Is it Cheaper to Buy Loose Leaf?

Is it Cheaper to Buy Loose Leaf?

Taryn NugentApr 27, '21

At Full Leaf Tea Company, our teas cost approximately 28 to 40 cents per cup. We all know that's much less than what you pay at coffee stands, tea shops, and restaurants. So if you're looking to cut down on the cost of drinks outside the home, loose leaf is the cheaper route.

However, let's compare loose leaf to prebagged teas. Loose leaf tea (especially comparing organic instead of conventional) is generally more expensive than bagged tea. There's a good reason for this: quality, but if we ignore quality, Full Leaf Tea Co. still measures up well on the affordability scale.

When you think of mainstream tea brands, you may be able to spout off a few. Some of the most common include Bigelow and Twinings. Bigelow and Twinings come in at about 18 cents per cup and 22 cents per cup, respectively. However, they both use dust and fanning grades of tea (the waste product of tea, which you can read more about in our "What is Full Leaf Tea" blog). Studies have found that some of these tea companies teabags have plastic in them  and have also found traces of pesticides (which can happen when you don't choose organic).

It's also essential to consider when using tea bags; it's a one-and-done steeping experience. Unless you like your tea very lightly steeped, then you're likely not getting more than one use out of it. In contrast, loose leaf tea can retain its flavor in its second and sometimes third steep. (You can read more about reusing tea leaves in our How to Reuse Tea blog).

When you move up a step in quality, you get teas that use broken leaves in teabags (brands that claim they are using a full leaf are not being 100% honest because while they may be buying full leaf grade, the tea must be crushed in order to fit in their prefilled bags). Harney & Sons is an excellent example of this (they use larger sachets, but it still results in broken tea). Once you get to bagged tea at this level, you're paying more for lower quality tea than you would for loose leaf. (Harney & Sons comes in at about 44 cents per cup).

When it comes to tea, your options seem endless. Loose leaf teas, organic teas, pre-bagged teas, etc. – ultimately, your best bet for flavor and value will always be loose leaf tea. At Full Leaf Tea Co., we believe quality and flavorful tea shouldn't come with a sacrifice. We're USDA-certified organic, and our teas don't come pre-bagged.

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