What Kind of Teabags Make the Best Tea?

07 October 2001
Posted by Chris Smith.

Teabags come in all shapes and sizes nowadays. But a group of researchers have shown that the shape of the teabag makes very little difference to your cuppa - it's the size that counts. They made lots of teabags in different shapes and sizes and filled them all with about a teaspoon of ceylon tea. Then they measured what's known as the "infusion rate" - that's how quickly the tea gets out of the bag and into the cup. They found that bigger teabags are better at "letting the flavour out" - simply because the tea-leaves have more room to move around. But this doesn't mean Tetley will be introducing a new Giant Teabag- there is a limit to how big your teabag needs to be. Anything over 7 cm will do. Most teabags in the shops are already bigger than this anyway. But what about the shape of your teabag-you can get pyramid shaped, round and square ones these days - is it all just a gimmick? The researchers reckon that pyramid shaped teabags probably have the advantage over the others because they give the tea leaves more space to move about. Round teabags didn't perform any better than square ones. A Tetley spokesman said they're probably only popular because they fit in the cup better.

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