Loose Leaf Tea vs. Tea Bags
At Teavana we only sell premium, loose leaf tea. Why?
There are a number of reasons, but they all come back to quality. Though loose leaf teas and teas in bags (particularly the commercial supermarket brand tea bags) originate from the same plant, there are a few factors that influence the quality, taste and longevity of the final tea.
High quality loose teas are made from the Camellia sinensis plant’s finest hand-picked buds, whole tea leaves, large pieces of leaves or a combination of these parts. The time of year and growing conditions greatly affect the quality of tea. When all of these factors are taken into account, much like a fine wine, the tea retains its distinctive flavors and characteristics.
In contrast, the tea found in tea bags usually consist of smaller pieces of tea leaves or tea fannings (also referred to as dusts) which may give a quicker brew, but lack the subtlety and full flavor of the larger loose leaf teas. In fact, some loose leaf teas, like Monkey Picked Oolong Tea, can even be re-steeped yielding multiple cups of flavorful and healthy tea. Tea bags can also release more tannins than loose teas giving a harsher flavor to the tea.
For those that like the convenience of a tea bag, Teavana offers the Perfect Paper Tea Filters for use with loose tea leaves. Like a tea bag, the paper tea filter can contain your tea while steeping eliminating the need for an infuser or strainer. These tea filters allow plenty of room for the loose leaf teas to expand as necessary to release their characteristic flavors and aromas into your tea cup. Better yet, you start by filling them with the whole tea leaf for a richer flavor.
Both loose leaf and bagged tea have expiration dates. Generally, tea will lose flavor after six months and become stale after one year if not stored properly. At Teavana, we recommend using tea storage tins for loose leaf teas; these storage options have an air-tight seal that will keep your premium tea fresher longer.
Finally, we really love tea so we’ve made it our goal to bring you the finest and best loose leaf teas. Tea bags often contain mixtures of tea, rather than a pure tea that can be consistently enjoyed every time. Our loose leaf teas are always made with larger tea leaves so you can easily see the quality of your final tea blend. Try one of our loose leaf green teas or other types of loose tea and you may never use a tea bag again! Loose leaf teas also allow you to blend flavors and different types of tea easily. You can find quite a variety of delicious flavors like fruits, flowers and spices in our loose teas available at Teavana stores or online.