With the crisp air, balding trees, and mall Santas slowly sneaking up onto us, it’s obvious that winter is right around the corner. And nothing screams winter quite like a hot cup of freshly brewed tea. While tea bags are convenient and easy, sometimes those slow, dark mornings beg for something with a little more flavor, a little more pizzazz.
Something like loose-leaf. If you’re not accustomed to using loose-leaf though and don’t have the proper equipment, you might find yourself with mouthfuls of soggy tea leaves. If so, it might be time to consider investing in a tea infuser. We’ll help guide you to the perfect tea infuser, and if you’re still stuck, we’ve also got a list of our ten favorites that you can find online.
How to Choose a Tea Infuser – Buying Guide
When it comes to choosing a tea infuser, you shouldn’t just buy the first one you see. There are a few things that you should take into consideration so that you can brew the perfect cup of tea.
Basket vs. Submersion Infusers
There are two main types of tea infusers: basket infusers and submersion infusers. Deciding which one is right for you depends largely on your preferences.
Choose a Basket for Fuller Flavor
Basket infusers sit on the top of your cup and allow the tea leaves to fully expand and steep while remaining neatly contained. Because they’re completely open on one side, basket infusers are extremely easy to clean.
Generally speaking, the larger the basket, the better the flavor as the leaves will have more space to spread out and give off flavor. Size also makes a difference when it comes to cup compatibility. Some have a narrow lip and sit neatly on the edge of a cup, which means that they can only be used with cups of a certain size. Others have handles that allow them to be used on cups of all sizes.
When choosing a basket infuser, try to look for one with a lid. This will prevent too much heat from escaping and help those high-heat teas achieve maximum deliciousness.
Submersion Infusers Work for Smaller Servings
When using a submersion infuser, your tea is completely encased and fully submerged in the water. They’re not normally very large, so they’re ideal for small, single serving cups.
Submersion infusers are probably the ones that you see around more often. They can come in fun shapes that make it look like there’s a little scuba diver 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.
Metal, Silicon, and…Paper? Materials Make a Difference
Unsurprisingly, there are a few different material options when it comes to tea infusers. Here are a few of the most common ones you’ll find.
Stainless Steel Mesh: Maintains Flavor and Steeps More Finely Crushed Leaves
Stainless steel mesh tends to be the best overall option. It doesn’t add any flavors to your tea, you don’t have to worry about chemicals, and it’s easy to clean. The mesh structure also means that the holes are really tiny, which prevents small leaf particles from getting out.
You can find both basket and submersion infusers made from stainless steel mesh.
Silicone: For Fun Shapes and Colors
When you see something is made from silicone, you know it’s going to be a good time. Silicone is highly versatile and allows tea infusers to be fun shapes and colors. However, the holes can be larger in these, so you might get a few stray leaf bits floating around your cup.
If you decide to get a silicone infuser, read reviews and check the packaging to make sure it’s high-quality food-grade silicone. If it’s a lower quality, it might have a plasticky flavor or leach chemicals into your tea.
Paper: Doesn’t Need to Be Washed, as It’s Disposable
Paper infusers can be seen as a nice middle ground between loose leaf tea and tea bags. You can fill them up with your nice, high-quality loose leaf tea, but rather than having to wash out your infuser after every use, you can just throw the whole thing away!
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. If you can’t be bothered to use a spoon to fish it out and don’t want to burn your fingers, definitely look for one that has a string!
For the Multi-Tasking Tea Enthusiast: Container + Infuser Combos
If you’re not an “all the tea all the time” kind of person, you might want to think about looking for a container that has a built-in/matching infuser. These are good for those who only need a tea infuser in certain situations or only use one container for tea.
Teapots for Larger Servings
For those who want to make more than one serving at a time, a teapot is generally your best bet. The infuser that comes with a teapot will be a basket infuser that sits on the top of your pot and is removable for easy cleaning.
Teapots that don’t come with infusers generally require a separate strainer in order to catch the leaves on their way out. So in choosing a teapot with an infuser, you’re basically getting two pieces of equipment for the price of one.
Mugs if You Want a Matching Set
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. Depending on the size of the mug, the infuser basket might also fit on your other mugs as well.
However, infusers that come with mugs are often made of ceramic, which can mean that finer teas will slip through the larger holes.
Thermoses for Those on the Go
For those on the move, a thermos with an infuser is the way to go. Thermoses tend to be tall and skinny, making it difficult to use either traditional baskets (which are too wide and shallow) or submersion infusers (you might lose it in your thermos!). Included infuser baskets are made specifically for the thermos, making for easy steeping and retrieval.
However, these can over-steep tea if you just leave it sitting in the hot water. To prevent this, you might want to fully steep your tea while you’re preparing to go and remove the tea leaves after the proper amount of time. Or, you could choose a tea that doesn’t get too bitter when steeped for a long time (herbals would be the best for this).
