We’ve all used them at some time in our lives or are actively using them. They’re convenient and easy to use. They’re classy. Wondering what we’re talking about? Well, we’re talking about simple, yet not-so-simple tea bags. Their popularity has grown from the time of their inception down to our day where they are very widely used indeed. Let’s move further to discuss about loose tea vs tea bags.
Is health a price to pay in return for convenience?
Understanding what tea bags are and how they are made will reveal much indeed!
Tea bags deciphered
A tea bag is a small, sealed pouch-like bag made of porous dried plant material. It contains a small amount of tea leaves or herbs and spices which, when immersed in boiling water, releases to make an infusion.
Disposing off the used tea leaves and bags is made simpler this way. Although tea bags were originally made to just contain a single serving of loose tea which was to be removed and brewed separately, it gained popularity as people found it easier to brew their favorite drink right within the bags.
The basic of tea bags
Tea bags were originally made of sewn fabric bags or dried plant materials. Tea bags were first appeared in 1903 and it was hand-sewn fabric bag at that time.
Commercially tea bags were first marketed by Thomas Sullivan, a New York based tea and coffee importer in 1908.
Heat sealed paper fiber bags were first patented by William Hemanson in 1930 and latter he sold the patent right to Salada Tea Company.
In modern times, although paper fiber bags are still around, many modern manufacturers have switched to synthetic material in the quest to save big bucks in manufacturing while staying popular.
The result is that each time you dip that gorgeous tea bag into boiling water to make your favorite drink you’re also releasing toxins into that cup. While nylon and PET bags have a very high melting point and are technically safer, any synthetic is dangerous.
In essence, the shinier bags and the ones made of mesh are more dangerous than their simpler-looking counterparts. And although many paper fiber bags seem innocent enough, they are often adulterated with other materials or sealants that make them not more than 70-80% biodegradable!
Loose tea vs tea bags: how healthy are tea bags?
If the best of tea bags are at least 20% non-biodegradable, consider the impact of these chemicals on your body as they are released into your cup of tea.
To begin with, many paper tea bags contain chemicals and pesticides such as epichlorhydrine which get activated in hot water. Their impact on your immune system and overall health is immense.
If your tea bags have even a small percentage of plastic, they begin to break down in hot water. The more you steep a plastic-contaminated tea bag into hot water, the more chemicals are released and ultimately get into your body.
The health hazards of these chemicals are immense, and they even act as potent endocrine disruptors. If you take care to say ‘no’ to harmful plastic bags and containers, why would you want to load your body with chemicals in what should be your morning cup of bliss?
If you think you can be careful with the tea bags you choose and go with purely paper bags, think again, because many bags are chlorine-bleached. The whiter the bag the more likely it has been bleached.
Do you really want to ingest chlorine with your tea? Or, consider the fact that many tea industries are heavy users of pesticides. There is no way that most tea is washed before it is packed in tea bags.
So with each cup of tea, you’re actually ingesting a lethal combination of chemicals and pesticides that ultimately take their toll on you in the long run!
Loose leaf tea and tea Bags: what are your options?
Going back to nature is the best way to stay healthy, and this is proven again with tea bags. Although these neat little bags offer convenience, studies have proven that it is better to choose loose tea than tea bags.
To begin with, if you’ve ever opened one of those little tea bags and examined their contents you’ll be surprised. Most tea bags are filled with tea dust or fanning, which are nothing but the third grade small tea leaf particles that remain at the bottom of a tea bed once the leaves are dried.
Although infusion from these particles is quicker, they lack depth and flavor in comparison with loose leaf tea. If you’re someone who loves your cup of tea, choose loose leaf tea that is full of flavor and aroma.
A good tea should have sufficient place for flavor release. As you brew your tea, you should be able to see the leaves expand and this is possible only when you opt for loose leaf tea.
Seriously, will you ever be able to see your tea expand in bags, especially with the tiny amount of space in each bag?
While it may be fine to have a bag of tea on and off, especially if you’re careful with the type of bag, only loose leaf tea is ideal for use regularly. Right from the time you brew your loose leaf tea and watch the leaves unfurl, down to when you savor every sip, you’ll be part of the journey down the mountains of these leaves.
Words from wise
Although tea bags are extremely convenient and seem classy, they are just a sop in comparison with loose leaf tea. Apart from the harmful chemicals that the bags themselves contain, you can’t really examine the quality of tea packed into the bags.
If you’re someone who loves the flavor of tea, the actual infusion is limited by the little or no space in the tea bag. Loose leaf tea, on the other hand, is much healthier, relatively freer from chemicals and pesticides, and brews much better. So if you love your morning cup of tea and truly value your health, loose tea is the perfect choice!
So why wait too long, just switch to loose leaf tea.
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