Loose Leaf Tea for Frugal Caffeine Lovers

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Caffeine Lovers

People love caffeine. They drink coffee, tea, and hot cocoa, or sip other caffeinated beverages such as soda or energy drinks every day…sometimes all day long. I won’t tell you that caffeine is a good thing, but I think that it’s ok for most people in moderation.

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Clockwise from top left: Decaffeinated Earl Grey, Orange Spice Black tea, and Decaffeinated Mango Green tea.

 

Research shows that drinking soda and energy drinks is not good for us. Sipping moderate amounts of coffee, tea, and cocoa is a quick way to energize and consume antioxidants that are good for us! We buy organic coffee, tea, and chocolate in our household to ensure we are not exposing ourselves to toxins while we imbibe in a little caffeinated pick me up. I also do my best to order fair trade products whenever possible so I know that the workers are paid fair wages.

 

Homemade and Frugal

Purchasing organic, fair trade products can put a strain on the pocketbook, however. So I look for ways to reduce the cost of consuming them. I make my own hot cocoa mix now and it tastes great. I’ll share my recipe before the warm weather returns. πŸ™‚ We also purchase whole bean organic coffee to grind and brew in our coffee maker when we want a fresh cuppa Joe. No Starbucks on the way to work for this family. And I am slowly stocking up on loose leaf, organic, fair trade tea from my buying club.

Buying in Bulk to Save Money

Loose leaf tea generally comes in one pound foil packets and the cost ranges from around $15/pound up to $21/pound (for the organic version, you will spend less on conventional). This sounds like a lot of money, but consider this: one pound is generally around 6 cups of tea; a tea bag normally contains 1tablespoon of tea leaves; there are 16 tablespoons in one cup so 6 cups of tea leaves will make 96 cups of tea. Most specialty boxes of tea run around $3.50 to $4.50 for 16 to 24 tea bags.

 

I haven’t found a conversion chart for comparing the cost of loose leaf tea to tea bags. However, here is an example…I used to buy Irish Breakfast tea in bags. The approximate cost was $3.45 for 16 tea bags (I assume it is higher now). To replace the tea bags, I ordered organic, fair trade Irish Breakfast tea from my buying club for roughly $13 per pound. That 1 pound package contained the same amount of tea as 96 tea bags. That is the same as purchasing 6 boxes of tea for approximately $20.70 plus tax. Since I drink a lot of this tea, I am saving $7.70 by purchasing the tea in bulk. Plus this tea is organic, fair trade, and the packaging is minimal in comparison to 6 boxes with individually wrapped tea bags. Win, Win!

 

To be fair, I am ordering my loose leaf tea from a wholesale catalog through my buying club.Β  For those of you who are not interested in ordering bulk quantities through a buying club, check out the Rishi Tea Company. They sell quality organic, fair trade tea and are based in Milwaukee, WI…just a hop, skip and a jump from my house. πŸ™‚

 

 

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To make your loose leaf tea, you will need a tea ball, reusable tea bag, cheese cloth, or a tea pot with an infuser. You can also add your tea leaves loose and then strain the tea before drinking. I like having control over how strong I make my cup of tea, without putting in an extra tea bag for a hearty pick me up. It’s fun to add a few cloves, a chunk of cinnamon bark, orange or lemon peel, or other flavors to my Irish Breakfast tea for a refreshing change.

 


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16 comments on “Loose Leaf Tea for Frugal Caffeine Lovers

    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Patricia,
      You might want to check around where you live to see if there are any established buying clubs that you could join. It will depend on your area and which companies ship there. You can contact me through the ‘contact me’ page and I’ll send along any info I have.

      Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Lori!
      I have that caffeine withdrawal headache πŸ™ Good luck with the process of eliminating caffeine! Happy to hear that it was inspiring πŸ™‚

      Reply
  1. Hetty

    I have been drinking loose leaf green tea for a long time now. I always pour the hot/boiled water first and then I add some loose leaf tea. I also add a pinch or two of ground cardamom. After about 10 minutes the tea is ready. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

    Reply
  2. Lynda B

    After a lifelong love affair with coffee, Michael and I both rather abruptly started favoring tea instead, especially good strong black Irish or English Breakfast tea – finding it in bulk locally has been a challenge – where they do sell it in bulk, it costs breaktaking sums of money. I’ve taken to purchasing it from Mountain Rose Herbal (organic and fair trade, very tasty, and a reasonable price). We’re finding 1lb plus 4oz is doing us for a month, and that puts it MUCH cheaper than our former coffee habit.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Lynda!
      I order bulk tea through my Frontier Herbs buying club. To get the wholesale prices you need to sign up as a buying club. They offer free shipping on wholesale orders of $250 or more.

      You’re right, tea is much cheaper than coffee. I love coffee too, but it doesn’t love me. πŸ™

      Reply
  3. Rachel E.

    We do buy loose leaf tea. I don’t like the steel balls though. They just don’t stay together. I have thrown three out in the last month. I do have a strainer that sits in the top of a cup though. I like it much more. I also like the bags, but don’t have them. I would like to get them though.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Rachel,
      I haven’t had any problem with the newer tea balls, but my old one does tend to leave a lot of leaves in the bottom of my cup. The tea bags need to be washed out quite often, but hand washing is fine. They get stained, of course. I don’t mind but I’m guessing some people would not like the look and would want to replace them.

      I haven’t tried the little strainers, but I noticed them for sale in my co-op catalog. I might just have to order one. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Jenny

    We don’t drink coffee but we drink hot tea. Loads of it. We discovered PG Tips while we were on our honeymoon in the Cotswolds and started drinking it at home. We thought we were super cool because we had to have this British blend and then learned that to them it is nothing more than Lipton. So we’re really not all that cool. Since we’ve been trying to reduce our expenses, I’ve been looking to buying things in bulk but have not yet considered switching to loose leaf. I hadn’t liked it before because it was so messy and takes a long time to prepare. When you are drinking three pots in the morning ::hangs head in shame:: it ends up being a lot of work. I love mine with a slice of lemon. I’m not a cream and sugar person. I wonder if we’d like the Irish Breakfast blend. I can’t drink herbals except for medicinal purposes. Too weak.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Jenny,
      I had to stop drinking coffee because it have me heartburn. πŸ™ And I have to be careful not to drink too much tea, and add milk to help counteract the acid…or I’m in pain the rest of the day. Blah.

      Well, I’m not cool either…but that’s ok. “Cause I’m good enough,and smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

      The Irish Breakfast tea is black tea that is quite strong flavored, so I think you would like it. It does take some getting used to when you switch to loose leaf. But I am glad not to have so many tea bags going in to the compost. They get wrapped around the chickens toes sometimes when the scratch through the pile. Yes, I have weird problems. πŸ™‚

      Reply

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