Top 10 Tea Infusers to Buy Online
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.
10. FineGood Tea Bag Silicone Tea Infuser with Six Colors
Perfect for Tea Parties & Dinner Guests
These adorable tea bag-shaped submersion infusers are ideal for guests. They’re the perfect size for single-serve cups, and the different colors make cups easy to distinguish from one another. These infusers are made from food-grade silicone and don’t leave any unpleasant odors or flavors.
However, the holes are on the larger side, and the bags themselves don’t allow much space for the tea leaves to spread out. Also, despite the material itself being easy to clean, because of its shape, tea leaves can get stuck in the crevices at the top, which could mean that cleaning might take a little effort.
9. Magic Teafit Disposable Tea Infuser (100 Filters)
Large, No-Fuss Paper Infusers
These paper submersion infusers are unbleached, chlorine-free, biodegradable, and disposable. They are 3 inches by 6 inches, guaranteeing that your tea leaves will have plenty of space to expand. These are great for use in larger cups and tea pots as they hold enough leaves to make up to four servings.
The infusers come with an heat-sealable adhesive edge to prevent your tea leaves from slipping out. However, some reviewers have noted that it can be a little confusing to figure out how to seal them the first time you use one. Additionally, they do not have a string or tab, so you have to be careful not to lose the bag in your cup.
8. OXO Good Grips Twisting Tea Ball Infuser
High Quality and Durable
This submersion infuser from kitchen giant OXO features a long handle and a head that rotates closed for easy, secure tea holding. The ball head rotates fully open to also act as a tea scoop, eliminating the need for a separate spoon. Be careful with how much tea you put inside, though. Even a half scoop of tea leaves can fill the compartment and make twisting it open difficult.
That being said, as long as you fill the ball properly, the stainless steel infuser is well-constructed and durable, with holes small enough to prevent all but the smallest particles from getting through. If you only need to make tea one cup at a time, this infuser might just be the one for you.
7. Tilevo Dinosaur Loose Leaf Tea Infusers (Set of 2)
Add Some Fun to Your Tea Time
These super cute tea infusers are made from food-grade silicone and are dishwasher safe, making for easy cleaning. Their long handles make them great for cups of almost any height, and they are amply large enough for a single serving of tea to fully unfurl and steep.
That being said, however, these are only recommended for medium to large tea leaves as the holes are on the larger side. Also, despite having feet, you’ll still need to put the dinosaurs on a plate to catch any tea dripping out the bottom–as they do not come with anything to rest on.
6. Sweese Porcelain Tea Mug with Infuser and Lid
Simple, Functional Set
This mug-tea infuser combo comes in 12 different colors and patterns. It features a stainless steel basket infuser with ample space for tea to spread and fine holes to ensure nothing gets through. The infuser has a short handle, which can be used on any mug with the same or slightly larger diameter.
It holds 15 ounces and comes with a lid to help keep your tea warm for as long as it takes you to drink it. The lid also doubles as a stand for the infuser basket and has a lip to prevent tea from spilling onto your table. However, some reviewers have noted that without the strainer, the lid fits a little loose on the mug.
5. Bstean Tea Filter Bags (100 Filters)
Like a Tea Bag, But Better for You and the Environment
Made from unbleached, UV-processed natural wood pulp paper, you know that when you use these tea infusers, you’re getting nothing but tea. Measuring 3 inches by 2.75 inches, each filtereasily holds two teaspoons of loose leaf tea that is sure to stay put in the bag.
The string on each bag measures 6 inches long, but if you’re concerned about it slipping down into your mug, there is also a clip included in the box to act as a counterweight. If you find yourself needing something with a little more room, it also comes in three larger sizes.
4. The Tea Spot Double-Walled Voyager Tea Tumbler
For Tea That Will Last You All Day
This 16-ounce infuser-thermos combo is perfect for the tea lover on the go. It features a tall infuser basket with a handle for easy removal that will really let your leaves swim. The bottle itself is made from double-walled stainless steel and will keep your drink cool for 20 hours or hot for 10.
While this bottle isn’t recommended for use in the dishwasher, the lid disassembles for easy cleaning so you never have to worry about what’s hiding inside all those nooks and crannies. For those who are community-minded, you’ll also rest easy knowing that 10% of your purchase goes towards supporting cancer survivors.
3. Wittle & Everett Tea Pot and Tea Infuser Set
Hyper-Functional Teapot with a Spill-Proof Lid and Fine Mesh Infuser
This teapot-infuser set couldn’t be any more functional. It holds enough to make 4-5 cups and features a stainless steel lid that locks into place to prevent spills. The infuser extends nearly to the bottom of the pot and is made from a steel mesh fine enough to keep even your smallest tea leaves in.
