Have you ever wondered what the difference is between loose-leaf tea and tea that comes in tea bags? Is it that different? Is one better than the other, or is it just a gimmick? Let’s start by looking at your basic tea bag. You will find pieces of broken leaves and other particles known as dust and fannings. While tea bags may contain pieces of tea leaves, the likelihood of the tea leaf being complete or high quality is low. It’s hard to know for sure. However, there is a better way to enjoy tea, and that is loose-leaf tea. When you brew loose-leaf tea, the content of ingredients in the tea is visible. Some teas are even whole leaves rolled into pearl-like shapes or meticulously hand-rolled. There’s a wide range of teas, from black tea leaves to herbals and tisanes that don’t come from tea leaves. Regardless of where you start, when you buy tea from Hackberry, you can be confident that it’s high-quality premium tea.
Loose-leaf tea may appear to be cumbersome, but it’s pretty simple. Before you decide loose-leaf tea is not for you, take a brief look at how easy it is. It’s effortless, and the quality and flavor are vastly better than prepackaged, store-bought tea bags. Since loose-leaf teas contain large pieces or whole leaves when you steep, they will unfurl. Unfurling is the term used to describe the expansion of leaves when you steep them. Knowing that leaves expand, loose-leaf tea requires brewing equipment that allows for expansion. Individual tea bags should be bigger than traditional store-bought bags. If you notice, when you steep store-bought tea, there isn’t much expansion which means you aren’t getting high-quality leaves. Our T-Sac Filter Bags are perfect for brewing loose-leaf tea because they provide plenty of room for expansion and work very similar to traditional tea bags. Our infusers offer plenty of room for expansion for a single cup of tea. If you’re looking to brew more than one cup, a kettle is right for you. Check out our brewing guides for more details on how to steep different kinds of teas. We carry black, white, green, tisanes, herbals, and fruit teas.
The Benefit of Loose-Leaf Tea
Many loose-leaf teas are great for resteeping and enjoying over and over, but some are optimal. Resteeping is the process of reusing tea for multiple cups. Resteeping helps get all the value you can out of the tea you purchase. Many teas can be successfully resteeped, but those rolled into pearls or hand-rolled like our Yunnan Noir are optimal. Check out our blog on resteeping teas and learn how to use and reuse tea with excellent flavor time after time. The ability to resteep without compromising quality is a feature that separates traditional tea bags from loose leaf tea. Not only do you get more flavor, but you can take advantage of the value resteeping offers.
Different Brewing Methods
The most popular methods for brewing tea are tea bags, infusers, and kettles. Check out our blog on Tools, Times, and Temperatures to learn about some of the brewing equipment we offer and how to use it.
How Do You Switch From Tea Bags to Loose-Leaf Tea?
The easiest way to start is to use individual tea bags, but it’s not difficult to begin with an infuser. Follow brewing instructions for each kind of tea. You can start by getting these tea bags and then scooping your tea into the bag to steep. Once you scoop your tea into the bag, the process is just like you would do for a traditional store-bought teabag. Follow temperature and time instructions for best results and enjoy. You can also try infusers which are also very easy to use.