You can make tea for therapeutic purposes, which calms your mind and provides your body with vitamins and nutrients at the same time. Sometimes, however, you buy the wrong type of tea. Or you make loose-leaf tea exclusively. Or your tea bag tore! It doesn’t matter what the reason is, it’s time to make tea, and you don’t have a tea infuser or tea bags.
In order to make tea without tea bags, you need a tool that looks like an infuser or strainer! You can use a small sieve, conical strainer, or fork. If you have to, you can even use cheesecloth or a cocktail shaker. And if you are really desperate, you can make your own Gaiwan (traditional tea-making vessel).
Let’s focus on choosing the best tea-making method for you and go over some tips to ensure you get the best-tasting tea!
Premade Tea Bags Vs Loose Leaf Tea
There has been a practice of making and drinking loose-leaf tea for centuries. Previously, the only type of tea you could find in countries where tea wasn’t popular was already portioned into tea bags. Luckily, today loose-leaf tea is becoming a lot easier to find, and there are a wide variety of flavors, too! Loose-leaf tea is usually a lot fresher, contains more nutrients, and has a better flavor than ready-to-use tea.
Additionally, it is a much more eco-friendly way to make and drink tea since you don’t use single-use materials, like you would with premade tea bags. The packaging these loose-leaf teas come in is often eco-friendly, as well, since they don’t need single-use bags, strings, tags, or individual wrappings. Taking loose-leaf tea is a wonderful, relaxing ritual that allows you to adjust the flavor and intensity of your steeping tea at the same time.
Functions Of A Tea Bag
We can’t say “away with single-use tea bags!”. These bags serve a crucial function: keeping the tea leaves together. Nothing is worse than swallowing whole tea leaves. It’s like drinking gin and tonic with whole peppercorns.
As well as keeping the leaves together, it also makes brewing easier, especially if the bag has a string and tag attached. Using tea bags is a quick and easy way to make tea, since you don’t need any special tools or equipment. It also takes considerably less time (since you don’t have to clean anything).
How To Choose The Best Method
Rather than using single-use tea bags, we are discussing a variety of tea-making methods today. You can make loose-leaf tea in any of these ways or make tea from ripped tea bags! But which way is best? No one can say for sure. The most versatile technique is using a strainer. Everyone has one of those options. We would recommend using a reusable tea bag option, such as a ball infuser, if you want to make tea without a tea bag.
If you can find it (mostly at tea supply stores), a teapot with a built-in tea infuser or leaf strainer is an even better option. In a pinch, a tea infuser is also an obvious option, but it won’t help if you don’t have one. At the end of the day, we will discuss a bunch of methods for you to choose from based on what you have in your home at the moment.
Method 1: Use A Strainer
First, we’ll use a fine-mesh strainer, preferably one that fits inside your mug, for making tea. It’s pretty simple and effective depending on the type of strainer we’re using. The steps for steeping the tea remain the same as when you make tea in an infuser, but the straining technique differs.
Here is how to make tea with a strainer:
Mix the hot water with the loose-leaf tea in a mixing bowl. Let it steep for the recommended amount of time.
Ensure that the other container is completely clean. If possible, avoid plastic. Place the strainer above the bowl or mug you want to strain the liquid into.
Make sure not to spill tea leaves over the side. If you didn’t get all the leaves the first time, try again. Pour the tea slowly and gently into the other mug.
The other unconventional strainers you can use include flour sieves, conical strainers, and even forks! All of these tools will help you effectively strain tea leaves.
Try looking around the house for other tools that perform a similar function, such as a slotted spoon, a small-holed pizza pan, a deep-frying spider, or a skimming spoon. The holes should be small enough to catch most – if not all – of the leaves.
Method 2: Use Cheesecloth
As another method of straining liquids, we use this method for catching tea leaves and particle particles. There are many cheesecloth strainer setups available. You can buy premade cloth strainers that are attached to handles – they are very easy to use, and you simply place them over your container or jug.
A cheesecloth works just as well. It is a little more difficult to use, but is just as effective. When straining tea, use clean cheesecloth, which shouldn’t have any odors on it – odors will affect the taste.
Here is how to make tea with cheesecloth:
Prepare your tea as usual by steeping it in a mug or jug.
Make sure the cheesecloth reaches over the edges of the mug.
Place an elastic around the outside of the mug to secure the cloth in place after creating an indent in the mug.
When you strain the tea, it will strain at a different rate depending on the weave of your cloth. Do not overfill the well you’ve created – slowly pour the tea into it and wait for it to strain.
Method 3: Use A Cocktail Shaker
Many cocktail shakers come with a strainer attached. You can also buy a separate strainer if you don’t have one. Usually, these shakers are used to strain ice, but they can also be used to strain spices and herbs. Once the tea has steeped, strain it directly into a mug or tea cup – it’s that easy! Keep in mind that some metal shakers may affect the flavor of your tea.
Method 4: Make A Gaiwan
There is no doubt that you don’t have a Gaiwan in your home, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make one yourself! Or, if you can’t make one, at least recreate how it works. You need a bowl and a lid. The lid should fit tightly on most places, but you need to be able to control it so that there is a small gap for liquid to escape.
If you use a sugar pot (without the spoon slot), you’ll be able to control the gap size more easily. You can also use a small bowl and a flat plate. Essentially, the lid must be kept on and a small gap should be left in the lid to strain the pasta water.