The World Is a Tea Party Presents: Your Guide to Tea Steeping Vessels

When it comes to tea steeping vessels, you have choices. Teapots are all around classics (and personally, this little teapot thinks that I and my cousin teapots steep tea best). Gaiwans are traditional and used by millions of people in Asia and elsewhere. And then there are all sorts of new devices created daily (or so it seems). Which is best? To that question there is no definite answer, but a brief comparison will show which is most appropriate for your style of tea enjoyment.


Sections in This Guide


General Guide by Tea Type

Metal vs. Porcelain and Bone China Teapots

5 Advantages of Using Glass Tea Wares

Bone China Tea Wares

Plunger Teapots (Bodum, French press, etc.)

Yixing Teapots

A Closer Look at Teapot Spout Styles

Thinking Outside the Teapot

Bottom Line

A chorus line of teapots stand ready to do their duTEA! #TOOOT!

General Guide by Tea Type


Tea is said to soothe and invigorate. But it can do neither if you don’t line up your arsenal of tea wares for a proper steeping. The basics are the same, but the details can vary, depending on which tea you are steeping. Start with the tea and the rest will follow.

General recommendations, seen on a variety of sites, are below.

Black Tea

  • Flavored or straight or even a blend of several black teas.
  • Strong Teas Such as Ceylon, African, and Assam.
  • Teas with longer steep times and higher water temperatures.
  • Smoked Black Teas – Use a different one than you use for non-smoked black teas.
  • Teapots are best. Avoid metal or porcelain teapots.
  • Boiling or near boiling water. Steeping times are 3-6 minutes.

Click on each photo to see details:

Shop for silver teapots at AC Silver.

Green and White Teas

  • Usually consumed in smaller cupfuls, so usually steeped in smaller quantities.
  • If you’re used to steeping up a whole potful of your favorite black tea (about 4 or 6 cups), you will want to scale back for the green tea.
  • Keep it at about 1 or 2 cups.
  • Steeping times are 45 seconds to 3 minutes for green teas and from 1 to 5 minutes for white teas.
  • Some say to use a small teapot, preferably Japanese or Chinese, or a gaiwan, while others state that the light taste of green tea is better suited to a porcelain teapot.

See also: Why Many Tea Drinkers Hate Green Tea (but shouldn’t)

Click on each photo to see details:

Oolong and Pu-erh Teas

Ideal for multiple steeping and using what some call the “gongfu” method of steeping. (“Gongfu” means “done with skill” and is also spelled “kungfu”.) That doesn’t mean you have to steep them in this manner, but you might want to give it a try now and then just for the experience. Steeping times are 1 to 10 minutes.

Aficionados say to use a small teapot, preferably Japanese or Chinese (Yixing), so the tea leaves completely fill the pot and can be steeped for a short time (this arrangement also means they can be re-steeped many times); some say porcelain and bone china are ideal since they don’t interfere with the lighter taste of these teas; gaiwans are also good.

Click on each photo to see details:

Blooming/Flowering Tea

The main thing here is the show. So, glass is a must, not only to see the action but to avoid absorption of the flavor of the tea like earthenware or metal teapots do.

Click on each photo to see details:

Traditional Japanese Teas

Most claim these are best when made in cast iron teapots called tetsubin which are aesthetically pleasing and well suited to the Japanese tea ceremony. Kyusu (basically meaning a teapot) is another popular option. See also: 5 Reasons to Use a Kyusu

Click on each photo to see details:

Darjeeling Tea

Strongly recommended by some experts so the teas’ fruity characters come through.

Click on each photo to see details:

Teapot Essentials

Our good buddies at AC Silver in the UK did this clever teapot diagram. There are lots of teapot designs, but these essentials are always there.

Source

See also:

Go to top of page


Porcelain and Bone China Teapots vs. Metal Teapots


Different teapots steep differently and are, therefore, suited to different teas (all the more reason to have a bevy comprised of at least one teapot for each type of tea you have). Case in point: metal teapots vs. teapots made of either porcelain or bone china.

