Tea bags are ready to use, quick and “clean”, whereas preparing a cup of tea with loose tea might seem apparently complicated. But the differences are very noticeable.
Crumbled leaf and whole leaf
By using “tea bags” it is possible to notice a considerable difference in quality (meant as care in the choice of the leaf) compared to loose leaf tea, a difference which is not possible to control because tea, once crumbled, does not give any more information about its characteristics.
The powder of leaves in sachets allows a faster extraction (with the western method) because the surface exposed to water is greater, but, besides this fact, because of the “breaking” of tea leaves, compounds with bitter, astringent and tannic taste typical of tea are extracted faster and in an uncontrolled way.
The right infusion method
Teas have substances that release bitter flavors, this is indisputable. For this reason, we focus on finding the right infusion method for every kind of tea in order to obtain the most intrinsic flavors and the ones we consider most interesting, at a tasting level, as well as containing (if not avoiding) the presence of these more bitter and astringent notes.
Part of the appreciation that comes from our tasting experience, lies in the fact of being able to understand the product and its qualities. When we approach a wine, for example, we would appreciate and understand it more if the beverage we are tasting would be explained to us as well as how it was produced, the place of origin, the type of grape, and so on.
The same is true for tea: from its leaves we can already have some important information that can “guide” our tasting experience, something that cannot happen by using a tea bag.
Often, at a visual level, it is noticed that the infusion of a tea bag produces a beverage with a somewhat cloudy color; this is mainly due to the powder which is mixed with the tea during processing (for example during the collection from the factory floor of the loose leaf tea processing waste). Differently, through the infusion of loose leaf tea, the beverage that is obtained is transparent.
Lastly, it can happen that the bag containing the tea, which is declared tasteless, can instead transfer to the beverage some tastes which interfere with the pure taste and characteristics of tea.
To learn more about this topic also read the article “Chatting with Tea #4: Loose Tea or Tea in a Bag?” and watch the video in which tea expert Marco from @enterteaner and Camilla from Tea Soul answer this question!
Being able to make a great loose tea even in “single serving”.
Here are our mugs with built-in filters: