For Optimal Flavor, Ditch Traditional Tea Bags And Buy Pyramid Bags Instead

Tea can be an oddly controversial topic. The cases of netizens getting furious over people adding too much milk — or any milk at all — to tea are plenty. Those who warm their tea in a microwave risk facing the wrath of social media, the order in which tea bags and water go in a cup can turn a jovial conversation into a spar, and many tea drinkers remain skeptical about using tea bags over loose leaves.

Loose-leaf tea is generally thought to be superior in quality to tea bags. For one, traditional tea bags are filled with what is known as dust and fannings as opposed to the unbroken pieces of whole leaves that make up loose-leaf tea. Considered to be the lowest tea grade, these dust and fannings are essentially smaller particles of tea that are more susceptible to losing essential oils, freshness, and flavor, causing them to become more stale and bland than loose-leaf tea.

Regardless of the inferior quality, it's hard to overlook the convenience of tea bags. Considering tea bags aren't going anywhere anytime soon, the best that you can do is use a type of bag that gives you the finest cup of brew that a tea bag can because not all tea bags are made of the same dust and fannings. While traditional tea bags may be made of these low-grade tea particles, that's not the case with pyramid bags. Thanks to their shape, pyramid tea bags have more room for whole tea leaves of higher quality than traditional tea bags.

Pyramid tea bags brew a better cup of tea

Nearly a decade ago, PG Tips got into hot water (quite literally) over an advertisement where they pitted their supposedly better pyramid bags of tea against Tetley's round-shaped bags (via The Guardian). Tetley was quick to complain to the British regulatory agency Advertising Standards Authority but much to their disappointment, the watchdog sided with PG Tips. ASA found that PG Tips had provided enough evidence that the pyramid tea bag was in fact better than the round bag because there was more room in the bags for the tea leaves to move around resulting in a better brew.

Because of their shape, pyramid bags do tend to have more room for larger tea leaves that are better in quality than the small dust and fannings that flat, round, and traditional tea bags can accommodate. The extra space also means that pyramid tea bags are more likely to have added ingredients like dried flowers, spices, and fruits that traditional tea bags don't tend to have the space for.

Besides the added ingredients and higher-quality tea leaves, pyramid tea bags have another advantage. The mesh of a pyramid tea bag allows more water to flow through it, functioning more like a tea infuser for loose-leaf teas than traditional tea bags. Because more water touches the tea leaves inside, more flavor is released from the leaves into the water. The result is a cup that's more along the lines of loose-leaf tea brews than traditional tea bag-dipped tea.