We had so much mint from our little indoor herb garden this year that I decided to make tea out of a bunch of the dried leaves. And of course, that meant I needed to make homemade tea bags as well!
It’s such a simple and easy thing to do; if you grow your own mint (or chamomile, or whatever) you should definitely give it a try!
Homemade Tea Bags
Here’s what you need:
- light-colored muslin (or some other loose-weave fabric)
- baker’s twine and paper for tags (optional)
Start by washing your fabric. This step is important because you don’t want to drink tea made in these bags if the fabric is dirty! (If you plan to add strings and tags to your tea bags instead of just leaving them plain, you’ll want to wash the string too.)
Cut two rectangles from your fabric. If you are making individual tea bags, cut smallish rectangles (1″-2″ on one side and 2″-3″ on the other). If you are making tea bags to steep an entire pot at a time, cut your rectangles slightly larger (2″-3″ on one side, 3″-4″ on the other).
Put the two rectangles together and sew around three sides, leaving a small seam allowance.
Fill the bag with tea through the open side. The amount of tea you add depends on the type of tea, how strong you like your tea, how large your mugs are, etc. But here are a few basic guidelines:
- For white teas, maté teas, rooibos teas, or herbal teas – 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried tea per 8 oz cup
- For black teas, green teas, or oolong teas – 1 teaspoon of dried tea per 8 oz cup
If you are planning to make iced tea with your tea bags, double those amounts. If you are planning to make a larger tea bag to steep an entire pot of tea at a time, just calculate the right amount of tea based on how many 8 oz cups your teapot will make. Also, remember that most coffee mugs are bigger than 8 oz…they’re more like 12 or 16.
Note: If you like your tea stronger, add more tea to the bag rather than steeping your tea for a longer period of time. Your tea will just get bitter if you steep it too long, rather than stronger.
If you want to make just a tea bag, sew the open end closed and you’re done! If you want to add a string and tag to your tea bag, cut a piece of string about 8″ long. Tie a knot in one end, then place that end inside the tea bag.
Sew the open edge shut, making sure to leave the knot inside your stitched line. The knot will keep the string from pulling out of the bag in the future.
Tie a paper tag onto the other end of the string, and you’re done! Steep these little guys in hot water and enjoy!
Again, steeping time varies by type of tea, how strong you like your tea, etc. But here are some basic guidelines:
- For white teas, steep 4-5 minutes (if your white tea is flavored or scented, cut that time down to 2 minutes)
- For green teas and flavored/scented green teas, steep 45 seconds to 1 minute
- For oolong teas, black teas, and flavored/scented black teas, steep 2-3 minutes
- For maté teas, rooibos teas, and herbal teas, steep 4-6 minutes
If you’re steeping an entire pot at a time, you can try steeping the tea a little bit longer (up to double the time). If you’re making iced tea, double the steeping time for maté teas, rooibos teas, and herbal teas. For all other teas the steeping time is the same regardless of whether it is hot or iced.
On a separate note, I had so much fun with Craftaholics Anonymous’s handmade gift exchange last time, that I’m participating in again this winter! I made a bunch of these little tea bags for my exchange partner, and I also crocheted another mug cozy for her as well.
It’s the same sort of idea as the crocheted mug cozy I made earlier, except that it’s a little simpler. This one is just a bunch of single crochet stitches that go back and forth in rows to make a long, skinny rectangle. Then I added a button, edged the cozy with some pink yarn, and made a button loop the same way as before. For the full tutorial, go check out the first cozy I made!
So the homemade tea bags and the crocheted mug cozy were my gift for the handmade gift exchange this year. I hope my exchange partner likes them!
Have you ever used loose-leaf tea before, or grown your own? Have you ever made your own tea bags? They would make great gifts for tons of occasions; I saw the cutest idea for making your own personalized tea bags as wedding or shower favors, how fun is that?!
I link up at these awesome parties!