Quick Recipes and Easy

Loose Tea

Delight in your cup of tea-Excellent if it is packed but better if it is loose!

For most people, drinking tea is mainly an enjoyable activity; one that they indulge in for recreation and for taste. And for this reason, they never bother to differentiate between the different kinds of tea, unless it is for taste. Very few people, therefore, will differentiate between loose tea and bagged tea for health benefits. But if you are one of those who start their day with a cup of tea made out of a tea bag instead of loose tea, you are depriving yourself of tea that is surely superior to the tea you are drinking every morning. And when I mean ‘superior’ tea, I refer to taste as well.

Before I draw out clear comparisons between loose tea and bagged tea, I want to clarify that when I mention ‘bagged tea’, I do not include the bagged teas that are made up of whole tea leaves. Instead, I refer mainly to the generic tea bags. The obvious health benefits of tea are well known to all. We all know that tea contains oils and chemicals that are responsible for the various health benefits of tea and also for its unique flavor. These oils and chemicals are contained in the leaves of tea. If the leaves are broken down into smaller pieces, for putting in tea bags, the composition of these oils and chemicals is altered thereby affecting both the nutritive value and the flavor of tea.

Drink it loose!
Tea bags contain fannings, that are tiny pieces of tea leaves. On the other hand, loose tea is made up of whole leaves of tea. As clarified above, this makes loose tea superior to bagged tea both in nutrition and in taste. The tea leaves are so tightly packed in a tea bag that air circulation inside the bag is severely compromised. This hampers the swelling and expansion of the tea leaves, which is essential for drawing out their taste and flavor. On the other hand, ‘loose’ tea is packed ‘loosely’ in containers. Another advantage that loose tea enjoys over bagged teas is that it gives the consumers the choice to have strong or weak tea by individual measurement.
Many people might argue that they prefer bagged teas for the wide variety of flavors that are available in bagged teas. This is a case of sheer ignorance. All varieties of tea, in fact more than those available in bagged tea, are available as loose tea. There are much superior qualities of tea that are available in loose teas than bagged teas. Very few varieties of teabags really contain superior tea. This is not to say that all loose tea is of superior quality but in terms of comparison, loose tea surely has a wider variety of superior quality tea.

In terms of cost too, loose tea is a lower priced product than bagged teas. At the same price, you will be able to drink a cup of much superior tea made out of loose tea than one made out of bagged tea. And for a similar quality of the tea, bagged tea is much more expensive than loose tea.

To be honest to bagged teas, the only point that can go in its favor is the fact that bagged teas are more convenient to choose, for that is what is widely proclaimed by teabag enthusiasts. Even if you agree to that, you would not sacrifice flavor, quality, taste and so much more for convenience alone. Would you?

Rashmi kalia, Lecturer in English literature and a freelance writer

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