Top products from r/tea

We found 705 product mentions on r/tea. We ranked the 1,773 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/tea:

u/simsoy · 2 pointsr/tea

Sorry, generic tea copypasta coming though here.




New to Tea? New to loose leaf? Let me help.

Hello, new friend. So you've stumbled your way into /r/tea, you probably though this was a subreddit for the Mr. T, but no worries you're here and you're in good hands. We're all tea fiends and we're all eager to share our fifteen minutes of meditation, our hobby and our little slice of heaven. So why should you consider switching from Lipton to something crazy like leaves some Chinese person picked off a tea bush?

  • Loose Leaf tea is often higher quality than your traditional tea bags.

  • Less preservatives or additives.

  • A greater variety of teas that are too delicate for tea bags or can't be effectively brewed that way.

  • Greater access to fine teas, you can't find good premium teas in tea bags.

  • It's more cost effective. You can pick up Twinning's Irish Breakfast tea (20 tea bags) for $2.99 at your local supermarket and that'll make you 20 cups of tea. With loose leaf tea you can buy 125 grams of Irish Breakfast from Upton Tea for $5.60, which will make you 100-150 cups of tea. You can re-brew the same tea leaves two or three times when it comes to loose leaf, but with a tea bag all the water penetrates the "tea dust" the first go.

  • It tastes better. That's 100-150 cups of far better tea than Twinnings. Not to say you can't get good tea out of a tea bag, but you'll get better tea with more control/flexibility when it come to loose leaf.


    So, Where To Start??

    ^^buy ^^theses ^^teas ^^first!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Where | Why?
    GoodLife Tea's $7 for 7 Sampler | Free Shipping! Robb has a fantastic variety of tasty high quality tea important for building up your tea pallet.
    Verdant's Five Teas for $5 | Free Shipping! Again, Verdant sells some premium quality tea. Think of their sampler as a crash course into the rich people's side of tea. But the catch with tea is that it's a lot more affordable than wine could ever hope to be. The sampler is great for building up your tea preferences and giving you a kickstart in the right direction.
    Upton Tea | My personal favorite store, they send a nice little paperback catalog every quater. They sell a huge variety of teas, from traditional English Breakfast to Tie-Guan-Yin. Not only that but they sell their teas in different grades meaning you can dabble in what is traditionally an expensive tea by trying a lower quality (but still delicious and tasty) grade of tea. You can find the grade and variety of tea that matches your wallet and taste. They also sell cheap samplers, if you wish you can take $20 and order around 15 samples and see where your cuppa takes you.
    Adagio | A personal favorite of /r/tea if you can find a store nearby! But don't fret, most of us buy our tea online so no worries if you're in Kodiak, Alaska and can't get down to an Adagio. They sell nice quality tea, their stores people are incredibly informed and helpful (unlike a certain Starbucks owned tea store). They also have Adagio XL which sells tea in bulk.
    Harney & Sons | Amazon Prime Shipping. I love my Amazon account, that's usually by go to place online shopping and being able to two-day ship a simple tin of Harney & Sons tea without the shipping cost is fantastic. They sell lots of teas and they're all very good. Maybe not the premium tea you'll see Chinese diplomats drinking but they in my opinion sell tea that all tastes great.
    Coffee Bean Direct | Who knew a place called
    Coffee Bean Direct* sold tea too? Again, with Amazon Prime Shipping this seems to be the place to buy tea in bulk. They're well reviewed and their tea seems to be good. If you're like me and cold brew ice tea frequently then this might be the best place to pick up some bulkier tea to last you the season.
    Crimson Lotus | Owned by a frequenter of /r/tea, Puerh_Lover stocks a great store with lots of neat little stuff. Be warned, he caters to pu'er which is a type of fermented tea pressed into bricks or pellets. In other words this is a special variety of tea that needs special equipment and special knowledge to brew. Don't fret if you're not walking out of /r/tea after a day brewing in a gaiwan.
    White2Tea | More lovely pu'er.
    Yunnan Sourcing | Again, more pu'er, but also lots of green and white teas too. They sell teaware for good prices too so if you're looking to pick up a traditional china teacup or gaiwan this is a good place to get that.
    What-Cha | Another beloved store on /r/tea, but they're pretty pricey at times. But you can always expect good quality tea and a looser wallet from here.


    Just How Do You Make Tea?

