The complete guide to Loose Leaf Tea
Loose leaf tea is the original tea that people enjoyed during A.D. times. It was this tea that was popular, and it has remained popular long after the invention of the tea bag. It has a rich, interesting history, and offers wonderful benefits when compared to its tea in a bag counterpart.
Tea is known to have originated in China, where history is full of a delightful combination of myth and fact. The story of tea has been passed down for many generations and includes everything from the role that Buddhism played in its popularity to those who discovered tea.
According to Chinese tales, the Emperor was boiling a pot of water when tea leaves from a nearby tree floated into the pot. Upon drinking the tea, he discovered a unique taste. After this, there are two parts to the story. Some say that he found it intriguing, which led to him researching everything he could about the plant. This is how he learned of the medicinal properties of tea. Others claim that he enjoyed the drink so much that he began to drink it daily, and over time he discovered the medicinal properties because of the effect that it had on his body.
After this, tea was considered a luxury, with only the most honored people being able to enjoy sipping on a cup of tea. As time passed, tea became increasingly common in Chinese culture. Those that practiced Buddhism were forbidden from eating or sleeping during the night, but they were permitted to drink tea. It was then that the popularity of tea surged among Buddhists and remains a common drink among those that practice the religion today.
As time passed, more of the world learned about tea. Trade began, more tea trees were discovered, and tea quickly began to be imported or exported all over the world. Now, loose leaf tea remains one of the most popular drinks across the world, second to only water. This billion-dollar industry provides a wealth of health benefits that most natural healers often utilize.
Health Benefits of Tea
Loose leaf tea offers many of the same benefits of tea in bags, and then it offers additional benefits. For example, loose-leaf Earl Grey tea will offer the same benefits that are found in Earl Grey tea that is in bags, but because this tea is not as processed as the kind bought in bags it will offer more antioxidants and healing benefits. There are enough benefits of drinking tea on a regular basis that it is understandable why it is such a large industry.
Antioxidants. Regardless of what type of tea a person is enjoying, whether it is black or white tea, it is going to be packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants help rid the body of toxins and prevent free radical damage that can cause diseases. One cup of loose-leaf tea thrice daily will have an astounding impact on a person’s physical health.
Common Ailments. Tea is known for its medicinal properties, such as fighting the common cold, curing constipation, and helping soothe aches and pains as it combats inflammation. Although it is important to learn about different teas to guarantee that you are drinking the right one for your situation, most people can trust that there is tea to help combat any common ailment.
Lower Blood Sugar. Almost every type of tea, especially Earl Grey tea, is known for helping to lower blood sugar when consumed on a regular basis. Simply relaxing with a cup of tea a few times a day can help bring a person’s blood sugar low enough that they are able to manage their diabetes.
Improved Mental Health. Consuming tea on a regular basis is known to improve a person’s mood, boost energy levels and promote relaxation. This helps reduce stress while simultaneously improving a person’s coping skills so that they can take anything that the world may throw at them without losing their cool.
Improved Quality of Sleep. Because tea helps improve a person’s mood and helps them relax, it also helps them sleep better. Most people that enjoy tea throughout the day find that they can wake up the following day feeling refreshed.
Benefits of Loose-Leaf Tea vs. Tea Bags
Often, a loose leaf tea is compared to tea bags. It’s important to understand the benefits that go hand in hand with loose leaf tea to determine if it is right for you.
Higher quality. Loose leaf tea is often comprised of whole tea leaves or finely cut up tea leaves. Teabags are typically full of dust from the tea leaves. Because of this, loose leaf tea usually has higher medicinal properties and is of a higher quality than tea that is purchased in bags.
Cost-effective. The initial cost of loose-leaf tea is often higher than the cost of tea that is purchased in bags, but loose-leaf tea is more cost-effective in the long run. This is because tea bags are only good for one use. After that, they are discarded. Tea leaves can be strained out of a cup and then reused. The fresher and less processed the tea leaves are, the more they can be used for new cups of tea. Because of this, tea leaves are often cheaper in the long run.
Control how much tea is used. When a person uses a tea bag, they use however much tea dust is in the bag. When a person makes a cup of tea out of tea leaves, however, they can use as little or as much tea as they like. This guarantees that the cup of tea will be as strong as they would like for it to.
Fewer chemicals and toxins. Teabags are known for being comprised of chemicals, particularly the tea bag itself. White paper tea bags are made from bleached paper, which it what most people are drinking when they consume this tea.
More flavor. Most people that are accustomed to tea bags do not realize that they are missing out on the true flavor of tea until they enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea from loose leaf tea. Tea leaves often get slightly larger when they are boiled, and this helps release the flavor. If this movement is not possible because of the tea is in a bag, it will not taste the same.
A common dosage to use for loose leaf tea is to start with one tablespoon of tea leaves per six-ounce cup of water. Then, a person can add more tea if this is not strong enough, or less to meet their preferences. There is no right or wrong dosage to use when brewing tea with loose tea leaves.
Those that would like to enjoy the health benefits of drinking tea, such as the powerful antioxidants that are found in almost every flavor of tea, are often advised by professionals to drink three regular-sized cups of tea daily. This is often the same amount that is used when studies are conducted, such as the one mentioned above pertaining to blood sugar. It is important to note that different teas come with different benefits, and dosage may vary according to a certain flavor or health condition.
Brewing Loose Leaf Tea
There are two common ways that most people brew loose leaf tea. One involves leaving the tea leaves sitting in the cup, and the other involves straining out the tea leaves.
Those that would like to leave the tea leaves in the cup are encouraged to remember that the longer tea leaves steep, the stronger the tea will be. What might start out as a delicious, relaxing cup of tea might turn into a bitter cup of tea that makes you wrinkle your nose. However, some people like to drink strong tea and enjoy this method.
For this method of brewing loose leaf tea, simply put a teaspoon of tea leaves in the bottom of the cup. Bring a pot of water to boil, and then pour the boiling water in the cup. Allow to sit for five minutes, and then enjoy.
The other method is similar, but you will need a strainer. Bring a pot of water to boiling. Then, turn off the heat and mix the tea leaves into the boiling water. After this, allow the tea leaves to steep for approximately five minutes. Finally, place a cup under the strainer and then pour the tea into the cup. The leaves will be caught in the strainer. This is a wonderful method for anyone that wants to save their tea leaves to use them again.
Loose leaf tea remains a popular choice. It is not hard to brew, and often requires the same amount of time and effort that brewing tea in a tea bag does. Tea leaves are also not expensive, and they can be re-used to make them one of the most affordable options for those that love a relaxing afternoon spent sipping a warm cup of tea.