Portable Tea Infusers

Anyone who loves their  cup of tea and who would also like to be able to brew fresh, loose leafed tea on the go may be interested in a portable tea infuser.  We recently bought a few different types in order to see how well they work and whether or not they would be a viable option to sell and in essence we are fairly impressed with how well they perform.

These portable infusers are available in both glass or stainless steel. In some respects the stainless steel are our preference as they are more durable and, at least the ones we have, really look great. In fact, they’d be a perfect gift for someone who enjoy a freshly brewed tea. The glass infusers are made with a double layer of glass so even when you are holding one that is full of hot tea the outer glass only feels marginally warm.

Each portable tea infuser comes in three sections. The larger bottom section holds the hot water.  The smaller top section has a lid that pops off.  There is a built in fine metal infuser in the bottom of the top section which is where the tea leaves are placed. If you are brewing a cup of oolong tea or any other tea that expands a lot once it is in water you may want to be careful how much dried leaves you place in the top section. For a cup of oolong I placed about one teaspoon of dried tea in the infuser section.

A Simple How-To

  • Unscrew the lid from the infuser section and place the desired amount of dried tea leaves inside.  Screw the lid back on.
  • Unscrew the top section from the bottom section.  Fill the bottom section with hot water and then screw the top section back on again.
  • Carefully turn the whole infuser upside-down, allowing the water to drain into the infuser section. In other words, you reverse the infuser so that the infuser section sits on the table. This allows the water to mix with the dried leaves and your tea infusion begins.
  • Depending on the type of tea you are making and your preferences as far as steeping time go, leave the infuser in this position until the tea leaves are properly infused. Once it is down, turn the infuser so that the section with the tea now sits on the table and the infuser section is once again on top of the infuser.
  • Screw off the top section.  You will now have a great cup of tea that you can either pour into a new cup, or that you can sip directly from the infuser unit itself.

As most organic loose leaf tea leaves can be steeped more than once, you can simply leave the unfurled leaves in the top infuser section ready to use again when you want to. Of course,  you should not leave them there for long periods of time, but it will not hurt to leave in them in the top section for a time so you can re-use them.

Cleaning The Portable Infuser

Unlike many teapot infusers, this is really very easy to clean.  It is very simple to unscrew the top of the infuser unit and tap the used tea leaves out. They do not tend to get stuck in the infuser section and usually come out very easily. If they are a little stubborn about coming out of the infuser the opening at the top is wide enough to easily pull the leaves out with your fingers or to use another utensil to get them out.

The unit can then be washed in warm water both inside and out. They are also dishwasher safe.

A Few Things To Be Aware Of

While they are extremely easy to use, there are a couple of things you may want to watch out for when using these portable infusers–lessons we have learned through trial and error!

First of all, remember that while the glass infuser unit is only barely warm to the touch the freshly brewed tea on the inside of the unit is very hot–especially when first made. This can take people by surprise!  Remember to sip slowly, as you would from a regular cup, if drinking from the infuser unit otherwise you may end up with a sore tongue!

After pouring hot water into the bottom of the infuser, make sure that the top section is screwed on tightly.  Otherwise you may end up with quite a mess on the table–it has happened (the voice of experience!) that if not properly screwed on the water will pour onto the table when you invert the portable infuser to let it steep.

Finally, especially with the glass model, you may find that it is a little difficult to undo after steeping as the heat causes the material to swell a tiny bit. It’s not a problem, simply don’t expect it to come off quite as easily after brewing tea in it.

In Summary

All in all, I would highly recommend these portable tea infusers to anyone who would like a  very portable method of making loose leaf Chinese tea or even herbal tea.  They are easy to use, they brew a great cup of tea and they are versatile.  The infuser itself is small enough to fit into a vehicle cup-holder without any problems. Tea brewed in these flasks tastes every bit as good as those brewed in a regular tea pot or even in a cup or teapot with infuser.  While not extremely cheap, you will find the money you pay is worth it in terms of quality and ease of use.

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