How to Strain Tea

How to Strain Tea

Do I detect the faintest chill in the air?  Could it be that the season is changing just enough to beckon us back to a steaming hot cup of tea?  Even in the peak of summer, I still make hot tea, but it’s even more delightful as temperatures drop and the earth starts to journey toward her winter nap.  More hot tea means more opportunities to learn about how to strain tea.  Let’s look at a few together.

Whether you're new to loose leaf tea or forgot to pack an infuser, here's how to strain tea using a variety of methods.

How to Strain Tea: Strainer + Mug Combo

My go-to method for straining tea is with a strainer-mug combo set, like this rainbow infuser mug or owl mug and infuser.  It’s a fun and easy way to brew and strain a single serving of tea. 

Simply put the desired amount of loose tea into the mesh strainer, place it in the empty mug, and slowly pour boiling water over the leaves, infusing them as you go.  Then, replace the mug lid while you let it steep.  Set a timer for black, green, or white teaFor your herbals, steep longer for more flavor without the risk of bitterness from oversteeping. 

When your steep is done, remove the mesh strainer with the infused loose leaves and set it on the overturned mug lid.  I love this all-in-one approach!  It almost guarantees that I won’t leave my steeping tea on the kitchen counter and then forget about it for hours.  I bring the complete mug set with me to my desk while it steeps, then I have a tidy little place to put the strainer while I drink my tea.

One of my favorite fabulous fall herbal teas is the Strawberry Immunity herbal tea.  Prepare for the sniffles season by giving your immune system a boost of delicious strawberry echinacea herbal tea.  A melange of favorite fruits, like strawberry, blackberry, and apple, fill your cup with a tart deliciousness, tempered by a helpful dose of fresh echinacea and elderberry.

Cloth Strainer

If you want to create a really cool, slow-down routine around how to strain tea, you can employ a cloth strainer, much like a cheesecloth.  A cloth strainer is very helpful for holding back the teeny, tiny loose spices, herbs, and leaves that can slip through a metal mesh strainer. 

For example, for teas like chai, the spicy bits can often slip through other strainers, but all that flavorful goodness is retained inside the cloth while it infuses.  Then, there are no little bits left behind to sip around.

Cloth strainers can be found online and are popular in making Thai iced tea.  Thai iced tea, which originated in Thailand and was first introduced in Thai restaurants across the country, has become a popular drink here in the States. 

Typically, Thai tea is sweetened with sweetened condensed milk, but you can experiment with your own sugar and dairy or non-dairy addition, everything from nut and soy beverages to lower fat dairy options.  You can make your own Thai iced tea at home with the helpful tips from this article.

Have you tried the Plum Deluxe flagship chai, inspired by Portland?  Portland Rose City Chai is packed with Oregon rose petals, almonds, spices, lemongrass, black tea, and hints of blackberry.  Enjoy the fresh flavors of the Rose City in this unique chai with an addictive aroma.

Two blue-and-white cups sit on a wooden surface, their lids sitting off to the side. A plate of sweets sits on a doily in the background.

Double Your Cup

You can use this method for how to strain your tea if you’ve misplaced your everyday tea strainer, or if you’re traveling and forgot to bring one with you.  For this straining technique, you’ll need two cups or mugs

In one cup, you’ll place your loose leaf tea to brew.  Pour the boiling water over the tea leaves and let it steep until you’re ready to pour off the infusion. Then—carefully, don’t burn your fingers—pour off the freshly brewed tea into the second empty vessel, using a spoon, lid, or another item to retain the tea leaves in the original container.  Et voila!  You have hacked how to strain tea without a standard strainer, just like a regular James Bond.

Teapot: Short & Stout

Of course, the most traditional method for how to strain your tea is to use a beloved teapot.  Using a teapot allows you to make a generous amount of tea at a time.  How much tea do you use to brew in the pot?  The general rule of thumb is one teaspoon for each cup and one for the pot.

When you pour your tea from a pot, you may get some leaves and tidbits that escape through the spout.  There is the perfect solution for this and it’s a gorgeous little tea strainer that sits on top of your teacup to catch the leaves before they go on for a swim.  

If you want to try a delicious black tea in your next teapot brew, try the Creme Brulee Earl Grey black tea.  It was the winner in a customer appreciation month vote and won by a landslide! The creamiest of cream Earl Greys, the brisk bergamot notes balance wonderful, rich cream notes. It makes a dandy London Fog (Earl Grey latte) or just enjoy it with your favorite tea cookie or biscuit.

For the perfect little teapot to add to your collection, check out these gorgeous little ceramic pots.  This high-quality ceramic teapot comes with a removable stainless steel infuser and has an easy-to-use lid.  Holding 18 ounces of water, it’s perfect for brewing a couple of large cups of tea.

Well, there you have it!  We’ve reviewed a few different ideas for how to strain tea.  I’m sure you’ve come up with some creative straining ideas in your tea adventure.  Just as the old proverb says, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  Now, go on and enjoy a nice cuppa tea and we’ll meet back here next month.  Ta for now!

Tasha Standridge

Tasha Standridge is a native Californian who loves animals, road trips, and quotable quotes. An avid observer of her surroundings, she writes about her thoughts on navigating life on her blog, positivelytasha.com.
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