A few weeks ago, we brought a video from Epicurious of a coffee expert tasting and talking about coffee. This week the Victor crew found another video from Epicurious with a tea expert talking about the different teas as he tastes it.
He opens up tea bags and talks about the types of tea he sees, smells, and feels. He makes the tea and then slurps it in a particular way to aerate it and taste it better. He talks about the packaging – bag vs sachet, for instance.
He tries several different teas that come in different ways. He was even caught wrong in one of the tastings.
So what is the difference between loose tea and tea bags? Loose tea is mainly the full tea leaves or at least larger pieces while tea bags use smaller pieces of leaves and “dust”. In the factory where they roast and prepare the loose tea, the pieces that break off are swept up and used for teabags. You will get more full-bodied flavor from the full leaves vs the pieces. In fact, some leaves have so much flavor, you can brew them multiple times. Tea needs space to expand while brewing to get the best flavor and bags can limit that. The essential oils you find in tea leaves start to evaporate in the smaller pieces. Both types take about the same time to brew.
Tea will start losing flavor after 6 months and can go stale at about a year. You should store in tin canisters to keep them fresh longer.