Time for a Cup of Tea? Should You Use Tea Bags or Loose Tea?

Time for a Cup of Tea? Should You Use Tea Bags or Loose Tea?
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Are you a tea drinker already or are you new to the world of flavorful teas? Either way, do you know whether it really makes a difference whether you use loose teas or bagged tea? Find out for yourself once and for all.

Time for a Cup of Tea? Should You Use Tea Bags or Loose Tea?
If you are a tea lover, almost nothing compares to a warm, flavorful cup of this richly brewed liquid. If you are new to the wonderful world of tea, should you use tea bags or loose tea when you decide to enjoy a cup? While the decision to use tea bags over loose tea or vice versa is a
personal one, there are a few differences that might guide your decision in one direction over another.

Loose Versus Bag: Simplicity of Use
One of the primary differences between loose tea and bagged tea is the simplicity of use that one has when using tea bags. When using tea bags to brew your tea, all you need is the tea bag, some hot water, and a cup to put it in. If you decide to use loose tea then you must also obtain a variety of devices that can be used with loose tea. They include tea balls, cloth tea bags, bowl strainers, teapot filters, bamboo infusers, and French presses. Each of these items can be purchased in a variety of stores. Which type of device you use is a personal decision as they perform the same task- that of keeping the loose tea out of your cup. If you prefer, you can also place the loose tea leaves directly into your teacup.

Loose Versus Bag: Quality
In general, loose tea offers better quality than bagged tea. Loose tea typically consists of full-size, unbroken tea leaves that provide full flavor when brewed. Teabags are typically made using the lowest forms of tea- fannings, and dust. These are the leftover bits of tea leaves that remain after tea leaves are processed. Broken tea leaves such as these can lose part of their flavor since their rich oils often evaporate. Unfortunately, as the oils evaporate, the flavor of the tea weakens leading to a less than flavorful cup of tea. Although tea bags are typically made using tea dust and fannings, it is sometimes possible to find tea bags that have been made using whole tea leaves. This type of tea bag can provide the same rich flavor offered by unbagged tea leaves.

Loose Versus Bag: Tea Cups and Mugs
Modern tea drinkers are not restricted to small, dainty teacups when they decide to indulge in a warm, flavorful cup of tea. Today, tea is served in all types of drinking receptacles including teacups, mugs, glasses, and thermoses. Does this actually make a difference? Yes, the size of the receptacle that you are going to drink your tea from matters if you want to make a good cup of tea worth drinking. This would be approximately 8 ounces. If you intend to use anything larger than a regular teacup, you are going to need more than one teabag. On the other hand, loose tea can be measured per the directions on the package to make any size cup of tea that you prefer.

Loose Versus Bag: Flavor 

Using loose teas to brew your cup of tea helps to bring out the full flavor of the tea. Water should circulate around your tea leaves to encourage the flavor to come through. This is a bit difficult to do when using tea bags since they are compacted and rarely contain full-size tea leaves. Loose tea, however, can be placed directly in the teacup allowing the water to flow freely.

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