends available both in loose leaf tea as well as tea bags, loose leaf tea can represent a vast world of choices, which can be nation, area, region and even season specific.
• Flexibility: You can mix and match different loose leaf tea variants to customize and create your own exclusive blends.
• Freedom of Flavours: Tea bags restrict the tea leaves to give off their full flavours and potent benefits due to hindrance of tea bag material, which is usually low flow and doesn’t allow the flavours and goodness of the tea to pass through.
Best of Both
Even though loose tea leaf is a clear preference for a flavourful cup of tea. You can’t deny the obvious benefits of tea bags, which accounts for its huge market standing. They are easy to prepare, require lesser time to brew, are ready to use and can be consumed anywhere and anytime. On top of that, they are usually more pocket friendly.
Thus, if you are in love with the quality and finesse of loose tea but also can’t deny the convenience of tea bags, and the flexibility to create your own distinct blends, then you can acquire empty tea bags and fill them with the teas of your choice and create single blends, multi blends and even herbal teas and their variants.
When, it comes down to a clear choice between convenience and quality, the latter usually gains an upper hand. You cannot turn your back to the sparkling and refreshing universe of loose-leaf tea. There are endless options to buy loose leaf near you, and the more choices, the more overwhelming it gets. Therefore, choose your blends as per your palate preference, mood and flexibility to mix and match.
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