It was not until about five years ago that I discovered what loose leaf tea really was. I had been drinking tea since my high school years (wow does that make me feel old), but only in the traditional cheap tea bags like you see from Lipton Tea. It was not until this time that I never went back to the old traditional bags.
When I first discovered this new form of tea I didn’t think much of it. I thought to myself, what an inconvenient way to have to make tea. Loose Leaf Tea drinkings have to use some kind of strainer that has to be washed, not to mention the person pouring the leaves into the strainer can spill the tea leaves and make a mess.
It wasn’t until that first time of putting that cup of tea up to my lips that I realized this loose leaf tea thing was something different. The taste, the aroma and the look of it was all something I had never experienced previously.
Let me first explain what loose leaf tea is and then I will get into why I have never gone back to traditional Tea bags
What Is Loose Leaf Tea & How is It Made?
Loose leaf tea is dried tea leaves that are sold in a packet or container, commonly seen in tins. Whereas traditional commercial tea bags are just leaf dust and fannings of broken leaves.
All tea is made from two plants camellia sinensis (usually grown in China) and camellia sinensis assamica (leaves usually grown in Northern India).
So how do we get all these different types like white, green, black and oolong tea?
It’s all based on the oxidation process. Oxidation is like when you open a banana or bruise an apple and you get that sort of brown color. The chlorophyll breaks down after the leaves are picked and the leaves start to turn brown. Once the leaves are heated the chlorophyll stops breaking down and oxidation ends. So green tea is basically picked off and heated then dried for teas purest from. Black tea is fully oxidized which has a strong flavor and high caffeine count.
Now that you have a better understanding about what loose leaf tea is. Let me tell you why its so much better.
Why Loose Leaf Tea Is So Much Better Than Commercialized Tea Bags
When you a pull a brand new tea bag out of a container you can’t smell a whole lot. Now try smelling the loose leaf tea in a container or tin. You will notice a difference right away, the aroma from the loose leaf is extremely noticeable while you can barely smell the tea bag.
Here are five reasons why loose leaf tea is so much better:
- Loose leaf tea is the full leaf dried out while bags use dust and fannings of broken off pieces of tea leaves.
- The loose leaf tea leaves still have most of their essential oils and aroma.
- Loose leaf tea can expand to its full potential for full flavor and aroma.
- Loose leaf tea doesn’t release as much tannins (makes the tea bitter) when steeped
- And lastly, the experience is just so much nicer.
If you are looking for convenience stick to the tea bags, but if you’re looking for a full on experience with good taste, great aroma and quality tea stay with the loose leaf.