WHY LOOSE TEAS INSTEAD OF TEABAGS?
I don't intend to get into an argument with you, so let's keep this short, sweet, and to the point:
1. Better flavor and aroma - Loose teas are kept better, handled less, and are available to the consumer months earlier than teabags resulting in a much better quality product overall. Also, it's easy to adjust the amount of loose tea used to suit individual taste.
A tip for identifying stale tea - Since the aroma fades first with taste going slowly after, it's best to avoid buying tea with little to no aroma. After that, stale tea can be identified by its grainy taste and its appearance in the cup is generally rather dull and lifeless. By this point, of course, you've already purchased the tea since most stores will not brew you a cup to sample, so it's best to train your nose to discern between fresh tea and stale.
2. Cost effectiveness - Teabags contain dust, tea leaves that disintegrated into particles so small that tea graders classify them as dust, that can't be reinfused as can the larger grades sold as fannings, broken leaf, or whole leaf loose teas. It's typical, for example, to infuse loose oolong, green, and white teas a minimum of three times and it's possible to pay 3.5¢ per serving of black tea and less than 2¢ per serving of green tea compared to a typical 10¢ per teabag which higher cost is not for the tea, but for packing it in the teabag and attaching the string and tag.
Since reusing teabags will give you not much more than colored water because over 80% of dust's flavor is released during the first infusion, why bother?
3. Greater variety - There are over 3,000 varieties of loose black, oolong (wu long), green, yellow, and white teas and blends plus herbal tisanes. Plus, it's easier to experiment and make your own blends with loose teas.
4. Environmentally friendly - Using a strainer or a permanent infuser like a brew basket eliminates the use of disposable teabags as well as any associated strings, tags, staples, and envelopes.
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