Enjoying a hot beverage on a cold day is one of the simplest pleasures in life. If you are not a serious coffee lover, then tea may be your drink of choice. Not only does tea make you feel warm and fuzzy, but it is also a good way to start your day.
Regarded for centuries in the East as a key to good mental and physical health, tea is more than just a comforting, hot beverage. But do you always get the most out of your brew? The quality of your tea is significantly affected by how it is grown, processed, stored and brewed.
There are many different types of teas, each with a distinct flavor and characteristics. But the main difference when it comes to tea is whether it comes pre-packaged in tea bags and sachets, or as loose leaf tea.
Is there any significant difference in quality between loose leaf tea and tea bags?
Tea bags and loose leaf tea do not contain the same tea grades. The first contains dust and fanning grades of tea, stored in tea bags and sachets, whereas the latter consists of buds, whole leaves or partially cut leaves, usually bought in tea caddies and storage tins.
Tea bags are the most convenient way to make tea. They allow you to brew various tea recipes with ease and create no mess. You just need to steep a tea bag in boiling water, and voila! Your cup of tea is ready to drink. On another note, the exceptional tea experience begins with preparing a loose leaf tea, the nuanced delicious blends that any tea drinker can enjoy, preserving all the complexity and richness of the brew.
Reasons to add loose leaf tea in your wellness routine
It is less processed
Unlike industrially-produced tea bags, a loose leaf tea is hand-blended and packaged using small-batch manufacturing techniques. It is sugar-free and does not contain any artificial flavoring, colors or additives. Being carefully hand-selected and crafted by tea masters, a loose leaf tea is one of the best ways to drink tea in its most natural and whole form, as you can read in this article about tasting flavors with VelvetFoam.
It has better flavor
As mentioned above, the quality of loose leaf tea does not get so compromised because the tea leaves are not finely chopped or crushed. This process preserves the quantity of essential oils found in the leaves. The intact nature of this type of tea contributes to a degree of complexity and subtlety that is usually absent from finely chopped tea leaves. This means that it releases all its refreshing, natural flavors, making the symphony of flavors more vivid.
There’s a wide range of tastes and flavors
From chamomile and white tea to oolong and green tea, there is a wide variety of flavors to choose from. Finding what flavor matches your innermost self might be a long process. But you can create your own blends, experiment with different flavor combinations, and even impress your loved ones with a unique, heavenly concoction.
It is rich in antioxidants
Rich in chemical substances called catechins and polyphenols, loose leaf tea has long been used for medicinal purposes. Catechins and polyphenols are chemical substances known for their potent antioxidant properties.
Found in high concentrations in green tea, these antioxidants have been proven to protect the body from free radicals that damage DNA, prevent obesity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Fresh tea leaves contain the highest concentrations of these antioxidants. Once exposed to the ambient environment, these antioxidants begin to lose their potency. It is a good idea to consume tea as fresh as possible, like high-quality loose leaf tea, for maximum health benefits.
It’s as good as water when it comes to re-hydrating the body
According to researchers at the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tea, particularly black tea, replaces fluids in the body and re-hydrates it just as much as water does. Also, there is an added bonus since tea is a good source of antioxidants.
It’s sustainable and eco-friendly
Last but not least, loose leaf tea is a biodegradable, eco-friendly tea option that can create a healthier world and healthier you. Used tea leaves can be directly composted in your backyard compost heap as they are totally plastic-free and no single-use materials are involved in the brewing process. It will reduce waste and improve the quality of your yard and garden soil.
Loose leaf tea brewing instructions
Though making a cup of tea is one of the easiest tasks in the kitchen, it might be tricky when it comes to loose leaf tea. But, do not get discouraged because every cup of tea will be a great multi-sensory experience for you.
Keep in mind, loose leaf tea preparation is not an exact science! Depending on your mood, slight variations in the quantity of tea and the steeping duration will allow you to find what best suits you. Feel free to experiment with different amounts of tea or steeping duration. You can use infusers, teapots or other tools like French presses or steeping balls to prepare your tea.
How to brew your tea with a teapot
If you use a large teapot for the whole family, you should weigh out 1 tablespoon of loose leaf tea for every 8 ounces of water. Place the tea into the built-in infuser or tea strainer and then bring the water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, remove the strainer.
How to brew your tea with an infuser
Place 1 tablespoon of your tea into your infuser. Place it inside of your cup and then slowly pour the hot water over it filling up your cup. Each loose leaf tea packaging comes with the recommended brewing temperature and time. So, depending on the type of tea you are preparing, heat your water and time your step accordingly.
Feeling a bit creaky in the morning and looking for a way to get your morning buzz on? Then enjoy your first meal of the day with a cup of loose leaf tea! Whether you take it with some lemon juice, honey or just plain, it will delight your taste buds and nourish your body with the nutrients it needs.