Loose leaf tea vs tea bag cost. Have you wondered which is more economical? If you haven’t my blog will help you gain insights through 19 reckoning traits. 

I am a passionate blogger and to showcase my love for tea, I run my own cafe in Kolkata city. Apart from spending time in my tea shop, I dream of opening my own label one day. 

Loose leaf tea vs tea bags cost

Loose Tea Leaf Versus Tea Bag Cost- 19 HallMarked Characteristics Worth Reading

As a tea cafe owner, I always strive for the best option that will ease my job without compromising on quality. So, after a lot of thinking, I decided to write a blog about it in order to make it useful for many like me. Do read my 19 descriptive points as I compare loose leaf tea versus the cost of teabag.

I have attached a table below so we can know about the points that will be discussed.

Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag


Loose Leaf Tea

Camellia Sinensis

Tea Bag

Paper, plastic, tea leaves, etc

Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag


Loose Leaf Tea

Made available in tea packets

Tea Bag

A pouch that is dipped in hot water

Loose Leaf Tea

Rich and flavorful

Tea Bag

Lacks taste and color

Loose Leaf Tea

Plucking and drying the leaves of Camellia Sinensis

Tea Bag

Industrially produced

Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag


Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag


Loose Leaf Tea

Rich brew, flavorful, aromatic, etc.

Tea Bag

An easy and quick way to make tea

Loose Leaf Tea

Can cause insomnia, teeth stain, etc.

Tea Bag

Cancer, tea leaves in the teeth, etc.

Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag


Loose Leaf Tea

Herbal, fruit, black, white, green, etc.

Tea Bag


Iced tea, fruit, etc.

Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag


Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag


Loose Leaf Tea

Depends on the tea leaves

Tea Bag

3-4 months approximately

Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag

Pocket Friendly usually

Loose Leaf Tea

Artisan tea, tea lovers delight

Tea Bag

Tea pouches, tea case

Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag

10-20 bags though is variable

Loose Leaf Tea


Tea Bag

Varies on the tea leaves

Now, that we have an idea about the key factors, let me guide you through each point one at a time for better understanding.

1. The History of Loose Leaf Tea & Tea Pouches

The history of loose leaf tea and that of teabag has always fascinated me. Let us take a tour down memory lane and get to know them closely.

Loose tea leaves origin or history can be dated to early China under Emperor Shen Nong discovered the leaves in the year 2737. He decided to boil the leaves and see what they offered. Was he surprised? I would definitely agree for the leaves when mixed with boiling water gave a refreshing drink.

Teabags on the other hand was an accidental discovery and have their roots in America. The credit is rightly given to Thomas Sullivan, a tea merchant. There is another theory to it as some say that teabags were first discovered in the year 1901 by Roberta C Lawson and Mary Mclaren when they filed a patent for what is now known as teabags.

2. Loose Leaf Tea V/s Tea Bag Cost: The Source of The Two Types

The source is an important point that defines tea and this is what I would like to talk about.

Loose tea leaves as we all know are sourced from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis. The plant was first discovered in China but, is now found in major tea-growing countries across the world. 

Teabags on the other hand can be credited to the remains of tea leaves after being packed. Thus, one can rightfully say it is sourced from materials like nylon, paper, cloth, silk, plastic, etc. 

3. Comparing Loose Leaf Tea & Tea Bags Based On Their Environment-Friendly Nature

Recycling, composting or bio-degradable food products are the need of the hour and so, let us compare the two based on their environment-friendly aspect.

Loose leaf tea is sourced from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant and when thrown away easily decomposes. Thus, we can say that loose leaf tea is highly environmentally friendly. 

Teabags on the other hand are made from fabrics like plastic, nylon, etc, and take years to decompose. Now, to prove my point further, I urge you to read my blog Are Nylon teabags safe, and get to know 12 eye-opening facts. 

4. How To Define Loose Leaf Tea & Tea Bags

Let us now see how the two popular ways of drinking tea can be defined as in a few words.

Loose leaf tea is any tea that isn’t pre-packed like teabags and neither are they crushed but are dried. Further they need room to expand in order to release their aroma and other goodness. 

Teabags on the other hand are little pouches that hold the tea leaves mixed with dust, fannings of tea leaves. They are dipped in hot water and owing to the tiny space the leaves have little to no scope to expand to their full potential. 

5. Loose Leaf Tea V/s TeaBags Cost: Consistency & Texture

The most important factor that sets loose leaf tea and tea bags cost apart is the texture and consistency they offer.

One of the many factors that make lose leaf tea special is its light texture and smooth consistency which makes the beverage a delight to drink. 

