Tea is the perfect, most refreshing drink to enjoy morning, midday, or evening time. No matter how you’re feeling, there’s a tea to suit the mood. Black tea, white tea, green tea, or herbal all have their roles to play and there’s nothing more refreshing than enjoying these when they’re brewed with quality loose leaves.
The downside of loose leaf tea is you don’t always have a teapot to hand whenever the urge strikes. If you’ve ever been caught out with a lovely bag of tea leaves but no pot to add them to then I have a treat in store for you.
Here are six easy ways to brew loose leaf tea without the need for a teapot. These methods include things you probably have laying around the kitchen so there’s bound to be one that suits you perfectly.
We will start with my favorite coffee maker and how to brew the best tea using this device.
One of the best ways to make loose leaf tea without a teapot is by using a french press coffee maker. These devices are very common, most people have one to hand, and if not then they’re pretty inexpensive to buy. They come in many different sizes so you can choose one for a single cup of tea or brew enough for all your friends and family.
Here’s how you go about brewing the perfect cup of tea using your trusty french press.
- Give the french press a deep clean to remove all residue of coffee oils. Wash it with a mild dish soap and non-abrasive sponge, taking care to clean all layers of the filter. Rinse it thoroughly with clean water to remove all residue of soap. This is also recommended if your press is brand new. Let it air dry.
- Pre-heat your press by adding some hot water to the carafe and let it sit for a couple of minutes. This works especially well if you have an insulated model. Once the jug is warm, discard the water.
- Add your loose leaf tea. It’s always best to check the brewing guidelines when you buy fresh tea but if you’re not sure then a tablespoon of tea leaves to 8oz of water is a good ratio.
- Boil the kettle and let it cool for a minute so the water isn’t at risk of burning your tea. You may need to use cooler water, depending on the kind of tea you’re using. Green tea or white tea needs water around 70-80C and herbal teas can vary a lot.
- Add your water to the french press
- Let the tea brew for 3-5 minutes depending on the brewing guidelines and how strong you like your tea to be.
- Press the plunger, gently and with even pressure to avoid turbulent movement of water as this can force tea leaves to escape up the sides of the filter.
- Serve and enjoy!
Another great way to brew tea without a teapot to hand is by using a cheesecloth. If you happen to have one of these lying around then give this method a go!
- First, you’ll need something to brew the tea in. You can use a mug, a heat-proof jug or pitcher, a saucepan, or anything similar.
- Next, you’ll need a wide cup or mug to strain your tea into. It needs to be sturdy enough so you can stretch the cheesecloth over the top without it toppling over.
- Lay your cloth over the cup and press down gently to form a small indent in the top. This will catch the leaves. Make sure there’s plenty of cloth overlapping the edges of the cup to avoid allowing the tea to escape into it.
- Brew your tea by adding hot water to the tea leaves and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Just like the french press method, the exact temperature of the water and time you let it brew comes down to the kind of tea you are using.
- When the tea has finished brewing, pour it into your mug, through the cheesecloth. Take care to steady the cloth in place otherwise, it can fall into the cup! This will catch any tea leaves and you’ll be left with delicious, smooth tea in the cup below.
A good tip when using the cheesecloth is to use an elastic band to secure it over the cup and stop it slipping as you pour the tea!
An empty tea bag is a perfect solution for tea brewing without a pot to hand. You can buy empty bags from most tea shops as well as online. All you need to do is carefully spoon in your tea leaves and seal the bag. Now you can add it to your favorite teacup and pour hot water over this. It’s simple, effective and you can even make them up in advance so you can enjoy your favorite tea any time and anywhere.
If you don’t have tea bags to hand then you can still brew tea in a similar manner but by using a coffee filter. It’s best to use unbleached filters if you can and give the paper a rinse before you use it to remove any papery taste.
Add your washed filter to your tea cup so that it sits in the mug. Next, add your tea leaves to the filter. Pour hot water over this and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Gently raise the filter to remove it, allowing the tea to drain through the filter and into your cup.
Discard the filter and leaves in the compost and enjoy your fresh cup of tea.
Tea Strainer or Infuser
An obvious choice for brewing tea without a pot is to use a tea strainer or infuser. A tea strainer is a small mesh basket that sits over your cup and holds the tea leaves. As you pour the hot water over this, the tea brews and filters down to the cup below. Strainers are typically used for larger volumes of tea.
A tea infuser is a small mesh container that holds onto your tea leaves and sits in the water. The gaps in the mesh allow the tea flavor to infuse out but the leaves stay contained. These devices give you more control over the brew cycle and come in different shapes and sizes to suit different varieties of tea.
Just Use a Cup
A final, very simple way to brew your chosen tea without a tea pot is to just add the tea leaves to your favorite cup. Pour the water on and let it infuse. If you let the cup sit undisturbed for a while then the leaves will settle to the bottom and you can gently sip the liquid without getting tea leaves caught in your teeth.
This method is really easy to do, requires no extra equipment but does take a bit of practice to get it just right.
There are so many great ways to brew tea without a teapot and most of them don’t include fancy equipment that you need to buy. From a french press to a simple tea cup there’s a method here for everyone.
Remember, always check the recommended brew temperature, timings, and ratios for the particular tea you’re using to really get the most out of your leaves. Best of luck with your next cup, I hope it’s as delicious and satisfying as it’s possible for tea to be!