There is an old English proverb that says “It’s easier to imagine Britain without the Queen than without tea.” Through this one can understand how much tea is loved in this region and why tea plays a pivotal role throughout the day. While everyone would love to sit and brew and then subsequently sip on their favourite cuppa, sadly few can always afford to spend time on such activities. That is where the loose tea vs tea bag issue has generally cropped up. We will have a look at some factors and then let you decide which is best suited for your purposes since tea, we believe, is a very personal thing.
What is your cup of tea/ Leaf type-
This is probably the key difference which leads to the various differences whenever the loose tea vs tea bag topic pops up. The major limitation for tea bags is that they are normally restricted to the dust and fannings grades from broken leaves. People have the option of choosing from a variety of grades including premium grade whole leaf teas when buying different types of loose tea . Various teabags, with high quality whole leaves and a variety of flavours, seem to be the solution to this constraint.
Easy peasy/ Preparation time-
This one is a no brainer. Tea bags are the hands down winner and definitely the preferred choice for people who are always on the go. It cuts out the time needed for various things including measuring the tea and cleaning up after the tea is prepared. Quite a few of new age tea bags allow for multiple steeping and hence tend to save even more time throughout the day. All these options generally make tea bags a more convenient option.
Tickle those taste buds/ Flavour-
The thing with tea is that the leaves need to spread so that the flavour and subsequently the aroma spreads across evenly. Loose tea will always give more of a total experience and generally does not limit drinkers to certain tastes and aromas. This is why the cup quality usually tends to be of a better standard. As the leaves in a tea bag have restricted movement, it does not allow the various antioxidants to spread properly. Also, since teabags mostly have standardized blends, there are a great many numbers of flavours, tastes and aromas that get restricted as a result of this.
No Unidentified Floating Objects/ Safe components
Previously, there were some concerns over things like strings, tags and staple pins. Recent modifications have ensured that there are no safety/health concerns with tea bags. Now, tea bags can be steeped multiple times, the size/shape modification is optimum and the addition of more premium leaves to it have made it a more viable option as compared to before. This has definitely tipped the balance a bit more in favour of tea bags.
Health is wealth/ Nutritional factor
Most people think that since loose tea generally happens to be of higher quality and is not restricted in a bag, it should have better nutritional value. While a part of it is true, tea bags often have a presence of stems that allow for a greater amount of L-theanine. It is a type of amino acid that is found more or less exclusively in teas from the Camellia sinensis plant. These display the relaxing effect found in tea and is known to be a natural stress buster.
Money is what money does/ Price factor
Some of the common misconceptions out there in the loose tea vs tea bag dispute is that loose tea is generally expensive and tea bags are quite inexpensive. Times have changed and with that so have the various tea offerings in the market. Just like how there are low priced loose teas, there are also pricey tea bags with top quality whole leaves.
The loose tea vs tea bag discussions will continue to go on in the years to come. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, as is the case with most things. The main thing to remember here is to enjoy your cup of tea to the fullest- whether it be in a tea bag or just good old plain and simple loose tea.