Tea Time: Why Use Loose Leaf over Tea Bags
When we went to Africa in April, we stayed in Marrakech for a week and everywhere we went, moroccan mint tea was offered with a side of sugar cubes. It was enchanting and romantic to have someone go to the trouble of offering the most amazing mint tea at every sitting. And to them, it wasn’t trouble, it was an offering of hospitality and friendship, and one that has been a tradition in Berber culture for a very long time. I got used to it very quickly and came to love tea time. At home, I normally don’t take the time to make tea on my own, unless I’m sick and it means throwing a tea bag from my local grocer into a mug and heating it up in the microwave. While we were there, we stopped in a local spice and tea shop in the Souks and the store owner, having major charisma, sold me on the loose leaf passionfruit tea that was all locally sourced and dried in Morocco. I came home and the tea sat in our cupboard for a good two months and then Mark said last week, “Ash, why don’t you make some Moroccan tea and we’ll have tea chat.” I couldn’t resist as I thought it was so sweet he turned our coffee chats into a new spin-off.
I loved the idea of taking time to make a pot of special, loose leaf tea and I even turned it into iced tea. The tea was special. And making it using looseleaf vs a teabag made the experience just that, an experience. The smell, the flavor of passionfruit with an undertone of star anise and mint and just really taking the time to put love into something. It made a difference for me and I think now I’m going to have tea time at least once per week. Plus, there are these amazing miniature, colored glasses called Moroccan tea glasses (currently eyeing these!) that will make tea time even more fun! There’s something about creating a new tradition that feels like home. Below I share my favorite teapot and the benefits of using loose leaf tea over teabags.
The front of the spice and tea shop in Marrakech
Pictured is the Primula Asha Teapot that holds loose leaf tea in the center. It is very easy and user-friendly all you need is loose leaf tea. I then transferred the tea to the green pitcher for iced tea.
Why use loose leaf over teabags?
- Loose leaf is whole leaf tea vs. teabag tea which is usually cut-leaf lower grade tea dust
- With loose leaf tea, the leaves are able to expand with hot water to release more flavor. Tea bags normally have a more one dimensional flavor that can stand up to milk and sugar
- With loose leaf tea, the same leaves can be used multiple times for several cups of coffee. With teabags, the flavor is fully extracted after one steep
- Loose leaf tea will most likely be produced seasonally in small quantities in an artisan method that involves hand picking and sorting, while the tea bag is machine produced in high volume and stored for long periods of time
Overall, if you want the freshest, fullest flavor from your tea, choosing loose leaf over a tea bag will always provide you that. Here are a couple of places I found that you can choose high quality loose leaf tea from.