    Traditional Western | Gongfu | Cold Brew
    The way you're probably familiar with when it comes to brewing tea, all it requires is a teapot like this one (I highly recommend this teapot). Western or Traditional works well with every kind of tea. It's the universal method of making tea and the best place to start. | This kind of brewing is very specific as it only works with Chinese type teas like pu'er. This method of making tea is hands down the best way to make a Chinese styled tea and does wonders to enhance and bring out the best in the leaves. But this method wont work for a cuppa English Breakfast or Japanese Sencha. To brew Gongfu style you use a gaiwan which is fancy talk for a tiny cup with a lid. The idea behind Gongfu is more leaves, less water and time. You use micro-infusions instead of waiting minutes like Western or hours like Cold Brewing. | Cold Brewing is for those of us who just love iced tea. It's simple to cold brew, a vessel like this will brew a mean pitcher of ice tea. All you have to do is leave the leaves in the filter and wait 5-12 hours for the tea to brew, perfect for leaving overnight. Fair Warning: tea can go bad, the kind of stuff you'd buy at the store has a massive amount of preservatives in it. Keep your cold brewing tea out of the sunlight and don't let it sit for more than 48 hours.


    On Kettles

    So you're going to need a way to keep your water hot. A stovetop kettle is probably the most accessible and the biggest no brainer out of everything here. A microwave heats water inconsistently, can leave an odd taste if your microwave isn't properly clean, and you really don't have a good way of knowing how hot the water is. Temperature is important. Brewing a cuppa green tea in boiling water will result in a pretty shitty cup of tea, and brewing some black tea in the water appropriate for green tea will result in a disappointing cuppa.

    You also have electric kettles like the Cuisinart CPK-17 which is going to cost as much as a decent coffee machine but if tea is your caffeine fix then it might be worth it. The Cuisinart is a variable temperature kettle meaning you just have to press a button and it makes the water the appropriate temperature for whatever kind of tea you're drinking.

    Tea | Temperature
    Black | 212
    Green | 175
    White | 190
    Oolong | 185
    Pu'er | 212
    Herbal | 212


    Where To Buy Tea Equipment? What Equipment Might You Want To Buy?

    Umi Tea Sets sells lots of cute tea sets. They also sell pretty much any kind of vessel you can brew tea in, from Yixing to Japanese tea sets.

    Mr. Coffee Tea Kettle A simple, $10 stovetop kettle to boil some water. It seems to have a little hole in it for a thermometer to go in if you need to measure your water temperature.

    Glass Whistling Kettle I have one of these, you can tell water temperature from the bubbles if you learn to read them well. It’s pretty handy but if I could I would exchange it for the Mr. Coffee.

    CPK-17 Electronic Kettle probably the device that makes most of /r/tea’s mouths water (that might just be the tea). This is pretty much the best electronic kettle you can buy, cheaper than a K-Cup Coffee machine. It has temperatures for making all kinds of tea labeled nicely. I have one and I love it.


    Want to find the right kind of tea for you? Here’s a tea discovery wheel! Try it out here.
u/AnnieBananny · 17 pointsr/tea

Yay! I can actually help with this!

Adagio Teas has my FAVORITE loose leaf teas in the world. It depends what kind of tea she likes to drink, but you can get her a bunch of samples and go from there. You'll also get frequent cup points you can use later if you get some samples.

My favorites are:

(Black teas) Yunnan Gold, Golden Monkey, and Black Dragon Pearl: all chocolatey and rich, I drink them with soy milk and listed from not-very-earthy to smoky-earthy.

(Green teas) Gyokuro, Sencha Overture, and Jasmine Yin Hao: I prefer Japanese steamed greens which are more grassy and vegetal than Chinese pan roasted ones, but if she likes nutty green teas Dragonwell is also great.

(White teas) Silver Needle and White Peony: Awesome because they're low in caffeine (I was just informed they aren't necessarily lower in caffeine, so let's just say awesome for the sublime nectar-y taste), my white teas have been kind of lonely since it's winter here, but in the summer they're perfect. Apricot liqueur and honeysuckle come to mind.

But I'm not a big fan of blends (she may be), or Oolongs, or Pu Erhs, and definitely I don't drink anything not camellia sinensis (like honeybush), and a lot of my favorites are pretty expensive (but so worth it), so if you know she loves peppermint or chamomile by all means do that! If you only got one from Adagio, I would go with yunnan gold undoubtedly. You can get a sample for only $5 and it's heaven. Nobody dislikes this tea, not even people who say they don't like tea!

