As I walk down the supermarket aisle, there is a great bounty in choosing the perfect tea. But, what flavour should you go for? There is a whole dilemma of white vs. black vs. green vs. herbal, which is a discussion for another time. But beyond that, I was torn between boxes of tea bags and bulk containers and packages filled with loose leaf tea. So what is the difference? Which is better and if I want to do tea the “right” way, which should I choose?
So is loose-leaf better than bagged tea?
The answer is both loose leaf and tea bags can be made from quality teas, so the choice is more to do with the “style” of preparation. Some people may find it much easier to use the tea bag, which eliminates the need for measuring tea or steeping time. Thus, it can significantly increase the efficiency and ease of making a pot of tea.
However, there can be great pleasure found in the act of handling loose tea leaves. You can touch, see and smell the leaves, both in their dry and wet forms. In addition, the ritual of brewing the perfect cup can be contemplative, not to mention the ability to create a cup of tea that perfectly suits your personal preference.
Taste and Health Variations
Some tea experts will say that tea brewed in tea bags won’t yield as flavourful of a brew as loose leaf brewing methods since the size of the tea bags limits the infusion ability. However, the difference in taste is relatively minimal for the average tea drinker, but if you have a more refined palate, opt for tea bags that are a bit roomier. There is also standardisation with your typical tea bag, as they are blended with the intention of uniformity. Still, again, you probably won’t notice any difference unless you have an amazingly well-defined palate.
In terms of health benefits, it will remain the same no matter how you brew your tea, provided you are choosing high-quality tea in either case.
In conclusion, no matter how you brew your tea, let it be with a tea bag or brewing it with a teapot and with loose leaf, tea will always be subjective depending on the person consuming and preparing the tea.