How to Make Your Own Tea Bags
Here you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to make your own tea bags, plus FREE printable tea tags.
This goes perfectly with our previous post about mixing and blending your own herbal tea blends.
With a handful of herbs, many of which can be found in your kitchen cabinets, and a few basic techniques, you can brew up healing teas for everyday ailments.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the goodness of plants, but for accessibility and simplicity, it’s hard to beat a good cup of tea. I especially enjoy it when the tea contains herbs I grew, foraged, or blended myself.
These tea bags are the perfect accompaniment to your homemade herbal tea blends and make a great gift.
Step-by-Step Video Tutorial
Step 1: Cut the Coffee Filter
First, carefully cut along the seamed edge of the coffee filter. This helps to open it up without tearing. Once you’ve done that, gently unfold the coffee filter and lay it flat on a clean surface. I
Next, grab a ruler or any straight edge – I often use an old credit card for this. It’s all about improvising with what you have on hand, right? Use your chosen tool to draw straight lines across the filter. These lines will be your cutting guides, so try to keep them as even as possible. Then, with a steady hand, cut along these lines to create a neat rectangle. This shape is perfect for making tea bags, as it’s easy to fold and seal.
I have a particular fondness for these unbleached natural coffee filters. They have a rustic charm and are more environmentally friendly, aligning beautifully with my love for nature and sustainable living. Their natural color also adds a lovely, earthy aesthetic to the tea bags. However, if you don’t have these, the standard white coffee filters work just as well. They’re a bit more processed, but they’ll still do the trick in a pinch. Remember, it’s all about using what’s available to you and making the most of it.
Step 2: Place your herbal tea blend on the filter.
When making your own tea bags from coffee filters, use 1–2 tablespoons of your herbal blend to control the tea’s strength. For a lighter taste, use 1 tablespoon – great for delicate herbs or a gentle brew. For a stronger, more flavorful tea, use 2 tablespoons, ideal for bold herbs or an invigorating cup. Customizing your blend lets you play with flavors, like combining chamomile and lavender for relaxation or peppermint and lemon balm for a refreshing kick.
Step 3: Fold both long sides into the middle.
Gently fold one of the long sides towards the center, ensuring that there’s enough space to contain your chosen blend of tea leaves or herbs. This step is crucial as it helps to keep all the flavorful contents securely inside.
Next, carefully fold the other long side over, bringing it to meet the crease of the first fold. This creates a snug pocket, almost like a little envelope, which is essential for preventing any loose leaves from escaping during the steeping process. The goal here is to create a neat, tidy package that holds your tea blend compactly, yet allows enough room for the water to circulate and extract the full flavor and benefits of the herbs.
Step 4: Fold and Trim Your Tea Bag
Gently fold the coffee filter in half, creating a neat, small rectangle. This shape forms the base of your homemade tea bag. You’ll notice, though, that this rectangle is a bit too elongated compared to the traditional tea bags we’re used to. So, here’s a little trick I love to use: grab a store-bought tea bag and use it as your guide. Lay it next to your folded filter and trim the top of your rectangle to match its size. This way, you’re not just eyeballing it, but creating a tea bag that’s a perfect fit for your favorite mug. Remember, precision here adds that professional touch to your delightful herbal brews!
Step 6: Fold the top corners down into a triangle shape.
Now that your tea bag has been folded into a rectangle and trimmed to the proper size, fold the two top corners of the filter down. This will create a triangle and the perfect tea bag shape we are looking for.
Step 7: Staple a string to the folded part of your packet.
Staple your string onto your packet. This will also serve to hold the folded corners down. Make sure you are using natural un-dyed cotton string so that you don’t have any dye leaching into your tea. I love this cotton food grade string from the Martha Stewart collection at Michael’s craft stores.
Step 8: Tie the string to your printable tea tag.
In this last step of learning how to make your own tea bags, you’ll want to attach a tea bag tag. You can either create one of your own or download the free printable ones I created for this project. These are so cute and really give the tea bags a finished look and make cute homemade gifts.
Free Printable Tea Bag Tags
Download our FREE printable tea tags and either cut them out or use a tag punch like the one here. If using the tag punch, you’ll want to use a very small hole punch to attach your string to the end.
Commmon Herbs Used in tea blends
- Rooibos -It comes from a plant native to South Africa, and the drink there is called redbush tea. It’s caffeine-free and is full of antioxidants. Some researchers believe, based on studies done on animals, that this herb may boost the immune system and help prevent cancer.
- Rose Buds – In addition to being an immune booster, rosebuds can help to improve digestion and blood flow and relieve menstrual cramping and stress.
- Chamomile -This wonderful plant is often used to ease upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, insomnia, and anxiety. It’s important to note that if you are allergic to ragweed, then you should stay away from chamomile.
- Rosehip – This lovely plant contains vitamin C and may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers.
- Peppermint – A personal favorite. Some people like this herb for its ability to help with upset stomach, headache, irritable bowel syndrome, and breathing problems
- Marshmallow root – A “cooling“ root, it helps to relieve the dry, scratchy throat that comes with a cold.
- Ginger – The root of this plant is well known for its ability to help with nausea and upset stomach and should not be overlooked. You might also try it to boost your appetite, to relieve arthritis pain, or to fight a cold.
- Dandelion Root – This is a great overall cleanse for the kidneys and liver and adds a nice flavor to your teas.
- Cinnamon – It has many powerful properties and including it in a tea will help to relieve inflammation, promote healthy blood flow, and contribute to gut health.
- Lemon balm – This delicious herb is helpful for calming nerves and for relaxing you to help you sleep. It may also improve memory, although researchers want to learn more. It can cause tummy troubles for some so be careful about overuse.
- Oat Straw – Oat straw is highly nutritive, containing minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamins, and a variety of other constituents that deeply nourish the entire body. This gentle restorative herb is for those that are cold, depleted, or tired.
- Hibiscus – This plant is full of antioxidants. Some small studies have found that it can lower blood pressure and also shows promise of lowering cholesterol.
- Valerian – This plant is said to promote healthy relaxation and sleep.
- Echinacea – Also known as Coneflower – this plant is known as a cold remedy. It does seem to boost the immune system, and researchers are studying it as a treatment for the flu.
- Sage – This herb has been used forever for stomach problems, sore throats, depression, and memory loss.
- Orange Peels – Very rich in vitamin C!
- Turmeric – A powerhouse of an herb, turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.
- Lavender – This lovely herb is thought to calm nerves, lead to better sleep, and improve skin health.
- Elderberry – A strong immune booster, elderberry also contains fiber for gut health and may help with joint pain.
- Holy basil – A fantastic plant known to be able to tackle stress, anxiety, and inflammation. Use the leaves to make a relaxing cup of tea.
Enjoy Your Tea Bags!
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