(And you can use code 6905673943 for $5 off!)


Next she's going to need a way to brew it. I abhor doing dishes, my mother has made me some wonderful tea cups (she does ceramic pottery) but you can definitely just use the coffee/tea cups you already have to start. If you wanted to make it a cute holiday basket, of course, a tea cup would make the whole thing look adorable. At the risk of sounding like I work for Adagio, a glass cup like this is so perfect because you can watch the color of the tea as it brews which is a great indicator of tea strength!

Since I hate dishes so much, I have ended up using just empty, fill-able tea bags (I get the 2-cup capacity ones here) which is really great for re-steeping because you can just save the tea bag and put it in the fresh water.

Temperature is super important if you're brewing anything other than super robust black teas or herbal teas. For example, I steep my favorite green tea at 170 degrees F, which is a lot cooler than the 212 of boiling water. I bought this thermometer more than a year ago, and I've never had any problems... plus, getting a temp-specific tea kettle is so expensive :/ To walk you through how I personally make my tea:

  1. I pick which tea! The hardest part!
  2. I boil some water in an electric kettle, but any kettle is fine
  3. I measure out about a teaspoon of the looseleaf into an empty teabag... the tea you buy will give you measurement instructions for how much!
  4. I pour the boiling water into the teacup and measure the temp. If it's supposed to be brewed at boiling, I don't bother measuring, otherwise, I'll wait until it hits the correct temp to brew
  5. I put the teabag in the correct temp water and time it. Again, the tea you buy will probably come with instructions for how long to brew.
  6. I save the teabag to use it again for my next cuppa!

    I'll often put agave sweetener in my tea, and soy milk if it's a black tea.

    I have also bought this for steeping and I adore it but it's another dish to do for a student without a dishwasher... It's a spring-loaded receptacle where you place your loose-leaf, and when it's done steeping in the hot water, you put it on top of the teacup. The gravity pushing on the spring releases the tea from the receptacle leaving the leaves and it's really really cool and efficient and you can make more tea at a time... but for a beginner, I would really recommend empty bags.


    Best of luck!

    tl;dr Adagio is not a cult

    edit: linked to Adagio
u/Sheng_Gut · 3 pointsr/tea

No worries at all, I'm more than happy to help as much as I can. I'm super passionate about tea and love seeing new people want to try it out, especially gongfu!

Because you've expressed interest in having a full gongfu set up, below I'm going to give you a couple examples of starter-packs consisting of a tea table, gaiwan, pitcher, strainer, and tea cups (and a tea pet if you're really feeling like going all out).

Nearly everything I'm going to list below is from Yunnan Sourcing's US-based website, because that way you won't have to wait for China shipping. Although, don't get used to US shipping. The deeper you get into this hobby, the more you're going to be ordering from vendors who ship directly from China, which generally takes anywhere from 10-15 business days. It's best to accept that fact up front and just get used to it--honestly, now I don't even notice. It shows up when it shows up.

Okay, without further ado, here's the full gongfu package that I'd recommend for one person just getting into gongfu.

Tea Table: ~$45.00USD (US Shipping)

Gaiwan + Teacup: $10.00USD (US Shipping)

Cha Hai (Glass Pitcher): $6.50USD (US Shipping)

Strainer: $3.20USD (US Shipping)

^That will have all the brewing utensils that you'd need to get started with gongfu (though some would argue you don't need the tea table, just use a cloth or a dish or something, but since you seem interested in the full package, that's what I'd go with...that's actually the table I use now!)

Now...when it comes to tea...

I'd first highly recommend picking up a scale (this one from Amazon is only $9.00USD and works really well:

As for strong sweet flavor that doesn't need sugar, I'd recommend starting with oolongs, which are typically very smooth, sweet, floral, and somewhat creamy.

Here are a couple of my personal favorites that are extremely budget-friendly, ship super fast, and are all from Eco-Cha.

Four Seasons Spring Oolong:

Dong Ding Oolong:

Alishan High Mountain Oolong:

If you're feeling adventurous, then I'd definitely pick up some puerh as well. The Basics Puer Tea Sample Set from White2Tea is
one of the best introductions you can ask for. It's $39.99USD for 400g of solid tea (4x100g cakes of Spring, Autumn, Huangpian [large leaf], and 10-year-old tea), and it always comes with a free puerh pick, and ships anywhere in the world for free, which is super nice.

