Recently, I switched from tea bags to loose-leaf tea. A little math:
1 pound = 16 oz.
20 tea bags are approximately 1.4 oz.
1 pound of tea bags, then, are 16 * 20 / 1.4 = 228.5 tea bags
20 tea bags (1 box) runs anywhere from $2 to $4, depending on the brand. So 1 pound of tea = 228 / 20 * $3 = $34.20. It can be less, it can be more, but that’s about the middle of the road.
Wegmans, a wonderful store near me, sells organic loose-leaf tea. Ceylon Breakfast is $16.99/pound. English and Irish Breakfast teas are $39.99 — pretty close to what I paid for Twinings, but whole leaf. Some are more expensive (the most expensive is $149.99/pound, but that’s still only $0.66/cup — far less than you’d pay in any café), but that’s the range I usually use when I shop.
The best part about having made the switch (aside from my kids loving to help weigh out and label the tea) is that this gives me a good reason to start using this lovely cast iron teapot my husband gave me a couple of Christmases ago. I’d been waiting for a good time, my desk to be clean, whatever — and now I’m using it on a daily basis.
I need to remember to pick up some tealights to use beneath the pot to keep the tea warm — right now, I have to pour the last serving of tea into a normal mug and put it into the microwave — but I’m really loving using this. It’s functional, beautiful, and meaningful: according to Teavana’s page on tetsubin symbolism, the dragon represents power, strength, and good fortune.
The dragonfly on my teacup symbolizes good fortune and marriage (and I am very fortunate in my marriage!), while the tea leaf saucer represents good health.
All in all, a lovely way to start each day.