Whats Best? Premium Loose Leaf Tea or Tea Bag?

In the world of tea, there are two major forms, premium loose leaf tea or tea bag.

For many, premium loose leaf tea may be foreign and the only way someone who knows tea is from a tea bag since that is the only sort of tea being sold in todays supermarkets.

The choice of whether you want loose leaf tea or tea bag depends on your preference. If you’ve been using tea bags for so long now, and want to change up your tea-drinking game, then you might be thinking of trying loose leaf tea. If you’ve been using loose leaf tea for quite some time now, then you must be here because you want to feel at ease with your option and know more about loose leaf tea.

In this article we will be covering:

1) Why did the industry go the way of the tea bag?

2) Does having tea in a tea bag change its properties? Am I getting the full nutrients of the tea?

3) Why is their currently a resurgence of loose leaf tea?

4) What is best, Premium Loose Leaf Tea or Tea Bag?

This article will go into depth about each area.

Loose Leaf Tea or Teabag 

Why did the industry go the way of the tea bag?

For many years, the tea bag industry adapted tea to the tea bag from loose leaf tea. By filling tea bags with smaller particles of tea (rather than whole leaves), producers in that time noticed the surface area and infusion rate of the tea were increased. This created a more flavorful, though not particularly nuanced, brew.

Through the convenience of a tea bag, popularity and demand for tea bags grew. Tea merchants and producers looked for ways to cut costs and increase production.

It became cheaper for tea merchants to move to machine driven methods of tea production to keep up with tea bag demand. Tea producers typically sourced lower quality tea and shredded the leaves to fit into small tea bags that could be machine produced

By utilizing machine driven picking it became cheap, easy and good enough for your average “milk and sugar” tea drinker, so it was successful.

However, as the tea bag industry moved to tea bags it came at a great sacrifice of quality and more focus on standardization. 

Which is in direct conflict with how loose leaf tea is hand-picked and more focus is put on variety.

So in exchange for mass production and convenience while losing quality, the tea bag became popular. And why today customers are shifting and learning about quality loose leaf tea. 

Since today, loose leaf tea provides you with more flavor, aroma, antioxidants, and pleasure than the tiny leaf bits and stale tea dust in most mass-produced tea bags.

Does having tea in a tea bag change its properties? Am I getting the full nutrients of the tea?

While Loose Leaf Tea is primarily made up of whole, unbroken leaves. Teabags are usually made from the opposite.

In most cases, tea in tea bags are the dust and fannings from loose leaf tea. One positive, is that the dust and fannings are smaller pieces of tea, so they have a larger surface area than whole leaves which can give more area for the tea to steep. However this comes at a cost.

A larger surface area means more opportunities for the essential oils to evaporate, which give the tea its flavor and aroma, leaving the tea dull and stale.

Freshness can also be a major issue with typical tea bags for this reason, especially if they are packed in a paper box with paper wrapping. This can also lead to a negative environmental impact since most tea bags are not biodegradable. While at Mahalo Tea, we use a  food-grade 100% recyclable resealable pouch designed to keep tea fresh as well as recycle our product.

So if you want the full nutrients and flavor do your self a favor and consider drinking loose leaf tea.

Why is their currently a resurgence of loose leaf tea?

Today, customers are just now getting back into quality tea. This is being driven by experts and tea enthusiasts all over the world who swear by loose leaf tea. 

People are beginning to notice that by brewing tea in its loose leaf form allows the hot water to infuse every inch of a high-quality, whole leaf tea, producing the freshest, fullest flavor possible.

This much more enhanced and larger range of flavors and aromas available from loose-leaf tea appeals to foodies who enjoy the breadth and depth of tea than from standardized blends of tea bags.

Tea enthusiasts know brewing loose leaf tea allows for more vitamins and minerals to be extracted. This lets the tea achieve its full health potential especially its antioxidants. Antioxidants in tea help the body fight free radicals that cause illnesses.

What is best, Premium Loose Leaf Tea or Tea Bag?

In terms of flavor, quality, nutrients, and environmental impact loose leaf tea is a winner compared to tea bag. While tea bags provide convenience it does so by using just the clippings of the tea resulting in a lower quality beverage.

Especially when steeped, tea bags release more tannins than loose leaf tea, resulting in bitter astringent brews compared to loose leaf tea.

This is because tea leaves need room to expand for full-bodied flavor. So often times tea bags can often not get their full steep. Standard tea bag material is often low-flow, preventing the brew from diffusing beyond the inside of the bag. Ever notice the dunking, swirling, and squeezing required to brew traditional bags? Paper tea bags collapse onto the leaves, preventing their natural unfurling. Sometimes you can even taste the paper material in your brew, adding insult to injury.

Bottom line - loose leaf teas provide you with more flavor, aroma, antioxidants, and pleasure than the tiny leaf bits and stale tea dust in most mass-produced tea bags. Typical tea bags are produced on an industrial scale and may sit in a warehouse or on a shelf for a long time before you ever get them. These low-grade leaves are usually picked, processed, and packaged by machines overseas. In contrast, our premium teas are carefully hand-selected and crafted by tea masters. We then micro-blend and pack them in the USA in our food-grade resealable bulk pouch specifically designed to keep tea fresh for over 12 months.


We do this so you never have to compromise quality for convenience again! You will find only the finest quality full loose leaf teas at Mahalo Tea - because life is too short for marginal tea. If you have any questions on where our teas come from, let's chat! customerservice@mahalotea.com


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