Porcelain and Bone China Teapots Metal Teapots
General info:

  • Came about centuries after tea became a well-established beverage.
  • Expensive at first and used only by the wealthy until recent years, where modern production methods brought the price down within reach of mere mortal humans.
  • A refinement of the process by Josiah Spode in 1733 resulted in bone china (bone ash, china clay, ball clay, flint, and feldspar). It’s lighter in weight than regular clay china/porcelain, and translucent with a glass-like surface.
General info:

  • Have been around a bit, starting with cast iron teapots that came into use in Japan in the 1600s.
  • Silver, silver-plate, and pewter (the poor man’s silver) teapots were first used in England and Scandinavia in the 1700s to “brighten up” teatime with their shiny surfaces.
  • Stainless steel teapots are becoming popular now, in restaurants as well as homes, with their shine and the variety of designs ranging from classic to futuristic.
Some benefits:

  • Visually decorative, lots of designs, including floral prints and gold edging.
  • Work well with white and green tea, since they don’t absorb odors.
Some benefits:

  • Less likely to break, so you don’t have to handle them with kid gloves.
  • Keep the tea hotter longer, making them suitable for dark Indian teas.
Some drawbacks:

  • Breakable — Oops! — so humans with butterfingers have to handle them with care.
  • The bone china ones can’t go in the dishwasher (not a good idea with any teapot, though, since soap residue could build up inside and taint the tea).
  • Tend to cool fairly quickly, so a cozy (a special cover) is a good idea.
  • Some spout designs are prone to dripping tea when you pour.

 

Some drawbacks:

  • Can absorb the taste of strong teas or impart a metallic taste to your tea.
  • Can oversteep tea, since they stay hot longer, not suitable for delicate teas.
  • Cast iron should be thoroughly dried to prevent rust. Best are glazed inside.
  • Stainless steel can be rinsed out with hot water and a bit of salt and de-stained with boiling water and vinegar (avoid using soap).
  • Silver and silver-plate need a bit of de-tarnishing now and then. See: Top Tips on Cleaning your Silverware from AC Silver in the UK.

Go to top of page


5 Advantages of Using Glass Tea Wares


Glass is one of the wonders of our age, even though it’s been around for a very long time. The technology for making glass objects has advanced greatly due to our modern machine age. Thinner, stronger glass makes possible such wonderful objects as teapots, gaiwans, and steeping glasses that can enhance your tea enjoyment.

Advantage 1:
Getting the Steep Right
Glass takes the guesswork out of steeping some of the more delicate teas. You can watch the leaves expand and the water absorb their essence and change color. Stopping the steeping at the right time can be determined by that color, so being able to see it can be important.
Advantage 2:
Enjoying the Show
Of course, you can get quite entertained and even mesmerized by this show as the tea leaves swell. Or you can steep on of those fancy “blooming” teas that open up into a sort of flower shape as they infuse.
Advantage 3:
Keeping the Taste Pure
Some materials, especially metals, that teapots are made from can taint the taste of the tea. Glass won’t do this but will keep the tea taste pure.
Advantage 4:
Practical Features
Some of these are: double-walled to insulate, heat resistant, and tempered to help prevent shattering.
Advantage 5:
Endless Variety
From 100cc gaiwans to 6-cup teapots, from thick-sided to thin-sided, from short and squat to tall and thin, and everything else you can imagine, the shape of glass tea wares seems limited by the glassmaker’s skill and the glass. As wonderful and versatile as glass is, it does have limitations, such as not being able to be too thin.

Go to top of page


Bone China Tea Wares


One of the most popular style of tea wares is bone china, known for its brilliant white base color, delicate designs, yet hardy and practical structure. While bone china originated in the UK, it is now made in other countries also, including China, Taiwan, and India. Time to explore some of the designs popular in England.

Let’s face it, there are potteries galore. Over the years, some went out of business or were bought by competitors. Today, there are some who stand head and shoulders above the rest, especially when it comes to producing fine bone china tea wares.

Wedgwood

Remains the name in bone china tea wares. Their name is synonymous with “top quality.” Their products are sold worldwide under well-recognized brands.

Click on each photo to see details:

See also: Collectible Wedgwood

Other Manufacturers

Click on each photo to see details:

Some Pattern Names to Note

There are also hundreds of patterns, some more popular than others. Each can convey an atmosphere from one reminiscent of those Buckingham Palace tea times in the days of Queen Victoria to more modern styles.

China pattern names number in the hundreds. Some come out of the imagination of the designer, others from the mind of a marketing or ad guru, and still others as tributes to certain people or things. Lady Diana Chintz from the English Heirloom Collection is a good example, honoring Lady Di, former Princess of Wales. It is made in England, with an all-over pattern in lovely pastel colors featuring pink roses and green leaves.

The English Heirloom Collection of fine bone china brings together patterns that have been standards for years and whose appeal never seems to wane.

Click on each photo to see details.

