Miss Cole's Tea Time - Loose Leaf Vs Bags

I thought it was high time I addressed this issue. What makes a better cup of tea: loose leaf or bags?

Okay, that's actually easy. It's loose leaf. So tasty! Great, see you next week!

...Oh, fine. It's really not as straight-forward as that. Because while leaves do make for a richer flavour, teas made from bags are pretty darn tasty, too.

There's only one thing for it. We need a list of pros and cons!!!

Loose Leaf Pros
  • Richer taste.
  • Huge varieties with loads of blends.
  • You can make your own blends .
  • You can buy cute teapots :D
  • Not necessarily more expensive than tea bags.
  • If you love tea but want more flavour, you need to switch to leaves.
  • Loose leaf tea lasts longer than my tea bags, so it's real value for money.

Loose Leaf Cons
  • Unless you wanna spit leaves, you'll need to buy strainers, or tea pots with built-in strainers, or tea flasks.
  • You have to let leaves brew longer than teabags, so if you're in a real rush to write, loose leaf tea might not work.
  • Seriously, don't forget to brew. 
  • And don't forget you're brewing. Over-stewed tea isn't tasty.

Tea Bag Pros
  • Quick and convenient. You can leave to brew or dunk in water, squish it fast and whip it out for instant tea. Good for all you NaNoWriMoers!
  • There are still plenty of great tasting teas only available in bags. You just have to find them (Clipper and Twinings are two great brands to start with).
  • You can still use a teapot ;)
  • A great place to start if you're new to tea, not sure you like it, but want to give it a go.
Tea Bag Cons
  • Lacks the full-bodied taste you gain from leaves.
  • There's nothing worse than when a tea bag splits. BLEUGH!
  • If you do make it too weak straight in a cup, you can't top it up from your teapot with already brewed leaves, but instead you'll have to waste a second teabag.

It's up to you what you use, but there's my list of pros and cons for each. Got any of your own to add? And has anyone ever tried the tea pods you get with those fancy coffee makers? I'd love to know someone's thoughts on those.


  1. Sorry my US friends, but if you drink hot tea out of US tea bags, either tea bags or loose leaf tea from the UK will taste a zillion times better. But I agree with your essential analysis, Cole. Loose leaf is always the preferred way to go. The flavour is different, and often better. That said, there's nothing like a good ole PG Tips pyramid bag when the alternative is a tea bag originally designed for making "ice tea" (sorry for soiling your blog with those two words that should never go together)... ;)

    1. The thought of drinking Lipton again brings me close to tears ;)

      Noooooo! Not ice tea! BE GONE WITH IT!!! BE GOOOOOONE!

  2. I don't drink tea, but I make tea for my husband every morning. He drinks a cup of Yorkshire Gold loose leaf tea every morning and takes a thermos of Bewley's Dublin Morning tea from a tea bag with him to work every day.

    We have this neat teapot that has a straining ball that hangs down from the lid and can be pulled up out of the liquid when it's done. We also have this neat strainer that fits neatly into a mug and has a lid for while it's steeping. My husband takes his tea seriously. He's not really alive until he's had a full cup in the morning.

    1. I definitely appreciate how seriously your husband takes his tea :)


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