Ever wondered how tea granules and teabags differ? Read my blog about tea granules versus tea bags and let my 11 crucial points be your guide.

I am a passionate tea blogger and a tea enthusiast who also runs her own tea cafe in Kolkata city. Apart from blogging and handling my cafe, I plan to open my own tea label.

Tea granules versus tea bags

Tea Granules Versus Tea Bags: 11 Defining Aspects That Will Change The Way You Drink Tea

Running a tea cafe isn’t an easy task. On the contrary, during peak hours, it is quite challenging and I have to be on my toes constantly. Nothing but the best is my motto and so, I came up with 11peaking differences between the two most populous ways of making an ideal cup of tea.

Tea Granules


Tea Bag


Tea Granules

Refined tea leaves that haven’t met the traditional way

Tea Bag

A pouch designed to be dipped in hot water to aid in tea

Tea Granules

Camellia Sinensis, parts of flowers, herbs, etc.

Tea Bag

Powdered tea leaves, dust, fannings, etc.

Tea Granules

Yellow, White, Black, Oolong, etc.

Tea Bag

Black, Pu-erh, Green, etc.

Tea Granules

Highly suggested

Tea Bag

Not at all likely

Tea Granules

Withered and then processed

Tea Bag

Mixed with fanning and remains of loose tea leaves

Tea Granules

1-4 minutes approximately

Tea Bag

Almost instant

Tea Granules

30 mg-90 mg

Tea Bag

Varies on the flavor

Tea Granules

Good-High Grade

Tea Bag

Inferior to low quality

Tea Granules


Tea Bag


Tea Granules

18-24 months

Tea Bag

18-24 months

Now, that we have an idea about the focal points that would be covered, let us then take one point at a time and gain some in-depth insights.

1. Tracing The Origin of Tea Granules and Tea Bags

The history of a drink speaks for itself and is an important factor in its comparison. So, let us start by exploring their history.

Tea granule’s history is quite debated. Some say that it has its roots in early China where it was discovered as a medicinal plant. Now, it is also believed that India got its first taste of tea during the British era though I beg to differ. My country is known to introduce Ayurveda to the world wherein medicinal plants were used by the sages to treat ailments with the help of Mother Nature.

Teabags are believed to be an accidental discovery by Thomas Sullivan an American tea exporter in the year 1908 when tea was packed in silk pouches and people added these pouches to boiling or hot water that was to be used to brew tea. Though studies also reveal that it was patented much earlier by Roberta C. Lawson and Mary Molaren, residents of Milwaukee, America.

2. The Best Way To Describe Granules and Bags

The second most important point is what one exactly means when they are talking about tea granules and tea pouches.

You must have brewed tea using granules a lot but, if you have never wondered what they are exactly let me help you with it. When you read or hear granules expect a very fine jelly-like mass or substance that hasn’t still undergone the CTC method. CTC stands for “Crush, tear, curl” or at times it is also called, ” cut, tear, curl”. This is usually done in the case of black tea. 

Teabags on the other hand are small pouches that are industrially made. These bags are filled with broken leaves that are mixed with dust and fannings. These are then sealed with glue and dipped in hot water till the desired consistency is attained. Now, if you want to examine the facts further, then do read my blog Are nylon teabags safe, and let my 12 eye-opening facts help you get some questions answered. 

3. Tea Granules & Tea Bags Originate From Different Sources

Let us now compare the sources of the two preferred methods that are used to make tea.

Tea granules are sourced from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant majorly though depending on the tea type it is sometimes sourced from shrubs, flowers, and other parts of flowers too. This is then called tisane and I have written a blog about it too. Do read tea v/s tisane and through 31 comparable aspects, find out some amazing truths. 

Teabags contain the dust and fannings of tea leaves. These bags are made from materials like nylon, paper, plastic, etc, and are further stuck together with the help of glue.

4. Tea Bags & Granules Are Available In Different Varieties

Let us now compare them on the basis of some varieties available.

The granules are available in some great flavors like black, green, and white. They are also available in the more uncommon range from Yellow tea to the rarest Da Hong Pao, herbal tea range like Lavender, Hibiscus, Mushroom, Butterfly pea tea, etc. are some remarkable options that are worth trying.

Teabags aren’t far behind in the race and flavors like black tea, green, Pu-erh, etc are some options that deserve a mention.

