Loose Leaf or Tea Bag? Top Reasons Tea Connoisseurs Use Loose Leaf

Loose leaf tea is an incredible product, but why do so many tea connoisseurs prefer this product over tea bags?

What's the difference?

The main difference is the size of the leaf. Typically loose leaf comes in a canister, and is a dried full leaf, or small cut leaf. Where as the generic tea bag is the dust or fannings of tea, ultimately the "leftover" small fragments from the loose leaf production. This is incredibly important for the final flavour of your cup. 

How does this affect my cup?

When the leaf is intact (or slightly cut) the essential oils from the plant remain, and give the brew a beautiful flavour, with all the natural benefits. Loose leaf tea should be given room for the leaves to expand in the hot water, allowing the water to be infused properly.  A simple metal infuser is the best way to allow the leaf room to dance in the hot water. Tea connoisseurs prefer loose leaf as they are able to time the steeping for a perfect cup. 

Broken and crushed leaves have already lost most of its natural oils before it has even reached your cup. Once the small dust fragments have reached the hot water it take very little time to steep, usually resulting in an over-steeped bitter brew. 

What's better for the planet?

Loose leaf is more sustainable than using tea bags. When using a reusable infuser, the only "waste" would be the left over tea, which is compostable. The ability to re-steep the leaves in the loose leaf format allows you to get more cups out of a single serving. 

With tea bags, even the biodegradable ones, there is still garbage every single use. Most tea bags do not re-steep very well as the small fragments have already released most of it flavour in only the first brew. Meaning every cup of tea drank produces more waste for the planet to ingest.  

There have been studies recently about micro-plastics in cups of tea from certain tea bags, so if using tea bags (which we hope you are not) be sure they are cloth and not plastic.