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Identify the quality of a tea bag from its appearance

Tea bags have been a popular way to consume tea for more than 100 years. And today, there are many varieties of them available in the market to choose from. If you are not sure how to identify good quality tea bags, here are some features you should consider:


A tea bag has three major components. Shape, material, and ease of use. Shape is the most obvious, and generally the most important. Tea bag shapes can range from two dimensional squares and circles to 3-dimensional cubes and pyramids.

Generally more space is better for larger leaves. This is because dry tea leaves become curled or rolled. As the hot water penetrates the dry leaves, the leaves unfurl and stretch out their ends. If the leaves cannot completely unfurl (as in the case of smaller and flat bags), then the covered parts of the leaf are not able to release flavor. This means some parts of the leaf is being oversteeped while the other parts are under steeped. This leads to an overall less flavorful tea with more ‘muddied’ flavors. So 3D shapes are better than flat tea bags as they can accommodate more space for the leaves to stretch.  

Although any three dimensional shape can provide enough space, but pyramid is considered as the most efficient shape for a tea bag.


The material of a tea bag is important for two reasons. First, cheap material of bags can deaden taste. Some paper bags impart a slight paper taste which may ruin the tea. Thinner bags can reduce this problem, but sometimes they break open in the cup. To get rid of these problems, better quality tea bags are made using nylon or silk.
The second reason is how environment friendly the bag material is. High quality bags are made from biodegradable materials, derived from renewable resources.

Ease of use:

Ease of use is fairly self explanatory. It is easier to control a tea bag if it has a stable string. Many cheaper tea bags don’t have a string, which creates inconvenience to use them. Sometimes strings are stapled to the bags, (in cheap quality tea bags) which is never a good idea.

If you have several options, always choose pyramid shaped silken tea bags with good amount of leaves inside.


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