Patterns Using Precious Metals

Trimming fine bone china with gold, silver, and more recently platinum lends that extra touch of elegance to your dinner table. Not to mention an extra glimmer or two!

Click on each photo to see details.

Go to top of page


Plunger Teapots


Plunger teapots are modeled similar to the ones used for coffee. These teapots have a downside that can get overlooked. That’s why I’m here to show you both the ups and downs of these plunger teapots.

How to Use That Plunger Teapot

  1. Be sure the teapot and all related parts are clean.
  2. Set aside the plunger/lid assembly.
  3. Add the loose tea (not bagged) into the body of the teapot (1 tsp. of loose leaf tea per 6 oz. plus 1 tsp. of water). If you have the style made with an infuser basket, put the tea in that instead.
  4. Heat the water to the right temperature for your tea type.
  5. Pour the water into the teapot body (or infuser basket) where the tea is.
  6. Put on the plunger/lid assembly, but do NOT press down the plunger.
  7. Set the timer for the right time for your tea type (see chart below).
  8. When the steeping is done, push the plunger down firmly. Note: Pressing the plunger down hard on the tea leaves is akin to squeezing a teabag. It can ruin any chance of getting a second steeping from those leaves, should you want to do so.
  9. Pour all of the liquid out into cup. (Any liquid left in the teapot will continue steeping, becoming overly strong and bitter.)
  10. Clean teapot and plunger/lid assembly thoroughly and let air dry.

The Ups and Downs

Ups: Downs:
  • Plunger acts as a strainer, easing the steeping of loose leaf teas.
  • You can use teabags in them, but I’m not sure why you’d want to (see above).
  • They are usually made of glass, so you get to see the steeping going on — great for those of us who enjoy a bit of a show with our tea.
  • It’s classy looking (all that glass and shiny metal) and adds a real flair to your tea time — a bit of haute cuisine to even that office break room affair.
  • Sediments of finer ground loose teas slip through the strainer.
  • The heat creates suction (warm air expands, filling the empty space in the teapot), making the plunger hard to push down (don’t force it, you could get a mess should something break).
  • Cleaning is a hassle, trying to get bits and pieces out of strainer.
  • Being glass, they tend to cool during the steeping process. (Cozies are available for some plunger teapots.)
  • Price a bit high for what they do.

Back to top

French Press

Basically, a French press is a glass or plastic cylindrical beaker and a plunger with a wire or mesh filter. They date back to the mid-19th century when they were made of metal instead. The legend of how the French press was created goes back to an old man in the Provence area of France. He would go out for a long walk and stop to make coffee over an open fire. He bought a metal screen from a passing Italian peddler and used a stick to push that screen down into the metal cylinder. The result was a very good cup of coffee free of most of the grind pieces.

So, how do you use a French press to steep a very good cup of tea? And does tea that you steep in a French press taste better than tea steeped other ways? The answer to the first question is simple and objective. The answer to the second is strictly subjective and depends on your tastebuds.

Simple steps for using a French press to steep tea:

  1. Be sure that the French press is thoroughly clean from the last use so that the metal parts aren’t coated with bitter alkaloids from the previous steeping.
  2. Put about one half ounce of dry tea for every cup (8 ounces) of water into the press.
  3. Bring your water to just under boiling and pour it into the press over the dry tea.
  4. Let steep. How long depends on the tea being used. Black tea needs a few minutes. White and green teas take only 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. Oolongs will need something in-between. You will need to do some experimenting and can hurry the process along by pushing down the plunger once or twice.
  5. When the steeping is done, push down the plunger (don’t force it) and pour the tea into your cups or mugs.

Keep in mind that teas come in different forms: full leaf, broken leaf, fannings, dust, and powder (mainly Japanese matcha). If the pieces are too small, they will get pushed through the wire or mesh filter attached to the plunger. It’s also not a good idea to use the same French press for both coffee and tea. The strong taste of coffee is hard to wash totally out of the metal screen on the plunger. You also shouldn’t let tea continue to steep in the press (unless you actually like “bitter tea face”). When steeping time is done, pour all the tea into cups or another container. Since French presses often only hold about 2 to 3 cups of liquid (some hold as much as a quart), this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you’re using the French press in an office, keep another container there to hold the excess tea liquid and then clean the press.

Bodum Teapots

Bodum teapots have sleek, modern, European styling, yet they are practical since the body is made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass. They give you the pleasure of glass and watching those tea leaves infuse, and they have an infuser basket and plunger to hold the tea leaves and keep them in the teapot when you pour. Of course, that feature is also a disadvantage.

