More and more I see tea drinkers say they use two teabags when making a cuppa. The obvious question springs to mind here: why doesn’t someone just put twice as much tea in a bag? Of course, the bag would have to be twice as big. Since I steep my tea, even the ones that come bagged, loose in the teapot, this is a non-issue for me. But I wanted to put forth my thoughts and observations sort of as a public service for you who do use teabags.
[Side note: DON’T USE TEABAGS! Phew, got that out of my system. Now on with the article.]
These are the main reasons I have seen put forth for the doublebagging:
1 Stronger Flavor
A big one seems to be the desire to get a really strong cuppa black tea. Awhile back I wrote about the tea blenders at Typhoo and how several of them used two teabags to get that punch of flavor and caffeine and to make it able to stand up when milk and sugar were added.
Their various descriptions for how they prepared their cuppa:
- Strong with half fat milk.
- Strong tea (two tea bags) with full cream milk and two sugars.
- With two tea bags in a cup, strong but quite milky, no sugar.
- A good strong cup of tea with a splash of milk.
Typhoo aren’t the only ones recommending this. Most tea experts say that to get a stronger taste, use more tea as opposed to steeping longer. Those longer steeps tend to result in a more bitter tasting cup of tea. Two or more bags won’t result in any more dissolved tea but will become more saturated quicker.
2 More Benefits
Tea is said to have a number of health benefits. Some use two teabags thinking that they will get double benefits from the tea. But the consensus is that you get at most about one-and-a-half times as much as when you use just one teabag. Polyphenols are the big ones, with their anti-oxidant properties that can protect cells from damage from free radicals, help prevent blood clotting, help lower cholesterol, and a host of other claims. Fluoride is also said to be in tea and helps teeth stay healthy longer. Plus, theanine (an amino acid unique to tea) is another one that has a host of beneficial effects.
If you really want to load up on these things, by all means steep using two bags.
3 Making Iced Tea
Some use two teabags for making iced tea. This is so you can pour the hot tea over ice and the dilution will bring the tea to a normal strength. And, getting back to my original question, there are tea brands that offer double-sized teabags for steeping iced tea (they’re usually called “family size”). You can probably use these for making hot tea also.
As the chewing gum commercial years ago used to say, “Double your pleasure, double your fun!” Happy steeping!
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