There’s no such thing as ‘just green tea’, there’s a whole world inside of those last two words. I often compare tea to wine just to illustrate how there’s so much depth in red or white wine, that it can be made of a certain grape from a certain region or a blend, and there are thousand varieties of wine, like there are of tea. So green tea can be from different regions and processed in different ways, which is why there are so many varieties and flavor profiles within its category.
Before I show you my findings and observations let me give you some context: the tea leaves you find in most teabags, especially mass market brands are low-grade leaves, dust and fannings. The leaves are cut so small that the overall contact area between the leaf and the water is much larger than with loose leaf tea, resulting in a stronger but also duller brew with lack of complexity. The increased surface area allows for the leaves’ essential oils to evaporate, also affecting its freshness. Overall, from most teabags you get a strong, one-dimensional dull flavored cup (although there are many companies doing teabags/sachets made of higher quality loose leaf, basically portioned loose leaf tea!).
* Loose tea leaves vs. contents of an opened teabag after brewing
To contrast this, I chose to add a loose leaf tea to the tasting and the results were quite obvious in terms of quality, flavor complexity and also in the dullness of the cup. You’ll see there’s no competition flavor-wise here, you can get so much more out of loose leaf tea!
Having already said that, I recorded my observations on the chart below but I’ll comment further on a few points.