If you order tea in a cafe and it comes in an open bag, that is good. Now pour the loose leaves into the glass of hot water and give a gentle stir. Enjoy the dancing leaves, the spread of color, and the improved flavor (without the taste of the paper). Give another stir to help the leaves open up and sink to the bottom.
You have the power to buy better tea. The points below will get you started. If your interest picks up your natural curiosity will take you forward to a whole new world.
Better tea bags exist
Mighty Leaf and Numi fill their bags with real tea leaves of good quality. This is the easiest way to enhance your experience to give you an honest flavor while still maintaining maximum convenience.
Buying loose leaf in a local grocery store
Grocery stores that have a large bulk foods section, such as Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, sell a nice variety of loose teas at great prices. Some Whole Foods locations have bulk tea too. Buying bulk lets you see and smell the leaves. For a few dollars you can buy only a small amount to try. If you end up disliking it you’ll feel better knowing you only bought a small amount.
Buying sample packs online
Many online tea retailers sell sample packs. Everything from these two sources is excellent quality. Don’t dwell too much on the details, just pick something that sounds interesting:
Tea bags in pouches in a box generate a huge amount of trash
The resulted brew tastes awful and looks cloudy
Yes. Most tea bags are filled with very finely ground particles of low quality tea, most of which is the end result from the production and handling of tea leaves.
A tea bag made of paper sits in a foil or plastic pouch. Twenty of these sit in a box, sometimes wrapped in plastic again. It ends up being a very small about of tea dust and a huge amount of trash.
The taste from tea bags poorly represents the true flavors and nuances you’d get in loose leaf tea. This is like eating the lowest quality of chocolate (tastes and feels like plastic). For many there is no comparison since loose leaf tea is not part of their routine. Another factor is how tea bags are packaged. A tea bag typically lives in a sealed foil or plastic pouch, stuffed into a cardboard box and sometimes wrapped in plastic again. The marketing speak indicates this preserves flavor, but there’s no real flavor to preserve from tea dust. All this packaging adds to the lame smell of tea bags.
But buying loose leaf tea is overwhelming and expensive!