Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Take off heat and add tea bags. Steep for 6-8 minutes.
While boiling and steeping, slice the pearl onions in half. Loosen the petals so they can shake out and dump them into the mason jar.
Once fully steeped, squeeze out all the tea essence from the baggies and discard. Add the salt and sugar to the pot, stirring to dissolve. Mix in the vinegar and hot sauce.
Pour the liquid over the onions and screw the lid on tight. Give it all a good shake to settle.
Refrigerate, preferably overnight, for all the pickle magic to happen. Most delicious the first week or two.