We specialize in premium loose leaf teas. You might wonder why. After all, bagged teas are so convenient. Yes they are, but we have found over many years of steeping that loose leaf teas offer a much superior overall tea experience. For one thing, they make you slow down, if only for long enough to infuse them, from your hectic schedule, and that could help you relax. Here are five more reasons we encourage you to stay loose with those teas:
1 – The Aroma and Sight Are Better
Viewing those loose leaf teas in their dry form before you infuse them helps you appreciate what it takes to produce them. Personally, this makes me enjoy the flavors more and feel a real connection to those folks so far away as I sip the liquid. The aromas of those leaves tends to be more intense, also. This is in part because they are usually intact, not chopped up into tiny bits or crushed into dust. The aroma tells you a lot about the skill of the tea master, too, who either personally processed those leaves or oversaw that processing.
2 – They Put on a Great Show
When you dunk that teabag (with or without a string and tag attached), what kind of visual display is that? None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nil. Totally deadsville. Well, actually, you get to see the water turn darker and the bag go from that light off-white color to some kind of soggy brown (or green, depending on the tea you’re having). Now, what happens when you infuse those loose leaf teas? Well, if you use a glass gaiwan or a simple tall glass, you get to see those leaves swell to several times their size when dry as they soak up that moisture (a lot of the processing of tea leaves involves removing moisture from them, so they are eager to get that back). Some call this the “agony of the leaves.” I call it the “dance of the leaves”!
3 – You Get More Infusions
So many of the teas we carry at JAS-eTea.com are limited quantities, and I can’t even imagine throwing away those leaves after only one infusion. Not even after two infusions. The hou kui shown above can get several more. Many oolongs get nine or more. And pu-erhs can go to 15 or more, depending on their quality and your taste preferences (they get lighter towards the end and so some people prematurely stop infusing them).
4 – You Get to Admire the Spent Leaves
Tea is for the senses in a way that coffee and even cocoa can never be. We get to watch those tea leaves dance and then spread out and admire them when we are done infusing them.
5 – Better Storage Length
Last but not least, and important for those of you who spend more to get those premium teas. Many loose leaf teas will store longer and stay fresher than their bagged counterparts. This is usually because the bagged version is made of much smaller leaf pieces, that is, they have been pulverized into dust for the most part. Even the ones where the leaves have only been chopped into bits, not dust, the storage time is shortened. The main reason seems to be the amount of air in the box, both in the tea bag/sachet and in the box itself. The better loose teas come in pouches that have been vacuum packed/sealed and/or that can have most of the air pushed out of them before you reseal the pouch.
Alternate Solution for Those on the Go
We recently stocked some T-sacs as a way for you to get the benefits of loose leaf teas in a way that’s a little more convenient for your active lives. With T-sacs, you can fill some with your favorite teas and take them with you. Then, just head to that break/lunch room at work, heat some water, and toss in one of those filled T-sacs.
Enjoy and keep it loose!