Are you looking to drink some of the delicious blends of tea that are only available in loose-leaf varieties? If so, you will need a way to brew the tea without all of the leaves escaping into your drink and this is where infusers are invaluable. They will allow the full flavor of any tea to infuse while preventing the leaves from entering your cup.
We've done the research to find the best tea infusers available and chose the Extra Fine Tea Infuser by Yoassi as our favorite. The fine mesh keeps the leaves inside and the wide handles ensure the basket can be used with even the largest cups. We have nine more infusers for you to peruse and also a buying guide to help you make your choice.
Daniela is a certified tea sommelier and blogger at teacachai.com with a business and fashion background. Besides drinking tea, she enjoys creating tea-infused recipes, cocktails/mocktails, teaching workshops, and sharing all about tea. When it came to the topic of tea infusers, we wanted to ask a pro, so we asked Daniela for some tips on how to choose the best one.
We picked our 10 best tea infusers by looking at the following criteria:
Make sure you keep these in mind while you look through our picks and for further information, check our buying guide.
Pure Zen Tea
Extra Fine Tea Infuser
Tea Infuser Set
Extra Fine Mesh Tea Infuser with Drip Tray
Mr. Tea Silicone Tea Infuser
Spice Infuser and Tea Ball
Twisting Tea Ball Infuser
Tumbler with Infuser
Tea Filter Bags
Baby Nessie Loose Leaf Tea Infuser
6 Pack Silicone Tea Infuser
Best for Wide Cups
Best Set of Multiple Sized Infusers
Best for Not Allowing Leaves to Escape
Best Universal Silicone Infuser
Best Large Infuser
Best for Tall Mugs
Best for Brewing on the Move
Best Disposable Option
Best Fun Silicone Infuser
Best for Guests
|Material||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Stainless steel, silicone||Silicone||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Wood pulp||Silicone||Silicone|
|Extra features||Lid, wide double handles||Tea scoop, bag clip, lids, chains||Tea tray, dishwasher safe||Dishwasher, microwave safe||Chain, hook, dishwasher safe||Scoops, dishwasher safe||Tumbler, travel sleeve||Drawstring, heart clip||Dishwasher safe||Food grade silicone|
|Size||2 x 2 x 3 in. (basket only)||2.55 x 2.55 x 2.44 in. (large), 2 x 2 x 1.9 in. (small)||1.5 x 1.5 x 6.3 in.||4.75 x 3.25 in.||3 x 3 x 3 in.||3 x 3 x 3 in. (strainer)||-||2.75 x 2.75 x 3.15 in.||5.71 x 1.97 x 1.97 in.||1.6 x 2.3 in.|
Now that you know what to look for in a tea infuser, here are a few of our favorites to help you get started on your search. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.
*Please note that these matcha tea sets were chosen by our writers after extensive research. They are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Daniela Titiun.
|Extra features||Lid, wide double handles|
|Size||2 x 2 x 3 in. (basket only)|
|Extra features||Tea scoop, bag clip, lids, chains|
|Size||2.55 x 2.55 x 2.44 in. (large), 2 x 2 x 1.9 in. (small)|
|Material||Stainless steel, silicone|
|Extra features||Tea tray, dishwasher safe|
|Size||1.5 x 1.5 x 6.3 in.|
|Extra features||Dishwasher, microwave safe|
|Size||4.75 x 3.25 in.|
|Extra features||Chain, hook, dishwasher safe|
|Size||3 x 3 x 3 in.|
|Extra features||Scoops, dishwasher safe|
|Size||3 x 3 x 3 in. (strainer)|
|Extra features||Tumbler, travel sleeve|
|Extra features||Drawstring, heart clip|
|Size||2.75 x 2.75 x 3.15 in.|
|Extra features||Dishwasher safe|
|Size||5.71 x 1.97 x 1.97 in.|
|Extra features||Food grade silicone|
|Size||1.6 x 2.3 in.|
Stainless steel can be very effective at infusing tea, but an important concern is how large the infuser holes are. If the holes are too small, the tea won't infuse correctly and it will taste weak. However, if the holes are too big, then leaves might slip through the holes and into your tea.
Finding the right-sized holes to infuse your tea without allowing leaves to escape is a tricky balance and it can be very difficult to judge this without trying the infuser for yourself. We would recommend looking at reviews before purchasing a stainless steel infuser as this will give you a better idea of how effective the infuser is.
Stainless steel is a great material for infusers. It is very easy to clean up and doesn't affect the tea's flavor. I always recommend using basket infusers versus submersion ones because they allow leaves to unfurl and infuse properly.
The way to avoid getting tiny tea leaves falling through the strainer is to purchase good-quality tea. This means that the tea leaves and/or buds, in general, will be larger in size than what you would find inside mass-market teabags, and they should be intact.
When you see something is made from silicone, it's usually going to be something that's cute to look at. Silicone is highly versatile and allows tea infusers to be made in fun shapes and colors. If you want to add some personality to your tea, then silicone infusers are the best choice.
However, much like stainless steel infusers, you have to be careful with the size of the holes. The holes are often larger in silicone infusers and have a tendency to allow leaves to escape. This is because silicone infusers aren't as effective at brewing tea as steel, so the holes have to be made larger. Try to avoid silicone infusers with tiny holes as they won't infuse your tea.
