Nowadays tea is not just a refreshing beverage but it's a health drink. But whether to have a cup of tea made from loose tea leaves or tea bags is the question. Which one is a healthier option? We need to know both originate from the same plant; Camellia sinensis, but the manufacturing process differs. Let's understand this further.
The quality of tea used in tea bags is called fanning or dust. Fanning or dust consists of smaller pieces of tea leaves that are left over after processing and grading of larger leaves. This process causes the tea leaves to break down quickly due to its contact with moisture and oxygen. They lose their essential oil and aroma which contribute majorly to the overall experience and flavor of the tea. On the other hand, loose leaf tea consists of high quality larger tea leaves or whole leaves which are carefully hand-picked and hand-sorted. They retain their flavor, aroma and nutritional properties.
Loose Tea leaf keeps its antioxidant properties intact which further helps in protecting you against heart diseases, aids in weight loss, improves immunity and provides numerous other health benefits. Therefore, a cup of loose leaf tea is a healthier option than a tea bag.
Tea bags restrict the leaves' ability to expand when it is steeped. When leaves don't expand, they will not have the same taste and aroma of whole leaf tea. Sometimes, tea bags contain a mixed blend of teas, and therefore, they don't have that unique flavor of a pure premium tea. Loose leaf teas are handpicked and crafted by tea connoisseurs. Loose leaf teas have a larger surface area which releases more flavor and aroma to the tea.
The tea used in tea bags is processed and packed by machines. They are produced in high volume and stored at a warehouse for longer periods. Hence, the quality and freshness of the tea is lost. They also release more tannins, which gives a bitter taste to the tea. On the contrary, loose leaf tea is produced seasonally in smaller quantities since it requires a meticulous method of handpicking and sorting of tea. Loose leaf tea can easily be stored in an airtight container to retain its flavor and freshness. The type of material used to make tea bags may lead to developing some off-flavors to your brewed cup of tea over a while.
Loose leaf tea can be steeped multiple times whereas in tea bags; the flavor is extracted after just one steeping. It cannot be reused.
To enjoy the health benefits, aroma and flavor of any premium tea to its maximum potential, we recommend loose leaf tea over tea bags.