Reasons to drink loose leaf tea
Why is loose leaf tea better than teabags?
In short, loose leaf tea tastes fresher, offers more complex flavours and is better for the planet too. As opposed to fannings and dusts found in teabags, which are the left over from the loose leaf tea production and consist of finely broken pieces of tea leaves and powder, loose leaf tea contains whole or broken tea leaves.
Whole and broken leaves are higher tea grades and brew a more complex cup, offering all the flavour nuances that each loose leaf tea has to offer. The smaller pieces of tea leaves found in teabags go through a process of 'cut-tear-curl' and therefore loose much of their aroma - which might be good enough for the average 'milk and sugar' tea drinker...
Teabags are also blended for standardisation. You will find tea leaves from different regions in the same teabag, and year after year, the teabags from a grocery store or mass market brand taste the same. You are missing the opportunity to taste the flavour's profile and aroma from a specific region or estate, which is the beauty of brewing loose leaf tea.
Regions, estates, growing seasons and processing styles are known for particular flavours and aromas, and when brewing loose leaf tea you can fully experience their speciality..
For example a second flush Assam loose leaf tea is known to offer rich malty notes and a coppery liquor, while a high grown Ceylon gunpowder tea is known to offer a smooth smokey flavour.
You will also see that the appearance of the tea leaves varies from regions to regions, and from seasons to seasons too. and will notice the buds in TGFOP black teas for example.
What about the environmental impact? While some brands offers fully compostable teabags, the majority of teabags on the market contain small amounts of plastics to fortify them and not to mention glues... The UK alone drinks 60 billions cup of tea each year, and 90% of them are tea bags, thrown in the bin after each cup of tea prepared. Tea bags also require additional packaging and processing compared to loose leaf teas, which needs to be added to the carbon footprint - and is 10 times higher than the loose leaf tea production! When trying to embrace a less wasteful lifestyle, loose leaf tea is definitely the way to go.
Contrary to the common belief, brewing loose leaf tea is as easy as teabags, and is also a more cost effective solution.
Go for a good tea pot or steel infusers, measure your tea leaves, pour the water and watch the leaves unfold and unfurl. There is something calming when preparing a cup of loose leaf tea, a moment to breathe and fully enjoy the flavours.
Though a pack of loose leaf tea seems more expensive, the price per cup is often less than your average supermarket teabag. Instead of paying for the convenience of a teabag, you're paying for the quality of the tea leaves.