• Ross Thomson

5 good reasons loose leaf tea is better than teabag tea


Teabags are easy, plonk them into a cup and your tea is brewed in seconds flat. But does this convenience comes at a cost, I'm looking at 5 very good reasons why loose leaf is miles better than teabag tea.


1. Loose leaf tastes better


In order to get the tea to fit inside one of those small teabags, it has to be ground down by large machines in a process they call 'crush-tear-curl' (CTC). This process of grinding down the leaves means the subtle flavours in the tea are lost, instead it promotes the harsher more bitter flavour profiles to come out. Also due to a larger surface area, the tea also likely to degrade and lose it's flavour faster. Good quality orthodox loose leaf teas on the other hand are carefully rolled into strips, preserving the whole leaf. The reduced processing means that the leaves hold a more complex depth of flavour that keeps for longer. Even if you like a good strong breakfast tea, choosing loose leaf doesn't mean you are sacrificing strength, you just need to leave the leaves to brew for a little longer than you would normally and you will be astounded by the results. Try it yourself by tasting your normal teabag tea alongside our strong Keynsham blend, with and without milk. I can guarantee our Keynsham will be just as strong but with a richer flavour with a reassuring smoothness that doesn't leave a nasty after taste.



2. More choice in loose leaf

If you drink teabag tea then your restricted to the types of teas which fit into teabags. This is generally cheap mass produced CTC tea. However if you unshackle yourself from the restrictions of the teabag, you suddenly open yourself up to an entire world of tea. Without the teabag you can now delve into interesting and complex world of single estate tea and understand the difference between our Smooth Ceylon grown at high altitudes in the Dimbula region of Sri Lanka compared to our Awesome Assam from the Bokel tea estate in northern India which is grown at low altitudes. Both are quality black teas, both taste remarkably different.



3. Brewing loose leaf is easy


When I started out I used to aimlessly pour a random amount of tea into a useless tea strainer, then over brew the tea and decide that I didn't like it. But once I found an easier way to understand it all I've never looked back. First get a good strainer that works for you, do you prefer a teapot or going straight for a mug? I'm more of a single cup kind of tea drinker, so a good tea strainer which allows the leaves to move and is easy to clean is best. We stock what is in my option is the best kind of strainer, easy to brew and easy to clean. You could also use loose leaf teabags which unlike normal teabags, can be filled with large leaf teas and are unbelievably easy to use and dispose of. Then when it comes to the tea, always measure in teaspoons because everyone has a teaspoon so you can never get lost. It's infuriating when packs put the brewing instructions in weights because, unless you carry pocket scales around with you, you'll never be able to work out how much to use. That is the reason all our brewing instructions are done in teaspoons. Then when it comes time to brew your tea, a general rule of thumb is (for black and herbal teas) is 3-4 minutes. 3 minutes for a lighter brew and 4 for a bit more strength. I recommend you don't go over 4 minutes otherwise you will bring out more bitter tannins that just overpower the real flavour.

4. More control over your brew


Taste is subjective, only you know what you like. With teabags the volume of tea is pre-set, but with loose leaf you are free to experiment with how much tea suits your own tastes. With dense teas you may want to reduce the volume of tea and vis-versa for light teas. Want to brew tea quicker? Increase the volume of tea and reduce the brew time. Try experimenting with your tea with one of our tea trio packs.

5. It's eco friendly

As you may already know, most teabag paper contain a lining of plastic so that when they are fed through the machine they can be heat sealed. But putting these teabags in your food waste does not work as once everything decomposes, left behind is this plastic residue which does not break down. If you choose to switch to loose leaf then you can leave plastic behind. Using a tea strainer means that your only waste is tea leaves which you could even put out straight on your garden as compost. Our loose leaf teabags are made from paper and cotton, so are 100% bio degradable so you can throw these into your food waste with confidence. In addition to the plastic issue, there is also in the energy required to manufacture the teabags. There is the production of the paper itself and then the process to put the tea into the teabags and seal it. All these require large industrial machinery to be running all day long. When you drink loose leaf, you bypass all the need for industrial production. This means less energy is used and an overall lower carbon foot print. If you care about the environment, then drink loose leaf!

Would you switch to loose leaf?

We think loose leaf is the best way to drink tea and hope you now think so too. Open up the world of tea for yourself by switching to loose leaf tea. Get started here...




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