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Size matters!

The major attribute of a good cup of tea is the size of the tea leaf; the second biggest attribute, and we think this attribute is even more important, is space.

Tea leaves contain poyphenols, flavonals, other elements and essential oils which are the basis for the delightful flavour of tea. Loose teas are typically whole leaves or at least large pieces of leaves.

Tea leaves need space to swell, expand and unfurl – what we call ‘to bloom’. Good water circulation around the leaves is important. This does not happen with tea bags particularly with run-of-the-mill tea bags.

Other factors which contribute to a good cup of tea are the time of year and growing conditions.

75px-Mugicha_Tea_bag_by_CR_01Although some good quality tea bags have come onto the market in recent years, the tea bag nonetheless contains broken-up, in fact pulverized, tea leaves. The break up causes evaporation thus losing much of the inherent goodness of the tea leaf, resulting in a dull and somewhat tasteless cup of tea. Typical tea bags are filled with the tiniest pieces of broken leaves, called fannings , but also known as dust. Tea bags can also release more tannins than loose teas giving a harsher flavour to your cup of tea.

tea-strainer

Robin Sharp Photo

At the end of the day, tea bags may give a quicker brew, but this brew will lack the subtlety and full flavour of the larger loose leaf teas.  In fact, some loose leaf teas, can even be re-steeped yielding multiple cups of flavorful and healthy tea.

Order our signature Baroness Grey tea, or our upcoming special tea of the month (June), Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea marilyn@splendidafternoonteas.com.  Teas are available in 50 gram or 100 gram foil pouches. The 50 gram pouch is $6.42 (CDN $) and the 100 gram pouch is $12.42 (CDN $). Both prices inlcude HST (Canadian Harmonized Sales Tax) but NOT shipping charges. Payment by Interac bank transfer.

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