Teabags vs. Loose

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Teabags vs. Loose

Postby Charles » Mar 10th, '10, 14:40

This discussion thread is dedicated to questions and comments on the TeaClass lesson: Teabags vs. Loose (http://www.teaclass.com/lesson_0104.html). TeaClass is designed to be a free educational tool so if anything is unclear, let us know! We're also using TeaClass to train our own retail store staff so please feel free to share anything you've heard or read that disagrees with the lesson. Our goal is to continually improve this tool based on your feedback.

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby geeber1 » Mar 12th, '10, 16:15

"When the first leaf fell in Shen Nung's cup, did it have a labeled string attached? We think not."

My favorite part of this lesson!

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby Ithacateagirl » Apr 25th, '10, 15:46

I think it should be clarified that the classification of "fannings" or "dust" of tea leaves has to do only with the size of the tea leaf, rather than the quality of the leaf itself. The reason a cup produced from fannings will lack the flavor found in a cup produced by a larger leaf is that much more surface area is exposed during steeping when fannings are used. In order to avoid a bitter brew, the tea bag must be removed before the tea has had a chance to develop some of the flavors that would be present if the larger leaf of the same tea were used.

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby Chip » Apr 25th, '10, 19:52

Ithacateagirl wrote:I think it should be clarified that the classification of "fannings" or "dust" of tea leaves has to do only with the size of the tea leaf, rather than the quality of the leaf itself. The reason a cup produced from fannings will lack the flavor found in a cup produced by a larger leaf is that much more surface area is exposed during steeping when fannings are used. In order to avoid a bitter brew, the tea bag must be removed before the tea has had a chance to develop some of the flavors that would be present if the larger leaf of the same tea were used.

Welcome to the forum, Ithacate.

Hmm, yes and no IMHO.

Most fannings and dust teas are lower quality salvages from the sifting and/or manufacturing processes.

They often go stale much faster also due to this large surface to volume ratio.

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby Charles » Apr 26th, '10, 08:14

It is true that dust and fannings result from the processing of even the highest quality teas, but given that premium, hand-picked, orthodox teas comprise less than three percent of global output and yield an extremely small amount of "dust and fannings", it's safe (and accurate) to assume that most tea bags are made from much lower quality teas.

That said, there are a number of manufacturers that are now selling high quality loose leaf teas in larger pyramid bags or sachets. I've yet to see the very best teas show up in bags, but there is no reason they cannot.

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby enoto » Jul 10th, '10, 18:42

It is quite a difference when you taste your first cup of loose leaf brewed tea after a lifetime of drinking what is commonly thought of as tea from tea bags. I have tried some of the pyramid bags and they are a convenient compromise for work or other times when better practices are not available. I really like the tea lessons. Thanks! :)

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby entropyembrace » Jul 15th, '10, 23:10

Charles wrote:
That said, there are a number of manufacturers that are now selling high quality loose leaf teas in larger pyramid bags or sachets. I've yet to see the very best teas show up in bags, but there is no reason they cannot.


When I see good tea in bags I want to rip them open and set the tea free! :lol:

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby Katy1977 » Jul 16th, '10, 07:20

It would be interesting to do what Entropye suggested, rip open the tea bags and brew it like the loose leaves, then do a taste comparison...I think the leaves would win hands down! I've recently become a loose tea drinker and enjoy loose tea more than bagged, however, I still drink the bagged pu-erh and like my herbal tea bags. :)

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby TwoPynts » Jul 16th, '10, 09:35

Up until recently, about 90% of the tea I've consumed has been bagged. Though it is a bit more work (or fun if approached properly), I find loose leaf tea provide a more rewarding tea drinking experience. There is also the caveat that loose leafs can also be inferior to a good bagged tea, depending on a number of factors. For convenience, bagged teas are hard to beat.

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Re: Teabags vs. Loose

Postby Olmanrivah » Jul 18th, '11, 09:12

Most of my tea is brewed loose. Mainly because the better teas, imho, can't be found in bags. Like Assam in a tea bag.

I do like the convenience of herbal teas in the bags.

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