â€¦..that is the Question
I am not sure Shakespeare would like this adaptation of his famous Hamlet quote, but it perfectly addresses the question of which is the better way to brew the â€˜perfect cup of teaâ€™.
Before I dive into examining the pros and cons of this small bag, Iâ€™d like to give you a little background on how it came to be: While loose leaf tea had been enjoyed all over the world for hundreds, even thousands of years, it was here in America, where a tea merchant by the name of Thomas Sullivan produced small hand-sewn silk bag in order to sent tea samples to his customers. His customer loved the convenience and efficiency of this little bag and ordered more. They rest, as they sayâ€¦is history!
Today, with the renaissance of loose leaf tea in this country, many tea drinkers wonder if it is really worth it to give up the familiarity and convenience of the tea bag to venture out into the lesser known world of loose leaf teas. In order to help you make the case for teabags or loose tea, here is a summary of tea bag pros and cons:
Advantages of the Tea Bag
- the Â Â Â Â quantity of tea is already measuredÂ Â Â Â Â and it is easy to brew just one cup of tea
- steeping Â Â Â Â is easy and so is the removal of the bag afterwards
- altogether Â Â Â Â it is quick and convenient
Disadvantages of the Tea Bag
- the Â Â Â Â selection of teas is more limited than among loose teas
- the Â Â Â Â tea bag does not allow enough room for the tea to brew properly
- almost Â Â Â Â all tea bags contain small particles (fannings or dust) which lack
in flavor and are certainly no match to whole leaf teas when it comes to
Loose tea on the other hand offers the customer an almost endless choice of tea varietals and the quality can be determined by examining the leaf appearance â€“ dry and infused. Loose tea tends to be better and fuller in flavor and many loose teas, especially Oolongs, can be steeped multiple times. While it seems like a little more effort, to measure the right amount of tea and use an infuser, it is these rituals that add to the tea experience and allow you to fully appreciate the end result. There are many tools to match the convenience of tea bags without the compromise of quality or taste.
Now, if you are still clutching that tea bag in your hand, hesitant to part with old habits, I encourage you to come and visit us at Souvia and give loose leaf tea a try!