Sips and Steeps


Tea bags have long been a popular, convenient way for tea lovers to get their fix. But take a survey of the tea lovers around you and you’re likely to hear poor opinions about them. How come?

First, some tea drinkers eschew tea bags because they may contain lower quality tea leaves. After plucking and processing, leaves are sorted (by hand or machine) according to grade. The pieces left over after the high-quality leaves are removed are known as brokens, fannings, and dust. These small, leftover pieces release flavor immediately when steeped, but may lack the depth of flavor found in full-leaf teas such as rolled oolongs, which contain larger, higher-quality leaves. Plus, whole tea leaves contain antioxidants and polyphenols, good-for-you natural compounds. These compounds can lose their potency when tea leaves are broken into bits.

Second, some people object to the material of the bag itself. According to Living Herbal Tea with Josh Williams, commonly used materials include paper, bamboo fiber, PVC, rayon, nylon, thermoplastic, and polypropylene. Paper bags may be treated with “bleaches that leech dioxin or epichlorohydrin which is a main ingredient in the production of epoxy resins and pesticides” (read more here).

Another complaint? Commonly cited is the concern that tea bags don’t offer as many delectable varieties: that tea bags are a beginner’s tea, so to speak.

And to add insult to injury (or, in this case, glue to chemicals), some tea bags are secured with metal or glue. We’ll take our tea sans glue, please and thank you!

But not all tea bags are created equal. At Tea Ave, we use the same high-quality tea leaves available as loose leaf teas. That means that not only do they retain the health benefits of whole-leaf tea, but they also boast the same nuanced, subtle, and lingering flavors and aromas that our loose leaf teas do. Plus, we’ve taken special care to develop our bags to meet the highest food safety standards. Our tea bags are:

  • Eco-friendly
  • 100% compostable
  • Filled with the same high-quality Taiwanese oolong tea as our loose-leaf versions
  • Made with PLA, a biodegradable plastic made of plant-based resources with no harmful fumes during printing (applies to tea bag, tag, and string; read more here)
  • Free of glue or metal: Tea bag, string, and tag are attached with ultrasonic welding technology (sound vibrations)
  • Crafted with materials made in Germany
  • Now you know which tea bags to avoid, and which to love. We’re tickled to offer you our eco-friendly + delicious bagged teas!

Which do you prefer: tea bags or loose leaf? Let us know in the comments section below.



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By Heidi, on

@Margaret, thanks for the comment. We do agree with you on the whole ceremony with loose leaf tea idea, teabags are more of an on the go item. In this case, our tea bags offer same quality loose leaf ;)

By Margaret, on

I prefer loose leaf tea. I think the tea needs the space to brew and a teabag restricts that. I prefer the ‘ceremony’ with loose leaf tea; you just don’t get that with a teabag. I accept that you can, today, get the same quality tea used in teabags as for loose leaf but I still prefer it loose and find it far superior for the reasons stated. Thanks for asking!

By Hannah Gerber, on

This is fascinating and more than a little intriguing! I’m willing to give it a go!
Will write about my thoughts at

Excited about maybe not having to carry around little tins of loose tea in my bag!

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