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I bought this 6.5 years ago, and still use it every day. [link]
It's dishwasher safe, or if you're doing the same tea every day I honestly just dump the leaves and let it air dry most days.
The only thing I'd worry about is I find gravity steepers don't hold temperature that well, nor could be preheated effectively. This especially since the gravity steeper is 16oz and do not fill it up, you'll lose lots of heat, so not the best infusion.
It is do-able, but if you want a great cup I'd go at least a mug-in infuser covered (lots of options, first one on google) or better yet a gaiwan (but yeah, you seriously can buy a gaiwan for like $8 on Aliexpress/ebay)
Besides other people's recommendations, this is what I use to brew loose leaf teas and it works great. Lots of room for the leaves to unfurl.
I'd start out trying different kinds of black teas, from Assam, to keemun to Yunnan (my favorite). Steepster.com is great for finding different recommendations and descriptions of tea flavors and their differences. Just look up the stores others have recommended here, I also recommend looking at what-cha teas as well.
My gateway tea was a Yunnan black tea sample from tea-at-sea. It had a delicious, smooth earthy-chocolate flavor that didn't become astringent or bitter if left steeping a bit too long. It was like drinking a chocolate-caramel tea straight out of the bag, without all the added flavorings that other teas have. I loved it.
It can be really overwhelming at first, but once you find yourself able to tell the difference between different types of black teas (as I have), you'll find yourself in a whole new world of flavor experience. :)
Welcome to loose-leaf tea, I hope you find it as amazing as I do!
It looks like that’s a blend of Indian black teas. If so, I can’t recommend these mesh strainers enough! I brew all of my Indian teas in them. They’re super easy to use and they fit directly into most mugs. Great for brewing one cup at a time. They also allow more room for the leaves to expand than most mesh strainers, which I’ve found to make a big difference. Plus they come in all different colors so you can collect them all :)
I use these and they're great.
The lid comes in handy both for keeping the tea warm and as a little saucer for the tea strainer when you take it out of the cup. Also fits in and is large enough for tea pots.
Edit: but if you have your heart set on balls... ¯\(ツ)/¯
I will have to do so! Thank you so much for your help - I am not super experienced with Chinese teas but hopefully I'll be able to taste whether it's the quality it claims. (But, I'm not picky so I'll probably enjoy it regardless). I'll have to open up the tins and see.
Do you have a recommendation on brewing style? I normally brew Western-style with a stainless steel tea infuser - do you think this method would be good for this type of tea? I don't have access to a gaiwan set or anything like that, although if it's really superior I could be convinced to buy something....
It is tiny, but it'll work. Ideally you want something bigger that'll allow leaf expansion, especially for some of the bigger leaf teas like oolong and some whites/blacks. The holes might be too big for rooibos.
If you like it, upgrade to something like this [link]
An infuser basket such as the Forlife Brew-in-Mug is another option. Target actually started stocking a similar infuser basket (comes with a mug and lid, ~$12) by Primula this winter.
Hey I was curious if you have something that looks like this? I'm wanting to explore other ways to brew.
I've previously used a Bodum 3-cup French press at work and grind the beans at home to bring with me. I spent some time looking for a method that wouldn't involve pouring a lot of grounds down the drain and found the FORLIFE tea infuser. I steep for 4 minutes and then remove the infuser, there's some sediment in the mug but nothing worse than a normal French press. So far it works great!
Get a strainer like this, put it in your favorite mug (12-16 oz), and put in a 1/2 to full teaspoon of the oolong. Brew for 3 minutes around 170 F-180F.
Get a thermometer (Thermoworks is best) and kettle (variable temperature ones like Bonavitas or Hamilton Beach at the low end are the most convenient...) if you don't plan on using a stovetop pot.
That's all you'll need for drinking tea for a while, until you get into puerhs or matcha.
Many loose leaf teas contain larger unbroken leaves that expand when steeping. A large infuser like this one has enough space for the leaves to unfurl for a good steeping, and can be used directly in a mug.
You could get some good quality loose-leaf tea and cold brew it! It's super easy and usually flavorful!