Click on each photo to see details:

The cylindrical infuser basket is made of sturdy resin or plastic and tends to stain. The holes are too small to let the leaves and water fully interact. In addition, the teapot holds more than an average teacup holds, liquid remains in the teapot with the tea leaves and continues steeping. For many delicate teas, especially whites and more high-end greens, this is definitely bad. To solve this, you have to remove the infuser basket and find a place to put it for the second infusion or just dump out the tea leaves. And without the infuser basket in place, the plunger doesn’t cover the top opening of the teapot, so you have to set it aside as well.

Summary of Pros: Summary of Cons:
  • Steep loose leaf teas with minimum of fuss and mess.
  • Plunger keeps tea leaves in place while pouring.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Heat-resistant glass body in a wide shape that is great for steeping.
  • Handle stays cool for safely pouring the tea.
  • Confines leaves in a cylindrical infuser basket so they don’t get to unfurl and infuse fully.
  • Infuser basket stains and has holes that are too small for good steeping.
  • Infuser basket and plunger need to be removed to prevent oversteeping of fine teas.
  • Dishwasher safe.

Go to top of page


Yixing Teapots


See also:

Some Classic Yixing Teapot Shapes

Ben Shan Green Clay Dragon Egg Yixing teapot – 150ml

A fun design that is similar to Xi Shi: Ben Shan Green Clay Dragon Egg Yixing teapot – the stubby spout and ovoid shape are rather amusing.

More designs in order of popularity per an online poll (click on each photo to see details):

The artisans in China who specialize in these and other classic designs are also known to vary them in subtle and creative ways. The clays will vary, too, being mined from different areas. Regardless of the design and the clay type, you will find these teapots quite an experience when steeping your premium teas.

Go to top of page


A Closer Look at Teapot Spout Styles


The spout of us teapots is often overlooked by you human shoppers, but it can be the most important part. Styles vary and can make a big difference when pouring out that tasty tea.

The spout of the teapot serves an important purpose, that is, getting the tea liquid out of the teapot and into the teacup in such a way that little or none of it spills or drips. Some accomplish this better than others. Some sacrifice this functionality for clever or cool design or change their design to something cheaper to manufacture (or they don’t sufficiently control the manufacture when they contract it out overseas).

The original European-made Chatsford (top) that was virtually dripless versus the current Asian-made version (bottom).

The Chatsford teapot is a good case in point. They are now made in China and have a different overall design, including the spout, that makes them less “tea friendly.”

Amsterdam teapots and Brown Betty teapots have similar spout designs that reduce drips occurring after pouring. The Teaz teapot has a spout that is streamlined with the pot’s body yet manages to pour without much dripping. This modern design is in contrast with teapots like the Rose Teapot, with its more curved spout. As for those cute teapots, the silver teapot with the bird’s head spout has cuteness goes hand-in-hand with usefulness.

When choosing a teapot to buy, be sure to give careful consideration to the spout. Clever design is not always useful design. If need be, you can ask the store owner if you can test how it pours with some water. Maybe they will let you, maybe not. If not, be sure they have a good return policy. Happy hunting!

Go to top of page


Thinking Outside the Teapot


Get ready to think outside the teapot. There are other ways to steep your teas. It’s time to explore a few of them.

What you steep in and how you steep can be dependent on the tea being steeped, but the rules aren’t hard and fast. Some are simply a matter of tradition, another way of saying they are habitual. There’s plenty of room for you to be creative.

Whether full leaf or matcha powder, whether white or oolong, whether loose or in a bag/sachet, teas are added to hot water in some vessel. For many of us, teapots are most often the type of vessel chosen for steeping teas. They come in a variety of sizes and materials but are basically all the same. They have a body to hold water, a hole in the top for adding the water and tea, a lid for the hole, a handle, and a spout for pouring the liquid.

Yixing teapots are made from a special clay and usually hold about one cupful of tea. Porcelain teapots in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes abound. Glass teapots are great for a visual tea experience, especially when steeping a “flowering” tea. Metals and pottery are other materials used. There are teapots as small as about half a cup or so. On the large end of the scale are supersized teapots used in British tearooms. Then, there are Russian Samovars that are actually large urns holding hot water and a smaller teapot filled with a strong tea brew that sits on top of it through the day.

