Tea Bags, Pressed Tea and Loose Leaf Tea
Ever stayed in a so-so hotel room, sampled the complimentary tea and wondered just what you were drinking?
As we have spoken about in a previous article: "What is the difference from Tea Bonbons to other tea bags?", many teabags available around the world contain blends of black tea that are hard to identify (or not identifiable at all), often consisting of low quality tea 'dust' that is almost a by-product of the traditional black tea making process!
The everyday Chinese way of preparing tea infusions – with loose leaves – is actually popular in the West as well. Yet many people still opt for tea bags because of their practicality or the low cost (thanks cheap hotels!). The use of tea bags for fruit infusions has helped to add to the confusion about names – in fact drinks based purely on herbs, fruit or flowers, without any leaves from Camelia Sinensis, should not be considered 'tea'.
One traditional Chinese way of preserving tea is the pressing of black Puer teas from Yunnan and Fujian into 'bricks' that are practical for transport and in some cases can be kept for a long time. This, along with fermentation of the tea, is a way of keeping the product and improving the flavor.
Enter Tea Plays – we press our blends of tea leaves and herbs and flowers into practical quantities that are ready made for you to infuse quickly – the leaves bloom before your eyes and expand, infusing plenty of hot water and releasing fragrance just like loose leaf tea. You can even use a tea bag or other method of holding the leaves in one place while enjoying the same effect as loose leaves.
Isn't this the perfect middle point between the easiness of a tea bag and the traditional Chinese ways of keeping tea – loose leaves or 'bricks'? We hope you can try and decide for yourself!