by Emeric Harney September 05, 2019 3 min read 9 Comments

According to the Tea Association of the USA, Americans consumed over 84 billion servings of tea—more than 3.8 billion gallons—in 2018. On any given day, more than one half of the American population drinks tea.

Nevermind that thing that took place in the Boston Harbor in 1773. Clearly, we like tea. 

How we choose our method of tea delivery, however, is completely a matter of personal preference. Knowing that there is no right or wrong choice—just like chocolate v. vanilla—having a little more knowledge about the difference between the three methods of preparing tea might come in handy.

Loose Tea

If you’re a tea connoisseur, there simply is no other way to make a cup of tea. Tea leaves need room to expand for full-bodied flavor; loose teas, when placed into a tea strainer or infuser, are free to bob up and down in the water, which surrounds every part of the leaves and creates a fuller flavor experience. Tea balls are not ideal for brewing loose leaf tea because they don’t allow enough room for the tea to expand to its full delicious potential.

In addition, loose tea is the most economical method because tea leaves can be steeped multiple times, which means you’re getting more bang for your buck, or more glee from your tea! Brewing loose leaf tea also allows you to make a cup that’s all you: use more or fewer leaves depending on how strong you like your tea. Another point in loose tea’s flavor is its sustainability--less packaging is always a good thing.

Ready to get started? Try one of our outstanding Darjeelingoolong or green teas and follow the steeping instructions for a perfectly brewed cup.

Sachets

If the paraphernalia necessary to brew loose tea just seems like too much to you, sachets may literally be your cup of tea. 

Most sachets, like Harney & Sons’, are pyramid-shaped bags that contain whole leaf teas. The pyramid shape again allows for better flow of water to surround the tea leaves which expand to release their full flavor spectrum, much like in the loose tea steeping process—similar result without the loose-tea hardware entourage. Also, the quantity is measured for you, ensuring an awesome cup every time.

If you’ve never tried tea in a sachet, give our  Gunpowder Green a try. This green tea has leaves that are tightly rolled, like little balls, that absolutely love swirling around inside a roomy sachet. Or try our commemorative RMS Titanic, a blend reminiscent of the era. Listening to “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion is optional.

Tea Bags

Your third option, and the one preferred by many for their convenience, are tea bags. They contain broken leaves or sometimes fannings (small particles of tea leaf). Whole tea leaves are not used in tea bags as their size, while perfect for travel or on-the-go, does not allow whole leaves to expand as they do in strainers, infusers, or sachets.

However, one benefit of tea bags, besides their convenient size, is that broken leaves infuse faster than loose tea. So when you’re in a hurry, tea bags are definitely your go-to for a cup of your favorite tea anywhere, anytime.

Unlike other tea bags, Harney’s are made of unbleached paper, so all you taste is the quality tea that’s inside. They’re also compostable, so better for the environment. Some of our most popular teas come in tea bags, like  Irish Breakfast,  Paris, and  Hot Cinnamon Spice. Perfect for those globetrotters who enjoy spicing life up while having breakfast in Ireland on their way to Paris. Or for those of us who just dream about it as we run out the door getting the kids to school and ourselves to work with tea in hand, made possible by the convenience of the small butmigh-tea tea bag.

BTW, we took a poll on Instagram asking which form of tea people prefer. The results? (drumroll….) 46% preferred tea bags or sachets, while 54% preferred loose leaf tea. Which do you prefer, and why? Tell us in the comment section.

Emeric Harney
Emeric Harney


9 Responses

John G
John G

September 27, 2019

I am curious if this article by BBC news changes anyone’s thoughts about Sachet’s.
“Microplastics: Premium teabags leak billions of particles – study”
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49845940
It changes mine.

 Valerie
Valerie

September 25, 2019

I use all three and all three work for me. Like most everyone here I fit brew time into my time. Loose when I ‘m at home relaxing, bags or sachets when I ’m on the go or if I’m really busy and also when I make a pitcher of iced tea. I gave up soda 16 years ago and coffee as well 4 years ago. I am an extreme tea drinker and enjoy it in many different varie-“teas”. Harney and sons has everything I need to keep me happy and three types of brewing options for that.

Sonya
Sonya

September 19, 2019

I favor loose tea for the best tasting tea flavor, and for the best quality to serve friends and family. I love to use loose tea in my fine china teapots (I use a tea filter with tea pots for easy cleanup). Tea sachets and teabags are good for traveling.

Susan Yost
Susan Yost

September 19, 2019

I’ve used all three. I had preferred the sachets until I learned they weren’t compostable. I wish that the tea bags weren’t individually wrapped but were packaged like the sachets (although perhaps there’s a reason the tea bags need to be wrapped). I travel with bags or sachets and now use loose tea at home. I throw the loose tea either in the garden or in the compost bag.

Lily
Lily

September 12, 2019

As Janise said, I’ll take Harney Tea in all forms! I prefer loose leaf because I can steep it multiple times, and the in-mug strainer is convenient. I used to think that tea bags were more convenient, but my commute to work would allow the tea to steep too long, making it too strong. While I’m at work, I use tea bags or sachets because it’s easier.

Janise
Janise

September 06, 2019

Tea bag, sachet or loose- I’ll take Harney Tea over all the others! The absolute, hands down best tea in the world!

Beth
Beth

September 06, 2019

Loose tea! You can customize and make your own blends for whatever flavors strike your fancy at the moment.

Kathy S.
Kathy S.

September 06, 2019

I use all 3 but only use the loose leaf tea when I am home because it is easier to prepare than when I am at work . At work I use the tea sachets or tea bags. I also set out tea bags for my coworkers as I love to share tea & those are packaged. I also send tea bags to my friends when I write a letter or send a card. When all is said and done I do prefer the sachets, they are whole leaf but the convenience of a tea bag.

Katie Robert
Katie Robert

September 06, 2019

In the morning, I use my teapot and make English Breakfast tea using loose leaf tea. Later in the day I use hot cinnamon spice teabags to make tea. I read that tea sachets (the sachets not the tea) have plastic in them. Is this true?, because that’s why I don’t buy tea in sachets.

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