Many of us enjoy tea every day. Some of us start our day with a cup, some of us enjoy our afternoons with a cup, and some of us get together with family and friends to enjoy each other’s company over a cup of tea. Since tea is second only to water in its consumption, it is safe to say drinking tea has become part of our lives. Maybe our tea habits have become so routine that brewing with loose leaf or tea bags is really something we aren’t thinking about, but should it matter?
There are several reasons why brewing with loose leaf tea should matter to us. Brewing with loose or whole leaf tea, rather than tea bags allows for the final brew to take advantage of the full surface area of the leaf to bloom and infuse the water which enhances the taste. Also, loose leaf tea retains more of tea’s famous health properties as pristine whole leaf varieties of tea are reserved to be packaged and sold. Finally, purchasing and regularly using loose leaf teas are better for the environment and world economy than exclusively drinking tea made with tea bags.
When brewing tea, more surface area is always better. Using whole leaf tea allows for the leaves to absorb water and expand as they infuse. Since tea leaves are not confined to a small bag, there is room for water to flow through the leaf and extract a wide range of flavors and aroma from the leaves. This results in a more flavorful and better cup of tea.
Also, from a health perspective, allowing room for leaves to bloom within the infusing process, the drinker a has a chance to benefit from a wide range of vitamins and minerals extracted from the tea. Many tea bag companies use fillings left behind from the processing of whole leaf teas, broken leaves, or even tea dust. Those small pieces of tea don’t fully embody the health properties whole leaf varieties have. Ultimately, leftover tea fillings’ only purpose is to flavor the water and the health properties are lost. Also, the distinct personalities and nuances of different tea varieties become very blurred. For example, green tea brewed with a tea bag starts to taste similar to a black tea.
Finally, regularly purchasing whole leaf tea is better for the environment and benefits the world economy more than purchasing tea from tea manufacturers. Tea bags are often mass produced while whole leaf varieties are carefully cultivated, harvested and processed. This does less damage to the environment than manufacturing tea bags and supports the local economy of the region much like a wine region benefits when you purchase a specific wine.
Loose leaf teas create a more flavorful cup of tea brimming with more health and antioxidant properties than tea made from tea bags. Loose leaf teas do less damage to the environment and support world economies. These are some really good reasons to enjoy tea made from loose leaf varieties as your daily tea.