We live in a world where we are fortunate enough to be able to lay our hands on a huge number of tea flavours. But do we really know our loose-leaf from our teabag?
We’ve all been there, standing in front of a huge wall of boxed teas on the supermarket shelf confused at the sheer number and variety to choose from that we don’t know where to start. Oolong or Jasmine? Chai or Rooibos? Loose-leaf or tea bag?
Well, perhaps taste is of personal preference but where we can help is explaining give reasons why you should choose loose-leaf tea over teabags:
Tea is a product made from the harvested leaves of the tea bush, a variety of the Camellia plant family. It is then dried and allotted into four different grades: leaf, broken-leaf, fannings and dust.
Loose-leaf tea, which is often hand-produced, is a product that consists solely of the two highest grades, leaf and broken-leaf that gives you the genuine profile of the tea. What you would normally find in a commercially made teabag, however, are the two lowest grades, mainly fannings and dust that doesn’t provide the true profile of the tea nor its wonderful colour.
In any plant, the leaves are where you would find the most flavour, and tea is no different. The greater amount of leaf you have the greater the flavour profile you’ll have with the end product.
Hence, by using loose-leaf tea, the notes and aromas are maximised for a true flavour of the particular tea variety you choose, while using teabags with a lower grade of leaf lack any genuine flavour of the tea variety.
Our loose-leaf tea at NEMI is sourced sustainably in accordance with Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance standards. This means that we are part of a network that supports the farmers, environment and biodiversity, where the tea is grown and harvested.
Not only is the product sustainable, our packaging using biodegradable and compostable bags and ultrasound to replace any need for plastic. Many teabags, on the other hand, use PVC or polypropylene that helps to maintain the structure of the teabag during the brewing process and therefore cannot be easily recycled.
The tradition of brewing loose-leaf tea has been something we have done for thousands of years. It was only really in the last 20th century that commercialism bulldozed its way in and replaced the loose-leaf with the easily accessible and widespread teabag for a quick fix. Here at NEMI Teas, we want to maintain traditional methods of brewing loose-leaf tea so it’s not lost for the next generation of tea lovers.
Our lives are increasingly being filled with more and more things to do, deadlines to meet, people to visit and places to see. Nowadays, with our fast-paced lives, much of the food and drink we consume – including the teabag – has been refined and processed to keep up with it all.
However, brewing loose-leaf tea is a ritual that cannot be rushed. It is the act of steeping the tealeaves in hot water and the resultant aromas that forcibly slows you down. It allows one to relax, which invariably is a good thing in this fast-moving world we live in.
As we know, tea is more than just a drink it is an allocated time in the day that we want to keep as long as possible. So next time you’re in front of a wall of tea at the supermarket why not choose the loose-leaf variety over the teabag and take time over your brewing to get the full impact of its flavour. Don’t leaf it any longer.