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Loose tea infusers come in different shapes and sizes. Tea balls and spoon-style infusers are small, round and enclosed, while baskets are larger with open tops. For a festive twist, decorative infusers come in shapes like hearts, robots and Tea Forte’s iconic pyramid.
Using an infuser is the most common way to steep loose tea. As artisanal tea blends become more popular, the selection of infusers on the market grows broader, with plenty of variations from which to choose. Follow these guidelines and learn how to choose a loose leaf tea infuser that best suits your needs.
Loose tea infusers come in different shapes and sizes. Tea balls and spoon-style infusers are small, round and enclosed, while baskets are larger with open tops. For a festive twist, decorative infusers come in shapes like hearts, robots and Tea Forte’s iconic pyramid. Cloth filters can also be used to mimic a tea bag once loose tea has been placed inside. Fully integrated options abound, too, like the popular KATI cup and PUGG teapot, both of which offer infuser baskets inside.
Size is an important consideration when steeping loose tea. Since tea leaves need room to unfurl in and release as much flavor as possible, it's a good idea to choose the roomiest infuser you can for your teapot or cup.
Each type of infuser operates in its own way. Tea balls and shaped infusers usually split down the middle so the tea can be placed in one side before closing the vessel. With spoon-style infusers, a handle must be squeezed to open up the ball on the end. Baskets are the simplest type to use, as the tea can be placed directly inside. For example, the steeping basket inside the KATI cup is easy to fill and simple to clean.
Measure the correct amount of tea into the infuser for the number of cups you're making. This information can be found on the canister or pouch that holds the tea. For the optimal steep, you should pre-warm your cup or pot to keep the water temperature even as the tea steeps. To do this, fill it with hot tap water and let it sit while the water for the tea is heating up. Make sure to heat the water to the correct temperature for the variety of tea you’re steeping to extract its flavor and avoid bitterness.
Place the filled infuser in the pot or cup, and pour the hot water in to allow the tea to steep; you’ll need six ounces of water for each teaspoon of loose leaf tea. Green tea usually requires about three minutes while black tea needs three to five. White tea only needs one to three minutes while herbal teas may take more than five. Check the correct steeping time and take a sip of the tea to decide if it needs lemon, sugar, honey, or milk.
At home or on the go, loose tea is a wonderful choice for any tea lover. Once you’ve chosen the best tea infuser for you, you'll always enjoy excellent flavor from your favorite loose tea varieties.