Now, to consider some alternatives. After all, there are teas and tea customs in various countries that employ other vessels for the proper preparation and enjoyment of certain teas. Full-leaf green teas are one example. You can put a few tea leaves in a specially made bowl with a lid, let the tea steep, move the lid back a little, and sip the tea, leaving the leaves in the cup. Then, add more hot water for a second, third, fourth, or even fifth infusion. If you don’t have one of these special cups with lid, try a small bowl and some lid from a plastic container.

Another tea that inspires tea drinkers to expand beyond the teapot is “flowering” tea. Meant to be as much a visual spectacle as a taste sensation, flowering teas are full tea leaves and often flower petals “sewn” together with thin string. Dry, they are most commonly shaped like balls and mushrooms. Steeped, they open into a large blossom. Using a glass teapot is one obvious choice. An open glass bowl is non-teapot option. (I used a bowl from a florist shop, well washed of course.) There’s no pouring spout, but a ladle can be used to move the liquid into the cup.

Still another alternative is found in your kitchen cupboard: a glass measuring cup. It has about the same features as a teapot: a body, a hole in the top to add water and tea, a handle, and a spout (a bit short but serviceable). You can heat the water in the microwave, test the temperature with a thermometer, add the tea to the water, cover with some impromptu lid such as from an empty plastic container, and watch the tea steep.

These are just a few possibilities. Explore your kitchen cupboards for a suitable vessel for your next teatime adventure — just for the heck of it!

Gaiwans

A bowl with a lid used for infusing loose leaf teas. Some have little saucers. Some have a little pour lip.

How you steep your tea certainly makes a difference, and part of that “how” is the tea ware you use for steeping. Gaiwans are one of the options available, and here are five reasons to use them to get the most from your fine teas (or even the cheaper ones).

You’ll probably find that a collection of gaiwans will serve well, with some being used for those special green teas, others for whites, and so on.

Click on each photo to see details:

5 Reasons to Use a Gaiwan:

Reason 1:
Optimum Infusion of the Tea Leaves
The leaves get to interact fully with the water. Essential to get every drop of flavor out of each leaf.
Reason 2:
A Size for Every Need
Smaller gaiwans of around 140 ml capacity are good for those quick (as short as 20 seconds or even as long as 3 minutes) individual infusions.
Reason 3:
Easy Cleaning
The shape of the bowl, lid, and saucer all lend to easy access for cleaning out all tea leaf bits and pieces and assuring that the surface is clean and dry. The bowl will usually have an angled or round bottom and tapered sides for easy pouring of the liquid and removal of spent leaves. The saucer catches spills to keep your table or other surface from getting tea stains. The lid holds in heat for better steeping and again is shaped to clean easily.
Reason 4:
Variety of Styles Available
Aesthetics are important, and having a wide choice of styles available for your gaiwan purchase is a big help. Go for the simplicity of a pure white porcelain gaiwan, the visual appeal of a glass gaiwan, or for a period appeal from ancient to modern. Symbolism is another possibility, such as the dragon and phoenix gaiwan where the dragon symbolizes the emperor and the phoenix stands for the queen (from the days of such stations in life).
Reason 5:
Being Part of a Line of Tradition
Perhaps best of all, using a gaiwan makes you part of a time continuum — the kind that is mental and emotional. You will be steeping tea the way it has been done by countless others in centuries preceding. As the tea steeps, you have a moment to reflect on who they were and really feel that connection.

Steeping Glasses

See Taking a Look at Teabook Steeping Glass and Others.

Insulated Steeping Glass

Sleek, modern, and it steeps tea like a champ.

Click on each photo for details:

The infuser insert at first glance seems like it would not allow enough interaction with the water and the leaves. It has openings at bottom that are mere tiny slits, which would seem logically to mean that the leaves and the water would not interact much. However, quite the opposite is true; the insert itself is large enough (almost as large as the interior of the glass) that it is very good at allowing that interaction to give a thorough steeping of the tea.

The lid sits securely on the glass and has a rim that fits inside the glass opening. It is also domed and helps the steam form droplets on the inside that then drop back down into the lid. It helps steep the tea and also keeps that tea warm after steeping.

The glass is dual walled to insulate. It keeps your tea hot yet it stays cool enough to the touch for you to pick up with your bare hand. Do be careful when sipping, since the liquid will be HOT!

Drawbacks:

  • You need some place to put infuser insert once steeping is done. This is a bit troublesome if you are using the steeping glass in your work place or out on the road.
  • It’s glass, so you have to be fairly careful with it. While the glass is probably tempered and so can take the hot water, it won’t hold up to being dropped.

