My friend Bridget wanted to get together to gossip about the Gossip and re-watch the episode of Watch What Happens Live where Andy Cohen gives Beth Ditto a corn dog bouquet a few times (I still have this saved on my DVR). Bridge and I decided to film our gossip sesh as an episode of the Lesbian Tea Basket! We rate a Rooibus Mint iced tea by Rishi and have some cinnamon rolls, too.
Hey it’s British National Tea Day! What better way to celebrate than to tell you my favorite tea accessories and chronicle my day’s tea drinking on Instagram?
If I were going to personal shop for you what you need in your tea making arsenal (except the leaves themselves), this is what I would buy you.
First and foremost is the proper loose tea brewing accessory. Before I upgraded I thought I was fine with a tea ball, a mesh contraption that holds tea like a tea bag does. Wrong. Life is so much better and tea brews so much better with a cup shaped infuser. It’s a $10 investment in your tea drinking happiness.
The cup shape allows the tea to swim around in your tea water and brews each herb better. Loose tea is superior to bagged tea because it’s the full leaves of tea, not a powder. (Cut open a Celestial Seasonings tea bag and check out the powder for yourself!) I find a cup shaped infuser is so versatile! I can use it in a mug of any size, the product I suggest has a longer arm so it can sit on a wider mouth cup. I can also use it in a tea pot. Normally you use about a teaspoon of tea per cup of water (depending on the type/manufacturer) and because there’s more space in this you can brew multiple cups at once. If you don’t have a teapot yet, you can use a large measuring cup as a teapot with one of these infusers.
I invested a long time ago in an electric tea kettle. It was a great choice for me because I tend to walk away from the brewing water and it wastes gas and could cause a fire if I walked away from the stove, right? I had this one for only $15 and it served me well until I leveled up. I found the cord fiddly to constantly have to unplug in order to refill my cup.
I leveled up to a tea kettle that hits all of my sweet spots. It sets on a base which is much easier to refill cups. I can set the temperature to adhere to tea brewing instructions. Sensitive white tea likes it 180 degrees Farenheiht, versus boiling which is 212. Best of all, it continues to heat the water for up to an hour after boiling, which is exceptionally helpful in a multi-tea drinker household where both of us work from home.
The tea kettle did poop out last Fall, six months after I bought it. The base just stopped heating up my water. I called Hamilton Beach and they replaced it under warranty for $16 shipping, which was cheaper than buying a new one and fairly easy to do. If you buy a different one than this be sure to read the reviews! There was one I bought for $80 with a coupon and gift card and returned to Bed Bath and Beyond because the reviews were so bad.
An essential tea accessory for iced tea drinker is a 3-in-1 iced tea pitcher! I like to have a lot of iced tea ready at once so I combine two pitchers and mason jars in my fridge for multiple options. Usually I brew it in this pitcher and then transfer it to a mason jar for storage, and then keep brewing.
This one is great. The long infuser is a cup infuser, it comes with a screw top so it can be immersed in the pitcher. You can swap out the cup infuser for a fruit infuser, and can add fruit flavor, lemon, whatever to your tea. Or just use it for infused water! It also comes with a reusable frozen thingy that keeps the tea cold for use outside. It rules, I love it! Dara bought mine from David’s Tea for our six month anniversary after watching me lust after it. David’s has moved on to simpler iced tea pitchers (why???) but you can get it on Amazon for $30. (Be sure to grab one that is BPA free–anytime you buy something plastic that might come in contact with hot stuff like water you want to make sure it’s BPA free.)
All of these accessories have been so essential to me starting my Reiki infused tea blend business! I’m excited to announce I’ll be doing another pre sale of tea starting next week. I’ll have the sale page up for a week and then I’ll order supplies, pack and ship again! This time I’m raising money to go to the World Tea Expo in Vegas in June so that I can learn more about tea flavoring and expand my supplier options!