Alternatives to tea bags

Did you know that most mainstream tea bags contain plastic? With awareness rising of the impact microplastics have on the environment, it’s no surprise that many people are turning to reusable and plastic-free ways to make their brew. If you are looking to reduce or stop using tea bags, these alternatives to tea bags might help you make the switch.

And if you need a little extra help and solidarity when changing from tea bags to a plastic-free alternative, head to the Ailuna App now and select the “Plastic Free Tea” dare. There, you’ll be able to connect with others who are also kicking their tea bag habit, get daily encouragement and see your impact as you tick off each day’s tea-drinking progress.

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Basket infusers, tea balls and stick infusers

If you often make a mug for yourself or want to brew two mugs of different teas, an in-cup infuser could be the perfect alternative to using tea bags. 

Look out for stainless steel basket infusers – they are really easy to empty and rinse.

Basket infuser
Tea ball
Stick infuser

Teapot & strainer

If you’re making tea for the family or at the office, a teapot is a great solution. There are so many styles to choose from: traditional, modern, retro, enamel, novelty. For the best cup possible, always heat the pot before adding tea. Then use one teaspoon of loose leaf per person, plus one for the pot! 

Top tip: Whatever style you choose, if you’re buying a teapot make sure it pours well by asking to try it out with some water before you buy it!

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Teapot with integral infuser or filter

Lots of modern teapots have an integral infuser, which means they are much easier to empty so are a great alternative to tea bags if you’re short on time. Small pots are perfect for one or two cups with no fuss. Check out BodumStump or London Pottery Company for some lovely options.

Tea pots with built in infusers are a great alternative to tea bags

Reusable tea bags

Reusable tea bags can be made from fabric or silicone. You can even make your own! If you’re feeling crafty, try this tutorial from Happiest Camper, or if you want a super easy version, pop a teaspoonful of loose-leaf in a 10 cm square of muslin or cheesecloth and tie with a string.

3 reusable tea bags laying on a purple and green background

Yerba mate, Matcha, Chai latte

If you’re looking for an alternative to tea bags that is also an alternative to tea, why not try these options:

Yerba mate is a traditional south american caffeinated drink, made from leaves of the plant Ilex paraguariensis. It is brewed in a gourd and drunk through a metal straw which doubles as a tea-strainer!

Matcha is a finely ground powder made from specially grown green tea leaves. It doesn’t need straining – the green powder is whisked straight into hot water or milk.

Chai latte is a sweet, spiced milky drink that can be made using syrup or powder. Many commercial powders contain nasties such as artificial sweeteners and flavourings, but the good news is that you can make your own chai latte syrup very easily! Check out The Spruce Eats recipe. Upcycle a bottle, and buy your sugar and spices packaging-free to make the recipe totally zero-waste!

Alternatives to tea bags – what have we missed?

What do you use to make your cup of tea? We’d love to hear about more plastic-free alternatives to tea bags. Why not join the Ailuna Community Facebook group and share your thoughts there?