In contrast to the West, teabags are not very common in Taiwan and China. Whole leaf tea is vastly different from the tea found in your average tea bag. Besides being primarily picked by hand instead of machine, they are also much healthier and more flavorful. The reason for this is that broken leaves found in typical tea bags usually lose the majority of their oils during production leaving them dull, bitter, or tasteless. Teas used in conventional tea bags are typically low grade, machine picked, and kept in storage. Water circulation is reduced during infusion as the broken leaves are packed closely together. In contrast, whole leaf teas are meticulously hand picked to preserve their flavors and integrity during the harvest, and are later vacuum sealed to preserve freshness. When steeping in a tea vessel they stretch and unfurl, allowing for a much greater amount of water circulation around the leaves. As an added benefit to the environment, using a tea vessel instead of a tea bag for infusion does not create any garbage. If you are looking for the best tea-drinking experience, it's time to ditch the tea bag!