If you decide to get a silicone infuser, read reviews and check the packaging to make sure it’s high-quality food-grade silicone. This should also be noted in the product description if it's the case. This is important to check as if the silicone is of lower quality, it might have a plasticky flavor or leach chemicals into your tea.
Although these types of infusers can be fun, I don't recommend them because the leaves are kept too tight within them. Tea leaves need to expand and have the most possible contact with the water to get an optimal extraction.
If you would still like to get one, then try to avoid using it with tea types that need a considerable amount of room to expand.
When choosing a paper infuser, look for one that’s unbleached to ensure that you’re not accidentally consuming any chemicals. If you are concerned about the environment and our expanding landfills, make sure you buy one that is fully biodegradable. Many disposable teabags and infusers are actually sealed with plastic.
Something else to look out for is that some paper infusers come with a string handle and some don’t. The string makes it easier to remove the infuser from your tea once brewed, and this can especially be helpful if you're brewing your tea in a tall tumbler.
Submersion infusers are probably the ones that you see around more often. They can come in fun shapes, such as a scuba diver relaxing in your tea. However, the cute gimmicky ones tend to be lower quality and aren’t quite as effective at steeping tea leaves.
If you choose a submersion infuser, look for an option that’s as large as possible, and be sure that the handle or chain is a good length for the cup you plan on using. You should also make sure that it can securely close so the leaves don't escape, but is easy to open so you can clean it.
Generally speaking, the larger the basket is, the better the flavor will be as the leaves will have more space to spread out and infuse their flavor. We would recommend looking at baskets that are over two inches wide and deep, but if you're infusing tea in a larger cup, such as a tumbler, you may want to look at infusers that are three inches deep instead.
Some infusers may even have a narrow lip that sits neatly over the edge of a cup, which means that they can only be used with cups of a certain thickness. Other infusers ensure they're universal by having handles that allow them to be used on cups of all sizes.
When choosing a basket infuser, you should also try to look for one with a lid. This will prevent too much heat from escaping while your tea is brewing and help those high-heat teas achieve maximum deliciousness. Many lids also double as a rest to hold the infuser when the brewing time has elapsed.
Deep basket infusers are placed inside a cup or mug and are perfect for making a single serving of tea. They allow leaves to float, unfurl and move freely in more space, allowing more contact with the water, which leads to better extraction. They are also very practical because they're really easy to clean.
Mugs that come with an infuser basket are some of the cutest things you can drink tea from. They often come as a set with a matching lid, which can also be used as a rest for the basket when the tea has finished brewing. Depending on the size of the mug, the infuser basket might also fit on your other mugs as well.
For those on the move, a tumbler with an infuser is an option. Tumblers tend to be tall and skinny, making it difficult to use traditional baskets as these are usually too wide and shallow to fit in the bottle. Submersion infusers can also be tricky unless they have a long enough chain. Included infuser baskets are made specifically for the tumbler, making for easy steeping and retrieval.
Mugs that come with an infuser basket are very practical, and so are teapots that come with a strainer. I'm not a fan of tumblers with infusers because you can't leave the leaves to steep for too long without the tea getting bitter.
So, if you want to use these for on-the-go, I recommend steeping your tea somewhere else and then pouring it into the tumbler for travel.
The majority of the time, you will be infusing tea in very hot, if not boiling, water. This means it's important to be safe and ensure that your infuser isn't going to increase the risk of getting burned or scalded.
For submersion infusers, look for ones that have a chain or a handle that remains out of the hot water. These will make it easier to remove the infuser from your cup when it has finished brewing and is especially helpful with narrow and deep containers such as tumblers.
With baskets, you should choose ones that have a handle that extends past the edge of the cup. Again, this makes it easier to remove once the brewing has ended.
Remember that stainless steel conducts heat, so part of a basket or submersion infuser that doesn't touch the hot water is essential. Although this might still get a little warm, it's unlikely to get so hot that it will burn.
Although silicone doesn't conduct heat as strongly as stainless steel, it can still get hot. In fact, opening a silicone submersion infuser can be very dangerous because the heat will build up and get trapped inside. Leave anything made of silicone to cool down before touching it.
Something else that may come in useful is infusers that come with lids or trays to rest the infuser in once brewed. These make it easier to leave the infuser to cool before trying to empty or clean it as you can simply take the infuser out of the mug and rest it on the lid.
Still have questions about tea infusers? Daniela is here to answer a commonly asked question on the Internet!
Daniela says, "Honestly, if you don't have any tea-making tools and equipment on-hand, you can easily make loose leaf tea in a mason jar, a measuring glass, or any container that is heat-resistant. You can use loose leaves, steep them and then strain the tea from the mason jar with any kitchen strainer into mugs, cups, or pot."
Though you've picked out your tea infuser, you can't forget about the most important thing—the tea! There are plenty of types and brands to deliberate over, so if you need help finding the right one, check out our other articles!
If you're still not sure which infuser to choose and want some more options, then here are the best-selling infusers and strainers on Amazon.
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