Here's the premise of my question: I am on a mission to create a reusable tea bag that is easy to use on the go. I lead something of a nomadic lifestyle and it's important to me to have a system for brewing and enjoying quality tea while I'm away from home.

After trying out literally dozens of different tumbler designs, I settled for this one here, called the 'Tao tea tumbler': https://www.taotealeaf.com/tao-tea-tumbler-with-disassembly-set/

As you can see, the bottom cavity that holds the leaves is difficult to clean, especially when the leaves are small - hence the desire to have a tea bag. I would therefore like to use a textile that is non-toxic (for context: nylon releases microplastics when exposed to boiling water), is hydrophobic (so that it's easy to clean), is flexible, dries quickly, doesn't mold, lends itself to repeated use, doesn't impart any flavor onto boiling water, and has a high melting point.

And now to the actual question: I came across a new fabric developed by NASA (of all people) that appears to fit these criteria. Here's the link: https://www.teacoffeepackingmaterial.com/product/pla-mesh-neosoilon/ Is this material suitable for what I'd like to use it for? If so, where do I get it?

Here are some steps that I have already taken:

  • I created a prototype of my design with a mix of silk and cotton. I tested it and concluded that it doesn't suit my needs. Finally, I adjusted my design for the next iteration.
  • I reached out to the manufacturers of the NeoSoilon fabric - they have yet to respond to my request.
  • 6
    I continue to be curious about why a metal tea infuser isn't suitable for what you want – do you have a motivation here besides the technical challenge?
    – dbmag9
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 15:26
  • 5
    So, you bought a very expensive specialized tea-brewing vessel with built-in filter which promises some kind of advanced control of infusion, and now you want to combine it with a teabag? Your argument is that it should be "easy to use on the go", but any teabag, no matter what material, will be more difficult to clean than a hard system like your tumbler. I really fail to see the logic in that, and if I were in your place, I would use the tumbler as designed.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 16:29
  • Also, I fail to see what your question is. "Is it the right material" - that would only make sense if only one right material could exist, but this is not so, there are many different materials which are usable as teabags. "Can it be used as a teabag material at all" - you provide a link to a page that already describes it as a teabag material. So I'm unclear, what do you want to ask?
    – rumtscho
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 16:31
  • This is a duplicate of cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/123584/… just choosing a different material.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 19:34
  • Steel seems to practically meet all your requirements, and is readily available in many designs for making tea. How would NeoSoilon be better?
    – User65535
    Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


The link you've provided explains that NeoSoilon is produced from organic products and is biodegradable; the difference with its predecessor is that it is GMP free, and it is nowhere described as reusable. I would not expect it to be readily reusable the way a traditional fabric would be – I would assume it absorbs flavour from the tea and that it begins to degrade as soon as it gets wet.

It sounds to me like typical disposable teabag material, and I can't imagine taking a used teabag and recovering the material without significant processing (drying, washing, perhaps bleaching).

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