Nothing is more delightful than a fresh pot of loose leaf tea! Travel the world with our range of premium organic teas from Darjeeling to China, Ceylon to South Africa and back. Try our single estate herbal teas or award-winning speciality blends, made in England and available in a variety of pack sizes. Ideal gifts for food lovers in any one of our luxury caddies. More...

Learn about loose leaf tea:

Loose leaf tea benefits

Is loose leaf tea better for you than bagged: Both green or black tea bags and loose leaf tea are made from the same plant, called Camellia sinensis. However, tea bags usually have always had a lower quality tea inside them. This is for many reasons:

  • Tea bags are generally much cheaper products that need to be retailed at competitive prices through traditional supermarkets, so manufacturers have used the most inexpensive grades of tea they can to bring the costs down.
  • How much does loose leaf tea cost? Loose tea products, on the other hand, sell the best they can, like a fine wine so focus more on quality tea grades. As an example in China, teas are graded by the size of their tea leaves and the way they look, while in India teas are classified by the size of the actual plant leaf. India also has a more stringent grading system evolved as a result of the operation of auction houses that developed under British rule where tea brokers bid for the best lots, often purely on site of the tea.
  • The small size of the tea bags opening means that the leaves need to be smaller to fit inside. Loose leaf tea is much larger leaf size that most can't actually fit inside a tea bag. A broken tea leaf may contain infuser quicker (great for a cheap tea bag on the go), but it also goes bitter faster and has less complicated flavour profile, which goes some way to explain why cheaper teas always need milk or sugar added.

What are the different types of loose teas: All tea was sold initially sold as loose only - that was before the era of the industrialised tea bag. So while we can still mostly buy selected speciality teas available as a loose tea, there is now a growing trend worldwide for consumers looking for more varieties and flavour teas as loose. At Chateau Rouge Fine Foods, we pack the exact same leaves in pyramid tea bags as we sell as loose. That way you are always assured to get the same premium quality!

What is the difference between green or black loose leaf tea: All green, black or white teas come from the same tea plant. They are only manufactured in slightly different ways and from various parts of the world at different altitudes, but virtually all from the exact same original plant that dates back all the way to China. Sound a bit like wine, well they are very similar in lots of ways!

How to choose a loose leaf tea gift set:

How to drink loose tea

What loose leaf tea is generally served at afternoon tea: Traditionally English Afternoon Tea has always been served with loose black tea and more speciality varieties like Earl Grey or Darjeeling (first flush). Accompanied by a selection of cucumber sandwiches, English scones with strawberry jam and cakes. The last few years, however, this as evolved rapidly as hotels compete with each other and try to do something new and novel; is now not uncommon to be offered a selection of white teas, oolongs from Taiwan or flavoured green or herbal teas.

How to brew loose leaf tea in 5 easy steps: Loose leaf tea is a much less complicated drink to prepare than most think. There are some exceptions like a first flush Darjeeling or rare teas from China which require a little more care, but usually, all you need to do is:

  • Heat the water. Place water in a kettle and heat to the boil or 200-212 degrees Fahrenheit or 95-98 degrees Celcius for black or herbal teas. For green teas 175-195 degrees Fahrenheit or 80-90 degrees Celcius and white teas 165-185 degrees Fahrenheit or 75-85 degrees Celcius
  • Heat a cup or teapot by pouring a warm water into it. In China and Japan, they naturally do this as part of the tea ceremony when they rinse the teacups with tea water to clean them, which also helps to warm up the cups
  • How much loose leaf tea in a pot? We recommend you use one teaspoon tea leaves per serving and 200 ml of fresh water (preferably filtered), place the tea leaves in the cup or teapot and pour the water over them
  • Wait 2-3 minutes for the tea to steep and release the flavours - some white tea can take slightly longer. If you prefer your loose tea stronger, add more leaves but don't over infuse. If done correctly you will get 2 or more cups from the same leaves
  • Strain out the leaves, pour in your cup and add a dash of milk if desired.

How to use a loose tea infuser

Loose leaf organic tea

Is loose leaf tea healthier than other drinks: yes, drinking tea without any added sugar or milk is particularly healthy as it contains no calories but is full of the natural benefits of the tea; antioxidants, minerals and trace elements. This does still contain caffeine and depending on the drink, and how it is brewed, green tea has less caffeine than black teas.

Is loose leaf organic tea good for you: Being the second most consumed beverage in the world after water you can imagine that large corporations have the interest to get the highest yield at the lowest cost. Unfortunately, this does mean that unless you do buy authentic organic certified teas, you will actually get the best loose leaf tea! You may be drinking tea that contains levels of pesticides, fertilisers and other unnatural substances that could pose a risk to your overall health and will be. Organic food and teas are no longer just a fad bit has been scientifically proven to be much healthier for you over the long term and reduce your risk of some diseases.

How much caffeine in tea

Is there caffeine in loose leaf tea: Yes, there is caffeine in all types of tea, albeit this can vary allot between different varieties. Most regular tea drinkers in England enjoy some form of tea for breakfast at home and then coffee outside at a coffee chain. Even if you substitute your morning black tea with healthier green tea or a decaffeinated black tea, it still has some caffeine. The only way to eliminate caffeine entirely is to drink caffeine-free herbal teas like rooibos or honeybush - these can be brewed strong without going bitter as they contain no tannins, and can be made the same way as you would a black tea with milk. Which makes red-bush tea perfect for as a healthier alternative for any breakfast.

How much caffeine is there really in green tea: According to research black tea leaves has 25-48 mg of caffeine per cup brewed vs green tea 25-29 mg. A cup of black tea uses more tea leaves (as it is denser) than an equivalent serving of less processed green. This really means that gram per gram both contain the same amount of caffeine - and are still a much healthier alternative to coffee, which on average has 95-160 mg per cup, more if you get a large grande or takeaway cup with up to 4 shots (thats even before you add all that extra milk and any flavouring or sugary syrups)!

JOIN OUR 'CR FOODIE' NEWSLETTER