Loose Tea Leaf
In General explanation, “Loose Tea Leaf is the tea that does not comes pre-packed in teabags”. However, there’s much more depth in the processing, quality, and benefits of Loose Tea Leaf.
The tea culture is vividly spread all around globally, and every corner of the world prefers different type of tea, brewing techniques and flavours. Some countries have milk as a common addition to tea, whereas some countries even add Jam to their tea. However, what commonly goes around in the maximum of places is the Loose tea Leaf.
Are Loose Tea Leaf Safe?
Loose Tea Leaf is as safe as tea bags (if not more). Tea leaves once brewed are strained and usually not left for human consumption. Even though if left, it is safe for humans to swallow tea leaves. However, the only concern is keeping the loose tea leaves safe from dust, dirt, or getting mixed up with other particles in general.
Are Loose Tea Leaf better than Tea Bags?
Yes, Loose Tea Leaf is definitely better than Tea Bags in terms of quality. Loose Tea leaf is generally the “Whole tea leaf” that is unbroken before drying or processing. Whole and unbroken tea leaves definitely have more essential oils stored that are further responsible for the taste and aroma you get in your cup of tea. Even during processing and packing, the Loose tea leaves are less broken or crushed than those filled in the tea bags resulting in locking the essential oils and flavours well.
Loose Tea Leaf- Brewing techniques
Loose tea leaves are generally brewed in a cup, pan or a big vessel. Unlike tea bags, they have room to expand and absorb more water. Even if brewed through a tea infuser, loose leaves freely allow the water to flow and extract more flavour and aroma, unlike in the tea bags where the infusion is limited.
While brewing loose tea leaves in a pan or big vessels, the tea leaves circulate freely throughout the surface of boiling water, swells to their maximum and infuse all the flavours packed within.
Loose tea Leaf- Specifications
Even though if the same quality of tea is used for processing loose leaf and pre-packed tea bags, the specification highly differ.
- Loose Tea leaves are either whole leaves, partially cut leaves, or buds.
- They are full or subtle in flavour and have a longer brewing time.
- Longer the leaves, more the chances of re-stepping or re-brewing the same leaves twice.
- They are more flavorful and aromatic.
- They are high in quality, unlike tea bags which are mostly the shredded and crumbled residue of the whole and partially cut leaves.
- They are available in a wide variety.
- One can blend flavours and customize the taste as per personal preference.
- Loose tea gives the privilege to decide the quantity and increase/decrease the flavour as per taste.
Loose Tea leaf- Brewing process, Convenience, and environmental impact
The only downside of choosing loose tea leaf over tea bags is the brewing process and little inconvenience it causes. Brewing loose tea leaves require an extra infuser or teapot which you would have to clean later on. Similarly, it takes a bit longer time, and the soggy tea leaves can get messy for a few people. However, brewing loose tea leaves is not a big chore and would require 3 to 5 extra minutes.
On the environmental front, loose tea leaves are more mindful and produce less trass than tea bags. Even though today when companies are producing fully biodegradable or recyclable tea bags, there’s still a small portion of plastic in many tea bags that will go in your cup and further deposit for years into the soil without getting decomposed.
Whereas the loose tea leaves come in bigger quantity, thus requires less packaging than the other way. Moreover, used tea leaves go well as garden compost and soil amendments; therefore, it has a comparatively better impact on the environment any day.
Even though loose tea leaves take longer to brew or can be messier, they are still a healthier and quality choice over any other forms. For acquiring the best taste, make sure the vessel/pot you are using is providing enough space to expand and circulate freely.