Is Loose Leaf Tea Cheaper? Let’s Compare

Is Loose Leaf Tea Cheaper? Let's Compare

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You want to make the best tea you can. However, you also don’t want to break the bank by buying the most expensive tea you can find on the market as that’s simply not practical. Is loose tea more expensive than tea bags?

Loose tea can be cheaper to purchase than tea bags, and this is largely due to how it is usually sold in bulk. If you drink tea daily, this can save you money.

But there’s a catch.

Loose tea can be said to be more expensive to purchase per cup, so it’s clear that there are some important factors to consider when it comes to loose tea vs tea bags in terms of cost.

There are also other important factors that need to be considered, so grab a cup of tea and settle in to discover which one will be kinder to your wallet.

Is Loose Tea Really More Expensive Than Tea Bags?  

loose leaf tea brewing

There are conflicting views on whether or not loose leaf tea is more expensive than tea bags.

We mentioned earlier that buying it in bulk can save you money, but there’s more to the story.

One of the reasons why loose leaves are more expensive is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan than tea bags.

In addition, when it comes to the actual cost of loose leaf tea, it does work out to be a bit more expensive than tea bags.

Loose whole leaf artisan teas will cost about 25 to 40 cents per cup, while premium ones will be 50 cents, as Teabox explains.

By comparison, the site goes on to explain that approximately 80 percent of tea bags will cost between 20 and 40 cents.

The Extra Expenses Involved In Loose-Leaf Tea

is loose leaf tea expensive?

Although you might think you can drink loose leaf tea “grandpa style” – that is, by throwing the tea leaves in a container, putting hot water over them and then drinking the beverage – that’s really no fun and can be messy.

If you want to make a tasty cup of tea with the use of loose tea leaves, you’ll need the right tools.

Since you’ll have to steep your tea to allow the loose leaves to release their flavors and healthy compounds, you’ll need to purchase an infuser or strainer.

These can cost anything from a few dollars all the way up to hundreds of dollars, resulting in extra costs.

Without these tools, you won’t be able to brew your own tea.

Benefits Of Tea Bags And Loose Leaf Tea

benefits of tea bags loose leaf tea

Cost aside, there are important benefits that can be found in both tea bags and loose leaf teas.

Let’s take a look at them as this will help you decide which one you should purchase.

Tea Bags: Why They’re Worth It

Don’t knock tea bags just yet – there are some advantages to using them.

Tea Bags Are Convenient To Use

One of the biggest selling points of tea bags is that they are really convenient to buy and use.

You buy them at your local grocery store and when you want to make a cup of tea you simply pop a bag into your mug and then pour boiling water over it.


You don’t have to clean anything afterward, either, as you would have to do with a tea infuser.

They’re Great For Beginners

tea brewing for beginners

If you’re not sure how to make the perfect cup of tea when using tea leaves, tea bags are great because of how easy they are.

Even a child can make a cup of tea.

You don’t have to fuss with tools and equipment or worry about how to infuse the tea with an infuser.

They’re Quick To Use

If you have a busy lifestyle, then tea bags are even more convenient and practical.

You can make a cup of tea in a few minutes tops without having to give it much thought – and you could even make a cup of tea while checking your emails!

If you’re a regular tea drinker who likes consuming tea multiple times a day, using tea bags is even more practical.

They’re Reusable

Although you might not get the same depth of flavor when reusing a tea bag, you can still make a decent cup of tea the second time around.

However, it’s worth mentioning here that loose leaf teas can also be infused more than once.

Once you’ve used your tea bag again, you can use it in many other ways: you can put it in your compost pile, use it as a skincare item to reduce under-eye circles, and even use it to polish wood surfaces.

Now you know that your trusty tea bags don’t have to get thrown into the bin right away!

You Can Find Them Anywhere

You really don’t have to search far and wide to find tea bags.

They can be found in your local grocery store or corner café.

