Loose green tea? Or a tea bag filled with green tea?
Although the bag is often the easier option, you should definitely consider drinking it the natural way.
Loose vs. Tea Bag…
A 2001 study found the variety, growing environment, and manufacturing conditions influence the composition of fresh tea leaves.
That’s not all though…
More importantly they found the size of the tea leaves, and if in a bag, the size and material of the tea bag influence the in-cup concentrations of polyphenols (as well as the caffeine content of green tea).
Here are the most important reasons to prefer loose leaf green tea over a green tea bag.
- Float vs. Dunk
You need to dunk a tea bag continuously in the teapot because if you let it float on the water hardly any polyphenols, caffeine or other substances will be extracted from the green tea. However, loose green tea can just float on the water because the polyphenols will be extracted anyway.
- More vs. Less Health Benefits
Polyphenols provide lots of health benefits and since loose green tea gives the easiest access to all green tea polyphenols and often also contains more of it than a tea bag, the choice is easy!
- More vs. Less Caffeine
A study showed that three cups of tea brewed using tea bags have approximately twice the amount of methylxanthine (one of them is caffeine) as the same volume prepared by three successive brews of loose tea leaves. So, the bags contain much more caffeine.
- More vs. Less Flavors
Green tea leaves are chopped, sliced and diced into small parts and with a much higher surface to volume ratio (subject to oxygen), these lose their freshness quickly. This is not good for the quality of course; neither is the longer shelf life of a tea bag compared to the loose version.
- Higher vs. Lower Quality
The best green tea leaves are often used for loose tea whereas the lower quality tea leaves are often processed, ending up in a tea bag. Also, lots of green tea substances are lost in the manufacturing process.
- Cheap vs. Cheaper
Tea in a bag often seems to be cheaper but don’t forget you only need a little bit of loose green tea whereas a bag often loses its taste quickly; making you grab a new bag much faster.
If you now want to try the pure loose green tea but you don’t like the somewhat bitter taste of green tea:
- Brew under one minute with hot water (before reaching the boiling point).
- Steep for a short period of time (2-2,5 minutes).
There are various types of loose green tea. You can try the premium Japanese Matcha green tea powder, where you actually drink the leaves!
Or try Sencha green tea, the most popular Japanese green tea that is initially steamed, or Gunpowder green tea a popular Chinese green tea that has been rolled into little green pearls allowing it to stay fresh longer!
What are the advantages of drinking green tea with LEMON?
Astill C, Birch MR, Dacombe C, Humphrey PH, Martin PT. 2001. Factors affecting the caffeine and polyphenol contents of black and green tea infusions. J. Agric. Food Chem.; 49:5340-5347.
Hicks MB, Hsieh YHP, Bell LN. 1996. Tea preparation and its influence on methylxanthine concentration. Food Research International; 29(3):325-330(6).