Have you recently decided to improve your eating habits? Why not consider adding loose leaf tea or tisane (herbal) beverages to your daily diet? Loose-leaf tea & tisane popularity is growing, in part because it tastes great and in part because it is healthier!
Some people want to start but think it is too complicated to infuse loose leaf tea. I hope this little talk resolves the confusion and reveals that it is easy & fun to infuse. And perhaps you too will choose to infuse.
Questions you will want to address when considering the best infuser for your lifestyle include:
- Will the type of tea you enjoy fully expand in the infuser?
- Will the tea or tisane leak out of the infuser?
- Is it easy to use, clean, and store?
- Will you want to use the infuser on the go?
- Cost of the infuser, which can range from $3-$20; tea pots & cups with infusers begin in the mid $20’s.
- Would you consider eco friendly DIY bags (filters)?
- What type of volume do you expect to prepare on a regular basis?
A priority in selecting an infuser is be sure the tea or tisane can fully expand in the infuser; one of the main reasons loose leaf is chosen is the superior flavor & added nutrients that are extracted from the whole leaf. Another significant consideration is: will the fine mesh contain all the tea & herbs? As always stay within your budget. Lifestyle factors include: are you highly mobile, will you carry it in a backpack or in the car, do you want something just easy in the morning, or do you prefer something for your desk, classroom or office, do you often prepare for more than 1 person at a time? I usually ask people interested in purchasing their first infuser to picture the primary location they want to have their tea. I am confident over time that picture will expand but begin with a narrow focus.
Collapsible Infuser & Infusing Baskets
Infusers that fit into a variety of cups or teapots often work very well as an initial tool. These type of infusers have a top keeping the temperature warmer which doubles as drip pan once the steeping is completed. The price point is usually reasonable and they are mobile. Often people find them easier to clean then a tea ball and the mesh is usually fine enough to keep the tea & herbs in the infuser. If preparing for 2 plus cups be sure to have an infuser that is 3 inches for the added quantity.
Teapots and Cups with Infusers
Teapots and teacups with infusers work very well! If using tea blends that have fine particles be sure the infuser has fine mesh. Often the infuser can be used in more than just the original vessel. So even though the price point may be a bit higher, the product is more versatile. An added bonus is when the infuser is included with the cup or teapot there is a lid that functions to keep the temperature hot while steeping, then the lid doubles as a drip pan once the infuser is removed. Using a teapot is one of my favorite ways to prepare tea for it typically means I am sharing the event with others. Plus tea-pots are absolutely adorable! Try our Glass Tea Cup pictured below, or check out our full selection of cups on our website.
For those who are on the go traveling tea mugs are fantastic. An infuser will be included and can be cleaned off and returned to the mug so you will have an infuser available to you once you arrive at you destination.
I have highlighted a few great starter infusers that work well for highly active life-styles. There are many more infusing tools that accompany tea plus enhance the romance of the tea event. Ceremonial tea events include a variety of vessels that add culture, art, ceremony and personality to the art of tea making which I hope to continue to write about in later blogs. Plus there are more infusers that are just plain old fun and functional. Check out our Ceramic Tea Traveler pictured below, or find our Glass Tea Traveler on our website.
Now onto the question of DIY tea bags. Tea filters (bags) are available in bio-degradable compostable unbleached bags that allow for fuller expansion and better extraction. These type of bags add about 6 cents to each use. They are highly mobile, easy to clean-up & great for leaf expansion. I really appreciate them when traveling. They are easy to bring on a plane or to a hotel. Many people choose to use them as their preferred method of infusing. The down side is you do need a saucer available when withdrawing them from the cup but they can easily be used for a re-steep.
If you’re looking for a great starter, have a limited budget and want something that is easy to transport, I highly recommend an infuser basket that can double in both cup a cup or pot and has plenty of room for the leaf to expand, such as the floating infuser. If wanting a great commuter tea mug, my new favorite is the ceramic bamboo travel mug. If giving as a gift the tea cup or tea pot is always a special treat! If giving loose leaf to a friend who does not own an infuser, then a starter pack of DIY tea filters (bags) is very convenient.
May your health journey be infused with joy, happiness and a “whole lot of tea!”