Ditch Those Tea Bags
- Category: Brewing and Serving Tea
- Published: Wednesday, 03 September 2008 07:47
- Hits: 8387
Tea bags are convenient, but the best quality tea is loose leaf tea. If you want to experience the full flavor of tea, it's no contest between loose leaf tea and tea bags. How are you preparing it?
Tea, a three letter word that represents the second most consumed beverage in the world. It yields four main types and is found in almost every culture around the globe. It has its place in everyone’s home and is drunk for many purposes...but did you know that there are two versions of this beverage, that is, how are you preparing it?
Are you a tea bag dunker? If so, you may not be getting all of the goodies tea can provide you. Whether you drink tea for health benefits, flavor, or for discovering the vast varieties, you may be limiting yourself to what the world of tea has to offer.
So, what is the better way? Simple...Loose Leaf Tea!
Loose vs. Bag
As mentioned, there are two ways to brew this beverage, by dunking a bag in your cup, or by steeping it using loose leaves. Let's compare both.
Tea bags will almost never provide the same benefits as loose leaf. Loose leaf tea is made of, well, fresh pieces of leaves, either whole or partially broken. What goes into those bags is nothing more than dust, called fannings. Furthermore, tea bags are limited to the varieties that are offered, where as loose leaf can provide a drinker with several thousand to experience...so even a die-hard drinker will have a lifetime of new discoveries.
This is often one of the simple pleasures folks love about loose leaf!
Greater Health Benefits
One major thing tea is known for are its health benefits. Properties in this beverage may help with preventing tumor growth, aid in strengthen our immune system, help fight weight loss, and even lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Preparing tea loose leaf style will mean you will achieve more of these benefits since more antioxidants, catechins, and plant polyphenols release in greater numbers, which in turn means better results over bags. Not to say bagged tea contains none, it just has lesser amounts. But health benefits are not the only thing that suffers...
Better Aroma And Flavor
Almost everyone who experiences the fantastic aroma and subtle taste of loose tea are unlikely to go back to brewing tea bags. Every tea connoisseur agrees upon one thing...loose leaf tastes superior to bags!
The reason is because since loose leaves are larger than the little pieces of tea dust (fannings) that go in bags they contain more surface area which results in more natural oils being released into your cup. It is these essential oils that give tea its wonderful scent and flavor. Bagged tea tastes old, stale, fuzzy, and bitter.
Loose tea will taste fresh, sweet, floral, and mild, all with an airy aroma steaming off the cup. When steeped right, you can't go wrong!
As a final comparison, let's look at this example:
What tastes better? Instant coffee found in those plastic jars at supermarkets, or gourmet coffee from a reputable cafe or from a Starbucks? The same goes for loose leaf vs. bag.
Or how about a Zagat-rated restaurant compared to a fast food joint? Well, the same goes for loose leaf compared to the bagged stuff.
Simply put, loose tea is regarded as gourmet tea, while tea bags are regarded as nothing more than a quick fix. And if you think that gourmet tea will be expensive, you'll be surprised that the cost isn't as much as you'd expect. In fact, the average cup of loose tea will cost an average of 25 to 50 cents per cup. Not that taxing on the wallet at all, huh?
And for a much better quality beverage that will give you more health benefits and drinking enjoyment, every sip will very well be worth it!