What is the difference between loose-leaf tea vs. tea bags?

3 cups of tea with comparison of CTC tea, loose-leaf tea from a tea bag, and loose leaf tea with empty tea bags

Are tea bags lower quality than loose-leaf tea? Ever wondered if you should switch to loose-leaf tea? Learn whether loose-leaf tea or bagged tea is right for you.

3 cups of tea with comparison of CTC tea, loose-leaf tea from a tea bag, and loose leaf tea with empty tea bags

Many people believe that tea merchant Thomas Sullivan accidentally invented the tea bag when he sent his customers tea samples in silk pouches. However, Roberta C. Lawson and Mary Molaren were brewing an invention in a Milwaukee kitchen seven years before Thomas sent out his first pouch.

In 1901, Roberta and Mary applied for a patent on a “Tea-Leaf Holder”. The woven cotton bag was “folded over upon itself” and stitched together to hold tea leaves inside. The tea pouch allowed the drinker to filter tea leaves and prepare only the desired amount of tea to avoid waste.

A century later, the tea bag has taken off. In the UK, 96% of tea consumed is bagged. But the U.S. prefers ready-to-drink tea (iced tea makes up 85% of tea consumption) and “Chinese consumers prefer fresh tea in loose formats,” according to Mintel, a global market research firm.

Let’s learn the difference between loose-leaf tea and tea bags to help you figure out which one is right for you.

Read moreWhat is the difference between loose-leaf tea vs. tea bags?

Tea 101: What You Need To Know About Tea

Close up look of jasmine green tea and da hong pao tea with tea pots and tea cups

Learn about tea — how to prep, store, and enjoy it with many ideas on brewing and cooking.

What is tea?

also known as Cha, Chai, Te

Tea is a drink brewed from dried tea leaves in hot water. It comes in different flavors, and you can enjoy it at different temperatures, including hot and iced. Tea is made from Camellia sinensis. “evergreen shrub” found in East Asia.

Close up look of jasmine green tea and da hong pao tea with tea pots and tea cups

Read moreTea 101: What You Need To Know About Tea

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