A few simple tools can make all the difference in how easy it is to brew loose leaf tea. These tools can also improve the flavor of your teas.
Two of the oldest tools I NEVER use anymore are a spoon infuser with a snap-on lid and a small round two-piece infuser that you clamp together. These used to be main staples for brewing loose leaf teas, but better options have become available over the years.
What I use now and LOVE are my basket strainers or infusers. They are so easy to use and clean. I currently have a basket strainer/infuser that I’ve been using for over 10 years! — In the online store, it’s my basic one.
They are workhorses. After I used my tea strainer, I just toss my tea leaves into my garden and rinse it out. I never use soap, and I don’t put mine in the dishwasher either. I let it air dry. It’s ready whenever I want to brew my next tea, which is usually right away, LoL.
Tea strainers/infusers are so easy to use. They sit over your cup, the loose leaf tea goes in the basket, and you pour your water over the top and steep. The strainer/infuser allows the tea leaves to be totally surrounded and immersed in water and expand properly. This is how you extract that great flavor.
Did you know that most tea leaves expand two to three times their original size, and some can expand as much as four to five times? This is why the basket strainers/infusers are a much better option than their old counterparts. However, you do need to be aware of the size of the basket strainer/infuser that you’re using. There are many “cute” options out there, but they’re usually small, which again doesn’t allow the tea leaves much room to expand.
I currently carry two lines of basket strainers in different sizes, styles, and colors. All are high quality with a fine mesh to keep your tea nicely contained - a high priority for me - while allowing the tea leaves to expand.
If you’re using old equipment, feel free to switch out to better equipment. You’ll taste the difference.