The loose leaf method preserves the integrity of the plant to maintain freshness longer, provide more robust flavors, and retain more antioxidants. A single serving of loose leaf tea can generally be steeped 2-3 times because the flavor is so much stronger.
Another reason loose leaf tea is represents the artisanal tea choice is because it stores so much better and gets stale less quickly. Tea’s best company is tea, meaning that it will maintain freshness because there is less surface area exposed to degrading factors like air. Storing in bulk thus keeps tea much fresher than storing in single servings (such as with bagged tea).