Loose leaf black tea in a bowl.

Tea 103: Loose vs. Bagged Tea

Join us as we delve into the differences between loose and bagged tea, exploring their unique characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks, to help you make an informed decision about which type of tea is right for you.

Brewing Experience

Loose tea allows for more control over the brewing process. You can adjust the amount of tea leaves used, steeping time, and water temperature to suit your taste preferences. This flexibility helps to achieve the desired strength and flavor. Bagged tea, on the other hand, comes pre-packaged in tea bags with a predetermined quantity of tea. This can limit customization and make it harder to adjust. 

✔️ Loose


Bagged tea is often seen as more convenient, as it comes pre-measured and packaged in individual tea bags. This makes it easy to brew a single cup of tea without the need for additional tools like tea infusers or strainers. Loose tea requires a separate infuser or strainer to separate the tea leaves from the brewed liquid, adding a step to the brewing process.

✔️ Bagged

Freshness and Storage

Loose tea, when stored properly, tends to retain its freshness for longer periods. This is because the leaves are less processed and have less exposure to air. Bagged tea, especially those in individually wrapped bags, may have a shorter shelf life due to the potential for oxidation or loss of aroma over time.

✔️ Loose

Environmental Impact

Loose tea is often considered more environmentally friendly compared to bagged tea. Loose tea generates less waste as it does not require individual packaging for each serving. Tea bags, especially those made from non-biodegradable materials, can contribute to more waste in landfills.

✔️ Loose


Because tea bags are generally mass produced, there will be fewer individual varieties and flavor combinations available. Many premium teas are not grown in sufficient quantities to allow for bagging.

✔️ Loose

With everything considered it's clear that loose leaf tea is the better way to go. You get a higher quality product, more tailored to your tastes, with less impact on the environment. And, because you can buy in bulk due to its better shelf life, it's less costly in the long run. A win-win situation no matter how you look at it.