How To Make Loose Leaf Tea Leaves Without a Strainer

Tea bags are the easiest way to make tea at home or in your office, but those who are avid tea drinkers know that the best flavored tea comes from loose leaves. They’re a little messier to use but are very easy when you have a strainer. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to make loose leaf tea, but you don’t have a stranger, don’t panic. You can use several techniques to make loose leaf tea without a strainer and losing your sanity. 

Here are our favorite ways to make a delicious cup of loose leaf tea when a strainer is nowhere to be found. 

Use a French Press

If you have a French press lying around, you can use that to make a delicious cup of tea! The best thing about using a French Press to make a cup of tea is that it’s as easy as making a cup of coffee

You’ll fill the French press with water like you usually would and add the tea leaves instead of coffee. The main thing to remember if you use a French press to make a cup of tea is that you thoroughly clean the appliance first so that there are no lingering coffee flavors in your tea. 

Utilize a Tea Infuser

There are dozens of tea infusers on the market, and they’re very affordable. Many come in classic stainless steel material, but there are cute designs, too, like animals, strawberries, and more. 

The downside to using these tea infusers is that they’re made for making one cup of tea at a time, not an entire pitcher or several cups. 

Use a Slotted Spoon or Fork

You can use a slotted spoon or fork to strain the tea leaves from your beverage when trying to make a cup or pitcher of tea. A slotted spoon tends to work better for larger leaves and forks for smaller ones, but regardless, you’ll want to ensure that the leaves aren’t going to slip through the slots simply. 

All you have to do is steep your tea in your mug or however you’re making it, and then when it’s ready to serve, pour the tea through the slotted spoon into a new cup. It will catch all the tea leaves, and you’re ready to drink!

Make a Tea Bag

Making your own tea bag is always an option when you don’t have a strainer for your tea. You can also purchase tea filter bags online if you prefer to use those with your loose leaf tea, but you can easily make one at home if you’re in a pinch. 

All you need is a coffee filter or cheesecloth if you have those. You’ll place your loose leaf in the center of the filter or cheesecloth and then tie it together with a string or rubber band. Then you can steep the tea like you usually would in a regular tea bag or tea infuser. 

Don’t Strain it at All

Another not-so-popular option when you don’t have a filter is not to strain the tea leaves! This is the most straightforward option, but it’s only the option for some. You must put your loose tea leaves in a cup and pour your hot water in. 

You’ll let it steep for however long you want to before you drink it. For the most part, you shouldn’t get too many tea leaves in your mouth, but as you reach the bottom, you will get a bitter taste. Not straining the tea leaves is excellent if you don’t mind tea leaves bumping into your lips or accidentally consuming brewed tea leaves.

Use Two Cups 

Using two cups is another easy method to make a cup of tea without using a strainer. All you’ll need are two tea mugs. You’ll use one cup to steep your tea in, and the other will act as a filter or strainer. 

Once you’ve steeped your loose leaf tea for as long as you want, it’s time to pour. You’ll take the mug with your tea partially in the clean cup. Doing this will act like a barrier and prevent tea leaves from getting into your fresh cup. Just be careful, as this can be messy if you’re not careful and don’t want to burn yourself. 

Make an Aluminum Foil Infuser

Everyone has aluminum or tin foil in their house, and this household item can be life-saving when you don’t have a filter for your tea leaves. You can make a tea infuser with aluminum foil! 

You’ll cut a small square of foil using scissors. How large you make the square depends on how many tea leaves you use, so use your best judgment. Once you’ve cut the foil, you’ll fold it twice into a smaller square. 

Use a knife and make holes in the corner that’s closed. Fold out a pocket, place it in the pocket, and then steep it in hot water. When you’re ready to drink, remove the aluminum foil infuser and enjoy!

Use a Coffee Filter

Lastly, you can use coffee filters to strain your tea leaves. While you can make a tea bag from coffee filters, there’s another way to use these tools to make a cup of tea. You’ll follow the same method you would when using fresh coffee. 

Clean the filter with water to remove the paper taste, and then place the filter in a mug and then the loose leaves inside. Pour hot water over the leaves and let it steep for the appropriate time before removing the filter and drinking. 


Even if you don’t have a strainer, you can still experience a delicious cup of tea. You can use several methods to brew a cup of tea with your favorite loose leaf teas. Whether you want to get creative and make a tea bag or infuser or go the simple route and use a slotted spoon, you can’t go wrong with any of these methods.