Some people have clear preferences on whether they choose loose or bagged teas. Loose leaf tends to be better in quality and flavor, but bagged tea has a convenience factor that is hard to overlook. At first, I was afraid to use loose leaf tea—I thought it was too complicated to be worth the effort. But once I purchased an infuser teapot and learned how to use it properly, I have really come to enjoy loose leaf tea as well. I have no problem going back and forth between the two—it usually depends on both what I want to drink and where I am.
Loose leaf tea is mostly made from whole tea leaves, and bagged teas tend to be crushed tea leaves. The whole leaves bring a depth of flavor that little bits of broken-up tea leaves cannot match. That tends to be why theloose leaf is a little more expensive—but to most people, the difference in taste tends to make the added expense worth it. It is just like any other higher-ingredient product. It’s either worth it to you or it isn’t. Sometimes I can afford to splurge and sometimes I would rather spend the money on something else. Bagged tea is also more convenient for me to buy because I can grab it at the grocery store along with everything else I need. It doesn’t require a special trip. I can definitely taste the difference, however. That means whenever I want to drink something special or a fragrant tea, I use a loose leaf tea.It just feels more special that way!
For me, drinking loose tea feels more sophisticated. I also enjoy the ritual of measuring it out, then steeping it. Bagged teas I kind of plunk and go, which means there’s no finesse involved. Having said that, bagged teas are great for places like work. There, I don’t have the time to measure out the leaves or have to worry about bringing in and cleaning an infuser from home. It is an extra step that I can’t always be bothered with at work, and sometimes I only have a quick minute or two on mybreak but still want my tea. I can run the hot water setting on the office single-use coffee machine and throw in a bag—done. So, sometimes bagged tea wins!
The great thing about both is that steeping time tends to be the same, which is something that most people don’t know or they just assume one takes longer. That’s not true at all! It depends more on the type of tea you’re drinking rather than the format of the tea leaves. Whichever I choose, about three minutes is all it takes for total tea perfection!
What about you? Do you have a preference?