It is a pretty big topic of discussion as to which is better…tea bags or loose leaf steep. I think this depends on how satisfied you are with your current tea experience. Some people just want a Lipton bag here and there…they’re happy with that. Some people enjoy the quality of loose leaf tea. Those people are usually people who liked a good tea bag here and there, but tried the loose leaf steep and have seen the light.
I personally discovered loose leaf teas around 2004, when I went to a tea shop with my roommate. She didn’t know anything about tea and I certainly didn’t, beyond what my father drank. We asked for more information and looked around, went to a workshop that weekend and even a lock-in event they had the following week. We went to another tea shop when we visited San Antonio, but that was as far as I went for a bit. Here and there I would get more tea…but I started drinking alcohol, instead. When I lived in Dallas, my mom gave me some green tea a guest of her company handed her. It was from China, had no English on it at all and smelled amazing! I loved drinking it whenever I could. When I moved to Maryland, everything became new to me. I didn’t get back into tea until I got a 20% off discount at Adagio. I was so excited! It was like a best friend you spent time with here and there that was the joy of your soul and never did you wrong. That person you could always depend on and talk to. Being far from family and friends, I clenched to that friend and held her tight. She just smiled, hold me closer and told me it was going to be ok. Better than ok. Now we had each other again. It was going to be amazing. I digress
I think that now you don’t really have to make the choice of tea bag or loose leaf. There are plenty of companies that offer loose leaf quality leaves in a bag. There are also bags you can purchase to bag your own. And with steeping tumblers and great infusers, you can steep quality teas anywhere, just add steeping water. As usual, I would say give them a try, as many as possible. Maybe something in a tea bag will surprise you!
Personally, i prefer loose leaf teas. I have a bit of a soft spot for tumblers and infusers, so I have a nice stock of teaware that is ready for travel. But, I try new teas all the time. I get intrigued when I see a tea bag that has loose leaves in it. It is nice for the leaves to have a little room to move around, so tea bags aren’t my usual. There are pyramid bags that are supposed to offer a little more room. But, for now, loose leaves are my preference. I definitely try to avoid regular tea bags…they are just crushed fragments of leaves that are considered leftovers and lowest quality. Once you try loose leaf teas, you taste the difference. If you are going to drink tea bag teas, look for the best quality leaves! But, as usual, it’s all about you! some people love tea bag teas. That’s the beauty of tea. She’s that friend that is all about you. All the time. Nothing else matters. 🙂