Teabags cost doesn’t offer any such privilege and has a pale texture with a runny consistency that is an instant put-off. 

6. Both Loose Leaf Tea and Tea Bag Are Prepared Differently

The way loose leaf tea and tea bags are prepared is another fascinating read.

Loose leaf tea is plucked either by machine or is handpicked. They are further rolled and given their desired shape by the heavy use of machines. I happened to visit Darjeeling tea garden at the age of 12 and was mesmerized by the whole process. That visit is still etched in my memory as if it was just yesterday. Well, this is the reason why after so many years I was able to recall the process and write it in brief.

On the other hand, teabags are industrially prepared. In other words, the bags are filled with tea powder, tea dust, and fannings which are then sealed firmly. These bags are then put in boxes and rolled into the markets. Now, chances are high that by the time the bags reach you they might have already lost their aroma owing to being made weeks or months ago. 

7. Loose Leaf Tea V/s Teabag Cost: The One That Offers Full Or Better Control Over The Beverage

We love to consume food and drinks that we can make it the way we want and what would fit better than tea. Let us weigh loose leaf tea and teabags based on this aspect.

With loose leaf tea, you have full control over the quantity of leaves, the steep and brew time, water level, etc. I prefer tea made with loose tea leaves as I have full command over my beverage. Moreover, the texture and consistency along with the sweetness are at my disposal.

In the case of teabags, I wish I could say the same thing. Unfortunately, I can only control things like the addition of milk, sweetness, and the number of dips. The rest depends on the pouches and thus, I would say that when it comes to better control over my tea, loose leaf tea is my ideal choice.

8. TeaBags Or Loose Leaf Tea: The More Aromatic Brew

Nothing relaxes me better than the aroma of tea and is what draws me to it like iron to a magnet. Let us now compare the two options to make tea on the basis of an aromatic brew.

I will first discuss loose leaf tea and which I highly recommend. Now, when you buy a packet you get good quality leaves that are sealed with their aromas, essential oils, and other goodness that the tea variety has to offer. When you add the leaves to the water it will be infused with all the natural goodness and you instantly feel rejuvenated.

Teabags on the other hand offer no such privilege and I would only suggest opting for it when there is no other option left but, you need your tea fix instantly.

9. Comparing Loose Leaf Tea & TeaBags For Their Popularity Reasons

Tea is the second most popular drink after water and we shall contrast the two methods based on their popularity reasons.

Loose leaf tea offers a better infusion as a result of which you get a rich texture with a smooth consistency yet is light to drink. This tea is aromatic and filled with anti-oxidants at the same time and for many like me is an instant cure for all ailments. Now, I have also written a blog on 27 practical reasons that will make you fall in love with tea even more. Do give it a read and share your reasons in the comments section below.

Teabags will not take the jab lightly and it has its own reasons that can be credited to its popularity. Easy to carry, tea on the go or instant tea anywhere and anytime, no need of hot water for iced tea pouches are an option too, etc are some reasons that have paved the way for the popularity of tea bags.

10. Weighing The Disadvantages Of Loose Leaf Tea & Teabags

Anything, when had in excess, has its side effects and the same can be said for loose tea leaves & tea bags. Let us see some negatives they offer so we can compare them for their cost.

Loose tea leaves when drunk in excess especially black tea might cause stomach aches and insomnia owing to the high level of caffeine. Did you know that caffeine in tea has a name? Yes, it is called Theine. Apart from the mentioned negatives, tooth stains, restlessness, etc cannot be ruled out. 

Teabags in my opinion should be banned for that little harmless pouch is very harmful and poses serious threat issues. Too much usage of the bags releases a huge amount of plastic in your cup, it also causes cancer, you get a bitter-tasting tea, etc.

11. Loose Leaf Tea V/s Tea Bag Cost: The Level Of Customization

Let us now compare the level of customization that loose leaf tea and tea bags offer.

When I talk about loose leaf tea, a drink that is highly customizable comes to my mind. I have already spoken about some of them previously where I have mentioned how I can control the drink and will not write much. However, I will share my method of making the tea. I add 1 teaspoon of the leaves to hot water and let it steep for 1-4 minutes. Then when I am happy with the color, I add milk. This method has never failed me and I highly recommend it.

Tea bags are something I would use when I have no means to make tea as this method leaves little to no level of customization. I have no control over the kind of tea leaves that goes in the pouches nor do I have control over the taste. Thus, when I can make my brew without any rules, why would I want to settle for the second best?

12. Loose Leaf Tea V/s TeaBags Cost: The Types They Are Available

The next and a very interesting focal point that I would like to compare the two talked about options to brew tea is the type each one offers.

