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Loose Leaf Tea vs. Tea Bags

How Loose Leaf Tea Compare to Tea in Tea Bags

Most tea merchants and connoisseurs distinguish loose leaf varieties (also referred to as "bulk" or "whole leaf" tea) and tea packaged in bags in these four ways:

  1. Most of the tea that goes into bags in not high quality. Tea bags usually contain broken grades so infusion takes place quickly.

  2. Whole leaf teas come in a greater number of varieties than bagged tea and some higher quality teas are only found in loose offerings.

  3. Bags are semi-nonbiodegradable additions to biodegradable tea leaves with implications for the environment.

  4. Generally speaking, tea bags offer greater convenience although e-commerce now offers loose leaf drinkers the convenience of online ordering and home delivery.

Are Whole Leaf Teas More Expensive Than Tea Bags?

Many advocates of bagged tea believe that bulk tea costs more than tea in bags. Actually, most good tea is not very expensive and can be very cost effective.

When you buy tea in bags, most of what you pay for is the process of putting the teas in the bags, and the brand name advertising. High quality tea is generally sold loose, and the price per cup is often lower than for commercial bagged tea.

Some truly fine teas retail in the United States retail for less than US$20 per pound, which means less than 10 cents per cup. When one considers that most loose leaf teas support multiple tea infusions the prices drop dramatically.

Fine loose leaf varieties (i.e. green, white, black, oolong, and flavored blends) are typically not available in supermarkets; yet a quality online retailer will offer consumers a wide selection, fast order processing, and the convenience of home delivery.

According to tea expert Jon M. Stout, chairman of Golden Moon Tea, a high quality loose leaf supplier, the rise in U.S. consumption represents more than the evolution of a new beverage segment, but rather the birth of a loyal tea-consuming community, thriving on a complex fusion of diverse global cultures and flavor preferences.


Health Benefits

Health-conscious consumers are exploring loose leaf tea culture through brewed tea beverages, tea-based skincare products and neighborhood cafe's offering exotic teas. Tea consumption from brewed bulk tea has is proven to have greater health benefits than lower-quality bagged tea.

This ever-growing consumer interest in tea is being driven by scientific findings linking tea consumption and improved health and a seemingly endless wave of favorable media coverage.

Novel flavors, online tea shops, and convenient packaging may be attracting more tea drinkers, but news of the health promoting benefits afforded by regular tea consumption is the number one market driver.

Related Articles

Tea Health Benefits
Tea Resources
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Herbal Tea Remedies
Brewing Loose Leaf Tea


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