From gaiwans to press pots, tea balls to paper and metal infusers, you have many options for making loose leaf tea. We have our favorites. Read below to find out why we love them.
What makes a good infuser:
Enough space to infuse fully for maximum flavor
Complete filtration after infusion to prevent over-extraction and bitterness
Materials that do not impart flavor in the tea
Easy to clean
Infuser types we don’t recommend:
Traditional brewing methods using a Chinese gaiwan or Japanese kyusu are designed for multiple infusions of small cups of whole leaf leaf teas. It can be tricky to learn to use them for fine leaf or blended teas without burning yourself or making a mess, because there is no fine filtration.
Brewing in a teapot or press pot can lead to bitter tea. This happens because the tea leaves are never removed, and tea continues to infuse for as long as it is in the press. It's a great method for serving tea to a group if you empty the pot completely after the infusion. It's also fine for herbal blends. If tea continues to sit in the teapot, it will eventually become bitter.
Tea ball or tea sticks have a major space limitation. Their small volume keeps tea leaves tightly packed, which does not allow for full saturation or flavor extraction. Tea balls also tend to release leaves into your cup, which will continue to infuse and make tea bitter. They are also difficult to clean well.
Novelty infusers are cute, but they're usually also too small, which leads to poor extraction, and weak tea. They tend to leak tea leaves into your cup, making tea bitter. They're also usually very hard to clean thoroughly.
The infusers we recommend:
The August One-cup Infuser
We recommend a fine mesh metal infuser. Unlike paper, cotton or nylon infusers, the stainless steel mesh does not impart flavor to the tea. The infuser fits inside standard mugs and teapots, and has a food-grade silicone lid that functions as a coaster so you can reinfuse your leaves while keeping your counter clean.
The flat bottom makes it easy to place on a scale and weigh tea directly inside. It's roomy enough to let tea leaves expand fully for maximum flavor. Once the infusion is complete, simply lift up the durable, fine-mesh infuser to filter out even the tiniest tea particles.
There's a reason it has 20 five-star reviews. Read what people are saying by clicking below.
Brewing more than one cup at a time? You can't do much better than the Hario Largo Kit. This gorgeous glass infuser and pitcher set will brews perfect tea in style.
The glass globe infuser has a 27-ounce capacity, and is made entirely of natural materials - glass, stainless steel, and food grade silicone.
Tea leaves have maximum room to expand. When the infusion is done, just press the switch to dispense the tea into the included glass pitcher. The Largo also makes multiple infusions easy. Just add more hot water to infuse again.