If we’re talking honestly here, all you really need to enjoy a good cuppa tea is a cup, some tea and a mug to stick it in. But you’re reading a tea blog, so I figure you’ve got the very basics down and may be ready for the next step: FANCY TEA GADGETS.
First up: the Ingenuitea teapot.
We’ve spoken before on exactly why loose leaf tea is so awesome and why you should let it expand to its little heart’s content. There are lots of different ways you can make your loose leaf tea: French press, mesh tea balls, paper filters, etc. I like the Ingenuitea for a couple of reasons.
One: it lets the tea expand. Bold flavors, etc.; plus it looks super cool. Two: it’s both easy to clean and reusable. Three: the way you pour is you set it down on top of your mug and the steeped tea drains into your container of choice while the leaves stay up top in the filter. The first time you show someone this they will be awed. My kid brother likes to
You can find it for pretty cheap, and it’s available at a lot of grocery stores. I picked mine up at a Wegman’s. This one’s definitely worth the $10-20 it costs.
We’ll call it a day with tea chests and other tea organizing solutions.
Can’t exactly link you to one particular chest here, especially because all the ones I’ve seen available online are $30 and up. But it’s nevertheless dead useful.
One of the earliest symptoms of tea snobbery is a pantry stacked with boxes and boxes of tea and a few tins next to them propping them up. If any hapless mortal tries to move one of the dominos in this delicate pyramid, boom. Twenty boxes of tea on the floor.
Personally, my tea is one of the things I absolutely HAVE to keep neatly organized. Behold, my solution.
I’ve gotten my tea collection down to three containers.
The wooden box held a set of teacups I was given as a gift. The blue one is an actual tea chest a friend gave me. The basket held a gift assortment that I also got as a gift. Great, huh? But really, if you want to find similar stuff, poke around a craft store or a consignment shop. You’ll find a ton. It’s just the stuff branded as “tea chests” that get the huge price tag tacked on.
I keep all my caffeinated stuff in one box, the decaf/caffeine free in another, and all the boxes of teabags that aren’t individually wrapped and bags of loose tea go in the basket.
While packing that wooden box, I discovered a neat trick for maximizing the space you use. Behold:
If you try to pack all your teabags facing right-side up, you’ll run out of space quickly. Instead, alternate one up and one down and you can basically double your space.
So while official tea chests may be really cool, my personal verdict is they’re unnecessary. You can do the same thing for A LOT less money.
Still to come: electronic tea makers and how they’re ripping you off. And soon: what people put in their tea, from sugar to jam to alcohol!
(photo credits: 1 / the rest taken by yours truly)