It is the strong opinion of millions of tea drinkers worldwide that tea drinking ought to be an occasion worth enjoying. At its best, tea creates moments of elevated experience. We drink it socially, to calm us, and most of all, to enjoy. We create rituals and habits around our tea drinking. These elevated moments call for the best tea and steeping methods available. Not the blandest.
Totally Loose Leaf is committed to the highest quality and enjoyment of tea. Loose leaf offers much to covet as we’ll soon see.
How We Got Here
As with all things that have been enjoyed for millennia, tea has become commercialized and with that the product has suffered. The convenience of consumerism and race-to-the-bottom pricing strategies have created a landscape where the quality and integrity of tea is diminished. The end result is generic, poor-tasting tea that creeps into most consumer brands.
Tea has always been a valuable import/export and was one of the earliest commodities to be shipped around the globe (even before people realized the earth was a globe). Merchants devised ways of safely transporting things like sugar, grains, and tea. This enabled things to be transported thousands of miles and still be good at point of sale.
At some juncture, merchants found it expedient to bag individual portions of tea. Partly for the safe-keeping of exports but also partly as a selling point of convenience. This was an excellent evolution in technology for the time but as growing, harvesting, processing, and shipping methods/technology have exploded in sophistication over the last 100 years, why is bagged tea still the norm?
Quickly, to be fair, tea bag technology has improved over the last decades. Different materials have been used which allow better extraction of tea and its oils. You might have noticed more varieties of shape in teabags.
But even with these improvements teabags hinder quality and ritual.
Why Choose Loose Leaf Tea over Teabags?
Loose leaf tea offers superior wellness, taste, and environmentally conscionable alternative to tea bags.
Preservatives and Filler - Low-Quality Taste, High Chemical Usage
We all know the health benefits of drinking tea in general but the benefits are even greater with loose leaf. Loose leaf tea in particular is a healthier option because it tends to be less processed. Bagged tea commonly is processed with synthetic or artificial flavourings. This is because most bagged tea is:
- lower quality tea (if even tea at all)
- minimal tastefulness and aroma
- not permitted to steep fully because of small bag size
In addition to artificial flavours making up for a lack of genuine taste and aroma, teabags often come with more preservatives. If individually bagged tea was introduced as a preservation technique it only makes sense that more preservation methods would be applied as they come to market. Mass produced tea is commonly mixed with preservatives to increase shelf-life (not taste).
On the other hand, Loose Leaf Tea is a premium experience. Many loose leaf producers (but not all!) deliver a much better tea that you can taste and smell. Loose leaf often have less preservatives and synthetic/artificial flavourings. The result is something you are proud to steep for you friends.
With less artificial flavouring also comes less filler material. Filler is other plants, roots, spices, and the like that are used to create aroma and flavour when the tea is not good enough quality to do that itself. Filler drives down the cost for producers and passes to you a lesser quality tea.
Environmental Concerns with Bagged Tea
Teabags are purely a convenience. The tea bags themselves are a huge waste of resources. The paper and plastics that are used in teabags are purely single-use and disposable. Compare that with steeping loose leaf where there is no single-use filter, you can obviously see the unnecessary toll teabags create on the environment. Not only can tea be steeped without them, it is better that way!
And the costs to create the bags, fill them, and seal them is passed to you. Loose leaf comes in bulk packaging. You’re not paying for the manufacturing of individually wrapped tea servings. And the quality is much higher because what cost savings from teabags are transferred to quality of tea used.
How to Steep Loose Leaf Tea with a Reusable Infuser
A loose leaf tea infuser is a device that is used to steep loose leaf tea. It can be made of metal, glass or a safe plastic.
The infuser can be placed in the cup, mug or pot and after loose leaf tea leaves are placed inside it. The infuser is usually perforated with small holes so that the leaves will not clog up the infuser. Hot water is able to freely pass through the infuser allowing for an optimal steep. The tea leaves also have enough space to expand as they are rehydrated. The extra room allows the expanded tea leaves to be exposed to the hot water for greater steeping.
How to Steep with an Infuser
Steeping loose leaf tea is a very simple process that can be done in three easy steps. Honestly, it is just as easy as steeping with a teabag but the benefits are enormous.
- Place the tea leaves into the infuser and then place it inside your cup or teapot. (Follow the instructions for how much tea to use)
- Fill your cup with hot water until it reaches the top of the infuser. (Instructions will tell you how much water and what temperature for that specific tea)
- Let it steep for 4-6 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea to be, and then enjoy!
Loose and Whole Leaf are Superior
As you’ve learned, steeping loose leaf is incredibly easy. The ease of use is incredible when compared to the quality of tea you are likely able to make for yourself.
Teabags are environmentally problematic, lower quality, and filled with preservatives and flavourings that you don’t want to taste, no less put in our body.
Loose leaf offers great flexibility, lets you buy in bulk (responsibly), and lets you control the way you make and enjoy your tea. Totally Loose Leaf is here to provide you with the best quality tea on the market.
Get back to the roots and rituals of making loose leaf.