Over the past few months I've been traveling the country, handing out samples and Christmas gifts to family, friends and potential customers. One thing I've realized is that many people don't have a suitable way to infuse their loose-leaf teas.
There are many products available to infuse your loose-leaf teas, but there are positives and negatives to each, which I'd like to address today.
My Top Suggestions:
To start, I'll mention the type of infuser that I think works best overall. The Forlife Extra-fine tea infuser is the best I've come across. It's big, has very fine holes, and will fit into any tea mug or teapot you're likely to come across. The addition of the lid is a great way to keep your tea warm while also allows you to store your used infuser while you drink your tea.
This infuser will last for life (hence the name?), but the coolest part about this is the lid that flips over and keeps water from getting all over the place when you're done brewing. This is my favorite infuser, and it is on sale for $20.75, and will be something you can hand down to future generations of tea drinkers in your family.
Our second choice is the Forlife One Cup Infuser:
Stainless steel with small holes to keep the tea in your infuser and it comes with a lid/saucer to keep your desk or countertop clean. This is on sale for $18.50 and will last you forever.
Our 3rd Choice, which comes with folding handles and a handy travel case is the Forlife Folding Handle Tea Infuser. This infuser is big enough for any tea leaves and tea mug, while also having folding arms, a lid/saucer to keep down the mess, and a cool clear plastic travel/carrying case.
My Trusty Infuser Setup:
This is the picture of my trusty infuser I use every day. It's a plastic infuser (the white part), which won't fit into my tea mug, so I cut out the top of an almond jar to size (the black part), and placed that on the outside of the plastic to keep it from falling into my mug.
This boot-strapped tea infuser is large enough for my mug, keeps the leaves out of my tea, and was cheap and durable. The one drawback is the lack of a lid, so I use my tea bag squeezer or a plate/bowl to hold my brewed infuser while I'm drinking my tea.
Recent Product Tests:
I went on vacation to Key West, and didn't bring my trusty, home-made tea infuser shown above. In fact, I hadn't thought much about how I brew my teas until the last few months.
I was looking forward to letting my family enjoy my teas that I had brought along to Florida, but quickly realized that I needed to find an infuser. We stay in a time share with a kitchen, but it didn't have any methods to infuse loose-leaf teas, so we went looking for one on our first night. What we found was disappointing and unhelpful.
On the left is an infuser we found the first night, it's woven with grass, and boy was that a mistake. It let the tea flow through freely so there were tea leaves in the tea water that we ended up picking out of our teeth.
On the right is the other infuser we picked up from a local grocery store. I love the floating frog, and it worked well to keep tea leaves out of the water, but it had a big drawback. The infuser was just too small to allow us to brew a strong enough tea. It restricted our tea leaves and wouldn't allow them to completely unfurl and provide the flavor we're looking for in a loose-leaf tea.
That one was at least usable, so we made lots of tea with this infuser, but it left me wanting more.
I also traveled to Burlington last week, and gave my Aunt and Cousin a bunch of tea samples to try. They had a few infusers, seen below.
This is the classic tea ball infuser, which I've owned a few of over the years. They come in different sizes, but the biggest drawback is the size (they are way too small for large-leaf teas) and they also have a tendency to leak smaller tea leaves. The Honeybush teas we were making would end up in our tea more often than not. Also, these can easily be mushed in your kitchen drawer and can lose their shape pretty quickly.
This tea ball is also fairly functional, won't loose it's shape, and sometimes even comes with a little cup so you won't have a watery mess when sitting at your desk. However, it's still small in size, and the larger holes can create a pretty big mess of your water with any size tea leaf.
Lastly, when I came back from Burlington, I stopped at my inlaws to pick up my daughters. They have been enjoying Headwater Teas for the last few months, and these are the types of infusers they own.
This is usable, however the holes are large, and the size of the infuser is simply too small. Tea leaves are too compacted within the spoon, and therefore you won't get great water movement throughout this infuser to make a great cup of tea.
This tea infuser is also functional, with small enough holes, but lacks the space needed to let the tea leaves unfurl. It's also facing the same mushing potential, and I've actually had it open up while brewing tea, so the leaves get in the water fairly easily.
Finally, this tea mug with an infuser and lid are a nice addition to any tea lover's cabinet. These mugs can be pretty, and the addition of the lid can be used to store the used infuser while you drink, but there are a few drawbacks. The holes are sparsely located throughout the infuser, so it takes a bit of time and energy to infuse your tea correctly, while also letting in a good amount of tea leaves into your water. There is also a chance of breakage, and I'd hate to see someone drop the infuser that they just spent a bunch of money on.
Other Tea Infusers/Tea Glasses/Presses/Mugs/Teapots:
While my list is obviously not exhaustive, these are the infusers I've recently used to make my tea. I encourage customers to find what works for them and enjoy their tea to the fullest!
I sell the best tea infusers on the market, the Forlife infusers, on my website. If you have any suggestions/comments on how you like to brew your teas, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Tea Drinking,