You can get tea in two forms: one, in a bag that you simply dunk into hot water, and two, loose leaf that you steep with a tea strainer. Although it might seem like more of a hassle to use loose leaf tea, it’s actually so much more beneficial to your health and all around flavor. So next time you’re low on your favorite flavor, go for loose leaf.
A lot of times, tea bag companies use the trimmings or broken leaves from loose leaf tea to stick into the bags. Since the bags are very small, the leaves need to be very small as well, and because of that, they lose a lot of their aroma and natural oils. Since tea is a lot about aroma, it will also result in a worse tasting flavor.
When the tea leaves are ground so small to fit into tea bags, it also has the ability to release more of the tannins in the tea. This will make your tea taste a lot more bitter and astringent, and will cause you to use more sweetener to get it to a drinkable state. But, with loose leaf, this doesn’t become a problem since it doesn’t have to be finely ground.