Why we Choose Loose Leaf Over tea Bags
I always loved herbal infusions. When growing up we always made loose leaf infusions from herbs that we collected and dried ourselves. But I give you that tea bags can be very convenient indeed. When the choice came to pick the shape and form for the idyleaf herbal infusions I wanted to have a product that was of good quality. And that is the main reason why I chose to stick to loose leaf blends despite how much more convenient tea bags can be and them having more appeal while also being readily available as an option.
But it's the same herb content in tea bags too, right? Well, yes, technically, but there are more factors that come into that equation. Herbs in tea bags are generally heavily processed, and just like with food it is a well accepted concept that whole foods and in this case whole or minimally processed herbs are of higher quality and healthier than mass processed ingredients.
But more specifically what difference does it make for herbal infusions?
Well for one, the highly processed small pieces of herbs that come in the bag will release fewer minerals and antioxidants. The bigger the pieces the better it gets. They will also lose their beneficial properties and go stale much faster when they are almost in a powder form. That is one of the most common reasons why tea bags often will come with either artificial or natural flavours, because the flavour and scent of the ingredients will just disappear in a shorter amount of time. But while flavours can make up for the scent, sometimes they don't improve the taste much, and they certainly do not bring back all the goodness that the herbs are meant to be consumed for. Whole or bulkier cut herbs and flowers can much better preserve their properties, taste and scent and for longer periods of time, especially if stored in the right conditions. The herbs in tea bags need not always be of the lowest grade quality possible but the high level processing will still play a role in what health benefits they can give as well as preserving the taste and scent.
On the other hand, space plays a role too. The more space the plants have to swim in water the more of the compounds, essential oils and antioxidants they will infuse the water with. So while using an infuser ball with loose leaf herbs is better than a tea bag, the best solution for getting the most out of the herbal blends is to let them be free in water. Then the infusion can be transferred into a cup with a strainer.
Finally, by opting to hand blend the herbs ourselves we get to more carefully have control over what it is that we sell. While quality is ensured at every stage of the herbs we source, from collection to drying and shipping, we ultimately can make sure that you get what you pay for.
In the end all this work: heavy processing, additional flavours, more packaging is just there to make our lives a bit more convenient. But when it comes to quality, a small infuser ball can make a difference and so does ditching it altogether and opting for letting the leaves infuse on their own and using a separate strainer to keep the bits out of the cup.