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What is the Difference Between a Tea Strainer and Tea Infuser?

Everyone's a little different when it comes to their tea preference. Some prefer a tea using a tea bag, while others like to use fresh tea leaves in a strainer. What is the difference between a tea strainer and tea infuser? With so many different tea types and methods being used, it’s not surprising that things can get a little confusing. Knowledge is power and the questions will be answered for you here today.

What is the difference between a tea strainer and tea infuser? The difference between the two is that a tea infuser will sit within the water for as long as you want it. That way, you can likely get a more intense tea flavor. However, this is something that’s usually removed once the tea has brewed. A strainer sits in between the brewing container and the one you drink out of. Depending on your preference, there are benefits to using either.

In this article, we’ll answer your strainer and infuser questions to help you become a master tea maker.

How Do You Use a Tea Infuser and Strainer? 

How Do You Use a Tea Infuser and Strainer?

When it comes to loose leaf tea, there’s often a more flavorsome experience involved when compared to using tea bags. A tea infuser allows loose leaf tea to be put straight into the mug or pot. It’s a bit like tea bags but in this scenario, it’s loose tea leaves. The infuser is usually in the form of a mesh ball that allows the water to flow through it easily. The longer it’s left in the mug or pot, the more infused the water becomes, adding a much stronger flavor overall.

For a tea strainer, this is usually good for larger loose leaf teas, where the holes in a strainer would be too big for the tea leaves to remain in its mesh container.

Do You Need a Strainer for Loose Leaf Tea?

A strainer is useful for loose leaf tea but there are ways to go without one. There are different methods depending on what you have available to you, but loose leaf tea strainers can make things a lot easier and without too much hassle.

If you haven’t got a tea strainer, then there are a few methods that you can use that include:

Paper Towel/Coffee Filter

By using a paper towel or coffee filter paper, you can use this to place your loose tea leaves into and pour hot water through to strain the leaves themselves.


If you have a sieve, you can use this to pour the water through but depending on how big the sieve is, you might not get the most intense flavors with this method.

There are lots of different methods and hacks to use when it comes to straining tea but having a tea strainer available can be helpful. You can also use a traditional Chinese method of straining tea, which is a Gaiwan. This is a cup with a lid so that the tea leaves can be kept in the cup as the hot water is filtered out.

How to Use a Tea Strainer 

How to Use a Tea Strainer

To get the best out of every tea you brew, it’s good to know how to use a tea strainer in the right way. First, make sure you spoon in the right amount of loose-leaf tea needed. Depending on how strong you want it, a tablespoon is usually the right amount. Once you’ve spooned in the tea leaves, you’ll then want to place the tea strainer over the cup. The boiling water will then go over the tea strainer, which you’ll then allow to brew for 5-10 minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger the tea will be.

A tea strainer is good when you want to let your tea sit for a while before drinking.

How Do You Use a Tea Infuser?

With a tea infuser, you’ll heat your water and add the tea leaves into the infuser. The infuser then gets placed into the teacup. Depending on how much water you want will depend on how quickly it infuses and how strong the tea will get. Steep the infuser until it’s at the desired strength and then remove it.

Both tools used for brewing tea are similar and can be used briefly or taken out when the flavor of the tea has reached its preferred level for the drinker.

Do Teapots Need Infusers?

Ceramic teapots usually come with built-in infusers. Remember that ceramic teapots can’t be heated on the stove though. Heat water to a rolling boil in a separate kettle and add the water and tea leaves to the infuser to then brew in the ceramic teapot.

How Do You Steep Loose Tea Without an Infuser?

You can still steep tea with hot water, loose tea and a cup! Here are some directions below on how to steep loose tea without an infuser with answers to the following questions:

Can You Use Tea Bags in a Teapot?

In a pinch? You can put two tea bags in a regular teapot of hot water for steeping. For a mini teapot you can add one tea bag to your hot water.

How Much Tea Do You Put in a Teapot?

If you’re looking to steep tea leaves in a teapot, try one teaspoon of tea leaves per one cup of water

Can You Put Tea Bags in an Infuser?

You can place tea bags in an infuser for steeping if you are in a pinch to make some tea. However, when you use a tea bag, the tea bag itself acts as an infuser. It’s technically not needed to place a tea bag inside an infuser, but you can do so if you like.

French Press vs Tea Infuser 

French Press vs Tea Infuser

The French Press is one that provides a great amount of space for the tea leaves to infuse with the hot water. Just like it’s used for coffee where it separates the coffee from the water, the same is done with a French Press. A lot of seasoned tea drinkers prefer the French Press because they believe it gives the right amount of space for the leaves by constricting them like a tea infuser or strainer basket would.

With a French Press, you’ll also find that you can make larger quantities of tea than using a tea strainer or infuser that makes a limited amount in comparison. For a tea strainer, you may only be able to make one or two cups.

Which Option is Best to Use?

If you’re a beginner to loose tea leaves, then it’s certainly a good idea to try each option to see which one works best for you. It can often boil down to the type of loose leaf you’re using and whether it works best in a tea infuser or a tea strainer.

Trying them out for yourself is the best way to find out which option is going to be right for you when it comes to brewing tea. Just like coffee types, every method is different, and it really is more about personal preference.

Try Tea India Today

Ready to try a tea strainer with some delicious loose tea? There are plenty of great products available with Tea India, whether you are looking for a premium Cardamom Chai Tea or our original loose tea for an authentic cup of chai. Whatever your preference during a normal day or during Diwali, make sure you check out our whole range of products in order to fill your pantry with tea today! Discover chai today and find Tea India near you!