This teapot also comes with a cozy to keep your tea warmer for longer, but if that’s not enough, just take off the lid and infuser and pop the pot into the microwave. And if somehow all of this doesn’t work for you, it also comes with a 90-day money back guarantee.
2. Chefast Tea Infuser Set
Food-Grade Steel Infusers that Can Flavor Both Single-Serving Cups and Entire Teapots
This set of 3 submersion infusers comes in two different sizes. The smaller ones comfortably hold two teaspoons and are perfect for single-serving cups. The larger can hold up to 4 tablespoons and works great for teapots or even with spices in soup. All are made from food-grade stainless steel and are easy to clean.
These infusers’ holes are incredibly fine and will prevent all but the smallest particles from getting through. That being said, some reviewers who try to use these for fruit or other herb infusions have found that the holes are actually too small. This set also comes with a bonus tea scoop that can double as a bag clip.
1. INTEYE Tea Infuser (Set of 2)
Compatible with a Wide Range of Cups and Leaves You with Nothing but Good Tea
This basket tea infuser will help you make the perfect cup of tea. Its wide wings mean that you can use this infuser in any cup ranging from 2.5 to 5 inches in diameter and it works with all but the smallest of espresso cups. The mesh is incredibly fine, so you don’t have to worry about rouge tea leaves.
The included cover keeps the heat in while your tea is steeping, and once it’s done, you can use it as a stand for your basket (or to prevent any drips from getting on the floor when you’re on your way to throw out the leaves!). This infuser is easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and comes with a money back guarantee.
So there you have it! A comprehensive guide to picking and buying a tea infuser that’s sure to keep you cozy all winter long and for many winters to come. Because when you turn to loose leaf and reusable or biodegradable infusers, you’re not only serving yourself more delicious tea, you’re also helping the environment.
Some of the most delicious things require a little bit more finesse than the average kitchen is prepared to give. Think melted chocolate, hollandaise sauce, or even reliably unburnt stovetop rice. For that, you need a double boiler, which is essentially a pot on top of a pot of boiling water that will give you lower, more even heat. Picking out a double boiler can seem like a bit of a chore–there are a ton of options, and they all look more or less the same. In this guide, we’ll go over the things you should specifically look for when deciding which double boiler is best for your needs. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our ten favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Double Boiler – Buying Guide Deciding on a double boiler relies heavily on the way that you’ll be using it. So think about these factors when making your choice. Double Boiler Set or Insert? Depends on Your Space and Use Frequency There are two main types of double boilers: inserts and sets. E
Some fair foods are pretty easy to replicate at home–funnel cakes, corn dogs, and candy apples, for example. But cotton candy, one of the most iconic and most fun to eat foods, is nearly impossible to make without a dedicated machine. Luckily, cotton candy machines are pretty easily accessible, even to those who just want to make some for themselves or the kids. But whether you’re looking to whip up some fluff for a small slumber party or a big fundraiser, you’re going to want a machine that works for your needs. In this guide, we’ll go over the different factors to consider when choosing a cotton candy machine. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Cotton Candy Machine – Buying Guide Finding the right cotton candy machine can be a sticky process. The cute designs and fun colors of the machines may catch your attention, but don’t forget to take your own situation and needs into consideration first. What Can You T
LTE and improved battery life made a big entrance with Series 3–and the popularity of the Apple Watch gathered momentum. As the watches became more popular, so did the bands that come with them. The bands come in two sizes (one for each size of Apple Watch): 38 mm and 42 mm. There’s a bunch of different bands, though, differing in price, color, length, and material (silicon or nylon). With so many options, you need to figure out which one is right for you. So we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Apple Watch bands. How to Choose an Apple Watch Band – Buying Guide There’s a lot more diversity in the world of bands now, compared to when the Apple Watch was first released. So here’s what separates them from each other. Find the one that deserves your money. Choose a Band That Fits Your Apple Watch Apple Watches come in two sizes: 38 mm and 42 mm. Generally speaking, 38 mm Apple Watches are popular among women, since they have smaller wrists–though lately, larger faces have been making a
Scissors are one of those things you don’t think about but are in fact an indispensable part of your household. That’s why we’ve decided to cut through the junk and research what makes a great pair of scissors. We chose to stick to general use scissors and found that the best ones are durable, comfortable, safe for all members of the family, and cut through anything from paper to cardboard. That might mean you need titanium-coated stainless steel blades, a left-handed grip, or a mechanism that makes use easier for arthritic users. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve handpicked a few of our favorite scissors available online. Top 10 Best Scissors to Buy Online A good pair of scissors works well for your hands and lifestyle. So be sure to keep your preferences in mind when making a choice. 1. Livingo Heavy Duty Scissors Visit Amazon for more details Price: $12.99 Best Extra Sharp, Heavy-Duty Scissors This heavy-duty, multi-colored, titanium-coated pair of scissors can cut through basical
