Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Removing Tea Leaves From Your Tea

When making tea in the traditional manner, without the use of tea bags, you will need to deal with the tea leaves in your tea. There are two ways of doing this. One is the use of a tea strainer and the other is to use an infuser.

I tend to prefer the use of an infuser. The infuser is a fine mesh 'strainer' which can be placed in the top of the cup or tea pot. Your loose tea is then placed in the infuser which extends about 2-3inches into the water. The boiled water is then poured through the infuser and the tea is allowed to swirl about in the hot water as it steeps.

Some would say to use a tea ball for this except a tea ball can restrict the tea from being able to fully open and release its flavours into the hot water. The infuser can be lifted out and placed on a small saucer until your make your next cup or pot of tea.

Some prefer to place the tea directly into the pot. The tea leaves may have an unpleasant taste, so filtering them in some manner becomes important in order to have an enjoyable cup of tea. Tea strainers are used to catch tealeaves as you pour it into your teacup. Strainers are usually fit on the top of the tea cup to catch all leaves as the tea is poured.

Tea strainers have been around for centuries; their popularity has declined since mass production of teabags and it's not an item that can be commonly found in the home anymore. However you are still able to buy them at most shops and convenience stores and they are quite useful for people that prefer to prepare their drink in the old fashioned way. They often come in a set that includes a small saucer to hold it in between drinking. They are usually made out of silver, stainless steel or china; in rare instances you might still find an original piece made out of fine porcelain.

You might be lucky enough to find an antique item, as tea strainers were common items in times past, before technology set in. You can even try to collect a set of them; they came in a variety of shapes and colours.

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