Love chai lattes but hate the sugar they add at cafes and in pre-mix concentrates? Learn to make EASY sugar-free chai at home, which requires a few tweaks to avoid overpowering bitterness from the tea leaves.
Most homemade chai recipes instruct you to crush your spices. Others recommend toasting. Does crushing or toasting your spices make your masala chai taste better? Is it worth the extra effort?
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.
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.
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.
In Chinese tea ceremonies, it’s common to rinse tea before drinking. We pour boiling water on the dried tea leaves, swirl for a few seconds, and then discard this first pour. While most common for oolong and pu’er tea, I enjoy rinsing almost all my tea leaves. “Who has time for that?” Yes, it is … Read more