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Bagged or Loose Tea? Weighing the pros and cons.

June 26th, 2018

At Pluck Tea we offer both loose and bagged tea programs. At time of writing, our restaurant tea customers are pretty evenly split between both options.

Visit Pluck Teas for Restaurant Tea Programs

I am often asked by cafes and restaurants, “Which is the ‘better’ choice?” Well, it really boils down to what your menu and unique service style looks like.

To help you decide, here is a rundown of the pros and cons of each:

Bagged Tea Pros:

  • Portion control / cost control
  • No need for tea filters
  • Speed of service (*see note below)
  • Presentation:  Our compostable mesh tea bags are transparent when wet, showing off the beautiful tea leaves, fruits, and flower petals inside
  • Compostable
  • No overwrap = zero waste

Bagged Tea Cons:

  • More expensive per serving
  • Fewer options than our loose tea (but still lots to choose from at 20 varieties)
  • Less flexibility if you want to increase portion size due to having a larger cup or pot
  • More expensive to use to make simple syrups, bitters, spirit infusions, etc.

Loose Tea Pros:

  • Less expensive per serving – about half the price
  • When served in our unbleached and compostable paper tea filters, loose tea gives a tidy ‘craft’ presentation and drives home to the customer that their tea was made with care and skill in house
  • *To save time, tea filters can be packed in volume and sealed in our storage tins in advance of busy service times
  • Total control over portion size
  • Easier to measure and infuse into syrups, concentrates, desserts, etc.
  • Can be used without a filter in a tea press, or pot with integrated filter
  • Compostable

Loose Tea Cons:

  • Small labour cost to make teabags (but half the price of our tea bags)
  • Can slow down tea service (fill our drawstring teabags ahead of busy times to avoid this)
  • Portion control needs to be monitored (we have simple tools to help)

Whichever tea format you choose, be sure to select a wide range of teas and herbal infusions to satisfy both traditional tea drinkers, and to allow for creativity in your beverage program.  

At Pluck Tea we recommend restaurants start with six to eight varieties.  For more information on creating the ideal restaurant tea menu, click here.  



Written by Jennifer Commins, Founder and CEO of Pluck Tea and Certified Tea Sommelier.