The next time you reach for a box of tea bags in your local grocery store, stop! Here at UEndure, we far prefer loose tea for its magnificent aroma and it's sumptuous flavor.
The teabag was originally invented by New Yorker, Thomas Sullivan in the early 1900’s. They quickly increased in popularity because they were fast and easy to use. Thomas Lipton soon caught wind, and since that time the tea bag has been growing strong for over 125 years.
Most tea bags contain the dust and sediment left over from the loose tea manufacturing process. When the full tea leaves are packaged, the remaining pieces are placed into a tea bag and sold to the consumer as a quick and convenient way to enjoy tea. Most Americans, have grown accustomed to the flavor of tea bags because they’ve never had a reason to switch to loose leaf tea.
As the popularity has increased, the quality of the tea bag has increased as well. Some companies are now using whole leaf tea leaves instead of the dust and residue used by many others.
Loose Leaf Tea
Loose leaf tea on the other hand is made from the entire tea leaf picked directly off the camellia sinensis plant. The leaf is oxidized and processed and delivered to the consumer in full form. When steeped in hot water, the leaf is allowed to expand and release its full natural flavor.
Loose leaf tea has been around for over 3,000 years. It goes back in time with the original Chinese dynasties and was known as their drink of choice. They picked the leaves off the shrubs and boiled them in water.
In almost every Asian culture today, the tradition hasn’t changed. They understand the process of allowing tea leaves to fully expand and steep to perfection. Unlike America and other Western cultures, they don’t believe in sacrificing quality over convenience. Tea is something to be savored and enjoyed, not rushed which is why the art of tea-making will always be in the quality of leaves and the steeping process.
You Get What You Pay For
Loose leaf tea is known to be more expensive than tea bags and it very well should.
The quality of the tea is far better and the leaves can be reused as well. Surprised? Don’t be. The Chinese have been doing it for thousands of years. They know that if you use good quality loose leaf tea you can infuse them two, three and sometimes even four times, and every pot releases a new and different flavor. The Chinese recommend the second or third brew as the best one to drink.
Every type of loose tea requires different steeping times and temperatures. Be sure to follow instructions or do the research on the type of loose tea you are drinking.
Never leave the tea leaves steeping for too long a period of time, or you can burn the leaves and create a horrible bitter flavor. If you strain the leaves well, it won’t taint the flavor of the second or third cups. Always start off with a smaller amount of tea leaves and add more to increase the strength and flavor
If you haven’t tried loose tea, you’re missing out. Enjoying a cup of natural tea is an amazing experience that you won’t forget.
Try loose leaf tea – your taste buds will thank you!