Personally, I don’t mind either of these things since the glass lets me enjoy that dance of tea leaves in water.

IngenuiTEA (Gravity Infuser)

The IngenuiTEA is a “gravity infuser,” the idea being that the tea would infuse like coffee grounds do. Sadly, this is totally misguided. Infusing tea, even the kind in dust or fannings form, involves a certain time of interacting with the water, not having the water briefly drip through it. Sigh!

The IngenuiTEA, a patented tea steeper manufactured in Taiwan, is made of lightweight, shatterproof, food-grade plastic.

The steps are simple:

  • Add heated water and tea leaves into the teapot body. (Alternately, you can put water in the teapot and microwave it. Some people put cold water and tea leaves in the teapot body and then microwave, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons stated above.)
  • Steep the tea. The leaves (if you’re using a full leaf loose tea) will put on quite a show, what some call “the agony of the leaves” but that I prefer to call “the joy of the leaves” (much more positive sounding.
  • Strain out the liquid by setting the teapot on top of any cup (the cup rim props open a valve so the liquid flows out of the teapot, keeping the loose tea leaves in).
  • Lift the teapot off the cup (the valve closes so there is no dripping) and enjoy your tea.
IngenuiTEA Teapot
Can steep loose tea; it stays in the teapot body for a second steeping. The teapot holds more than many cups/mugs do, so some liquid stays in the teapot and oversteeps unless you strain it all out into another pot or cup. You can solve this by using a larger cup. Can steep loose tea; have to pour through a strainer and some liquid is then left in the pot with the tea leaves. You can avoid this by using the “2 teapot method,” which also allows a second steeping of the tea leaves, should you want one, or you can use a tea ball or other infuser or even bagged teas. Great for any kind of blending you want to do of your teas.
Can be put in a microwave (to heat the water, not for steeping), but watch out for the metal mesh filter at the bottom. Can be put in a microwave (to heat the water, not for steeping) as long as it doesn’t have gold, platinum, or silver trim.
The thick plastic body insulates the liquid, keeping it warm. Keeps the tea warm, especially when you use a cozy or set the teapot on a warmer. The Brown Betty stays warm by itself.
Sleek and modern, plus you get to see the steeping action which is especially nice for full leaf teas, oolongs, and blooming teas. Very homey and traditional, lending that air of refinement to tea time. Glass teapots can also let you see the dance those tea leaves do as they steep.
Can be put in the dishwasher, but many users recommend hand-washing. You have to dismantle it to get all the tea leaf pieces out, let parts air dry, and re-assemble. Some folks have found this difficult, especially getting the mesh filter back in place. (Mesh filter floats up sometimes when you add the water, letting tea leaf pieces get under it and into your teacup.) Most (without gold, silver, and platinum trim) can be put in the dishwasher. Even the ones you hand-wash are simple to deal with, no dismantling and re-assembly required. Special teapots (like Yixing ones) need a mere rinse and then let air dry. If you use a tea ball or other infuser, you have to clean it, too.
Mesh filter tends to wear out (replacements are available). Lasts for many years if handled with care.

Infuser Basket

Made of stainless steel, heat-resistant plastic, nylon, glass, ceramic, porcelain, etc. Some come with teapots. Others come separately. The bigger they are, the better for your fine loose leaf teas, especially oolongs that unfurl so nicely and often having large leaves. Not to be confused with strainers. Infuser baskets hold the tea leaves while they steep and are usually then lifted out of the steeping vessel when the infusion is done.

Click on each photo for details:

Go to top of page


Bottom Line


There’s no need to be snobbish when it comes to tea. We all use what we’re comfortable with and get what we can from those methods. Also, traditions are fine as long as following them is a choice, not a mandate. Enjoy tea your way and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Yay!

Go to top of page

© 2017-2021 World Is a Tea Party photos and text

YOUR SPONSORED AD COULD BE HERE OR YOUR SPONSORED LINKS COULD BE APPEARING IN THIS ARTICLE. See here for more info.

Guest writers are welcome – just send us a private message in Facebook or Twitter.

Hi, humans, this site is under my editorial excellence. I, your lovable and sassy Little Yellow Teapot, authors articles on tea, etc., and edit the occasional guest article. All in the interest of helping you humans have a better tea experience. TOOOT!

FREE to you always!! Contributing well-researched information to the world's compendium of tea knowledge since 2009. Hundreds of articles about tea and more. No need to buy a book or pay for site access here!

%d bloggers like this: