The most important thing to keep in mind when buying tea is that loose tea is always better than pre-bagged. The leaves used in tea bags are usually dust & fannings. There are various types and sizes of tea bags available these days in the market but most tea bags constrain the tea leaves from expanding which results in loss of flavour and aroma.
In our fast paced world, tea bags are convenient as they are quicker and faster to brew. So the question really is, are you ready to compromise quality for convenience?
Here are some of the disadvantages of teabags:
Tea bags are made with a variety of plastics; some are nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene.
The new variety of paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Epichlorohydrin is known to cause cancer in animals, suppress the immune system and infertility.
Tea bags often contain only dust & fannings. The tea when cut and sliced to fill tea bags loses its nutrients, aroma, essential oils and flavour. While making the tea tags, the tea is exposed to moisture and oxygen resulting in loss of quality.
On the other hand, loose leaf tea is rich in flavour and superior in quality. The amazing flavour, taste and aroma found in loose leaf tea is because the natural compounds such as the different essential oils, antioxidants and polyphenols are retained in the tea leaves.
The low quality leaves go through the process of CTC (crush, tear & curl). The leaves are first crushed in a machine that forces most of the sap out. Then the leaves are torn and curled and made into balls. Which is then dehydrated. This mechanised process helps in using large amounts of tea leaves which would otherwise go to waste.
In contrast, tea leaves are picked by experienced pickers and therefore helps in retaining flavour and nutrients.
According to a 1996 American study conducted by Hicks, “extraction of caffeine was higher from the tea bags than the loose leaves”. This is because tea bags contain tea that has been broken into pieces causing caffeine to diffuse out quickly.
But this high caffeine extraction, together with nutrients loss in tea bags result in a bitter tea. While loose tea leaves have more theanine content, which is known to promote calmness and aid concentration.
Tea bags can be expensive due to the packaging and bagging process. A premium quality tea can be infused 3 times, making it very economical to drink.
The Tea Shelf sources its teas directly from the tea estates and we take immense care to ensure that the teas that are sourced by us are stored in the most ideal conditions, since tea is extremely susceptible to its surrounding conditions. Our aim has only been to provide you with the finest, most premium, loose leaf, Indian teas online.