What is Whole Leaf Tea?

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What is Whole Leaf Tea?

 There are a lot of topics we cover here on our Tea Blog. We talk about the different types of tea, tea cocktails, tea cooking recipes and different ways to make tea. Some of you have subscribed to Tea Time since we started over 2 years ago, but, for others this may be your first time reading this newsletter. Therefore, I think it may be a good idea to step back and talk about whole leaf tea – the ONLY style of tea offered at Golden Moon Tea.   

The main difference between whole leaf tea and teabags

There is one fundamental difference between whole leaf tea and teabags and that is the size of the leaf. Teabags use little specs of tea called “fannings,” which are little more than tea dust. Whole leaf tea uses a large part of the tea leaf. While you may think that the difference is superficial, I am here to tell you that it is not. First, we need to look at how tea is produced.

Fannings have one major issue

Teas have a lot of essential flavor compounds, such as tannins and essential oils, that give it flavor. When tea leaves are cut or broken into tiny little specs, these flavor compounds dry out very quickly. When they dry out, they are no longer as flavorful as they used to be.

Why whole leaf tea is superior

When tea leaves are left in their full, natural form, they do not dry out. Since the leaves do not dry out, they hold onto these yummy flavor compounds and give the tea more flavor and aroma when brewed. Just think of it this way, when you eat a bag of potato chips, the big chips always taste better than the dust left at the bottom of the bag. The exact same thing applies to tea. 


 A lot of people tell me “tea is tea,” that it doesn’t matter if you brew a proper cup of tea or use a teabag. This is crazy if you ask me. Using that same logic, the same people could say that using instant mashed potatoes is the same as homemade mashed potatoes. I hope that after reading this you will agree with me – whole leaf tea is simply superior to any bagged tea. If you don’t believe me, try our Tippy Earl Grey side by side against your favorite Earl Grey Teabag and I guarantee you will taste, smell and see the difference.  


1 Response

Ruth Horne
Ruth Horne

January 21, 2016

I love almost any tea. My grandfather was pure Irish and my mom drank tea all her life. Her dream was to visit Ireland. She died at 69 and never got there. Now it is my dream to go after I retire from teaching. I will be sixty two in a year and a half. I also didn’t know about the nasty things in teabags. I drink a lot of ice tea in the summer. I will start using loose tea. At work I can bring in an infuser and loose tea. You will be on my list for great teas. The grocery stores have very little loose teas. I love earl gray. And the smoky tea-lapsong soughing and I do like some green teas also. I love your story. In my house we love Chinese and Italian food.

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Loose Tea Serving Size Guide

Here is a quick guide to how many cups of brewed tea each of our serving sizes makes.

If you would like to know more about how we came up with these calculations plus how to figure out cost per serving check out this article.