Things To Get Into: Loose-leaf tea



Your Google machine works just as well as mine does, so I’m not going to spend a ton of words here trying to tell you the benefits of loose leaf tea. At least, not the conventional benefits anyway. I got into tea completely by accident (read: because of a girl) and once I did — in the summer no less — I began devouring all of the different varieties as voraciously as I could. Once I like something, I tend to go full bore.

But you don’t care about that. You want to know why you should drink tea. Here’s a quick list of reasons:

1. It’s cheaper than your coffee habit.

You might enjoy dark-roast, light roast or Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee at $25/lb. but for that same price you can get a truckload of tea. The best part of most loose-leaf varieties is you can re-steep them. So while you’ll need to pay for a 2nd cup of coffee when it’s all done, with tea you can just get more water over that bag of loose-leaf and drink again. Some teas can be re-steeped multiple times. 

2. You can support independent coffee shops.

Some people get all indignant about folks who willingly drop cash at the altar of Starbucks. But like most chains, they don’t sell loose-leaf tea, just the bag variety. If you want loose-leaf tea, you’re going to need to trek to a indy coffee shop where the music is loud and not for sale. A true win-win if you ask me. If you’re lucky enough to live in a town with tea shops, well then even better. But be careful, some of those places can be a bit dead or not well-suited for loitering. 

3. You can find tea with more caffeine than your cuppa Joe.

There are herbals teas that do not have caffeine, but if you’re just looking for a jolt then you can pick to your heart’s content. Each steeping of tea has less caffeine than the original, which means it’s not akin to chugging a bottle of Mountain Dew. Which is good, since that stuff is awful for you. (I still like it sometimes…judge away.)

4. The ultimate indie drinking habit.

If you’re one of those people who likes to be up on everything before your friends are or just wants to seem cooler than people who don’t know about something you know about (Wait, are there even people like this?! Ha.) then tea is your best play ever. Everyone knows what tea is (or at least, they think they do) but so many folks have been introduced to loose-leaf that you’ll always feel like some kind of wise educator. It’s possible that they’ll also see you as a high maintenance effete snob, but that’s just a risk you’ll have to take if you want to drink something.

So there you have it. Four good reasons why you need to put down that Big Gulp full of 7-11 coffee and track down a tea joint stat.