Does anyone have any experience with cloth filters? Are they effective? Do they clean easily (seems like they might stain quickly)?
Made me wonder….It seems as if it would be better than metal or plastic filters. Or maybe I’m wrong.
Ah strainers, the neglected work horse of the tea world. They are so vital and everyone has several yet they never receive the credit they deserve all the glory going to the posts, cups, tins, etc. A moment of admiration for filters everywhere.
… I said a moment, that’s 60 seconds not 2.5.
Ah well. Realistically the best filters are probably the built in balls in yixing pots and a gaiwan. However they tend to allow flecks and small broken bits to get into our cup, which I think is preferable to allowing the tea to become contaminated from and inferior material, but that’s not aesthetically pleasing.
So filters, plastic is bad, plastic is bad, oh and plastic is bad. And did I mention, oh yeah I did. If you use metal never use aluminum but only quality stainless steel, I know people that say they can taste the metal but they also drink coffee so what do they know.
I like the idea of cloth strainers but they stain and absorb flavors (that includes soap if you try to wash it) and they style that you posted seems like it’d be really hard to clean.
When I brew most of my tea I usually use a nice stainless steel basket, cleans well, doesn’t absorb flavors and it doesn’t leach into my tea. However I use cloth-gourd filters when I brew gong fu cha, but I have a separate filter for every yixing pot I use, then just clean it with boiling water.
I have tried cloth filters and they absorb flavours and smells like crazy. I either brew the tea loose, then strain into the cup using a porcelain strainer, or if I’m on the go, I use filter bags which I fill myself. You can get them in various sizes as well, which is useful. Oh, and I second The Seattle Tea Snob, plastic is really not ideal.
I’ve used cloth for a long time. I use it for non-flavored teas. I cannot complain about the results. I rinse it and dry when I am done. I have never washed it with soap. I also use it for sun tea. But my favorite strainer is the one in my kyusu. It has a built in sesame screen.
I know some people using cloth filter made of nylon (a layer of it at the bottom of their tea strainer). Nylon doesn’t seem as “natural” as cotton, but it’s more odorless. Besides, it’s something one would use for thousands of times. In this sense, it’s better than disposable devices made of biodegradable materials.