5. The Option That Is Best Suited For A Better Infusion

Have you ever thought about which one out of the two modes in the discussion should you choose when a refreshing and a great tasting brew is on your mind?

I would surely lay my bet on granules for tea made this way not only tastes great but, is rich in antioxidants too that instantly refreshes you. want to know more reasons to fall in love with the beverage? Read my blog about 27 practical reasons to fall in love with tea. 

Now, since the tea pouches contain powdered leaves that are mixed with tea dust and fannings, the drink is quite tasteless and the taste is a far cry from being refreshing. Thus, as suggested by tea experts, if a better infusion is on the mind, tea granules should be your choice.

6. Tea Granules & Tea Pouches Are Processed Differently

Let us now examine how loose tea leaves and tea pouches are made.

The granules after going through the oxidation or withering process are then passed through a series of rollers that are covered in hundreds of small and sharp teeth.

Teabags, on the other hand, are rolled into thin pouches where the tea leaves added are packed in a compact manner that leaves little room for them to expand. Now, if you want to know how the tea pouches are made in detail just scroll above.

7. Loose Tea Leaves & TeaBags Have Their Own Brewing Time

The brewing time is an important aspect that brings the desired color and consistency to a drink. Therefore, we must compare the steeping time involved in each method.

Whenever I make tea and which is something I make all the time as if my life is dependent on it is something I learned to brew up at an early age and I make it all the time. Now, I learned to make a cup without having timed it, often brewing the water with tea leaves till a reddish color. You can then either strain the liquid or brew it further by adding milk. In this case, I would advise a brewing time of 1 to 4 minutes.

Teabags on the other hand are simply dipped in hot water and brewed till the liquid has changed color. Now, some people squeeze the tea pouches thinking that this might aid in a richer consistency and a great taste but is this the right thing to do? Read my blog that speaks about 11 practical reasons Should teabags be squeezed and hopefully you can self analyze if you are doing the correct thing. 

8. Tea Granules & Tea Bags Vary In Caffeine Level

Tea and coffee both contain Caffeine. This helps to stay awake and aids in opening groggy eyes by giving an energy booster. However, this stimulant when present in tea is called “Theine”.  Let us now consider them based on the Theine content.

The granules contain caffeine from 30 milligrams to 90 milligrams depending on the tea leaves. It may intrigue you that this level is directly proportionate to the tea leaves used.

Teabags too are dependent on the tea leaves used and if squeezed the level only increases. The amount of times you dip the bag in hot water also add to the level.

9. Considering The Quality of The Leaves Used

The leaves are an integral part of making the leaves. Hence let us consider the kind of tea leaves used in each.

When one imagines tea granules good to high-quality leaf is always in the mind. Tea enthusiasts swear by tea made the traditional way ie, by the use of loose tea leaves for the infusion is better and the taste makes for an unputdownable cup.

On the other hand, I wish I could say the same thing about tea pouches. Now, I am not a fan of tea made by using these bags for obvious reasons. The infusion isn’t one that I would call appealing at all for many reasons.

10. Retrospecting The DIY Option That Pouches & Granules Offer

Let us now consider the Do It Yourself option that the two celebrated options offer.

Tea granules are high on DIY options and can easily be grown within the comfort of your home. I will soon write a blog about it. Also, did you know that the granules are environmental-friendly too? Read my blog on Is loose leaf tea better for the environment and get familiar with 19 concrete reasonings. 

Teabags on the other hand offer DIY options but, when compared to tea granules are quite less. So, you can safely say that when it comes to a better bet for do-it-yourself, granules is the winner by a long shot.

11. TeaBags V/s Tea Granules: A Look At The Shelf-Life

The last point that I would like to talk about is the respective shelf-life.

The granules are known to have a shelf life of 18 months to 24 months and last longer too when stored in a cool & dry place.

On the other hand, teabags are said to be good for a period of 18 to 24 months and some companies claim they last longer when stored correctly. However, one should always use them before the expiry date as any delay will only make the drink runnier. 

This concludes my blog and I hope I was able to help you in making a wise decision in choosing the brew. If you think you have any questions that I can answer feel free to drop them in the comments section below and I will gladly answer them. Well, there is more to my site than just this blog and to read all your tea nuggets, just visit my website. 

Happy Sipping!