Loose Leaf vs. Tea Bags

We are occasionally asked why Boreal Forest Teas makes only loose leaf teas (i.e. no tea bags). While we recognize that tea bags can sometimes feel more convenient, there are several reasons why we don’t do this. Here's why we’re committed to keeping it loose!   

Let me first say that not all teas are created equal. Some bagged teas are of higher quality than others, especially if they come from small scale producers. However, if your bagged tea is mass-produced at an industrial scale, you are more likely to be drinking a lower quality tea.

Loose leaf tea, also called “whole-leaf tea” is primarily made up of whole, unbroken leaves. Tea bags contain mostly broken, often pulverized, leaves. The essential oils that give the tea its aroma and flavour, and which also contain important active plant ingredients (i.e. biologically active plant constituents) are volatile. This means that the oils can dissipate quickly when the plants are crushed and exposed to air.

Losing these essential oils during processing can leave tea in a bag tasting dull and stale. If these essential oils dissipate before you can drink them (or inhale them…we’ll get to that another day), you won’t reap their benefits! Freshness can be a major issue with standard tea bags for this reason, especially if they are packed in a paper box with paper wrapping.

Plants need room to expand, move freely, stretch out and have full contact with the water. Standard tea bag material is often low-flow, and constrains the  leaves, keeping them from fully unfurling and expanding to their full flavour and aroma potential.

Loose-leaf/whole-leaf teas aim to maintain the integrity of the plants, so they can deliver more flavour, aroma, active ingredients and pleasure than the stuff found in most tea bags. Imagine the smell of a good cup of loose-leaf peppermint tea. What you are smelling (often from a distance!) is peppermint’s essential oils. Yum!

Standard tea bag material is also often made from low quality materials that contain undesirable compounds that can leach out into your tea. They also create unnecessary waste, which we are trying to avoid.

Boreal Forest Teas is committed to creating only the finest quality pure loose-leaf/whole-leaf teas. You will never find added 'natural flavours', colours or anything synthetic. We hand-blend our teas in small batches and get them out the door quickly so they are as fresh as possible!

Life’s too short for stale tea!

Happy sipping!