Today I want to tell you about a simple yet immensely useful product: my Japanese disposable tea bags. When winter has snuck up on you, there is nothing more comforting than lighting a candle and pouring a nice cup of tea. And as easy as it is to just throw some pre-bagged tea in a cup of hot water, I personally much prefer loose tea leaves. Just the smell of it when you open the tea can!

Loose tea leaves are usually also of much better quality than mass-produced tea bags and provide you with much more flavour, aroma, antioxidants, and pleasure. Often, loose tea leaves also come in pretty cans which look lovely on the kitchen shelf. Just check out those beautiful tea cans from Mariage Frères – a French gourmet tea company, based in Paris – I received as Christmas gift from my dear friend Anne.

The down side to loose tea, though, is that you will need some way to hold the leaves during brewing, unless of course you want them floating in the bottom of your cup. One possibility is to use a tea infuser which in my case always ends up in a mess in the tea cup. I also never manage to thoroughly clean them after use. Then I tried several brands of disposable tea bags, but they were either too big or the material was too thick. Fortunately, I used to share the office with a tea connoisseur who told me about those very convenient and easy to use Japanese disposable tea bags. You just fill a bag with one or two teaspoons of your favourite loose leaves and then flip the outside cuff up and over the opening to seal the bag, as shown on the picture of the packaging. Then infuse the tea bag in freshly boiled water and enjoy. Trust me: even the smallest leaves are kept out of your cup. Those tea bags really make brewing tea totally mess-free. Plus, the ultra thin material allows water to easily circulate through the leaves, resulting in perfect tasting tea.

In Switzerland, those tea bags I use are available at La Cucina Tee & Gewürze. They have shops in Bern and Zurich, but it’s also possible to order online. Teas from Mariage Frères can be found e.g. at Globus or Jelmoli.

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