What Are You REALLY Getting In a Tea Bag?

Great for on-the-go people or in times of rush, tea bags are great for a quick cup, but at what price?

For Americans, anything that can give more convenience is usually thought of as "better". This is why about 95% of the tea sales in the United States come in "bag" form.

What's actually in a tea bag?

When tea leaves are plucked from the plants and sorted out, they are put into categories of quality. Whole-leaf tea's are obviously of the best quality, and since you can't fit whole-leaf teas into a tiny little tea bag, they get the runt of the liter.

The tea that is put into a bag is known as "fannings" or "dust", and is the lowest-quality of tea there is. Although it's still very good, spending an extra few bucks and brewing the tea yourself is very much worth your while.

I often hear people at restaurants asking for coffee "from a fresh-brewed pot". Well folks, getting bagged tea is is like getting coffee from a pot that was brewed 3 hours ago, complete with the little coffee grinds that get stuck in your teeth.

Why Isn't There As Much Taste?

Along with the lower grade of leaf that you get, there is another reason or 2 why drinking tea from whole leaves is much better. After all, this is all coming from the same leaf so if you don't know much about tea you are probably confused as to why the taste is so much different.

If you've ever brewed your own tea, you've probably spent some time watching the leaves unfurl. When the producers of these teas curl the leaves up to condense them, the flavor is condensed as well. When infusing tea leaves you need to make sure that the leaf has enough room to unfurl which releases all of the flavor and chemicals which do such a wonderful job of healing your body.

Think about the size of the average bag, and I'll let you be the judge to see whether or not the size of that bag is big enough to let anything unfurl inside it.

Second, the kind of bags you see in supermarkets are also of low-quality, which doesn't allow an adequate amount of water through to bag, which results in a poor infusion and poor taste.

I'm not saying that you should never drink tea out of a bag. They are a good thing to have for a time when you're in a hurry and running out the door, which is a life that's becoming way too common in these days.

The Future For Tea Bags

Thanks to modern technology, it is easier than ever to enjoy a decent cup of tea that comes out of a bag.

By using the principles of good tea making, specialized companies are now using bigger bags which allow for large leaves. The bags they use are also starting to become a high-quality nylon, which allows for a better infusion process.

I usually carry a few tea bags myself for when I'm in a hurry, but I usually try to brew my own tea because the taste is incredibly better. Adagio Teas are one of my favorite suppliers. They have high quality product.

Whole leaf teas have been out for thousands of years, and many books have been dedicated to the art of brewing tea. Have you ever seen a book about bagging tea? I don't think so.

One thing I will say though, is that supermarket tea is still of low quality. As with anything that's mass produced, all they're worried about is getting tea into a bag and boxing it up. When you order from a quality company, they actually care about the tea they give you and spend tremendous amounts of time preparing it.

Although I will always recommend to brew your own tea using high quality leaves, I understand that some people don't want to, for whatever reason. If thats the case, you should get tea bags.

If you really don't like to brew your own tea, you can try out the best tea bags available today.

Check them out here - Adagio Teas

Empty Tea-Bags

We have an article on sourcing empty bags for tea if you are interested in making your own and custom blending tea for wedding favors or gifts. These are excellent to use with loose leaf tea. You can read the article on Empty Tea Bags here.


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