May 31, 2023 4 min read

New to the world of tea drinking? It's time to think outside the tea bag. 

Tea bags are generally more popular than loose-leaf tea thanks to their pre-measured convenience and ease of use. 

But loose-leaf tea promises enhanced flavor extraction, customizable brewing, and greater antioxidant concentration. Additionally, loose-leaf tea is a more eco-friendly alternative to waste-generating tea bags. Whether your favorite tea is an herbal tea, black tea, or green tea, there are loose-leaf versions of your favorite morning (or nightly) go-to.

Ready to dabble in loose-leaf tea?

Don't be intimidated by the packages of loose tea leaves at your local specialty tea store. With a tea infuser, you can brew loose-leaf tea with minimal extra steps, making the transition from traditional tea bags to loose-leaf tea a seamless, hassle-free experience.

What Is a Tea Infuser?

A tea infuser is a small device used to steep loose-leaf tea in hot water, consisting of a mesh or perforated metal container that holds the loose leaves while allowing water to flow through. 

Some infusers are shaped like balls (also known as "tea balls"), while other tea infusers are more egg-shaped. Tea infusers not only vary by the shape of the tea ball; some models are built with handles for easy removal from the water, while other models of tea infusers do not feature a handle and come as free-form tea balls with attached chains.

A common alternative to a tea infuser is a tea strainer. Though both tea infusers and tea strainers are used to steep loose-leaf tea, these tea accessories vary slightly.

A tea strainer is typically used after the tea has been steeped in a teapot or mug. It is designed to catch loose leaves or debris as the liquid is poured out of the vessel. Tea strainers can be made of metal mesh or other materials like cloth or paper.

In contrast, tea infusers are placed directly in hot water to steep. The holes or mesh on the infuser allow the water to flow through while keeping the leaves contained. 

4 Steps to Using a Tea Infuser the Right Way

Overall, a tea infuser is easier to use and more beginner-friendly than a tea strainer, as it's designed to hold the loose-leaf tea securely in place while allowing water to flow through. This means you don't have to worry about loose leaves escaping into your cup or pot, which can be a hassle when using a strainer. For maximum convenience, consider a tea infuser mug.

Before you make your purchase, learn the ins and outs of how to use a tea infuser. That way, you can buy a tea infuser and feel confident in brewing loose tea.

Step 1: Choose Your Loose-Leaf Tea

The first step when using a tea infuser is choosing your loose-leaf tea. There are countless varieties available, each with its own unique flavor profile and health benefits. Some popular options include black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint.

For a unique profile of flavors, trust Mystic Monk's line of loose-leaf teas tasted and sourced by a team of expertly-trained monks. From blossoming jasmine green tea to holly and ivy teas, there’s something for everyone.

Once you've chosen your preferred variety, measure out the desired amount of loose leaves based on your personal taste preferences and the size of your infuser.

Step 2: Fill Your Tea Infuser

Now that you have your loose tea ready to go, it's time to fill your tea ball infuser. Open up your infuser by unscrewing it or pulling it apart at the hinge (depending on the type you have). Fill it about halfway with your loose leaves — this will allow enough room for them to expand as they steep.

Step 3: Steep Your Tea

With your infuser filled with loose tea, it's time to start steeping! Heat up some water in a kettle or on the stove until it reaches boiling point (or slightly below boiling for some delicate green teas). Once heated, pour the hot water into your teapot or mug containing your infuser.

Let your tea steep for around three to five minutes (depending on how strong you like it) before removing the infuser from the water using its handle or chain. Be careful not to burn yourself when handling hot water!

Step 4: Enjoy Your Perfect Cup of Tea Brewed from Loose Tea Leaves

Congratulations! You've successfully used a tea infuser to make yourself a delicious cup of loose-leaf tea. Now all that's left is to sit back, relax and enjoy sipping your warm beverage.

Some people prefer their cuppa plain, while others prefer milk or sugar added according to their taste preference.

How to Use a Tea Infuser: Additional Tips & Tricks

  • Cleanliness is key when using any kitchen equipment, including teaware items such as an infusion basket
  • Always rinse out any remaining bits after use.
  • Consider investing in high-quality teas for an optimal flavor experience.
  • Experiment with different varieties of teas and brewing times until you find what works best for you.
  • Don't leave any leftover wet leaves in an uncleaned strainer — this could lead to mold growth causing health issues.
  • If using an electric kettle, switch it off once boiled rather than letting it boil dry, which damages the heating element.


Now that you know how to brew tea using a tea infuser, choose your infuser wisely. Consider factors like material (metal vs. silicon vs. glass vs. ceramic), size, shape (ball-shaped, basket-shaped, or novelty designs), mesh size, and durability.

Don't assume all tea infusers will deliver the same flavorful and aromatic results. For example, the mesh size on an infuser determines how fine the tea leaves need to be for steeping. A finer mesh is ideal for smaller leaves like green tea, while a larger mesh is better for larger leaves like black tea.

Seasoned tea drinkers only invest in the best tea equipment. High-quality loose tea leaves demand high-quality teaware, so opt for a tea infuser endorsed by the coffee and tea experts at Mystic Monk.