Even by British standards, I drink a lot of tea — I can get through about eight cups before I get the same eye-twitchy high that coffee gives me. Until recently, I used regular green-tea bags, but after reading yet another scary article about the dangers of microplastics (this time about the “billions of microplastics” from tea bags that can leach into your cup of tea), I started vaguely thinking about switching to loose-leaf tea. Vaguely, as in, putting loose-leaf tea into online shopping carts and then closing the tab three days later.
Part of the reason I never follow through on a packet of sencha or matcha is the faff of straining and draining in the workplace. I’ve tried every option — ball mesh steepers never have enough room; cotton strainers get manky; and I’ve even tried a French press in my desperation — all of which end with me hunched over a bin, scraping and picking out tiny bits of leafy mush from whichever cursed utensil I’d chosen. Then, last Christmas, my boyfriend gifted me a solution to my problem. The Tealyra Peak Ceramic Cup Infuser is so simple that it’s kind of genius.
Making a loose-leaf tea with the Tealyra is as simple as pouring a traditional cuppa: Just let the rigid metal infuser sit in the mug until you’re ready to set it out on the lid, which also functions as a saucer. You can then reuse the leaves if you want — I often just add an extra sprinkle of leaves after the second brew — or you can easily dump them in the bin. You don’t have to just make green tea in it either; you could go classic with Earl Grey or a smoky Lapsang souchong, or flow with a bespoke mix of loose herbs (I like hibiscus and lemon verbena). Whichever you choose, the rigid strainer makes it really easy to handwash or chuck in the dishwasher.
Some more Strategist-recommended tea accessories
With almost 4,500 reviews on Amazon, Breville’s Impressions kettle is the best rated (81 percent of reviews give it five stars). Shoppers praised the simple aesthetics and unfussy design, as well as the low price point. In total, 60 reviewers spoke highly of the LED light that runs up the water gauge, which makes it easy to see when your water has boiled (it also means you don’t have to hover around the kitchen waiting for it).
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