We’re here to spill the tea about health benefits as we compare traditional tea bags vs. loose leaf tea. It’s an age-old battle, and one that’s been brewing for some time. Proponents of both sides herald the effects of tea and each camp has made some strong arguments to support either choice. However, for us, loose leaf tea seems to edge out the more contemporary tea bags for a number of reasons. Along with loose leaf tea boasting a greater nuance of flavor and pleasant aromatics, it’s also much fresher than its counterpart.
Below, we’ll get into some of the specifics you should know about loose leaf tea and the many benefits it can provide you.
The Benefits of Loose Leaf Tea
From green to herbal or black to blooming tea, the benefits of loose leaf tea are abundant. Loose leaf tea promotes improved physical and mental health, along with greater depths of aroma and flavor. Celebrated for its medicinal qualities, loose leaf tea’s perks include:
- High antioxidants - While many loose leaf teas have lots of antioxidants, green teas, white teas, jasmine tea, and rooibos are standouts!
- Anti-inflammatory properties - Tea lovers rightfully spotlight turmeric teas and ginger teas for their anti-inflammatory magic.
- Improved digestion - In addition to turmeric and ginger tea, peppermint and chamomile teas have been used to soothe stomachs for centuries.
- Boosted metabolism - Many diet teas exist on the market that use processed, chemical ingredients. Why not opt for a natural option? Green, oolong, and goji teas are all fantastic, along with Yerba Mate, a favorite of Argentinians.
- Aided restfulness and better sleep - Loose leaf remedies are known to calm both mind and body. Chamomile and lavender teas are standouts.
Researchers continue digging deeper into the health benefits of loose leaf teas. Current studies suggest that tea may help lower cholesterol, reduce the chance of heart disease, and may even protect the body from certain cancers.
Why Is Loose Leaf Tea Better Than Tea Bags?
Primary reasons include leaf quality, taste differences, production details, and differences in steeping:
Tea bag producers use broken tea leaves and leftover powder or dust to make most traditional, commercially produced tea bags. This tea is lower grade than its counterpart. Loose leaf tea, by comparison, is commonly made from whole, dried leaves or flowers. This directly impacts differences in freshness and taste.
The tiny, broken leaves in tea bags, often called “dust and fannings,” lose most of their original aroma and essential oil content. When brewed, they release bitter tannins, which can taste overly sharp or even stale.
Loose leaf teas are made of dried whole or predominantly intact tea leaves or flowers. Because they were never crushed, their essential oils remain in the leaf and do not seep out. Additionally, the whole leaves have more surface area, allowing essential oils to diffuse out of the leaf and into the water. This means that you will be able to brew a more aromatic, balanced, and delicious tea.
Freshness is often not guaranteed when brewing steeping tea bags. Often, the content in tea bags is lower quality to begin with and is subject to consistent standardization. Because loose leaf tea is often high-quality, producers focus on specialization, quality freshness, and celebrating regional tea production worldwide each year.
Traditional tea bags can restrict the expansion of tea leaves, which is an essential process to infuse tea with its most developed flavor. The dust and fannings do not have room to expand properly to make quality tea. When brewing loose leaf tea, the larger leaves can expand and grow, releasing their full flavor profile and aromatic potential.
The Tea Time Shop
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