If you’re just getting into gardening, you’ll probably need to pick up a few different tools, and the easiest way to do so is by finding a garden tool set. That’s why we searched the internet and pored over reviews to figure out what makes a great set. We found that the best sets include every piece you need, are built for comfort and longevity, and come with a case for storing or carrying. Most sets include shovels, rakes, and shears, and many have several other useful tools as well. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve picked out some of our favorite garden tool sets available online. Top 10 Best Garden Tool Sets to Buy Online When deciding on a set, remember to consider the quality of the pieces and not just how many different tools there are. You can always add on separate pieces if you need them later. 1. OCALiving 6-piece Garden Hand Tool Set Visit Amazon for more details Price: $29.99 Best High-Quality Set that Lasts Decades This high-quality, Australian-made garden tool set is
Everybody knows that single-use plastics are bad for the environment, but in reality, all plastics are pretty terrible. So when it’s time to replace your food containers, instead of reaching for the first plastic container you see on the shelf, it might be a better idea to think about the wider impact your purchase will have. But even if you exclude plastics from your search, there are still so many options when it comes to food storage containers. So in this guide, we’ll go over the different things you should look out for when picking an eco-friendly food storage container. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites for you to start your search. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Food Storage Container – Buying Guide Deciding what to bring into your home is a multi-faceted, personal decision that requires you to weigh your priorities and convenience. And if that means going for something that’s more or less eco-friendly, then that’s completely fine. In either case, this guide w
It’s summer, it’s hot, and you just want a cold drink. But unless you’re just drinking water, it’s hard to ignore the fact that your melting ice cubes water down your drinks and change the flavor! Luckily, there are reusable ice cubes that don’t melt away and can be used over and over. But there are also a ton of different options, and it can be hard to figure out which one is the best for you. That’s where we come in! In this guide, we’ll run through a few things you should consider when choosing reusable ice cubes, and if you still find yourself stuck, we’ve also got ten of our favorites to help make the decision a little easier. How to Choose Reusable Ice Cubes – Buying Guide Considering reusable ice cubes are a pretty new concept, there’s a surprising number of options available! Read on to learn how to pick through the fluff and find the right ones for you. Choose a Material that Suits Your Needs There are three main types of reusable ice cubes: plastic, stainless steel, and stone
Summer is coming up quickly and, with it, all sorts of delicious summer fruits. And none are more refreshing than the watermelon. Watermelons can be a bit tricky though. Because of their size, they can take a while to cut. And don’t even get us started about the sticky mess they can make. But don’t worry, there are a few pretty cool gadgets on the market now meant to solve just that. In this guide, we will cover what to look for in a watermelon slicer and present ten of our favorites to help you make your choice. How to Choose Watermelon Slicers – Buying Guide Essentially, all watermelon slicers serve the same purpose, but there are a few things that will make one better than another. If You Want a Blade that Cuts Them All, Go Thick and Over 6 Inches This may be a given, but you want a slicer that will work with any melon that comes your way. Watermelons can range from five pounds to over thirty and reach diameters of over a foot! And though it may be a pipe dream to find a slicer
Everyone uses towels, right? So we all need a way to keep our towels dry. But if you’re like most people, you don’t exactly want to just hang your towel over the tub; you need a towel rack. It’s efficient in drying your towels and helps keep bacteria from building up. Not to mention, it gives your bathroom a little style, and who doesn’t want that? Towel racks come in all shapes and sizes and are made from different materials; some for practicality, some for style, and some for both. In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the different options so you can find the right towel rack for you. And to give you a jump start, we’ll include our favorites at the end. How to Choose a Towel Rack – Buying Guide If you’re simple and practical, then the decision might be easy for you. But believe it or not, there are a lot of considerations to make when deciding on a towel rack, so let’s look at them together. Do You Want Durability or Style? Choose a Material Based on Your Priorities Like mo
As more people become environmentally conscious, many are turning to reusable water bottles to cut down on plastic waste. Particularly popular are stainless steel water bottles, which are great for keeping drinks cold or warm for up to twelve or more hours. This rise in popularity means that there’s now an abundance of stainless steel water bottles on the market, and when they more or less all look the same, how do you choose? But don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here is a handy guide that will help you compare features, design, and price so that you can make the best decision. If, at the end, you’re still a little lost, we’ve got ten of our favorites for you, too. How to Choose a Stainless Steel Water Bottle – Buying Guide While many stainless steel water bottles offer similar insulating powers, there are a few key differences between them that can make one better for you and your needs. So here are some things that you should look out for. Some Considerations for the Kids First let’s