Loose Tea or Tea Bags - Which is Better

cup-of-tea
A Cup of Tea. Getty

Question: Loose Tea or Tea Bags - Which is Better

Loose tea or tea bags which is the best for making a cup of tea? Purists will say always loose tea ....why you may ask.

Answer:

  1. The main difference between loose tea and tea bags is important. Loose tea is the dried, large loose tea leaves, usually stored in a tea caddy or canister as opposed to portion sized bags containing loose tea.

  2. The size of the leaf in loose tea is also generally larger than the loose tea leaf in a tea bag. The loose tea in a generic supermarket brand tea bag is generally smaller or broken leaves and in very cheap tea bags practically a powder. When loose tea leaves become broken or crushed the essential oils in the leaf, which give the flavor to tea, are destroyed.

  1. When making a cup of tea using loose tea, the loose tea can circulate through the boiling water and swell. This swelling means the maximum flavor and color can be extracted from the loose tea. A good quality tea bag though will be capacious and thus the loose tea will have a certain amount of movement, so if you want to use bags always buy the best quality you can for a better cup of tea.

  2. There are, however, some advantages to tea bags. The main advantage of a tea bag vs loose tea is convenience. Tea bags create no mess or soggy, left over loose tea leaves, so it's quick and easy to clean the tea pot.