Looking for Replacement Finum Infusers
I have two Finum infusers that have served me well since around 2015, but that have become so clogged that it takes 30 seconds for them to drain (and even then, they don’t do it very well). I’m on a quest to find replacements, but no one seems to sell the particular Finum brewing baskets I like.
I ordered some from Lee Valley, but their design is slightly different (and as someone who hates change, I notice these things). My old ones have ear-shaped handles attached to the flat lid, whereas the new ones have their handles attached to the basket and leave a gap between the edge of the infuser and the mug. The old infusers are also narrower and deeper, with a plastic funnel-type thing between where the rim of the basket rests on the mug and the infuser well. I’m not sure if this makes a difference to the brewing, but the new one takes up more space in the cup and means less tea for me!
Does anyone know where to find the large, old-school Finum infusers? I can provide measurements if that would help.
Leafhopper, this is not the answer you are looking for, but have you tried Mandala’s Smart Soak Tea Stain Disolver on your Finums? I’ve been using it for years and it has rehabilitated all of my filters and baskets.
Anyway, sorry I only have this suggestion but don’t have a specific answer to your question. I hope someone here does…
Thanks for your recommendation! I’ve heard good things about Smart Soak, but it seems kind of expensive, especially given U.S. shipping and exchange rates. I wonder if there’s a good alternative in Canada.
If I can’t find a decent replacement Finum, I might check it out. The stainless steel mesh of my infusers is almost fuzzy with five years’ worth of tea particles, so I’d be delighted if it would actually dissolve all of that gunk!
I was also going to suggest Smart Soak… you really don’t have to replace finums if you have Smart Soak. I just used a TINY bit of smart soak on my finums a couple days ago and it DOES get through the barnacles. It pristinely cleans the mug the finum is sitting in too, with zero scrubbing. Smart soak seems expensive, but you definitely don’t have to use as much as they say to use. And if the alternative is buying more infusers, there is more money you need to spend right there. I think Smart soak means you can pretty much use the same fimun baskets forever, I think.
Darn! I keep forgetting you are not here in the U.S. Well, the most active ingredient in Smart Soak is sodium percarbonate. You can buy that on Amazon or else (just guessing) a good hardware store. What I do when I use Smart Soak on tough, tea tortured things is to boil a big pot of water-rolling boil-put only 1 or 2 things in a wash tub or bucket, add about 1/4 cup of the powder and then pour in the boiling water to completely cover. I let it sit for several hours, occasionally adding a touch more boiling water and rotating the things I am soaking. If your items are really grungy (and it sounds like it), make the batches to be cleaned small. Don’t throw everything in all together. Then I drain everything and wash it the way I normally would, with dishwashing soap and hot water, then set things on a rack to air dry. You can also try using OxiClean, made for heavily stained laundry, if that is something you can get in Canada. A good portion of that product is sodium percabonate, too. Again, it works best with boiling hot water.
@Leafhopper, have you tried using denture cleaning tablets? They are cheap and work remarkably well at removing tea stains from metal and porcelain.
Tea-sipper, continuing to use these Finum baskets would be nice. About how much Smart Soak would you need to use to clean two infusers? And “tea barnacles” is a good description of what they look like right now. :)
White Antlers, the U.S. is really the tea capital of the Western world and if in no other way, Canada is far inferior. Mandala charges $15 to ship to Canada. I’ll look into getting some OxiClean and will see if it does a decent job.
I place the finum basket in mug that looks like it also needs cleaning, add not even a teaspoon of smart soak to the basket, then pour to the top of the mug with hot water. But White Antlers method sounds good to, especially if you need to clean more than one finum.
Well, I won’t get into any kind of socio-political commentary. So sorry that Canadians are unfairly penalized with high shipping rates. I know how that feels, as I buy a lot of clothing from a craftswoman in Poland and the average charge to ship a sweater or a scarf (light weight material) to me in the U.S. is around $40. So if I want to buy a $95 tunic, it really costs me $135.
If you do try OxiClean or straight sodium percarbonate, given how aged your ‘barnacles’ are, it might take more than one treatment to banish them.
You could try a spoonful of baking soda, an ounce of hydrogen peroxide and boiling water to cover the strainer. And I second White Antlers, if one treatment doesn’t work completely, do it again.
White Antlers, those shipping charges from Poland are awful! I buy from TheTea, which is also in Poland, and they ship for a flat rate of $7. (I don’t remember whether this is to North America or just to Canada.) Some American companies charge $10, some charge $15, and others charge $20 or more, seemingly on a whim. To be fair, I don’t think they’re making a profit; I just don’t know why it’s so inconsistent.
Do all the miracle de-barnaclers you’re proposing affect plastic? If not, I may have to try a combination of them until something works.
I’m also still interested in buying more of these old-school Finums if anyone can find them.
I truly don’t think my Polish clothing lady is making a profit on shipping, and I agree with you on inconsistency of shipping charges. I have only shipped to Canada once, years ago, and it took ages for the package to arrive. It is all utterly maddening.
The tea soak components are not caustic so I think plastic should remain unharmed. Have you tried Ebay for the Finums?
Yes, shipping times from the U.S. to Canada are also wildly inconsistent. I’ve had packages arrive in just over a week and others take a month and a half.
I’m glad to know those cleaners aren’t caustic. A quick scan of eBay didn’t yield much luck, but I’ll have to keep looking.
I often soak build-up off with polident tabs, though I’ve not tried to soak off years worth, so it may take a couple tries. :)
LuckyMe, thanks for the denture tablet suggestion. I have to emphasize that I’ve been using these things almost daily since at least 2015, so they’re pretty gnarly.
tea-sipper, thanks for the directions on the Smart Soak. This may be my option if all the other cleaners aren’t up to the task.
To me, the old-school Finums are the ones with the ear-shaped handles on the flat lid and the funnel between the basket rim and the infuser well. The new ones have the handles on the basket and a smaller, slightly raised lid. (Yes, I’m that picky.) I’m concerned that since this style doesn’t cover the entire surface area of the mug, fine herbal teas will escape into my cup if I’m not careful.
Are those new or old to you? ‘Cause that’s the style that has been around for at least 5?6?7 years. If that’s the brand you prefer i might actually have some net new ones kicking around that i could get to you. We’re not IN toronto anymore, but still work there and do come in to the city now and then.