Once in a while I will slum it — when I’m on the road, needing some caffeine uptake and have no tea with me, a tea bag isn’t a horrible thing. Not that it happens often, but it does happen.
Today’s little bag though intrigued me…. why, pray tell, would you make a teabag so small? It’s about 2cm in diameter or thereabouts. The leaves in the bag are obviously too tightly packed to have room to expand. While this is all right if you’re brewing it in a tiny vessel with short infusions and very hot water, it’s not ok if it’s a big (maybe 400cc?) cup with water that will soon cool to much less than 100C. Who designed this thing? Don’t waste my Assam!
I think sometimes when teabag makers try to get creative perhaps the marketing people get too much influence and this sort of thing happens. It looks rather interesting, but it doesn’t work.
The same can be said of all those tea balls out there — I remember having a friend who tried to brew tieguanyin using a tea ball. As you can imagine, it doesn’t work — the tea expands so much that there’s simply no room to expand in the cup, resulting in lots of wasted leaves. I suggested my friend to use one of those mugs with a removable filter (sort of like a Korean infuser cup — can somebody remind me of their name?). It worked much better.