Since immemorial, the tea-loving population has consumed primarily as loose leaves. Tea bags are now prevalent in stores, and people love them! This sparked the debate about tea bags vs. loose-leaf.
Loose-leaf tea is made from whole or broken tea leaves. Tea bags are porous tea bags that contain tea powder, tea dust, or tea leaves. They can be used to make infusions by being soaked in hot water.
Are loose leaves considered better than tea bags?
Orthodox tea can be graded based on different factors, such as the type and size of the leaf. Although leaf size can affect the quality of tea, it is not an indicator of its quality. The grade of tea is different from one country to the next. Tea with more buds is considered the highest quality. Black whole-leaf teas are labeled OP (Orange Pekoe) or FOP (Flowery Orange Pekoe). It refers both to the size and number of buds. Pekoe is a tea leaf brewed with two leaves and a bud. Orange Pekoe is a tea that has no buds. The Flowery Orange Pekoe is a longer-leafing Orange Pekoe with more buds.
This is why it is essential to understand the various grades of orthodox teas. They are listed below:
- 1 Whole Leave: This tea is of the highest quality. These whole tea leaves are not broken and are highly prized. These tea leaves have the highest quality and intense flavors and aromas. They are usually made from the finest produce. Whole-leaf teas can also be steeped multiple times and retain their infusion strength longer than other types.
- 2 Broken Leave: These tea leaves are darker in color and have been crushed. This tea is delicious and can be steeped multiple times.
- 3 FanningsFannings are the leftovers of whole or broken tea leaves that are collected after the crushing process. These tea leaves are sub-par to loose-leaf teas and can only be steeped once.
- 4 Tea Dust: The powdery remains of tea leaves after the crushing process is complete is called tea dust. This is the lowest grade among all tea varieties. Tea bags often contain tea dust.
- We know that tea bags can be filled with dust or fanning, but whole leaves and not just the tea are superior. This may have been true when tea bags were first made. However, this is different today as tea bags are made from high-quality tea. There are many differences between tea bags and loose-leaf teas.
The big difference
- 1 Flavor
- Because they undergo the whole process of boiling water unfurling, loose-leaf teas can produce more robust flavors than tea bags. The leaves have enough space to release their flavor. Tea bags have limited space, so the tea leaves must work within them to release their flavor. Pyramid tea bags, which are much larger than regular tea bags, have solved this problem.
- 2 Ease in Use
- Tea bags are easy to make tea from. All you have to do is heat the water in a cup and then steep them. Making loose-leaf tea in a traditional kettle or vessel takes time. However, tea lovers enjoy the process of brewing and find it therapeutic.
- 3 Infusion
- Tea bags can only hold a certain amount of tea. Therefore, tea makers must refine their tea to extract the maximum flavor from a small amount of tea. This reduces the infusion potential.
- 4 Re-steeping
- Tea bags can only be re-brewed a few times. However, loose-leaf teas may be brewed multiple times.
How different is the taste between both tea types?
Tea experts believe that loose leaf is more flavorful than tea bags, which limits their infusion capabilities. It is not noticeable to the average tea drinker that there is a difference in taste. A tea lover might prefer the stronger-tasting one. You might like pyramid teas with more room, which will brew a better cup of tea if you have a refined palate. It would help if you always chose a high-quality loose-leaf or teabag variety. It makes all the difference.
Is it worth the cost?
Tea bag users often believe loose-leaf tea is more expensive than tea bags. Although 20 teabags can be cheaper than 30 grams of loose-leaf tea, most tea bags can only brew once. You can steep loose-leaf tea only a few times.
- Loose-leaf teas are the best quality and most authentic tasting.
- Loose-leaf teas are more environmentally friendly because they require less packaging material.
- Whole leaves can be used to extract more vitamins and minerals, which makes the brew healthier.
- Whole leaves can be steeped at least two times, which gives them more value.
- Loose Teas are made with fresh, young leaves. This makes them superior in quality.
Benefits of Tea Bags:
- Teabags take only a few minutes to steep and are simple to use.
- Teabags can be used as travel-friendly items
- Teabags of premium quality are packaged in environmentally-friendly materials
- Teabags could be an excellent option for new tea drinkers who don’t know how to make tea.
What is the verdict?
Many things have been written about tea bags and loose leaves. You might wonder, “Let us just let you know which one’s the best?” We leave that decision up to you. You can choose the one that suits your taste buds and your schedule, or stock them all and use what is convenient for you. We love both types of tea, and we can confidently say each has a special place in our hearts. You can make tea of any tea. Enjoy the tea you love best!