Like many tea drinkers, I have a distinct preference for loose leaf teas. Still, there are times when a bagged tea makes sense, particularly when I’m short of time. Tea drinkers now have a lot of options when it comes to teabags, some of them make sense, while others I find annoying or, even worse, detrimental to the tea drinking experience.
A few teabag features to ponder:
- No Strings Attached: While I grew up with teabags with strings and tags attached, these are less common in Great Britain, and many American tea companies likewise follow suit. Personally, I prefer my teabags to have strings and tags: The string makes it easy to remove the bag from the tea without burning my fingers and the tag reminds me of the type of tea that I’m drinking.
- Silken Mesh vs Paper: Some teabags are made from paper while others are made from other materials, one of the most common being a “silky” teabag made from a transparent nylon or nylon-like material. Silky teabags have an elegant appearance that is well-suited to more formal occasions, such a showers or weddings.
- Pyramid vs Square: Many companies that tout “whole leaf” teas in their teabags pack these leaves in pyramid shape teabags. This shape ostensibly allows the tea leaves more room to expand and move around during infusion. Other tea makers simply use larger, roomier square bags for whole leaf or large leaf teas. While I have no problem with either of these innovations, I would argue that some teas, such as rolled and large-leaf oolong, should never be packed into any type of a bag, as they need to unfurl completely to provide the best tasting cup of tea possible.
- Snip, Snip: I confess that there have been times when I’ve just snipped open a tea bag and poured its leaves into a tea pot, travel mug or infuser. I usually do this when I’ve tried a bagged tea and found it so delicious, I just had to try it as a loose leaf infusion.
What are your feelings about tea bags? Do you have any preferences?
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