energy of tea is more Yin than Yang. It
is cooling and astringent by nature. Tea can help consolidate energy in the
body rather than scattering it. When you drink caffeinated tea you will
typically experience increased energy, but a smoother, more even-keeled flow
without the highs and lows. I find that drinking tea during the day gives me
the level of alertness I'm seeking without the racy feeling or late afternoon
crash of coffee.
Why Loose Leaf?
Loose Leaf vs Tea Bags
Loose teas are made from the finest hand-picked buds, whole tea leaves with natural oils and scents still intact. They are a much higher quality tea and produce a more rounded, full body flavor.
In contrast, the tea found in tea bags usually consists of smaller pieces of tea leaves or tea fannings (also referred to as dust) which may give a quicker brew, but lack the subtlety and full flavor of the larger loose leaf teas.
Whole leaf tea gives you better portion control and very importantly, the option to blend flavors and different types of tea. On average, the cost per serving is actually better when brewing loose leaf tea.
Quality, more expensive teas can often be steeped multiple times. As a result, the high or low prices of various offerings can be misleading since the more expensive, finer teas cost more per unit weight - yet yield more cups of brew.
Bottom line - whole leaf teas provide you with more flavor, aroma, antioxidants and pleasure than the tiny leaf bits and stale tea dust in most mass-produced tea bags. Typical tea bags are produced on an industrial scale and may sit in a warehouse or on a shelf for a long time before you ever get them. Not only are low-grade leaves usually picked, processed and packaged by machines overseas, most commercial tea bags are made with plastics.
So what do you do the next time you want a cup of tea? Antioxidant rich teas aren't going to do much to counterbalance the chemicals, additives and artificial flavorings in today's modern teas. Go with higher quality loose leaf tea and enjoy the moment.