Tea drinking is such a huge part of British culture that it features in books, songs and even family shows such as The Tiger Who Came to Tea. People in Britain and across the globe love sitting down with a warm brew. But what’s the difference between loose tea versus tea bags? Let’s take a closer look.
Tea Leaves Vs Tea Dust
If you’ve ever wondered what is inside a tea bag exactly, you’ve come to the right place. A tea bag is filled with tiny tea particles of tea ‘dust.’ These are inexpensive and widely available meaning you can buy boxes packed with tea bags at a low cost. In contrast, loose leaf tea is made with whole leaves of tea rather than just dust. The leaves are of a better quality and brew a mug of tea with a much more refined flavour.
It’s also worth noting that unlike tea bags, loose-leaf tea is not industrially processed. This means it often tastes much fresher and is of a higher quality. Tea bags are produced overseas in huge quantities and can sit on the shelf for a long time before being purchased and consumed.
More Room to Brew
One of the biggest differences between tea bags and tea leaves is the flavour. But this all comes down to the brewing process. Tea dust is packed tightly into each bag. This gives it very little room to expand and release a strong flavour. Tea leaves, however, have plenty of room to expand and can be wonderfully aromatic too. Leaves might take longer to brew, but the results are worth it. You can even watch as the leaves slowly unfurl.
One of the benefits of tea bags is that tea is easy to prepare this way. Simply pop a tea bag into a cup, pour on some hot water and let it steep. You can then add in some sugar, milk, honey or whatever you prefer. Loose leaf tea requires more preparation. But with cups that now include an infuser for tea leaves, even this process is pretty straightforward. Tea fans take great pleasure in choosing their very own infusers and infuser mugs and carefully select the leaves they want to use. Even mint leaves can be placed in infusers for fresh mint tea.
There are hundreds of types of loose tea varieties and picking your favourite can become a bit of a ritual. That said, tea bags also now come in a multitude of different flavours - although it can be more difficult to find certain bagged varieties. While loose tea can be a little more expensive to purchase, a bag of loose tea can make many drinks which significantly reduces the price per cup. Finding a brand that works for your budget is the best way to navigate this.
Some consider loose tea to have better health benefits than bags of tea. This is because leaves tend to be of a higher quality and infuse better helping to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and sooth sore throats.
If you’re looking for a fun thing to do with your loved ones, book your family theatre tickets to see The Tiger Who Came To Tea. This is one of the best family theatre shows suitable for children aged three and above, so don’t miss out.