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K S said

not the usual loose vs bag

A friend drinks Twinings earl grey I drink Ahmad EG (usually green). We have both noticed the same peculiarity. The bag tea has more bergamot smell and flavor. We both expected just the opposite. In both instances the tea base does have more flavor and added subtleties. These are the only two teas we have used in both bag and loose. Is this normal for flavored teas?

Unrelated – The Twinings is very small broken pieces and the Ahmad leaves, while still broken pieces, are about four times larger.

8 Replies

I think like in anything there are good products and not so good products. At the risk of sounding like a loose tea snob, if you like the bagged version go with it. Or you might consider one of many options for loose earl grey, there may be better quality loose leafs that will give you a very different experience. Just about every company has an Earl Grey, it might be fun to try a few and relaly seek out the best option. There are more and more companies selling sample packs that would make trying different earl grey more economical.

I like flavored greens and while rare there are a few bagged versions that I like. However in direct comparison to loose teas they usually fail.

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K S said

Ok your last comment is what prompted this topic. We fully expected the loose leaf to be more. In this particular case the bag is more flavorful. I am not commenting on the quality of the tea. You cannot compare say Golden Moon loose to Twinings bag. They are two different animals. I am asking about the same brand and same blend available in both bag and loose. I am asking if other teas that are available in both loose and bag have the same issue.

As for tea snob, here is an interesting read:
http://www.tearetailer.com/article_100.html

Caitlin said

I’ve read that the tea from tea bags diffuses more concentrated – something to do with the smaller area of the leaf. That could have something to do with an increase bergamot flavor.

K S said

I knew bagged steeped quicker but I never gave the surface area a thought in delivering flavor. Any one know, is the flavoring added after the leaf is rolled? I would guess yes. That could possibly reduce the surface area being coated with flavoring.

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cteresa said

Do you think it might have to do with the packaging of the bag? I was writing a review about Lady Grey tea, which I love, and have tried in lots of different (and different markets) format. I think fresher tea, further from best-before tea is more aromatic, but it also stands to reason that wrapping each teabag in a little paper bag might help to prevent the aroma from fading as much. There is a lot of oxygen in a half-empty tin!

K S said

Another great thought. Both Twinings and Ahmad come in sealed mylar envelopes. They taste different but both smell amazing when opened. The Twinings is in the blue tin. The AhmadI buy a pound at a time. It comes in a aluminum (I think) lined bag. Both are well under their expiration dates. So maybe this is a combination of air, surface area, and relatively inexpensive tea.

So what do you have against cupcakes? (read your profile)

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cteresa said

It was first thing which came to my mind, I feel besieged by cupcakes (a trend which has gone way way too far) and was talking of it a couple hours before signing up. Now croissants, real croissants, they can bring the trend back. Or scones. stuff with buttercream frosting, urgh no.

I think the best teabag envelopes are ones even better, they are opaque, with this sort of metalized interior – Mr Jones, a dutch bijou brand I really like uses those. The aroma is incredibly fresh when you open one. Makes sense, tea is protected from air and light in there. But hard to compare, it all depends on quality of the fresh product.

But yeah, add me to the “heretics” which have liked better results from teabags than from loose tea (of the same kind) – I think it all depends on freshness and packaging.

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K S said

Croissants I agree. Bagels even better. Still like cupcakes though – and earl grey.

Sounds like we are describing the same envelopes. Thanks for validating my comments on bag and loose. If it is an across the board truth then Coconut Pouchong needs to come in a bag. ha. Don’t hate me folks, I’m just saying that stuff is beyond good. No Marcus, I don’t really want to see this in a bag.

I actually prefer the loose Twinings Earl Grey over the bagged. To me the bagged version is too bright and more mellow in the loose. That’s what I like about Ahmad, it is more subdued. The loose version though is a little too subtle but the green tea base is quite tasty. Also amazed at how much the leaf swells during steeping. 1 tsp grows to over 6 tsp of leaf. Try their Darjeeling or No. 1 sometime if you like black tea.

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