Tea infusers encompass ball infusers, baskets, cup-basket combinations, teapot-basket combinations, and portable tea tumblers. Finding the best tea infusers for your desired tea drinking frequency, quantity, and brewing control is the trick. Here are your tea-infuser options and how the tea world weighs in.
Ball or Spoon: The smallest, most affordable option, these are a great, compact way to transition from single-serve tea bags to loose tea, but tea masters claim this infuser cramps tea leaves, not allowing the flavor to bloom.
Baskets: Also affordable, baskets allow for more space, which tea masters recommend for tea leaves to release their flavor. Truly versatile, baskets work in most mugs or in a teapots.
Mugs and Cups: These tend to be glass or ceramic mugs that come with lids to help retain heat while brewing and, of course, a fitted infuser basket. Just be sure your pick is dishwasher safe for easy clean-up.
Travel Thermoses and Tumblers: For brewing on-the-go, travel thermoses and tumblers with infusers are great. It can be hard to retrofit a basket to thermoses or tumblers so buying one of these makes tea-making a portable affair.
Teapots: Teapots are best for high-volume tea consumption by one or many. Teapots come in different materials like glass, porcelain, clay, ceramic, and cast iron, but material comes down to personal preference. The more important detail is infuser basket size. The bigger, the better the tea flavor.
Check out this list of the best infusers around for every loose-tea drinker’s needs.
The Best Ball and Spoon Infusers
- The Best Overall Ball Tea Infuser
At six dollars not only is the ball tea infuser a bargain, but a reliable friend to your tea. Made of stainless steel mesh with an attached steel chain to pull the ball out of your tea once steeped to perfection. With a decent sized catch for your tea leaves, this is a great ball infuser to allow your tea leaves space to brew. Plus, this tea infuser is dishwasher safe.
What reviewers say: "This is a quality tea infuser with a fine mesh."
- The Best Spoon Infuser
This stainless steel tea infuser is a bit of a hybrid between ball and spoon infusers. Its ball shaped catch for tea leaves and twisting feature allows for a large amount of tea to fit into a relatively compact space, but the stainless steel neck with comfort, non-slip grip makes for minimal infuser-fishing once your tea is brewed to your liking. Dishwasher-safe and BPA-free, this tea infuser can double for other infusion experiments with herbs and spices.
What reviewers say: "It works well, with just enough space for a teaspoon or two of tea leaves to unfurl inside the ball, just perfect for a single cup of tea."
The Best Basket Infusers
- The Best Overall Basket Infuser
The ForLife Tea Infuser's dishwasher-safe fine-mesh basket makes this infuser very well reviewed. With a basket measuring 5.2 by 2.8 by 2.6 inches your tea will have plenty of room to steep and release its flavor. However, the basket is just the right that it will still fit in your favorite teacup or pot.
What reviewers say: “I love that it just sits on the rim of your mug instead of sitting inside the mug, you can see your tea as it brews which I find oddly satisfying. The small saucer that's included is porcelain and is deep enough to catch a good amount of excess liquid.”
- The Best Budget Basket Infuser with Lid
This tea infuser basket’s fine stainless steel basket keeps smaller tea leaves from muddying your perfect cup of tea. At 5.2 by 3.5 by 3.5 inches, this basket is a little larger than the first, allowing tea leaf expansion and flavor release, but still fits in mugs and teapots as needed. The dual-function lid retains heat and serves as rest for your basket after use. Plus, its silicone touchpoints help you pull your basket out, pain free, once your tea has reached its peak steeping point.
What reviewers say: "It has enough space in the basket to hold all of the herbal tea needed. It fits nicely into a variety of mugs. It keeps the heat hot while infusing."
The Best Mugs and Cups With Built-Infusers
- The Best Glass Tea Mug with Built-In Infuser
This glass brewing cup can hold 12-ounce of your home brewed tea in an ergonomically designed, heat-resistant, borosilicate glass cup. With its removable glass strainer, for easy cleaning, and bamboo lid, for heat-retained steeping, this cup has the best of style, ease, and tea-brewing power. While dishwasher safe, the manufacturer does make sure to note that the bamboo lid is not microwave safe.
What reviewers say: “I was looking for a glass cup with a lid because I enjoy seeing the color of my tea when drinking, but I wanted a glass infuser as well so I could see my tea leaves/flowers. I stumbled upon this when I saw their bamboo lid cup which looked so cute.”
- The Best Ceramic Cup with Tea Infuser
With 12 designs to choose from, the Forté Kati ceramic mug is a practical, fun infuser-mug combination. Made from high quality porcelain that is FDA safe, lead and cadmium free, and chip resistant this double-walled mug is ready to keep your tea warmer longer. The tea strainer is made from 18/8 stainless steel and the lid, which helps retain heat during brewing and also serves as a rest for the basket post-brewing, is made of natural bamboo and stainless steel. While it’s hard to tell how big the basket is here the manufacturer does specify that it has a heat insulated handle. This cup also comes wrapped, ready for a gift on any occasion.
What reviewers say: “The strainer is far and away the BEST I have ever used. I never use my stainless mesh tea ball or basket any longer, because this perforated stainless tea basket is so superior. I can steep the finest, powdery-est teas with this basket, and there is virtually no tea leaf residue left in my cup.”
The Best Teapot With Infusers
- The Best BPA-free Plastic Teapot With Infuser
Say goodbye to pouring with this bottom-dispensing teapot. For the accident-prone tea drinker, this BPA-free plastic teapot, eliminates the fear of breaking a ceramic or glass teapot as well as the heft of cast iron. The bottom-dispensing design combined with its easy-grip handle eliminates the concern of potentially messy pours. Once the tea has steeped simply place the teapot over the cup you wish to drink from and the built-in stainless-steel mesh strainer will catch the loose tea leaves as the tea dispenses into your cup. With no basket or ball infuser, tea in this teapot has plenty of space to brew. Dishwasher safe and made of food-grade Tritan plastic, this teapot is a convenient find and comes in a 28-ounce option for larger brews.
What reviewers say: “This is a perfect appliance for brewing the perfect cup of tea. You simply add your tea, add hot water, and watch it brew to perfection.”
- The Best Glass Teapot With Infuser
The Toyo Hofu Glass Teapot accommodates 20 ounces of your favorite tea (which comes to about two cups). With its unique square design this piece is both functional (with lightweight, temperature-resistant glass) and a beautiful addition to any kitchen. Well-designed for easy use and cleaning, this tea pot infuser combination boasts a no spill spout. The lid that can be reattached even after you remove the easily-detachable, dishwasher-safe mesh filter from the teapot once tea has reached its desired brew. The filter is made from 304 stainless steel. This teapot is also dishwasher safe and even stovetop safe, no need to buy a separate kettle!
What reviewers say: "Love it, I use it directly on the gas stove, its great to serve from as well!"
- The Best Cast-Iron Teapot With Infuser
For a larger brewing capacity, this Pure Zen cast iron tea kettle with an included extra-fine mesh stainless steel infusing basket accommodates 32 ounces of tea for brewing and 25 ounces as its recommended boiling capacity. Stovetop-safe, this teapot is great for brewing and serving tea for two to three people and, with its retro design, is bound to be a classic addition to your kitchen. While you can wash the tea-infuser basket, the manufacturer recommends not washing the cast iron pot at all (especially not with dish soap). Simply rinse with water. The enamel lining inside the teapot is rust resistant, which puts your cleaning concerns at ease.
What reviewers say: “This is one of my all time favorite kettles! It has a simple but very lovely design and color, it makes about 3-4 cups of tea, it’s safe on the stove there hasn’t been any discoloration.”
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