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Caitlin said

New Infuser

So sadly my infuser is bending and I afraid I am going to need to invest in a new one, and I was hoping for some recommendations of what are good infusers. I am relatively new to loose leaf tea and my current infuser was my first one ($2 on amazon).

I need one that is relatively cheap and other than that no real requirements. My current one kind of fails when it comes to roobios (it leaks like crazy) so if anyone knows of a good one that doesn’t leak that would be awesome.

Thanks in advance to anyone that has a recommendation.

44 Replies
Cofftea said

If you don’t mind plastic, I’d STRONGLY recommend Adagio’s ingenuiTEA. I’ve been using it all day every day for 2 years. The filter is starting to pop up, but a few knicks around the edge fixes that. I’ve had no flavor permeation as others have mentioned, but then again I don’t steep lapsang souchong in it. It is pretty stained, but I don’t notice it affects the taste. But you’d think Shu or Mayan Chocolate Chai would have stuck to it by now lol. And you get 4 samples and a neat book w/ it.:)

Janefan said

I will second the ingenuiTEA too if that is more in line with what you’re looking for. It’s basically a modernized version of the teapot with infuser concept. Pretty ingenious, in fact! I love mine, but I don’t use it unless I really want 16oz of tea.

Cofftea said

Janefan, just curious as to why you only use it when you want to fill it.

Janefan said

I dunno… it’s not logical really, it’s more based on mood. The basket seems quicker, and easier to clean and dry (although really the difference is negligible). I guess for me the basket is the easy, mindless way to make one mug in the morning. The Ingenuitea would give the leaves more room though, even in only 8oz water.

Meghann M said

Janefan, I’m the same way. I only use my Ingenutea if I want 16oz of tea. I could try and eyeball a lesser amount, but I have a finum basket too that works well for 4-8 oz of tea.

Cofftea said

Janefan, that’s interesting. I find the ingenuiTEA easier to clean: dump the leaves and just rinse. With the basket I have to dig them out (I find it doesn’t just rinse as nice) and even with my tiny hands I find it difficult. I must be more mindless than you since I find the ingenuitea mindless lol.

Meghann M, I always premeasure my water, it only takes 10 seconds.

I’m glad Meghann M brought up 4-8oz. If you want to make a traditional size cup of Premium Sencha or a small cup of Pu Erh, the basket does not reach the bottom of most cups.

Aside from the crowding of the leaves, the biggest draw back is drippage.
The only draw back from the ingenuiTEA is that you’d have to heat the water in something other than the ingenuiTEA when you want to resteep as the leaves are already in it and you can’t microwave the leaves. In spite of that, I find the ingenuiTEA very easy for resteeping.

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Janefan said

The Republic of Tea’s “People’s Brew Basket” is great – I have the polymesh nylon one. It has very tiny holes, cleans easily, fits in all my mugs, imparts no weird taste to my tea, and costs under $5. I bought mine at a grocery store so I didn’t even have to pay shipping!

http://www.republicoftea.com/product.aspx?p=V00978

Cofftea said

Baskets are good depending on what teas you want to steep. I find they crowd white teas especially. They also aren’t good for large quantities of iced tea- 7TB plus 1 tsp of tea for the gallon of tea I made last nite would have never fit in a basket lol.

Janefan said

You’re absolutely right on both counts. I just use it for single mugs (8-10 oz mugs). I have an IngenuiTea for larger amounts. Disposable T-Sacs are also good to have on hand (especially for rooibos, honeybush, and other small tisanes that don’t need as much unfurling space).

Cofftea said

Ditto the T-Sacs:)

Caitlin said

I have been thinking about investing in some t-sacs, maybe I should regardless of what I end up purchasing

Cofftea said

Yes! Get T Sacs! My best friend uses them when she takes her own tea to Starbucks. I’m not that gutsy though.

Spot52 select said

I have to admit, I have taken my own tea to Starbucks. Unless they have Lotus, I hate Starbucks tea.

Cofftea said

Yeah, they took the only tea I drank there away cuz it’s not full leaf. My store used to have a HUGE selection.

Caitlin said

I think I will get T-sacs! Haha – I would never think of bringing my own tea to starbucks, I do have to start bring it to work though. I must admit when I go to starbucks I usually get their coffee stuff, because I don’t generally like the way they prepare tea (minus their chai latte).

Cofftea said

Ditto Caitlin, that and I’m also an espresso lover. Although I DO always get 2 chai bags in my tall non fat upside down double shot 2 pump mocha 2 pump caramel latte topped w/ whipped cream, mocha drizzle, and caramel drizzle.

Caitlin said

Wow that sounds intense but delicious!! I used to like their blackberry raspberry green tea frappuccino a while ago, it didn’t do much justice to green tea but it was pretty yummy. Sadly they don’t make it anymore :(

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Spot52 select said

At my local Teavana, they have micro mesh infusers on sale.
http://www.teavana.com/Tea-Products/Tea-Makers-Infusers/Perfect-Tea-Cup-Strainer.axd
They are like 70% off, so ti works out to be like six dollars. They are great for for keeping even the smallest particles out of your tea. It is an affordable alternative to the teamaker, not that the website has the discount.

