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Guide to Loose Leaf Tea Infusers

Various loose leaf teas are being steeped in mugs using different infusers. A mesh tea ball, and mesh strainers are full with loose herbal teas. Honey stick and vintage spoon are overflowing.

Reusable tea infusers help to reduce the need for single use tea bags, and they are also quite versatile. There are many options to choose from, so how do you know which tool is right for you? The answer will depend on your preferences and project, so the key is to understand the strengths of each type of tea infuser.

At home, I’ve always got a few projects going at once: infusing herbal oils for salves, simmering homemade broth, brewing mead, blending tinctures, or making a week’s worth of herbal decoctions (to name just a few!). I have found that different infusers tend to be better suited to certain applications than others—for instance, I'll use a metal basket for straining large material from an infused oil, while I'll opt for cloth bags when brewing or infusing a tea containing particularly fine plant particles. My work and hobbies have provided extensive opportunities to play with and identify the best tool for each project, so I thought I'd share some insights from my "research."

Metal Tea Infusers: Baskets, Spoons, and Balls

Our celestial tea strainer, mesh teaspoon, small mesh tea ball, and mesh infuser with a handle are all excellent for brewing single cups of tea or making small batches of, say, herb-infused oil. The celestial strainer and mesh infuser with handle can also be used for small or medium sized teapots, and they also happen to sit nicely atop a small- or wide-mouth canning jar. These strainers are easy to quickly rinse out or throw in the dishwasher, and they will generally keep large- and medium-sized herb pieces from filtering into your tea. For finer herb blends, consider opting for a cloth tea infuser instead to avoid a lot of grit at the bottom of your cup.   

For bigger projects, our large mesh tea ball infuser is by far my most used and versatile tool out of all the strainers. Like the large cotton bags, it’s very handy for brewing large quantities of tea. I like to use it for brewing strong decoctions to add to a bath, or to easily strain out herbs from soups or broths. Sometimes, I’ll even use the large half for sifting flour!

A cotton tea sock and cotton muslin bag are both filled with loose leaf herbal teas. A brewed cup of tea and a stainless steel tea pot are arranged nearby. Colorful herbal tea blend of rose petals, chamomile, lavender, corn flowers.

Cloth Tea Infusers: Nets and Bags

Our cotton tea nets are great for handling fine material that tends to slip through the sieves of many stainless steel tea strainers. They are also very stretchy, so they can hold a hefty helping of tea without taking up much space in our cupboard. The cotton is also removable from the metal hoop, which makes clean-up much easier. Wash them by hand with a little bit of soap, or zip them into a delicates bag to protect them in the washing machine.

Large cotton muslin pouches work great for brewing large pots of tea, and I also like to use these for quart-sized (or larger!) pitchers of iced tea. These bags are also available in a smaller size, and both sizes are great for giving out gifts of herbal tea or bath blends to your friends and family. They can be easily washed by hand with regular soap or put through washing machine with mild, natural soap.

Tea Infuser Travel Tumblers: Stainless, Bamboo, and Glass

Our bamboo and glass tea loose leaf tea infuser travel mugs are great options for those brewing tea on the go. They each have an inner brew basket that clips into the container and are double-walled to keep your beverages hot or cold for longer. Like all the tools above, each has its own set of strengths, so consider your needs to help choose the best tea infuser mug for you!


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Pinterest link to Mountain Rose Herbs. A variety of tea infusers, cotton bags, and travel tea tumblers all full with loose leaf herbal teas. Stainless steel, cotton, and glass tea accessories.

Topics: Herbal Gift Ideas, Tea & Herbal Drinks


Written by Kendle on June 20, 2019

Kendle is a Product Coordinator with Mountain Rose Herbs. Born in Portland, Oregon, she has called many different places home across the country. After earning her Associates degree in North Carolina, she moved to Colorado where she spent six years working in the herbal supplement and body care industry before coming back to Oregon. Currently she is engaged in extensive independent study and experimentation in the areas of folk herbalism, homebrewing, and painting. She believes that one of the most important methods for understanding herbs is to experience them, and to truly take the time to listen to your body to find what works best for the individual. She and her partner spend their time exploring the wilderness, hunting mushrooms, concocting herbal remedies, and reading voraciously.



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