Monday Morning Jolt | Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Bagged Tea
Tea Bags are teas that are sold in prepackaged paper envelopes. The tea bags are convenient, but not preferred. The tea bags contain what are called ‘fannings’ or the dust of higher quality teas. Many flavors in tea are found in the oils of the tea leaves. When these leaves are broken the oils evaporate and the flavor in your tea is less vibrant. The small size of the tea bag doesn’t allow for proper steeping. Leafs will usually expand while seeping and bag don’t allow that. You also have little control over quantity of tea to use per serving.
Pyramid Tea Bags are a tetrahedron shape and of slightly higher quality. They are more likely to contain full leaves and allow for expansion during steeping. This is a good middle ground since you get higher quality with more convenience. You still however have little control over quantity.
Loose Leaf Teas are the highest quality teas you can buy. They are stored in canisters and sold by measuring the desired amount. They can also be stored in a zip-lock pouch of some sort. These teas have fully intact leaves and flowers creating a very bold flavor. The tea is brewed using various methods:
- You can bag it on your own using a larger paper bag (leaving plenty of room of course)
- A tea ball (or egg) in a mug or teapot
- A strainer that fits inside a mug or teapot
- A French Press
When using loose tea you lose convenience but gain flavor. I find making my tea to be a calming ritual. It is also more eco friendly because the canisters used for storage are reusable along with a strainer or tea ball and the paper used is completely degradable. You are given complete control over how strong you want your tea to be, without over or under steeping. Generally you would use 1 teaspoon of tea per 8 ounces of water, but with loose leaves you are given control over how potent you want your drink.
I wasn’t always a loose leaf tea fan however. Tazo Tea used to be my favorite brand. It is a bagged tea (pretty good quality, for a bagged tea) that is not only sold at stores but also at Starbucks. I always had the Hibiscus because it’s fruity. I later discovered loose leaf tea and of course had to try the Hibiscus. The difference was incredible. The sweetness was brought down a bit and replaced with bold, rich flavors! I’ll never go back to bagged tea. Well, the only time I go back to bagged tea is when I’m sick – because I can’t taste anything anyways!
My favorite places to get tea:
Fava Tea Company (they will be moving in November to 706 N. Casaloma Drive)
1656 N. Casaloma Drive
Appleton, WI 54913
128 W Market
Bloomington, MN 55425
Amanda is the Team Barista Extraordinaire for EDR. Perk up your week with her every Monday right here on Eat.Drink.Repeat.