I carried out what I believe is a unique experiment at work on Friday. I document it here for posterity, in GCSE-approved standard scientific format:

Experiment: To investigate the extraction of loose tea leaves from a tea bag.



  • the mug was placed into the bottom section of the shredder, directly under the shredding slot
  • the shredder was turned on
  • the tea bag was fed slowly through the shredding slot
  • once the tea bag had been fully shredded, the machine was disengaged and the mug was removed from the shredder

Results: When examined, the mug was found to contain a residue of loose tea leaves and shredded tea bag paper. These were easily separated by hand.

Conclusion: The method under investigation is an effective way of extracting loose tea leaves from a tea bag. However, upon further investigation, the extracted tea leaves were found to be smaller in diameter than shop-bought loose tea leaves. They would be unsuitable as a hot drink ingredient, in that they would tend to escape through the holes of a standard tea strainer and contaminate the resultant beverage.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Scissors and gravity may prove to be less tedious and quicker. This will also reduce the amount of energy wasted and allow you also to be more productive at work.

  2. I thought it was well known (and so may well be wrong) that tea bags contained smaller fragments of tea than loose-leaf tea. This may be (as I guess the manufacturers claim) because it allows more rapid and complete extraction of the good stuff,or may be (as sceptics claim) because little powdery bits of tea are cheaper. Certainly loose-leaf tea tends to taste better to me, but I can rarely be bothered.

    I have some very fine jasmine tea from Hong Kong which is actually whole leaves rolled up into tiny balls. Makes beautiful tea and you don't need to strain it, because they're too damn big to drink anyway. Marvelous.

  3. Seems like an awfully complicated method of getting into a tea-sachet. Wouldn't a pair of scissors be easier? Just snip off the top of the sachet and empty the contents into your infuser. I do this with a barley tea I like because the sachet is made of this bizarre fabric that doesn't seem to be terribly permeable.

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