Tea leaves needs room to steep.
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When you steep high-quality, loose tea leaves, they expand. In order to allow these leaves to brew to a high-quality tea, they need to have space to expand fully. In general, the larger your infuser is, the better your tea will be.
With most tea balls and novelty infusers, tea le
aves are packed too tightly to expand fully. This means that the water cannot circulate around them properly, and the flavor of your tea will be lacking some of the depth and strength of flavor that it otherwise could have. The result tends to be a weak, boring
tea. If you’re going to invest in premium teas, we recommend brewing them in an infuser that will give them the space they need and deserve.
Our premium loose leaf teas range in size from the small leaves of most black teas, to the much larger leaves of White Peach and Kyoto Cherry Rose. Tea leaves can expand to up to three times in size after steeping. This can cause tea balls to burst, and spill the leaves into your cup.
Instead, we recommend using a basket-style infuser. These infusers can be purchased on their own, but are also a key component of most of our tea pots. Unlike tea balls, they will last forever, because they have no temperamental hinges or delicate mesh which are super fragile. They are also significantly easier to clean than the small confines of tea balls. Most importantly, basket infusers are meant to fill your mug, rather than just dangling in it, and give your tea much much room in which to expand.
If you brew your tea in a smaller cup (anything under 12 ounces), our long handled infuser may be the best option for you. This basket infuser will fit most mugs, and provide your leaves with a basket which is much larger than than that of a tea ball to steep in. If your favorite mug is a little larger (16 ounces is a common size), you may want to upgrade to a larger infuser. This infuser will allow you to brew a little more tea without overcrowding the leaves, and comes with a lid to keep your tea warm while it steeps.
If you’re brewing your teas on-the-go, you don’t necessarily have to carry your infuser with you (while I take mine if I’m going anywhere for more than a day, I can respect that not everyone has that sort of connection to their teas). While they certainly don’t give your teas an optimal amount of room in which to expand, disposable tea bags are an excellent way to avoid having to drink outright inferior tea which is what you often get on the road.
If you like your tea iced, and you aren’t cold-steeping it, I would like to take a moment to completely change your life. If you’ve heard of cold-brew coffee, and you’ve wanted to do something similar with your iced tea, today is your lucky day. If you’ve never heard of cold-brew coffee, that’s okay. Today is still your lucky day.
Many people make iced tea by first boiling water, then using it to brew hot tea, and then chilling the hot tea. The Mist allows you to skip two out of three of those steps. It is an infuser who’s basket is the entire 50-ounce pitcher. This allows your teas so much room in which to interact with the water that you don’t even have to boil the water. Just put tea in the Mist, pour in water straight from your tap, and wait 4-6 hours. If you do it over night, you have tea ready for you in the morning. If you do it in the morning, you have tea ready for you when you get home from work.
In addition to being the laziest / easiest way to make tea, cold-steeping also makes excellent tea. It is impossible to oversteep your tea while cold-brewing it, so feel free to leave it for a day or two. You also aren’t going to accidentally burn the leaves, as I have done with many particularly nice green teas. Furthermore, because cold-steeping keeps the leaves from ever being exposed to boiling water, they are a little less damaged, and tend to taste a little less bitter and astringent. Again, if you’ve tried cold-brew coffee, the effect is similar.
Many tea pots have strainers in their spouts, which also allow you to steep your tea using the entire pot as an infuser. Additionally, if you’re looking for a means of steeping tea that will require a little more effort and skill, I recommend gai wans, but perhaps we’ll save those for later in your tea journey.
And of course our brew in the mug system takes things to the next level
Regardless of how you’re infusing them, we hope that you’re enjoying your teas!