what's the best for steeping loose leaf teas into a mug.

So for christmas, I got my first loose leaf tea, Twinings English Breakfast, and a tea ball [3 inches by RSVP] however I found when trying to make my first cup of tea that the tea ball was too large for my usual 3 favorite mugs, and the tea leaves of English Breakfast kept falling out of the sides. I infused in a coffee filter instead, just put the leaves in the center, folded the sides up to make a triangle and twisted the top, I’ve used that steeping method before with this organic jasmine tea a friend got in bulk once. But what’s the best infuser to steep loose leaves into a mug. [eventually I’ll look into a teapot but I haven’t found one that’s ‘me’ yet]

22 Replies
ashmanra said

The Finum one is great, and there are also T Sacs, which are paper!

mrmopar said

finum is great or a kamjove pot. put leaves in cover with the hot water, steep, push a button and pour in a cup to drink.

why not leave them as is for maximum flavor? :)

darky said

it can get bitter pretty fast, also not good if u want resteeps

Cavocorax said

I just got DavidsTea Perfect Mug and I love it. And there are a few on sale for Boxing day (instore and online) for $ 10!I might grab another for work!

It has a nice simple style, and the metal infuser has a lot of room. The holes are so tiny that even my rooibos didn’t leak out everywhere. It seems like a popular cup/steeper on Steepster.

A lot of tea stores sell wire mesh baskets of different sizes which are tapered to fit deep into a cup and with a metal lip that fits the rim of a cup to hold it steady and even a small handle to lift it up with. They usually only cost a dollar or two and are widely available in most Korean or Chinese food or variety stores.

gmathis said

I recommend the mesh baskets highly as well. Makes resteeping really easy—you just set it aside (mine have lids that double as drip trays) until you’re ready for the next cup.

K S said

The Finum baskets are great. I love my small French Press for brewing one mug at a time. I have done the coffee filter thing as well. A similar idea is to steep in one cup then pour through a strainer (that you probably already have in the drawer) into another cup. You can keep the leaves for a re-steep. I did the tea ball thing for a while as well. It is now my least favorite method.

I concur. I only have tea balls, Teavana tea strainer (similar to the balls), and disposable teabags. I need another alternative when I brew my night time tea b/c all the herbs keep leaking out my tea strainers/balls and I don’t want to keep using my disposable bags all the time. Is there anything out there close to being a re-usable tea bag? LOL.

K S said

GG – the Finum basket excels at herbals. The mesh is so fine even Rooibos doesn’t slip through. While not as convenient as tossing the bag, rinsing it is pretty easy.

zazen5 said

How about just put the leaves it the cup, hot water, then drink? If the leaves come to the top, wait a minute, they will sink to the bottom. This is what the Chinese have done before. No need to fiddle with an infuser and can be resteeped multiple times.

Valerie said

Tea can turn bitter if steeped too long, and also you’re unable to get a second steeping that way. It’s how I used to do it until I got filters. Now I love that I can get another steep from the same leaves for a second cup!

zazen5 said

Yes it does, but I drink it anyway, to me it still tastes better than hard water in Calgary. Im lazy and cheap. I like being able to just throw the tea in the cup and steep it all day long. My wife likes the filters though. Tea is good because it is adaptable to how you want to use it.

teajoteas said

My favorite tea brewer is similar to the French Press (except it is totally gravity driven) and is called by many names. However, there are multiple versions all made by the same manufacturer. I like the Smart Tea Maker the best because it’s the sturdiest and looks the nicest, but you can get similar infusers from other tea vendors as well. Why do I like this method of brewing so much? The leaves get to breathe, which I find to be an issue with tea balls or other filters. It also makes iced tea a nice one step process.


I use a brew basket from The Republic of Tea, and I love it. The basket fits inside my mug, there is plenty of room for the tea leaves to expand, and resteeps are convenient.

If I want to brew a larger quantity of tea I use a french press and then pour it into a tea pot once the leaves are finished steeping. Again, this makes multiple infusions easy to make. Cleaning the french press can be a pain, but it’s worth it for great tea. :)

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