The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Teabags

Paper tea bags (© www.dreamstime.com)I remember myself discussing about teabags with one flatmate few years ago. It was a long discussion because I was a fan of loose tea while he was on the side of using teabags. One must admit that teabags is one of those little inventions that make a big difference in our lives. Nonetheless, there are people who choose bagged tea and there are those who buy loose tea. So which one is better and why?

No doubt teabags are by far more convenient and easy to use. All supermarkets sell a variety of bagged tea and there are a couple of strong brands in the industry like Twinings or Lipton. A nice mango flavored green tea in a ready to use bag, could it be any better?

Actually, it could if you ask me. No need to say that loose leaf tea comes in many types, flavors and combinations. But more importantly, it contains whole leaves that keep the original taste and essential oils compared to bagged tea which is broken leaves or simply dust from tea leaves. Another interesting fact that we are not aware of is the space necessary for the leaves to expand in water for the maximum result. Teabags have limited bag space for tea leaves to grow meaning that we cannot get the most out of it. Finally, ask yourself if you prefer getting a fresh product or rather an easy to use option which lies around on the supermarket shelves for months.

Of course, making loose leaf tea takes a few extra steps, like buying a tea filter, measuring the amount of tea, longer brewing time and cleaning up afterwards. Also, buying loose tea can be a bit more complicated as you might need to look for a specialized teashop. But in the end you are rewarded with a cup of good high quality tea!

More recently one research has revealed that nice looking silky tea bags could be toxic. It is possible that some chemicals leach out at the boiling temperature of water. Yet more research needs to be done but it’s a sign to stay alert.

If you’re curious, here is some more on the topic:

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