How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea

Transitioning from the easy, portable, and convenient teabags to the most flavorful and nuanced loose leaf tea can be a challenge, even when you are aware of the differences in quality between tea bags vs loose leaf. However, the transition can be easy, so long as you understand how to brew loose-leaf or whole-leaf tea, as well as the simple infusion method.

With that, let’s look at some of the simplest ways to infuse tea at home, at the office, or while traveling. Read on for more information.

Pre-divided and easy-to-infuse teas

In case you want your tea brewing experience to be as simple as adding hot water, it’s possible to enjoy whole leaf tea. Today, most companies are now packaging their full-leaf teas in pyramid bags, and tea socks or tea pouches. Basically, this is a larger-tea bag made out of paper-type or cloth materials, which allow better infusions, unlike traditional tea bags.

Similarly, other companies have introduced lines of classy tea bags, with higher grades of tea leaves than the normal tea bags. These are not whole-leaf teas, but they are better than your normal teabag.

Tea pouches and tea balls

While tea balls are classic and easy to use—but they have some major flaws. Cheap tea balls tend to disintegrate after a short time of use. Thus, you should invest in a high-quality tea ball, tea stick, or a related tea strainer, rather than then cheap store varieties.

Also, you can create your own tea pouches or tea socks at home. These are tea bags that you stuff yourself—meaning you have the freedom to choose the type, quality, and flavor that you want.

However, you should avoid filling your tea pouches all the way or tying them too tightly. Doing so prevents the tea from opening up as it brews, negative the reason to choose loose-leaf tea over tea bags.

In-cup tea infusers

These are ideal for new tea enthusiasts and for the less convenient brewing setting, like when traveling or while at the office. Today, there are different types of in-cup infusers out there in the market. However, all in-cup tea infusers have one basic principle:

  • Take your cup
  • Drop your infuser with tea inside
  • Add hot water and steep
  • Remove the infuser and enjoy your tea

Certain in-cup infusers have a drip tray to place the infuser after brewing your tea. Others come with the cup. Also, it’s important to note that the sizes of in-cup infusers vary. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the size that you choose fits your mug. Besides, it should have enough space to give your tea leaves more space to infuse. You could even get funny tea infusers.

The best in-cup infusers are made out of the following 

  • A finely woven and non-reactive material, like a gold-plated metal wire
  • A non-reactive, micro-perforated metal, like food-grade stainless steel
  • BPA-free or non-leaching food-grade plastic
  • A closely woven wood that does not affect the flavor of the tea, like traditional bamboo strainers


With some practice, giawan tea infusers provide an easy and portable way of drinking tea anytime, regardless of your location. This set comes with 2 – 4 parts, a cup, lid, saucer (optional), as well as an extra cup (optional).

The best and easiest way to make tea with a giawan is by adding water and tea leaves, brewing the tea, and then using the lid to strain the tea while pouring it into the cup.

Travel infusers or tea thermoses

Now, if you want to brew full-leaf tea from tea bags, use a travel infuser or a quality thermos-style container. If not so, there are a few other options for brewing loose-leaf tea while traveling. For instance, the Bodum Travel Pass functions like a normal French Press, and this is another good option.