Quite a few recipes call for tying up flavouring ingredients such as herbs and whole spices inside muslin to add to the pot during cooking; this makes them easier to fish out once the flavours have infused, ensuring no one bites down on a clove, cardamom pod or piece of cinnamon stick when the dish is served.
For years, I’ve been using a shortcut – instead of faffing about with muslin and string, I just pop my spices and herbs into little single-use pouches intended as home-made teabags.
I first found these in a Chinese grocery store but they are readily available from many suppliers, in a variety of different designs. Of course, I also use them to make handy teabags from my favourite loose leaf teas for taking in to work or when travelling.
The ones I usually buy are most like these pouches, with a lip that folds back over to seal them, much like a pillow case.
1) Tea Bag Filters 2) Tea Pockets
There are also several in this drawstring style:
3) DIY Teabags 4) Tea Pockets 5) Fill Your Own Tea Bags
The ones I’ve shared above are all for sale on Amazon, either sold directly by Amazon or from one of the many other sellers with online shops there. I recommend checking delivery charges when comparing prices, as they vary wildly between products.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!15 Comments to "A Little Tip from Kavey: Using DIY Tea Bags For Whole Spices and Herbs"
I love this idea. Why didn’t I think of it! like you say no one wants to bite down on a whole clove. I do have a question though, do the bags last a while in a simmering pot or do they disintegrate/split after so long?
The ones I’ve used so far haven’t distintegrated, though I can’t speak for every brand or style (and haven’t tried all the ones I found and listed above). I’ve used the pillow-case fold-over ones for stews and ketchups and never had them fall apart.
This is a great tip. I have been known to get deeply frustrated trying to find small bits of muslin and some suitable string. Ideal for some of the winter casseroles that are just around the corner.
Glad it’s not just me! Happy casseroling!
Lovely post, you’ve given me all sorts of ideas x
Look forward to hearing about them!
What a great idea! I didn’t actually know you could buy empty tea bags but I’m so gonna order some. I can never be bothered with tying muslin up so just chuck the spices in the have to spend ages fishing them out lol 🙂
Cunning, eh?! 🙂
This is a marvellous idea. we managed to pick up some cheap tea bags off ebay a while ago and it’s a million times better than chopping up a tatty roll of muslin kept scrunched behind the foil and greaseproof rolls.
I’ve experimented with a metal tea infuser thingy, but it was murder to clean.
Got a great tip from Auldo at The Big Fat Undertaking, for infusing the flavour of the skin into peeled potatoes when boiling: hair nets! They’re sterile and disposable, and cheap if you buy in bulk online. We use it for our roast potatoes.
Yes, much easier.
And I don’t like the idea of metal tea strainer ones ones in acidic cooking such as chutneys…
How sensible! I will have to look out for these. They will be great for smaller spices like black peppercorns and cloves.
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Hi I am a owner of spice tea brand. I am looking for bags that are more transparent so my spice tea can still bring out its aroma and colour. We ve tried several teabags but it seems they are too woved can you help with something air through.. or I may say bigger holes enough to infuse.
Hi Lulu, not really, I’m not involved in manufacturing these or anything, I just bought some from a shop to use for both tea and for spices… Good luck!