Choosing between tea bags and loose leaf tea is the first step in making a cup of tea. Many people prefer tea bags because they are quick, convenient, and easy to get in the grocery store.
Nevertheless, with the right tea infuser, making a cup of loose leaf tea is just as easy and even more delicious. Tea infusers are usually made of mesh stainless steel, but there are various options.
We reviewed and tested every tea infuser included on this list to help you make the right decision. We spent days evaluating and comparing different types of tea infusers to break down the pros and cons. To take your tea game to the next level, here are our top choices for the best tea infusers.
1. The Best Tea Infuser Overall
The more space tea leaves have to move around, the better the flavor. Basket-shaped infusers, such as the Finum Stainless Steel Mesh Brewing Basket, are popular and effective. Its micro-fine mesh catches the smallest tea particles and allows tea leaves to diffuse into every nook and cranny of your teacup.
This tea infuser is one of the easiest to use and one of the most effective at keeping bothersome tea leaves out of your drink. All you have to do is scoop it into the basket, drop it in your mug, pour hot water, and wait.
The Finum Brewing Basket is dishwasher safe — excellent for a simple post-tea cleaning. This tea infuser comes in different sizes and colors, and the lid also works as a drip tray for extra convenience.
- Reusable Stainless Steel Coffee and Tea Infusing Mesh Brewing Basket
2. The Best Tea Infuser For Those On A Budget
To spice up your tea time, the Bekith Tea Infuser is topped with a lovely silicone leaf or flower. These infusers are practical, easy to use, and an excellent value for money. Bekith sells them in a pack, so there’s no need to rush cleaning the same tea infuser after every use.
The tea leaves were successfully held in the stainless steel infuser baskets throughout our testing process — even with very fine leaves and small particles. Another useful feature is the silicone drip tray, which can be used after steeping to prevent any potential mess.
The main disadvantage was that the silicone tops took longer to fasten than expected. It also seemed a little risky to remove the tea infuser by the lid, but there were no spills.
3. The Best Tea Infuser Teacup
Consider the Tea Forte Kati Steeping Cup and Infuser if you’re looking for a new favorite teacup with a tea infuser. It’s a tea lover’s choice because of its beautiful design, high-quality manufacturing, and excellent results.
The thick, double-walled ceramic will keep your tea hot longer than other standard cups. Just watch out when you hold it, as it can get hot, too.
We found the cup was too hot to touch a couple of minutes after steeping rooibos tea in 212°F water. However, when we steeped sencha green tea at about 170°F, the exterior stayed cool.
The 12-ounce cup and matching lid are dishwasher-safe and microwavable, making it easy to clean and reheat if needed. To match your or your gift recipient’s style, you can choose from a dozen different designs, including the lovely cherry blossom model our tester has chosen.
- Tea infuser cup with infuser basket and lid for steeping loose leaf tea
- Elegant design
- Insulated double wall
- Extra fine tea infuser
4. The Best Tea Infuser For A Tea Pot
Most tea infusers are designed to make one cup of tea at a time, but is that ever actually enough? Tea enthusiasts will be happier with a product like the Adagio Teas ingenuiTEA Iced Tea Teapot. It comes in 16-ounce or 28-ounce sizes, which is the same capacity as many traditional teapots — the only difference is that it is easier and faster to use.
We used the 16-ounce model and were impressed by the bottom dispensing valve that releases your filtered tea into your cup, leaving the tea leaves behind. When you’re done steeping your tea inside the main chamber, place the ingenuiTEA teapot on top of your cup, press down, and the tea will automatically and smoothly start pouring.
The mesh stainless steel at the bottom prevents any leaves from falling into your teacup. The ingenuiTEA teapot is dishwasher safe, so cleaning it won’t be a problem. It is easy to clean by hand, too — in case you don’t have a dishwasher at home.
- Great for the office or when traveling, this innovative teapot releases infused tea directly into a drinking cup
- A mesh filter retains all the leaves with one of the best infusers on the market
- Dishwasher safe, the teapot is made in Taiwan of food-grade plastic. 100% BPA-free
- It holds up to 28 ounces and has an easy-grip handle. The filter basket is stainless steel. 4.5 inch Diameter
5. The Best Basket Tea Infuser
Vahdam is a go-to brand for many tea enthusiasts, thanks to its extensive collection of teas and teaware. We recommend the Vahdam Classic Tea Infuser. This multi-purpose basket infuser is designed to ensure that it fits on most standard cups, mugs, and teapots.
The sturdy lid can also serve as a dish to place the tea infuser after removing it from your cup or teapot to prevent unwanted spillage and dripping. The ultra-fine mesh filters the tea to perfection, ensuring a flavorful brew.
Despite its durability and quality stainless steel, this tea infuser has a defect in its design which our tester encountered during the testing process. The lid, which serves as a drip tray, may not properly close, though it does not affect the steeping process (the tea infuser still brews delicious tea). It is easy to use, the two handles on either side stay cool, and dishwasher safe, making cleaning a lot easier.
6. The Best Tea Infuser For Those Who Value Looks
The punny and charming Genuine Fred MANATEA Silicone Tea Infuser will surely make a lovely gift for your favorite tea lover. You can separate the silicone head and tail to store a small amount of loose leaf tea inside. The manatee’s arms can then be hooked over your teacup’s edge while pouring hot water.
Many sencha green tea leaves managed to escape during the testing process, but it worked well with rooibos tea. So, if you’re planning on buying this item, maybe it’s best to stick to the type of tea with larger leaves and particles.
Another disadvantage is that securely fastening the head and tail into position takes a few seconds. This silicone tea infuser is dishwasher safe and reasonably priced.
7. OXO Brew Twisting Tea Ball Infuser — Best With Handle
Compared to traditional tea balls, tea infusers with handles are easier to control when steeping and less likely to cause a mess. Our top recommendation in this category is the OXO Brew Twisting Tea Ball Infuser, which combines these advantages with a few unique features.
The most noticeable feature is the twisting handle that opens and closes the infuser ball. It has a smooth and simple mechanism, which distinguishes it from other handled infusers. Only a few traces of tea leaves (more like fannings and tea dust) escaped from the basket, which means that the tea ball infuser did a great job overall.
Although there are cheaper tea infusers available on the market, this tea ball infuser from OXO is still affordable. In addition to that, it’s made from sturdy stainless steel and non-slip plastic, which makes it highly durable — not to mention that Oxo offers a lifetime warranty on all of its products.
You might also enjoy our guide on how to use a tea ball.