Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mesh tea baskets for easy, inexpensive brewing

Mesh strainers like this are sometimes hard to find online. Or, if you find them, only really small-diameter ones are offered. Or maybe the actual size isn't even listed.

Teavana offers stainless steel mesh strainers in a wide range of sizes. The largest size is 77 mm (3.1 in.), which would give you tea leaves plenty of room to bloom. These items are apparently meant as replacement tea strainer baskets for teapots Teavana sells, but there is no reason you cannot drop one into your favorite teacup or mug. And the same kind of mesh baskets sold as stand-alone tea infusers are usually much more expensive.

I like actual mesh better than perforated steel, as the wet leaves plop out easily, whereas they can stick tenaciously to the perforated kind.

One caveat, however, is that there isn't a lot of leeway in width, as the rim isn't very wide. So you should measure the size of the mug/cup with which you plan to use the strainer so it doesn't fall entirely into your cup or get crushed when inserted into a too-small cup.

Happy steeping,

—Mellow Monk


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