On the other hand, you’ll have to buy loose leaf teas from specific stores that cater to tea lovers, which can sometimes feel like a hassle, especially if you’re traveling.

Benefits Of Loose Tea Leaves

benefits of loose leaf tea

If you’re unconcerned with the convenience and “quick-fix” idea behind using tea bags to make a delicious beverage, you might be interested in purchasing loose tea leaves instead.

Here are their advantages.

Loose Tea Has More Taste Variety

Although different tea bags will taste slightly different depending on the brand you purchase, essentially you won’t find such large variations in taste.

With loose leaf tea, however, you can get many more variations in flavor.

This is mainly because loose leaf tea has a greater surface area than the tea dust which is in tea bags.

This powder, known as fannings, is really the residue produced when tea leaves are broken.

Fresh loose tea leaves have natural oils and more flavors that come out of them, and you can find ones that are floral, sweet, or earthy in flavor.

Loose Tea Releases More Nutrients

Tea bags constrict the tea leaves so that they cannot expand when you put them in boiling water.

On the other hand, making tea with loose leaves means that they can unfurl as the water strikes them, and when they do this they release delicious flavor as well as all the powerful antioxidants that are in tea.

This is also why it’s recommended that you use a large tea infuser so that the tea leaves can unfurl and expand properly when hydrated.

Loose Tea Is Fresher

How long have those tea bags been in their packages at the store?

It could have been months or years that they’ve spent in warehouses and stores before you purchased them.

Loose leaf tea will be fresher, which means you get much more flavor and nutrient value out of them.

Loose Leaf Tea Can Be Tweaked For Flavor

flavored loose leaf tea

When you use tea bags to make your cup of tea, you’re basically stuck with the taste that’s in that bag, based on how much tea was used to make it.

Sure, you can add an extra bag to your cup of hot water, but that won’t make that much of a difference.

You can also, of course, add other flavors to the tea, such as honey and lemon to black tea, to make them taste different.

That said, loose leaf tea gives you many more options when it comes to making a cup of tea that satisfies you.

You can add more or fewer tea leaves to your boiling water, depending on your preferences, which can make a big difference in the tea’s flavor profile.

The important thing is to experiment with the number of tea leaves that you brew so that you can find the tastiest ones.

It’s An Opportunity To Make Tea-Making More Fun

What’s fun about making tea with the use of boiling water and tea bags?

When you brew your own tea with the use of fresh leaves, you can turn tea-making into an art form and have fun with it.

This is enhanced by all the fun tools you can purchase to make the process even more enjoyable.

Tea strainers and infusers are tools that come in a variety of creative designs to help you enjoy making tasty tea right in the comfort of your kitchen.

Related Questions

Should you squeeze tea bags to release more flavor?

This isn’t a good idea as the liquid in the tea bag will have more quantities of tannic acid, which can lead to a bitter flavor.

There’s also the risk of splitting the bag if you squeeze it, which will cause the tea particles to end up in your cup.

Where can you purchase loose leaf tea?

You can find many loose leaf tea brands and companies online, by visiting the Oh How Civilized website.

The list includes teas you can find on Amazon, organic teas, as well as the tea you can purchase with free shipping included, to mention a few varieties.

Do you need to buy a container to store tea?

Make sure you store loose tea leaves in an airtight container that’s made of tin, glass, or ceramic.

Always keep them in a dark cupboard so that the light can’t get to them.

Tea bags can be kept in their original container, or you can put them in an airtight container that’s dry and dark.


Whether you enjoy drinking tea from a bag or brewed from loose leaves, price is something to consider – and this is especially the case if you drink lots of tea on a daily basis.

However, there’s much more to consider than the price of tea.

In this article, we’ve compared loose tea vs tea bags to see what their respective advantages and benefits are.

It’s clear that loose leaf tea comes out on top if you want the most flavorful cup, although tea bags can be used for their convenience and practicality.

Whichever one you choose, happy tea drinking!

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