I believe /r/tea is a pretty active subreddit. I'd search and ask there for recommendations of good types of tea to cold brew!
I have used a tea infuser similar to this one to make coffee in out backpacking. Grind coarse, put in mug, pour hot water, and let steep to taste. It actually makes pretty darn good coffee. The trick is to make sure the pores in the infuser or ball are not too large otherwise fines get out into your cup. Heck, I may make tomorrow morning's coffee this way.
I second this infuser. It has a fine mesh and the lid is handy as a place to put the infuser after you have finished steeping.
I got this (sorry not a UK link!) for Christmas and I'm pleased with it. I usually drink my tea from a normal or over-sized mug and this fits both nicely. Plus, it's nice that my tea stays warm while I'm waiting.
That looks pretty standard.
I also have a metal infuser, and I like it because it comes with a lid that serves to keep tea hot, and a place to safely place the infuser when done steeping. I'm sure others have this feature, but this was my first experience with it.
This is the one I have, and I like it a lot. The holes are pretty fine, there's a little bit of powdery stuff that goes through, but not much. I like the silicone on the lid too. I bought mine paired with a glass mug because that particular day (and that color) it was 4 dollars more than just the infuser. I like the mug a lot, though it seems a bit fragile. Haven't broke it yet and I've probably had it four months?
ForLife also makes the laser cut infuser on it's own. Like I've said it's a fairly roomy basket, bigger than most of the single cup infusers I've seen and is probably 80% or so of a regular coffee mug, it fits them great.
I have had two of these forlife tea infusers for about a year now and they are so totally completely awesome. It fits in most regular sized mugs and when the tea is done steeping, the lid flips over to become a drip catcher for the infuser. It is made out of stainless steel and has tiny holes in it like an espresso machine portafilter. This thing is built well and will last a very long time.
Plus, you can use it for things other than tea. For instance, I have made my own limoncello and ginger liqueurs and the straining step was a huge pain in the butt without this infuser. Now, I can just put the infuser in a mason jar and strain super quickly and easily. I think some people use it for making yogurt. You could also use it for coffee.
The thing that helped me most when I was getting started with tea was buying a basket infuser that let me use loose teas. They are on amazon for between $9-15.
Find some loose tea - there are a lot of really great teas that just don't come in bag form. For the brewing time and water temperature, try any of these charts. They all have the same basic advice: 3-5 minutes in boiling water for black tea, 2-3 minutes in less than boiling water for green tea.
Continue to experiment and find what you like! I like a splash of milk in a dark tea like Irish or English Breakfast. The only tea I sweeten with honey is Earl Grey. I leave my green and white teas alone. Yerba mate is fantastic iced during the summer. You'll have your own preferences, I'm sure.
Don't forget to check the links in the sidebar, including FAQ and the list of online retailers!
Welp, this seems like a great place to ask this.
So, I'm looking to make a small first step from the tea-bag little leagues to the loose leaf big league. Would a tea infuser (amazon link example) be a good place to start for someone who doesn't have a lot of discretionary income, currently? On the same coin, what about a mug/infuser combo (another amazon example link)?
I mostly drink teas on my evening/night work shifts or Sunday mornings, and I'd love to be able to take some tea for said evening shifts - even if it's enough for a cup or two. Of course, I do plan on buying a nicer set of equipment once I'm finished with school. :)
Thanks in advance! (And feel free to be brutally honest!)
I use this and it works great.
Mine came with a lid that doubles as a coaster.
i love this one.
I've got one if these in-mug infusers and it seems to work really well. You'd then just get the hot water from the hot water dispenser, warm it up in the microwave, or get a small variable temperature electric tea kettle for your desk. I'd go for the latter, probably, as different teas brew best at different temperatures
That looks cool! I picked up one of these, simple but seems to be working well.
Not from Amazon. I have multiple ones like this but they don't carry it. I see a lot of posts in favor of this one but I think the holes in the mesh look kind of large.
[EDIT] Actually, if I needed to buy one at Amazon I think I would get this
I have the teastick, and really don't recommend it. It doesn't leave any space for expansion at all, and it's actually rather a pain to refill. Not to mention, the holes on the teastick are rather big, so any small tea leaves tea will slip though. There's really no winning with this; I can't discourage you away from this enough. A teaball definitely works better than this does.
