This is a new series of blog posts to share my love of tea and some discoveries I am making as I dive more into that love. (And honestly, what goes better with books than a nice cup of tea?)
So I thought I would talk a little bit today about Tea Strainers and Tea Infusers for those who enjoy loose tea. I am relatively new to the loose tea world and am still learning as I go, I only have a few tea strainers but there is such a wide variety out there to let you make your tea suit your personality just right.
So from my limited experience and research I have come across a few different types of strainers and infusers.
First is the tea ball, it is usually ball shaped and made with mesh or stainless steel. They usually have a chain or handle on them for easy removal. I believe that the novelty tea strainers also fall into this category for the most part as well even thought they aren't always round (check out this really cool selection I found). The one thing I found out during my research is that you have to be careful to not over fill your strainer or it won't allow the tea leaves to open and release their flavor (something I am definitely guilty of).
Another type is the basket strainer, some sites referred to this as the mug strainer. It is a basket that rests in the top of your cup or pot and you pour the hot water over it. The tea then floats in the basket until steeping is done. I only have one in a pot that I haven't tried yet, but from what I understand it give the tea more room to open and release the flavor.
There is also the french press, like you would use for coffee. I have never used one or even seen one in person but I have seen some really cool videos for one that you steep and then put on the top of your cup to strain it.
Of course there are also tea bags that you can either fill or make for loose tea, or even reusable ones like my silicone one. Just put the tea in and secure it closed and use like any normal bagged tea.
I have noticed with my loose tea and tea strainers though, you really need to use the right ones with the right tea. Some tea is made with large pieces of leaf or whole leaves and other is more ground up, so you have to pay attention to the size of the holes in your strainer. All in all it is another fun way to enjoy a nice cup of tea. I just recently received my Mr. Tea and there is some that makes you smile seeing this little man lounging in your mug of tea.
So do you have any unique tea infusers? What do you use for your loose leaf tea?