Loose Leaf tea offers a wide choice to its takers and options like Black, Green, Pu-erh, White, Oolong, etc are some credible options that are easily available and can be made in no time either. 

Teabag on the other hand is ready with its variety. Iced tea has been dominating the list along with other options like fruit tea, herbal tea, black, green, etc. 

13. How Often Can Loose Leaf Tea & TeaBag Be Reused?

Let us now compare loose leaf tea and teabag cost based on how often or the number of times they can be reused.

Loose tea leaf is good till 5-10 times depending on factors like the kind of tea leaves, infusion or steep time, the method in use, etc. It is a good idea to know the tea leaves first so that you get a satisfying brew. 

In the case of tea bags, I suggest 2 infusions at the maximum. Remember, that a cup of tea made using teabags is anyways lacking the rich taste as compared to a fresh brew, and using it more than the specified dips will result in a weaker taste. 

14. The More Economical Buy When Bought In Bulk

Let us now compare the cost of loose leaf tea vs the cost of tea bags when one buys them in bulk.

This depends upon a lot of factors like the flush type, quality of leaves, tea flavor, etc. It would also be worthwhile to know that tea is an evolving market and so companies keep coming up with schemes too to sell their wares. Having said this, even then loose leaf tea is an expensive buy as compared to tea bags.

Teabags on the other hand, even if bought in bulk cannot keep up with the cost of loose tea leaves owing to factors like the leaves being of inferior quality, lacking in flavor or aroma, etc.

15. Comparing Loose Leaf Tea & TeaBag Based On Their Shelf Life

When we buy a packet of loose tea leaves or a box of teabags, we obviously tend to buy the option that gives us a longer shelf life. So, let us compare the two alternatives based on their shelf life.

A packet of loose tea leaves has a shelf life of 18-24 months and when stored properly ie, in air-tight containers lasts for 3 years too. 

Teabags too have a shelf life of 18-24 months and this is irrespective of the pack being sealed or otherwise. However, it is a mandate that they are stored in air-tight containers after you have opened a box. 

16. The Cost of Loose Leaf Tea V/s TeaBags

The comparison of loose leaf tea versus that of teabags is something that is worth speculating over as each company offers different prices for the same quantity and thus, an exact price is difficult to quote. So, the prices mentioned in this section is being quoted from my own experience.

I buy loose tea leaves and for a pack of 1 kilogram, I have to pay anywhere from Rs. 180/- to Rs. 900/- per kilograms. Now, this again depends on the source along with other factors like tea leaves type, flush type, organic, weight, etc. Wholesale rate and when bought directly from a tea merchant will be cheaper than buying it from the local shop. 

Teabags can start from Rs.190/- and can go upto Rs. 400/-  This again depends on the kind of tea leaves, the quantity that a box can withhold, the weight, etc. Thus, it will not be wrong to say that loose tea leaves is definitely an expensive buy. 

17. Tea Bags & Loose Leaf Tea Are Known By Different Names

The next point I would like to mention is the names by which they are known as.

Loose tea leaves can be also called Artisan tea, tea lovers delight, the best infusion, etc in many tea-drinking counties across the globe.

On the other, tea bags are usually called tea pouches, tea cases, dip tea, etc by people who swear by this method to brew their cup.

18. Loose Leaf Tea V/s Tea Bag Cost: The Available Quantity

Let us now sum up loose tea leaves cost with that of tea bags based on the quantity that’s available.

A typical packet of loose tea leaves is available from 500 grams and if you want to buy in kilograms, then it can start from 1 kilogram till 5 kilograms or even higher. 

On the other hand, a box of teabags can have 10-50 pouches depending on the company and the material used.

19. Loose Leaf Tea V/s Tea Bag Cost: Caffeine Level

The last point I would like to discuss is the level of caffeine or better Theine.

The caffeine in loose tea depends on the tea type. Black tea has the highest caffeine as compared to other tea types and is the reason why it is bitter.

Now, when we compare the level with that of loose leaf tea, expect the level to be anywhere from 30 milligrams to 50 milligrams per serve. Want to know how to decrease the level? Read my blog about Should teabags be squeezed and find out through 11 logical points. 


This concludes my blog about loose leaf tea v/s tea bag cost and I hope I was able to help you in taking a calculated decision about the cost of the two varieties. However, the end decision is yours to make and I do not want to impose anything. Having said this, if you feel like asking me further questions or have something to share, do drop them in the comments section below and I will gladly answer them. Also, do visit my website to read more about the world of tea. 

Happy Sipping!