Caitlin said

Unfortunately this is not on sale online :(

Spot52 select said

I take it that you do not live close to a teavana? That’s too bad, they are good for something. I do loath many things about them, but their teaware can be good; when the price is right.

Caitlin said

Sadly no :( I have like no tea stored near me whatsoever

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I personally would prefer either the Smart Tea Maker from Enjoying Tea or from SpecialTeas. These will certainly last longer than an infuser so while they are a bit more expensive, the extra cost is well worth it when you consider you won’t have to purchase another. I used the one from Special teas for well over 2 years and it’s still quite usable, but when I got the new one from enjoying tea I just decided to switch over. They are both of excellent quality, and I like them very much.

HOWEVER… if you’re firm on the decision to use an infuser, I will happily gift you with a free, large, 3 inch ball infuser (brand new, still in box) if you make a purchase from my tea shop. Any purchase. :) Just please remind me of the free gift by writing a note to the seller when you check out.

http://liberteas.artfire.com

Cofftea said

The the large ball gives the leaves more room, but then there’s the issue of it not being able to fit in some cups/glasses/mugs.

Caitlin said

hm – I might have to take you up on that offer, but my goodness how I don’t need more tea, but then again you can always use more tea – haha – thanks regardless

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Cofftea said

And then there’s always the Breville Automatc Tea Maker=D

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Cofftea said

I have not tried this yet, but I want it: http://www.eightcranes.com/perfect-steeper.html. It’s the only glass product that I’ve found that even comes close to the ingenuiTEA.

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Ricky admin said

Love the finum basket. Love ingenuiTea. Like many others, I started off by using IngenuiTea on a daily basis, but eventually I stopped. Now I only use it in three scenarios. When I am making 16oz of tea, when I have company over (since sharing a finum basket is a bit weird…) and if I need to make tea that really expands (oolong).

The finum basket is definitely easier to clean. Dump the leaves in the garbage bin, then rinse it for a few seconds. With the ingenuiTea, what bothered me was that the filter would fall out sometimes and then you have to pull it out to wash it and then stick it back in. Sometimes when you pour water into the ingenuiTea the filter pops out and it becomes a mess. The leaves end up in your tea and leaves gets stuck in the valve area so the water drips nonstop. Not to forget, water just randomly leaks out of it sometimes. I didn’t have the base with me so I must of placed it against some papers, the water ended up being all over my desk. I only realized what happened when I noticed my container was empty :(

Cofftea said

I just thought of something… the only time I find the ingenuiTEA hard to clean is when I make chai. Spices are stubborn to shake out of anything lol. That being said I still make chai daily in my ingenuiTEA.

Ricky admin said

It’s not difficult, but when you compare it to a finum basket, it’s more work. It’s just like t-sacs versus tea satchels. Tea satchels are great for those really lazy days.

Cofftea said

Haha one more way I’m backwards. I think I’m the only one that thinks the basket is more work lol. Oh well. I knew I was backwards a long time ago and am daily reminded of it lol.

Caitlin said

Oh not that sounds like an awful mess!

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I say go with the Smart Tea maker! It is the best thing on the planet… definately more that a few bucks but you wont have to buy one for a long while :) I have one on my website, which is the one I use! It also comes with an extra replacement mesh filter so when it does start to break down you will have another one to use :) http://specialteabrew.com , free tea with it too :)

plugging my own stuff ha ha but on the other hand above JaneFan said to use the republic of tea mesh guy for 5$ and I use that one at work sometimes and it works pretty darn good :)

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Caitlin said

Wow- thanks for all the responses guys!! I have the same question for the smart tea maker, ingenuiTEA, finum basket and People’s Brew Basket and that is I have a bunch of different sized mugs, 2 pretty much standard size ones, a couple of 4oz ones, a slightly large tea mug, and a really large mug and I was wondering if these infusers fit in different size mugs or does the mug need to be a specific size for it to work?

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VegTea said

It sounds like you’ve already gotten a lot of suggestions, but I just wanted to agree with what Janefan said – for rooibos, I use T-sacs rather than an infuser.

As for other teas, I just use cheap infusers – ones that look like this: http://www.amazon.com/Tea-Infuser-1-5-Inch-Mesh-Spoon/dp/B0006SYA34 or a larger ball that completely unhinges for when I want to blend different teas or use a larger amount. I only brew one mug’s worth at a time, though, so tea pots don’t really appeal to me.

Caitlin said

Yeah I think I may have to invest in some t-sacs for rooibos too – never thought of that. That infuser from the link is almost exactly what I currently have which works well but has been bending after only probably about 6 months. Do you have that same problem? What about the larger balls?

VegTea said

I’ve had the same problem – but, actually for mine, it is easily fixed. Although the infusers bend somewhat easily, they also can be bent back in place easily. Usually all that’s required is a little “nudge” and then two halves close properly again. The wire mesh does dent somewhat easily, but if you push outward on it from the inside, usually you can remove those dents.

I haven’t had a problem with the large ball, even though it is similar construction. It closes with a latch rather than by pressure, so I guess it doesn’t take as much of a beating.

Caitlin said

I have been able to bend the dents into place but I am starting to have a hard time get the two halves to close properly and there is beginning to be a constant small gap between them. Maybe I will try the ball. I feel as if it is the action of using the little tong things that causes the bending.

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