Keep it fresh...
...keep it loose!
The tea bag wasn't invented before 1903, so how was tea prepared before then? Tea was prepared by steeping the loose leaves, and it's a method which has retained its popularity. Why?
1. With loose leaf tea, there is more leafy surface area compared to tea leaves in a pouch. This means that the leaf retains more of its natural oils and health giving properties.
2. Having whole leaves can lead to not only a more healthful cup of tea, but of more flavourful one. In the process of bagging, "tea dust" can sometimes settle on leaves in the tea bags, altering the flavour.
3. Loose leaf tea is as close to the tea bush as you can get. The leaves undergo the routine selection and fermenting, but they don't need any further processing like bagged varieties do.