Why Switch to Loose Leaf Tea?

brew, faq, guide, tea -

Why Switch to Loose Leaf Tea?

It is the beginning of the new year, a time many of us use as an opportunity to reflect on practices which we can change to improve our way of living. Switching to loose leaf tea is a small step you can take to immediately improve not only your enjoyment of the nation’s favourite beverage, but also improve your health and lessen your environmental impact. Here’s how:

Environmental Impact

The average tea consumption per head in the UK is currently estimated at 2-3 cups per day. This comes to the length of 31,000 football pitches every year! With many commercially available teabags containing plastic (not Char teabags, of course), that is potentially a lot of waste that will sit for at least 20 years before it even begins to break down, and can take hundreds of years to decompose. There are biodegradable alternatives, which we are proud to offer at Char, however these can be comparatively costly. Loose leaf teas are by nature compostable, and so you can enjoy your brew with the knowledge that you are contributing to a better world with each sip. 

Health Benefits of Loose Leaf Tea

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, many teabags are made with plastic. This is in order to seal the tea within the bag using heat, melting the open edges of the bag together. Heat helps to break materials such as plastic down, so why is it a common assumption that this does not occur when boiling water is applied to those teabags in the tea making process? A study conducted in Canada found that a single teabag released 11.6 billion microplastic particles into the cup, and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles, none of which are visible to the naked eye. Microplastics and nanoplastics are issues that are gaining public awareness quickly, and their effects on the human body and the environment are still being studied. However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that these plastics have harmful effects on the body’s defence system due to bacteria that can occur on the surface of the plastics, long-term detrimental effects on the intestine that impacts the immune system’s ability to fight off disease, and potential correlations to gastrointestinal cancer.

Switching to a plastic-free alternative such as loose leaf tea is a simple change which will have long reaching benefits to your health.

 various teabags

Taste - How Loose Leaf Tea Enhances Flavour

Some of you will be familiar with the term ‘tea dust’. This is what is often put in teabags – the lower quality ‘dust-like’ tea which results in a murky cup with a diluted flavour profile. It is cheaper to acquire and a very different taste experience from orthodox cut loose leaf, which you can see actually looks like dried leaves (because that’s what it is!). At Char, we are very aware of the disparity of quality commonly associated with bagged tea, which is why you will find all of our tea bag packages say “loose leaf in tea bags”.

tea bag dust vs loose leaf tea


Loose leaf tea also opens you up to a range of new flavours, and as you are assuring quality through use of loose leaves, you will gain a new appreciation for subtleties of flavour between teas of the same variety. You will be a tea connoisseur in no time!

spoons containing a variety of loose leaf teas


Enjoy the Ritual of Brewing Loose Tea

The process of making loose leaf tea becomes a calming and immensely rewarding practice in and of itself. Famously, in countries such as Japan and China, there are artforms dedicated to the preparation of tea and its consumption. In this way, you will be taking part in a mindfulness practice which dates back hundreds upon hundreds of years. Additionally, many green teas and oolong teas can be infused multiple times for slightly different taste experiences!

Loose leaf tea preparation also very visually pleasing, and is a touch that will impress guests or Instagram followers alike.

 Tea ball partially opened to show loose leaf rose tea within


The last point I would like to touch on is the sense of community amongst tea drinkers. In our Winchester High Street shop, we see it every day – tea brings people together and makes friends out of strangers. Someone who popped in for their usual Earl Grey will stop to chat to someone who can’t decide between a pouch of Rosy Earl Grey or China Rose. We’ve been there, and we are an enthusiastic bunch when you get us talking about tea!

In switching to loose leaf tea drinking, you will be entering a community of some of the very best people, and can proudly count yourself among that number.


Ready to elevate your tea experience? Explore the world of loose leaf teas at Char. Visit our Loose Tea Collection now and embark on a journey of flavour, health, and community. Make the switch today!