Tea infusers and strainers are some of the easiest and most effective ways to brew loose leaf tea. These infusers allow you to brew up a cup of tea and then remove the leaves when they’re done steeping so that your tea doesn’t become overly bitter. They’re accessible to beginner tea drinkers and experts alike, and are the perfect thing whether you’re brewing up a single cup of tea at a time or making up a whole pot. When it comes to choosing a tea infuser, there are a variety of factors that may influence your decision, including material, aesthetic considerations, and personal preference.
What You Should Look For
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when it comes to selecting the perfect tea infuser. These include size, durability, and aesthetic considerations. Ultimately, the best tea infusers are easy to use, easy to clean, and durable enough to last decades.
1. Durable Material
In order to get the most out of your tea infuser, you should select one made from a durable material. Sturdy ceramic or plastic infusers are both good options, but we especially recommend stainless steel infusers for their durability. These infusers stand up well to everyday use - we’ve been using the same stainless steel tea infusers here at ArtfulTea for years, and they’re still going strong! Stainless steel infusers can also be washed in the dishwasher to give them that fresh out of the box shine.
Size is one of the most important considerations when it comes to selecting a tea infuser or strainer. While small tea balls and spoons are often very popular, we actually don’t recommend these types of infusers because of their small size. Instead, we recommend larger sized infusers. Tea balls and spoons often don’t have enough room for loose leaf teas to expand, while larger infusers give the tea plenty of room to spread out as it steeps. This is important because it results in a tastier, more flavorful cup of tea. Especially when using premium full leaf teas, the larger the infuser the better!
3. Easy to Use
Tea infusers don’t need to be fussy or complicated - they’re a simple, easy way to brew up a cup of tea. We recommend choosing a tea infuser that is easy to use and clean, and doesn’t come with unnecessary features or parts. Sometimes the simple things really are the best!
4. Aesthetically Pleasing
Another consideration when it comes to selecting a tea infuser or strainer is aesthetic preference. Some people might prefer sleek, simple stainless steel tea infusers, while others might prefer an infuser that comes with a glass or ceramic mugs or cup. Tea pots with built-in infusers are another popular option. Choosing the best tea infuser for you can often come down to personal preference in terms of shape, size, and material.
Tea Infuser Options
There are a variety of options when it comes to loose leaf tea infusers. You can opt for a stand-alone infuser, an infuser and mug set, or a tea pot with an infuser built-in. All of these options allow you to easily brew your tea and remove the tea leaves when ready in order to avoid over-steeping your tea.
1. Stand-Alone Infusers
One of the benefits of stand-alone infusers is that you can use them with pretty much any cup or mug. This makes them a great choice if you already have a favorite mug or cup that you’re interested in brewing tea directly in. These infusers are also compact, durable, and easy to travel with, making them a great all-around option. Depending on the size of your mug and your aesthetic preference, you may prefer a larger stainless steel infuser basket or a smaller infuser with folding handles.
2. Tea Infuser Mug Sets
Tea infuser mug sets are another great option, especially for beginner tea drinkers or those who prefer the ease and convenience of an all-in-one set. Tea infuser mugs sets generally come with a mug or cup, an infuser, and a lid to keep the tea warm while it steeps. We carry both glass tea infuser mugs and ceramic tea infuser mugs in a variety of different colors.
3. Tea Pots with Built-In Infusers
If you’re looking to brew a larger quantity of tea, or if you just enjoy the experience of brewing up an entire pot, tea pots that come with built-in infusers are another great option. These pots generally come with stainless steel infuser baskets that can be easily removed when the tea is finished steeping. We carry both glass pots and ceramic pots with built-in infusers. Cast iron teapots are another excellent choice. If a pot doesn’t come with a built-in stainless steel infuser, it’s often equipped with a ceramic filter near the spot of the pot. These types of pots, such as our tea for one pot or our tea for two travel set, are great for smaller quantities of tea (we recommend emptying the pot directly into teacups after steeping so that your tea doesn’t become overly strong!)
4. Tea Tumblers
If you’re interested in taking your tea with you on the go, tea tumblers are a great option. These tumblers come with built-in stainless steel infusers that make brewing tea a breeze. Just add tea leaves to the basket at the bottom of the tumbler, brew your tea, and stand the tumbler on its head to remove the leaves. You can make hot or iced tea in these tumblers, and they’re great for long commutes!
Alternatives to Loose Leaf Tea Infusers
While tea infusers are great, they’re not the only way to brew tea. If you’re more comfortable using tea bags (or just don’t want an extra dish to wash) paper tea filters are the perfect solution to make your own tea bags with. If you prefer to brew tea in a pot without a built-in infuser, you can use a tea strainer to filter out the loose leaves when you pour your tea into a teacup. You can even brew tea in a french press! No matter what way you brew your tea, you’re sure to end up with a tasty and flavorful cup.