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How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea Without an Infuser

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What to do when you have some loose leaf tea but no infuser or teapot with a strainer?

Maybe you are used to making tea with tea bags and someone gave you loose tea as a present.

Or maybe you are like me — a tea enthusiast who wants to brew a cup wherever you go. So you bring your favorite tea with you, but can’t always fit the brewing gear in your bag.

Read this guide and choose one of the six uncomplicated methods for making a refreshing cup. If you are really short on equipment, you can even do it with just a mug and a spoon!

6 Simple Methods to Make Loose Leaf Tea Without an Infuser

Here are six straightforward techniques for brewing your tea without tea bags or an infuser.

Note: All of the methods below require hot water and loose leaf tea, which I don’t mention separately each time.

1. Use a Sieve to Strain the Tea

kitchen sieve

You don’t necessarily need an infuser specifically designed for tea. Almost any kitchen sieve will do just fine!

The great thing about this method is that it’s very easy and convenient. Also, most of us have some type of sieve in the kitchen, so you don’t need any special equipment.

You will need:

  • Vessel for Brewing the Tea (e.g. mug, pitcher, saucepan)
  • Sieve (any kind sift with mesh strainer will do)
  • Tea Mug


  1. Pour hot water over the tea and let it steep for 1 to 5 minutes depending on the type of tea you are brewing.
  2. Pour the tea into your tea mug through the sieve.
  3. Enjoy!

2. Scoop With a Spoon

tea in a mug

So how do you make tea without a tea bag or any kind of filter? What if you only have a mug and a spoon?

No problem, most of the tea leaves will fall to the bottom of your mug, and you can just use a spoon to remove the floating ones.

Remember to sip carefully so the leaves in the bottom don’t go into your mouth!

This method works best for loose tea with large leaves. If you have a lot of smaller particles it might be tedious to remove them.

You will need:

  • Spoon
  • Tea Mug


  1. Brew the tea in your tea mug.
  2. Wait until most of the tea leaves fall to the bottom then use a spoon to remove the ones that are still floating on top.
  3. Enjoy your tea!

TIP: Make a Stunning and Colorful Tea

Make your drink in a transparent glass and add some butterfly pea tea. You can easily create a mesmerizing blue tea and scooping the dried or fresh flowers out of the cup is very easy!

butterfly pea tea and fresh flowers

3. Use a French Press

tea in a French press

Most of us have a French press coffee maker laying around somewhere in the kitchen cabinets.

But have you ever thought that you can also use the French press for brewing tea?

This is actually one of the best methods for steeping tea and you can make many cups at once. However, if you have been using the French press for brewing coffee, make sure to wash it carefully with dishwashing soap.

You don’t want the tea to taste like yesterday’s coffee, right?

You will need:

  • French Press
  • Tea Mug


  1. Add your tea and hot water to the French press and let it steep.
  2. Press the plunger down and pour tea into your mug.
  3. Your tea is ready, enjoy!

4. DIY Tea Infuser

muslin cheese cloth

If you don’t have an infuser, why not make one yourself?

Cheesecloth or muslin cloth are excellent options but you can basically use any clean cotton cloth from a pillowcase to a bandana.

Another option is to take a piece of tin foil and make an infuser out of it. Fold it first, then shape it into a pocket or a round infuser. Finally, poke small holes into it with a sharp knife.


Now you have a DIY infuser that you can use several times.

You will need:

  • Vessel for Brewing the Tea (e.g. mug, pitcher, saucepan)
  • Cloth or Foil (e.g. muslin cloth, cheesecloth, cotton napkin, or tin foil with holes)
  • Tea Mug


  1. Brew your tea in a saucepan, pitcher, or any other suitable vessel.
  2. Put the cloth or tin foil filter on top of your tea mug.
  3. Pour the tea slowly so it strains into the mug through the cloth or foil filter.
  4. Enjoy!

5. Use a Coffee Filter

coffee filter

Coffee filters are another convenient way for brewing tea. The only problem is that it takes a while for the tea to strain through a paper filter and it might break if you pour too fast.

A metal or fabric coffee filter will be a better option.

You will need:

  • Vessel for Brewing the Tea (e.g. mug, pitcher, saucepan)
  • Coffee Filter (paper, mesh, or fabric)
  • Tea Mug


  1. Brew the tea.
  2. Place the coffee filter on top of your tea mug.
  3. Strain the tea into the mug through the filter.
  4. Enjoy!

Another option is to simply make tea in a coffee maker like you would be making coffee. But it’s best to clean the coffee maker first and it’s still not a great way to brew your tea.

6. Saucepan and Lid Method


This method is a bit tricky, but I have used it many times successfully. Once you master it, it’s quite easy to make even a large batch of loose tea with large leaves. But I don’t recommend trying it with teas that have small particles — you will probably end up getting plenty of them in your cup.

The idea here is simple. All you need to do is add water into the saucepan, heat it on a stovetop, add the tea, and let it steep. Then try to open the lid as little as possible — just enough so that a trickle of liquid can go through.

When you can tilt the saucepan carefully so the leaves should stay in the pan while the tea will drip into your mug.

You will need:

  • Saucepan with Lid
  • Tea Mug


  1. Brew tea in the saucepan.
  2. Place the lid on the pan. Open the lid just a little bit and start pouring the tea into the mug.
  3. The tea should slowly flow into the mug while the leaves will be left in the saucepan.
  4. Enjoy your tea!

Final Thoughts on How to Make Tea Without a Tea Bag or Strainer

So now you have six ways to brew your tea without a tea bag, teapot, or infuser.

My favorite one is to use a sieve or a French press since they are so fast and convenient. But if you don’t have that equipment available, I’m sure you have at least a coffee filter or a teaspoon!

Of course, one option is simply to buy some tea bags. Then you can always have a few wherever you go and brew your tea with just hot water and a mug.

In this case, I warmly recommend that you choose tea bags with no plastic — they are better for your health, and the environment!

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How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea

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