There has been a lot of talk about why leaf tea is better than teabags. While some of this aspect is true, most of it is based on the broad generalizations, such as loose-leaf tea is better than the teabags. Know what differentiates the teabags from loose leaf tea, why the leaf tea is generally better than the teabags, and how to switch from teabags to the loose-leaf tea.
Whole leaf green tea vs green teabags
Whole-leaf tea is primarily made up of whole leaves. Teabags are made from low tea grades, such as dust. Fannings and dust are smaller small pieces of tea; therefore they usually have larger surface area than the whole leaves. Larger surface area would mean more essential oils content available to evaporate, making the tea stale and dull. Freshness could be a major issue with teabags, particularly if these are placed in a paper box covered with paper wrappings.
Some varieties of tea are broken while processing. They are not the whole leaf, and even if they are of high quality. These face some freshness issues; however, any loss of flavor is compensated with a small grade of tea such as dust as well as fannings. Some of these tea bags are generally made of whole-leaf tea. But whole-leaf teabag is an exception.
Loose-leaf green tea vs green teabags
Loose-leaf tea is not brewed teabags. When loose leaf tea is steeped, there is a possibility that the tea leaves absorb water and then expand as these infuse. This makes the water to flow through leaves and extract a range of minerals, vitamins, flavors, and aroma from these leaves.
When tea is steeped in teabags, the infusion is limited due to the size of the teabags. Packaging full-leaf tea in small tea bags doesn’t give a flavorful cup. For a long time, the teabag industry has had packed tea to teabags. Filling the teabags with smaller tea particles increases the total surface area and the infusion rate of tea. A flavorful brew results in this process. It was low-cost, easy as well as good for your milk and sugar tea drink, therefore it was successful.
Some tea merchants have planned to adapt the teabags to the tea. Rather than using the flat-tasting grades of tea, they are using higher grades of teas with sophisticated flavor and aroma. They are also getting better brews from these tea leaves than they would do with traditional teabag by packing them in plus-size teabags. All teabag variations allow these leaves to expand than the traditional tea bag, creating a better brew.
Standardization vs. variety
Despite this innovation in the teabags, several tea connoisseurs use them for two reasons. The first is related to adherence to the tradition and enjoyment of tea ritual that does not include teabag. The second reason is related to the seasonal, foodie, and artisanal, approach to the tea.
Tea bags are blended for the standardization process. A specific grocery store tea will have the same taste. It is because it has blended with teas from different parts of the world. Each year, the total counts of tea from each place differ based on the price and the final flavor the blenders are aiming to attain. A higher premium is fixed on tea’s price and the standardization than on the quality and the character of all flavor profiles.
Loose-leaf tea is the opposite. Loose-leaf tea might be specialty tea brought from one region. The flavor profile, appearance, and aroma vary from time to time and also from season to season. Estates, processing styles, regions, and the growing seasons are relevant for specific aroma and flavor. But there is a larger range of flavor and aroma available in loose-leaf tea. This depth and breadth of tea appeal to foodies as well as other obsessive types.
How to switch to leaf tea?
Leaf tea might seem overwhelming initially, but with a friendly teashop and few easy tips, brewing teas you will love are easy.
Think about the flavor profiles you prefer in tea and then find them in loose tea. If you like black tea, have black loose-leaf tea. If you like flavored tea, you can switch to whole-leaf tea. Check with your local teashop for information or see different companies’ offerings.
Once you have selected a leaf tea, find how you will brew the tea. There are more choices, and some of these are better for some types of teas than others.