By Claire Hou
We would be inclined to think of loose leaf tea as the more traditional, “better” way to brew tea. Or others may think that there is no difference at all– it’s just tea. However, there are some unseen upsides and downsides to both methods.
Both tea leaves and bags contain the same components, but the key difference is how they react when exposed to heat. Tea is a great source of micronutrients and antioxidants, and the question is which one of the two has the maximum amount of these active compounds.
According to Dr. Anju Sood, a nutritionist, “if you are looking for an authentic way of having tea, I would suggest that you should always prefer a tea bag and not leaves because the excessive brewing can raise the pH levels of the tea, causing several health problems."
Tea bags, as opposed to tea leaves, are made with smaller broken leaves and pieces of tea. Since they are cut smaller, they are thought to enhance the extraction process of bioactive compounds. The crux, however, is more about brewing the tea properly. Not brewing tea correctly or for the right amount of time might lead you to miss out on a variety of bioactive compounds. (Read more at https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/tea-leaves-or-tea-bags-which-ones-a-healthier-option-1820829)
But here is where it starts to get complicated! Recent studies have found that plastic tea bags shed billions of microplastic particles into the cut when they are steeped. A NewScientist article reports that “a Canadian team found that steeping a plastic tea bag at a brewing temperature of 95˚C releases around 11.6 billion microplastics – tiny pieces of plastic between 100 nanometers and 5 millimeters in size – into a single cup.”
While more research and experiments are needed to understand health impacts in humans, we need to be aware of what we are consuming. Learn to smart about your tea drinking habits– use a paper tea bag or prepare your loose leaf tea with a metal steeper!
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2217483-plastic-tea-bags-shed-billions-of-microplastic-particles-into-the-cup/#ixzz66lNTpMIt
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