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International Tea Day: Dust tea or whole leaf tea, which is better?

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 21-05-2022 Lifestyle Desk

As a beverage, tea has many takers in different parts of the world, but in India, it is considered to be an emotion, an important part of the culinary culture in the country.

Tea is a must-have drink in the evening, and once in the morning, in many households. On the occasion of International Tea Day today -- which is observed annually on May 21, according to the United Nations -- we bring to you the difference between dust tea and whole leaf tea, and which is better.

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According to Harshada Bansal, the founder of The Tea Heaven, tea comes in two varieties: loose leaves and tea bags. "While most people prefer traditional leaf-infused tea, some people prefer tea bags, since they require less effort. Each of us may have a different perspective on how to make the ideal cup," she says.

Bansal explains the difference between the two:

International Tea Day, International Tea Day 2022, benefits of tea, types of tea, what is dust tea, what is whole leaf tea, indian express news © Provided by The Indian Express International Tea Day, International Tea Day 2022, benefits of tea, types of tea, what is dust tea, what is whole leaf tea, indian express news Tea bags are little tea leaves designed to brew quickly. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Dust tea: It is the lowest grading of tea, is gathered from the crushing of broken leaves, which leaves only small tea particles. Tea bags frequently contain tea dust, and its flavour does not usually last over repeated steepings.

Whole leaf tea: The term 'whole leaf tea' refers to tea prepared from intact, undamaged leaves. Tea bags, also known as dust and fannings, are little tea leaves designed to brew quickly. Since a whole leaf has a bigger surface area, the tea produced by this brew is more likely to be flavourful and rich.

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"In general, whole leaf tea has a lot more taste than dust tea. Full leaf teas are more complex and subtle than loose leaf teas, and even bold, strong teas like breakfast blends have more flavour depth. Tea bags, in comparison, can appear boring and one-note. While there's nothing wrong with drinking tea from a bag, if you like tea, loose leaf tea is better," she says.

The expert concludes by saying that in the end, it only depends on your needs. "Dust tea is generally the better option if you want to prepare tea or tea latte quickly. Whole leaf tea is nearly always the ideal option if you want all of the health benefits, flavour profiles, taste, value for money, and quality while reducing waste or blending with milk and sugar," she says.

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