Most Americans when they prepare their tea in the morning reach for the box of tea bags. This is in contrast to most other countries where tea is brewed directly from the loose leaves. Are Americans missing out on taste and potential health benefits when they brew their tea from bags? Here are some of the more compelling benefits of loose leaf tea:
Benefits of loose leaf tea: Loose leaf teas tend to be of higher quality
When you buy loose leaf tea, you’re getting whole, loose leaves with all of their essential oils intact. In contrast, the leaves that go into tea bags are leaf fragments and tea dust left over during the processing and picking of the tea leaves. The dry leaf fragments and tea dust placed into tea bags lack the essential oils found in the whole leaves and tend to be of vastly inferior quality compared to loose leaf teas.
Benefits of loose leaf tea: Flavor
Because you’re getting the full leaf along with the essential oils when you purchase loose leaf tea, in most cases you’re going to have superior flavor compared to tea bags. The best way to compare is to brew a glass of green tea using a traditional tea bag and one using loose leaf tea. Take a sip and let your taste buds determine which is more pleasing to you. In most cases, you’ll end up choosing the loose leaf tea over tea prepared from tea bags. Be sure to use fresh tea leaves when preparing your cup of tea since tea leaves tend to loose some of their flavor and health benefits after six months.
Benefits of loose leaf tea: Price
Loose leaf teas can offer a significant cost savings. Lower quality tea bags usually cost in the ten to twenty five cent range. Higher end, better quality tea bags will generally cost from twenty cents per cup up to seventy cents per more for super premium tea bags. In contrast, tea brewed from good quality loose leaves can run as low as five cents per cup. In addition, high quality loose leaf tea can be re-infused up to four times before loosing its flavor. You can also add the loose leaves to recipes or even create a green tea leaf salad once you’ve finished preparing tea from them. Higher quality at a lower price is certainly a compelling reason to choose loose leaf tea over tea bags.
With the apparent benefits of loose leaf tea, why do people continue to use tea bags? The answer appears to be convenience. In reality, there are so many inexpensive devices available these days to help you prepare loose leaf tea quickly, that convenience is no longer an advantage. These include brewing baskets that fit neatly into a cup or pot, making preparation of loose leaf time simple and time expedient. An internet search for these time saving devices will show you the many options available.
If you’re interesting in experiencing the benefits of loose leaf tea, where can the tea leaves be purchased? Health food markets and oriental food stores are two places that generally carry loose leaf teas, although more mainstream supermarkets are starting to pick up on this trend. If you can’t find the leaves locally, there are a variety of internet sites where they can be ordered. Why not put your tea bags away and give loose leaf tea a try?