When brewing teas there are a plethora of different tools you can use to help infuse your teas. These tools are to help avoid the unwanted side effects of eating tea leaves while trying to enjoy your tea. If you type in the words ‘tea infuser’ you will be a mind boggling amount of products. Where do you start? Never fear, dear readers! I will go through the basic and more popular ones so that you can decide which infuser is right for you.
The most popular is the tea ball. You simply put your loose leaf tea into the little metal ball; allow it to bob up and down in your cup of hot water until your tea brews. When finished, you can throw the leaves away, rinse your ball in the tap and voila! You are ready to brew another cup. Tea balls are either mesh or rigid in fun shapes like little teapots or hearts or acorns. They are also usually made of metal which makes it easy to clean and also prevents the flavor from sticking to the ball.
As you can see in these photos, there is a considerable difference in the size and number of the holes. A lot of people prefer the mesh because it allows for more flavors to escape while keeping the leaves in. I personally have used both and hardly noticed a difference. Also because of its small size, the tea balls prevent a lot of tea leaves from unfurling thus not giving you the full tea experience.
There are also strainers and bags that use a filter system. These are usually bigger or more spacious which allows for more tea to unfurl. You can find strainers for your tea pot as well as your mug. The bags are great because once you are done with the tea; you can simply throw the bag away. However, this is not cost effective if you drink a lot of tea.
What do you use, dear readers? Are you a fan of the ball? Or the bag? Tell me your thoughts.
2 thoughts on “Tea 101 – Brewing Tea”
The shark shape is nice, but for good tea, it is like an horror movie.
Use a small teapot instead and free the tea leaves ! Metal tea balls are not that good for your tea leaves. They have no room, they want freedom ! Brew good quality tea leaves several times, it is cost effective.
I agree Lihua!
Any way you can provide more room for the leaves to expand is a good thing. It allows you to bring out more flavor and nuance to the brew.
The shark shape is neat looking and eye catching but its practicality is little more than a party favor.
I prefer the ForLife style rigid infuser seen in this article when I brew at home to give the leaf room to unfurl while keeping cleanup simple and limiting the amount of time the leaves spend in the water.
Thanks for weighing in! Great points!