Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Why we should all ditch our tea bags for loose leaf tea
The UK is a nation of tea drinkers. Over 100 million mugs of tea are drunk each day in the UK (BBC), almost all of which comes from tea bags.
Yet loose-leaf tea tastes fresher, stronger, is better for your health and for the planet. What more could you want? Read more to find out about the benefits of loose-leaf tea and the range of teas we stock at The Refill Pantry.
What is loose-leaf tea?
Loose-leaf tea is the larger tea leaves that do not come pre-packaged in tea bags. It usually comes in a box or tin and contains whole or broken tea leaves, as opposed to the ‘dust and fannings’- tiny scraps of tea leaves- used in conventional tea bags.
Why is loose-leaf tea more environmentally-friendly than tea bags?
According to The Tea Division, tea bags have 10 times the carbon footprint of loose-leaf tea and are only 70% biodegradable!
Recently, on the BBC series War on Plastic, scientists conducted an experiment in which they placed teabags in a chemical solution for five days to dissolve any material except plastic. It revealed that some of the UK’s top tea brands, including Twinings, Tetley and Yorkshire tea, all contained a layer of plastic in their tea bags called polypropylene. This plastic takes hundreds, if not thousands of years to break down properly.
Meanwhile, loose leaf tea does not contain any of this plastic, so you can sip happily in the knowledge that no unnecessary plastic waste was involved in the making of your cuppa.
Why is loose-leaf tea fresher than teabag tea?
Unlike tea bags, loose-leaf tea is not mass produced or industrially processed. This means that is it often tastes fresher and better quality.
Typically, tea bag tea is mass produced overseas in huge quantities, and often spends months or even years on the shelf before distribution and consumption. Unlike loose-leaf, the tea in tea bags is actually the ‘dust and fannings’- tiny scraps of tea leaves left over from the production of whole-leaf tea. These broken bits usually lose their essential oils quicker, meaning the tea loses its freshness and flavour.