I would instead suggest these two: FORLIFE infuser with lid and the FORLIFE infuser with carrying case.
I have used this infuser with konacha, and it works quite well. Just lift slowly when removing from your cup.
These Finum infusers are popular too, and I'd imagine they would also work pretty well.
Something like these will get you started while you're figuring out what sort of tea you like (which might influence which brew method and equipment you want.
This one works in most mugs and is big enough to let the leaves have some room to float around. The one downside is that it's difficult to get it out of the mug when you're done brewing since the handle is metal and gets super duper hot. I used it a lot before I got pots with infusers built in...my favorite was a gift and I can't find it anywhere online, but I also have one that's similar to this, but smaller. I generally use those because they're more convenient and they make enough so that I can have tea for a couple of hours without having to get up and rebrew.
Or the FORLIFE infuser. It's excellent.
something similar to that. a big basket with very fine holes.
I usually get my tea at Peet's, (~$1.5-$7 per oz.) but there's other brands out there that can be quite reasonable. A 4 oz. tin makes ~40 cups, and if you like oolong, you can get 2-3x that by re-steeping used leaves once or twice (don't try that with other varieties). You don't need a new kettle, just get one of these.
Edit: In comparison to teabags, this is one example where you tend to get what you pay for, in quality rather than volume.
It's pretty simple, but I think something like this or this is best. They fit every mug/cup/travel container and they are big enough for the leaves to properly unfurl. I like how straightforward they are.
"FORLIFE Brew-in-Mug Extra-Fine Tea Infuser" or similar.
Laser cut stainless steel, more durable than wiremesh strainers and simple to clean!
Some great containers for cold brewing are mason jars. If you have any filter baskets like this or this they fit just as well in a standard mason jar as they do in your mug. Been doing this for years.
Also, you can write on them with a dry-erase marker to label each one.
Grandpa style is great and all but some people aren't used to having the leaves in their cup. A simple infuser and a mug is all you need for a western-style tea brew. The reason people are telling you not to use a coffee brewer with tea is that unless you scrub it clean pretty often, you might get some lingering coffee taste in your tea. It looks like a similar device to gravity steepers as well though, you could just get a separate one like the Ingenuitea.
FORLIFE Brew-in-Mug Extra-Fine Tea Infuser with Lid (List Price: $16.10)
Ratings: 4.7/5 rating (199 reviews)
Stock: 7 new ($8.78) 4 used ($10.93)
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Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle
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FORLIFE Extra-fine Tea Infuser and Porcelain Dish Set
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^(Something wrong? Got suggestions? PM me!)
Oh no! I just got 2 Forlife tea infusers but the lid doesn't ATTACH to become a saucer. Bah, useless piece of junk! /sarcasm.
It's pretty simple!
First you need an infuser (and a mug!), my personal favorite is:
Optional: A perfect tea measuring spoon, these are really nice for scooping.
Second, you need some tea. Finding a local place is going to be a lot cheaper, but you'll need to deal with being judged by people and you'll likely have to talk to old women. If you have cash to spend, go online to www.teavana.com or www.adagio.com each site has rankings and reviews on all of the teas.
Optional: An electric kettle if where you drink tea has no hot water available. Or if you have the extra cash, an electric kettle with multiple temperatures is what true tea snobs use. My kettle: [link] I fucking love it, but its pricey.
Directions: Put infuser in mug and poor in hot water at correct temperature for your tea. Add tea to the top of the water/infuser then cover the infuser and allow it to brew for as long as your tea requires. (Tea brew chart: [link]) take out the infuser and your tea is ready! Caution, it's hot.
As far as the types of teas go, it depends on if you want high caffeine, low caffeine, or no caffeine. If you want more of an asian, english, or herbal/fruit type tea, that will also make a difference. I'd maybe start with a teavana or adagio sampler pack to start.
Would the lid for the forlife strainer fit? Or even the ceramic lid for their brew in mug? I know these options wouldn't look as nice as the original lid, but they might add some character