Loose Leaf Tea and why you should drink it.
We all love a good cup of tea don’t we? Most of us tend to grab a teabag, throw it in a cup and pour in some hot water from the kettle. This wasn’t always the case, and some of you might still remember their parents or grandparents make a cup of tea the traditional way: in a teapot with Loose Leaf Tea.
Now you might be asking: why go through all the effort of making tea using loose leaf tea if I can just throw in a teabag? Well, I’m here to tell you there are some really good reasons to do so AND it actually does not take that much longer, especially with a good tea strainer like ours.
People in the UK like to drink tea, A LOT of tea. According to UK tea association, British people drink up to 60 billion cups of tea a year, that is more than 90 million a day, and most of them use teabags instead of loose leaf tea. Imagine the amount of used teabags we throw out each year, as well as the energy & resources to produce all of these teabags just to be thrown out after being used for a few minutes. Now you might think, well that shouldn’t be much of a problem because they are just made of paper bags and will degrade over time?
Well, while most bags might be made of paper, a lot of them still use some plastic sealant to be able to seal the teabags. Many of the popular triangle teabags used generally for herbal infusions can also be made out of plastic. This makes them impossible to recycle and also contaminate the environment with micro plastics. This brings us to our next issue: your health
A relatively recent study has found that plastic teabags or teabags with a plastic sealant, can release billions of plastic micro- and nanoparticles due to the long contact with heat. These micro-particles of plastic might have long term behavioural and development effects. So even when you use paper tea bags, they might still be sealed with plastic that gets released into your favourite tea.
While teabags might have a negative effect on your health, it has been shown that pure loose leaf tea might reduce diet associated obesity by modulating your gut microbiome, providing healthy phenolic compounds that are beneficial to the gut.
There is no denying, teabags give a bad taste to your brew and there is just no way around it unless you resort to those unhealthy plastic ones. Generally, most of the tea used in teabags is also what we call ‘sweepings’: this tea is of such low quality, that historically, it would just be thrown away until someone came up with the idea of putting it inside of a teabag! Unlike bagged tea, loose leaf teas tend to be of much better quality although this is not always the case.
That’s why it is important to work with trusted tea growers to make sure no pesticides or chemicals are used when growing the tea, as well that the tea grows in a pure, unpolluted environment like we have in the Usambara mountains in Tanzania. Where tea can slowly grow using organic manure and can therefore develop a much richer taste than fast growing tea on synthetic fertilisers. We make sure to only purchase the highest possible quality of Tanzanian loose leaf tea, free of any pesticides or pollutants.
While teabags are generally made with the lowest possible quality of tea, the big multinationals have a hefty mark-up and charge high prices for what are basically scraps. You are paying for a name, not for quality. While loose leaf teas are not only good for your wallet, as a little bit goes a long way and they are generally priced cheaper per gram as well, but it is also more beneficial for the farmers growing this tea. Farmers tend to get a much better price for high quality loose leaf tea.
So there you have it, 4 good reasons to ditch those teabags and switch to loose leaf teas. You won’t regret it and your body, taste buds and wallet will thank you later!