The Density of Different Tea Grades

3g of different tea grades

Just like us, tea comes in all different shapes and sizes. On the left in the photo is 3g of small leaf particles (or fannings) emptied from a tea bag, on the right is 3g of our loose leaf Jersey Fine Tea Premium Black. 

It’s important to remember when brewing whole-leaf tea that a standard western serving (2-3g, depending on how you like your tea) is more voluminous/less dense than the same weight of a smaller leaf tea, so don’t scrimp on your serve! 

Lots of tea pros are in the habit of weighing their tea for consistency, but if that sounds like a faff,  just take a large pinch of our Jersey Fine Tea leaves, or a heaped tablespoon, and adjust to suit your taste from there.

The fannings, or dust, used in tea bags are the small pieces left over after higher grades of tea are gathered. Larger leaf grades are usually sold loose as speciality tea and the fannings/dust are more practical sold in tea bags. They steep fast to deliver strong tasting tea with higher levels of astringency and bitterness that is complemented by the addition of milk and sugar. The flavour is extracted after one steep.

Since smaller leaf particles have more surface area, they are more prone to degradation and the natural essential oils present in the leaves will evaporate more freely.

Our tea leaves are large and whole to deliver a smoother, more nuanced and distinctive cup of tea that does not need milk. The leaves can be infused multiple times to fully extract all that locked-in flavour. 

These two styles of tea don’t really compete, they are so radically different, but they do satisfy different tea needs. 

On a final note, fannings is a small leaf grade (above dust and below whole-leaf and broken) that can be produced during both orthodox (or traditional) tea production or CTC (cut tea curl) production. CTC manufacture is well suited to tea for tea bags, and the aggressive nature of the process means it cannot produce a whole-leaf grade.

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