The health and wellness benefits of tea are well documented and span back to 12th-century China. For example, white tea can boost heart and bone health and green tea boasts health benefits like improving your mood, and making you feel more alert. And what's great is that tea is widely available and pretty convenient to prepare. While you can certainly purchase tea bags, many people prefer loose leaf tea (many say loose leaf is more flavorful and higher quality, plus, it has the ability to stay fresh longer). If you belong in the latter camp, then you already know one of the key components to brewing a delicious cup of loose leaf tea: A steeper. And while you probably already have several, once you see the ones we found, you might just want to add a couple more to your cart.
Before you check out, though, consider these wise words from Steve Schwartz, founder and pro tea blender at Art of Tea, who says that the best tea steepers have enough room for the leaves to unfurl and should be easy to clean.
“If the tea steeper is too small, the leaves will be compacted together and you'll lose that essential surface area that allows the water to properly infuse with flavor,” says Schwartz. “I also recommend a steeper that is easy to clean, so you can easily discard the used leaves and ensure it can be thoroughly cleaned before your next pot,” Schwartz adds.
Even if you're not personally into tea, you might have a friend who'd like to receive a tea steeper as a gift, and we've rounded up a good number of choices with Schwartz's wise words in mind. Read on for eight options to shop if you're in the market for a good tea steeper. As a bonus, we've included two that our editors use personally.
The best tea steepers
“You want a wide basket or surface area for the dry tea leaves to absorb the hot water and allow it to flow through the leaves fully, and extract the most amount of flavor,” says David Segal, co-founder and CEO of Firebelly Tea. That’s exactly why this TCIOD stainless steel steeper is perfect for those who enjoy loose leaf tea.
According to Segal, in addition to the size of the tea steeper, thre are two other crucial components: “How the infuser sits on the cup and where it goes once you are done steeping,” says Segal. “We thought about both those things with our tea strainer at Firebelly. Our tea strainers fit perfectly snug on our cup and other mugs, and also come with a small holding cup so that you don’t drip on your counter when you’re done steeping.”
This editor-favorite infuser makes tea steeping as simple as possible. Made of stainless steel, this DAVIDsTEA infuser fits nearly every mug (our senior commerce editor has tried it on at least a dozen different mugs) and the clean-up part is just as easy. The infuser is specifically designed to handle smaller tea leaves—so you don’t have to worry about rogue leaves—while simultaneously letting the larger teas expand and really give your drink full flavor.
While Schwartz recommends oblong and spherical tea steepers, sometimes you want to have an option that’s easy on the eyes. With this tea steeper, you get the best of all worlds, since it comes with cute options—like a tea pot and a tea bag—but also comes with a practical, 2.5-inch steeper so your leaves have enough room to absorb the hot water (which Segal agrees is key).
If you’re into aesthetics and crystals as part of healing and self-love, this is the perfect tea steeper for you. The two-piece set comes adorned with amethyst and white crystals so that you can boost the well-being benefits of tea time.
This tea steeper quite possibly checks all the boxes. Not only is it another aesthtically pleasing choice, it’s also fully function due to its spherical shape. Our senior commerce editor uses this, too, and highly recommends (“as a bonus, it looks great on Instagram,” she says).
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