Still Using Tea Bags?

Discover the Distinctive Taste of Loose Leaf Tea

Do you count yourself among the millions in the U.K. who enjoy
freshly brewed tea? If you have been making your morning (or
afternoon) cup from tea bags, you may be interested to know that
this form of tea contains only the remnants of the original
leaves. Are you surprised?
What’s more, processed, bagged tea has been largely stripped of
the essential oils that give the drink its time-tested taste. No
wonder we add so much milk, sugar or lemon.

But you have another choice. If you’ve never tried loose leaf
tea, now’s the time to elevate your tea-drinking experience.

Seeing is Believing

To get an idea of the difference between loose leaf tea and tea
bags, simply break open a bag. It’s filled with crumbled tea.
what used to be tea leaves that have now been broken and
processed, allowing their natural essential oils to evaporate.
The result? A bland-tasting drink.

Next, pick up some loose leaf tea. You’ll see that these leaves
are larger, longer and slightly curled. The difference comes out
when you boil loose leaf tea. This is when the leaves expand and
unfurl, releasing oils that contribute to a more immediate,
recognizable flavour.

The end product is a cup of steaming, freshly brewed tea that is
distinctly better in quality and flavour than anything you could
expect from a tea bag. Now that you’re ready to give this
alternate form of tea a go, what should you look for when

Which Teas to Try?

All loose leaf teas are great sources of antioxidants. But beyond
that, the four best-known tea types each have its distinct
properties, tastes and health benefits.

Black – The most popular tea worldwide goes by familiar names
like Earl Grey and English Breakfast. Black tea has been
fermented and oxidized, which contributes to its robust taste and
colour. Depending on how strong a brew you use, it’s also got the
biggest “kick” of the tea types, with a higher caffeine count.

Green – Green tea has grabbed the imagination of people drawn to
its Asian heritage. Because green tea has not been oxidized, the
flavour is more mellow – and the leaves contain more of the
polyphenols, catechins and flavonoids that are popularly
associated with health benefits.

Oolong – A cross between green and black teas, oolong is renowned
for its wide range of flavours and aromas – from fruity peach or
apricot to earthy sandalwood. In its loose leaf form, this tea
fosters a strong metabolism, which aids in digestion. This makes
a cup of oolong a good choice for dieters.

White – What makes white tea white? It’s the natural state of the
immature buds of the tea leaf – picked at this early stage, the
leaf has a light, downy appearance. Whites have a softer, more
subtle flavour than black tea, and many of its varieties are
naturally low in caffeine.

A True Brewing Experience

Making loose leaf tea isn’t difficult, and it takes only a couple
of minutes longer to brew whole leaves than to steep a tea bag.
With a small investment in an infuser and a tea strainer, you’re
ready to begin.

. Heat the water according to the tea type.
. Pour the heated water into a teapot.
. Measure the leaves into a tea infuser and place the infuser
into the pot, cover and let steep for about 3 to 4 minutes.
. Add your favourite condiments, such as sugar, milk or lemon.
You may find, however, no need to add to the already hearty

Your freshly brewed tea can be stored and chilled to drink later.
The advantage of brewing your own loose leaf tea is that you can
experiment with different amounts and blends to find the exact
strength and flavour you like best – something a tea bag can’t

Take the Next Step

Look for local, London-based stores that offer tea sourced via
the Ethical Tea Partnership (working with tea growers to develop
a thriving industry that is fair and environmentally
sustainable). Then experiment with the wide range of flavours
from around the world to find a delightful alternative to the
ordinary tea you’ve been drinking.

If you’re still using tea bags, now’s the time for a whole new
perspective. Natural, delicious and easy-to-make loose leaf tea
could become your favourite cuppa yet.

When you’re ready to step up to a better cup, experience the
global flavours of loose leaf tea from Taste Buds Heaven. You’ll
be surprised at what a difference whole tea makes.

By Pilar Mena © 2012, All Rights Reserved