If you purchase everything I listed, you'd spend ~$130.00USD, which would set you up with a tea-set you would grow into, and enough tea to last you roughly 2 months, and that's assuming you drink 10g of tea every day, which is highly unlikely.

If you're on a super tight budget, then I'd recommend ditching the tea table and just getting the gaiwan+teacup, the scale, and the teas. Everything else isn't nearly as important, though if you have the money, it's certainly nice to have the full setup.

u/Teaotic · 2 pointsr/tea

TeaForum is a good resource. And I highly recommend the book Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties by Kevin Gascoyne.

90% of tea is bad or mediocre and winds up in teabags. Maybe \<0.1% of the global harvest = the high-end stuff geared towards "enthusiasts." Online specialty vendors, usually based in the East, are your best bet. You won't find the very best teas in most tea houses, although there are certainly exceptions.

Here are a few of my favorites lately, I'd consider these among the best you can get of the varieties I lean to, which is Black, Darjeeling, and Green.

Yunnan Pure Gold, Teaspring (China, Black) - Peppery, leathery, malty, complex, sweet. Extremely high quality Dian Hong (black tea from Yunnan). Some Dianhong's have perfect beautiful gold leaf appearance but mediocre taste- this example has not hugely impressive leaf appearance but a sublime flavor profile.

Keemun Xian Zhen, Teaspring (China, Black) - Keemun is one of China's 'ten famous' tea's. This is one of the finest Keemuns available. Smooth, burgundy-wine-like, elegant flavor profile.

Halmari Gold Assam (India, Black) - Assam is India's largest tea-producing region, but makes mostly cheaper 'ctc' tea found in tea bags. This on the other hand is the cream of the crop, and to common ctc Assam as say a Chateau Lafite is to a Box of Gallo. Malty, smooth, complex, not harsh. This is the estate's direct retail site.

Cha Wang Huang Shan Mao Feng, Teaspring (China, Green) - Many would recommend Dragon Well (Long Jing) as the archetypal China Green for a newb to try, and that's all well and good if you can find it, but the best Dragon Well is extremely pricey and hard to procure. Due to the famous name, one is usually paying just for the name because the best is not commonly available retail. This on the other hand is one of my favorite China Greens I've had in the past few years. Succulent, notes of asparagus or artichoke.

Castleton Second Flush 2017, Vahdam (Darjeeling, Black) - Darjeeling has had some issues lately, but this is an archetypal 'muscatel' Second Flush Darjeeling. Fruity and complex.

Gopaldhara Wonder First Flush 2018, Vahdam (Darjeeling, First Flush 'black) - First Flush Spring Darjeelings are referred to as black, but they are not really fully oxidized, and perhaps closer to White or Oolong. Astringent, notes of melon. This was one of my favorites in 2017 and a daily drinker for me. Haven't tried the 2018 yet but I trust it is a good example, as this estate tends to be consistent.

Jin Guan Yin Golden Tie Guan Yin, Seven Cups (China Anxi Oolong) - I'm not an expert on Oolong, but I've had a fair amount over the years. Tie Guan Yin is a leaf varietal, and a very common item on a typical North American teahouse menu. This is an excellent example. Minerally and vegetal. Seven Cups is run by Austin Hodges, one of the original 'specialty tea' renaissance evangelists in the US and a respected figure in the industry.

And like coffee, preparation is key. It's really impossible to achieve consistent results without a scale and timer, and perhaps thermometer for green/white especially, which aren't to be steeped at boiling and can be fussy.

u/rustylikeafox · 1 pointr/tea

>There's a couple of things you can do to get the right temp water. First, you can get a candy thermometer (or a meat thermometer, but they tend to allow moisture in) or digital cooking thermometer, boil the water and then let it sit until it reaches the proper temp. Boiling and then letting it cool is the suggested method no matter what, and I believe even most programmable kettles do this.

Derp. Didn't think of this. I have a digital thermometer. Thank!

>As far as your steeper, that is a pretty standard piece of equipment but I would suggest getting a basket infuser. They're only about 5-10 depending on where you go and will let the leaves have a bit more room and thus produce a better flavor.

I'm getting this guy from amazon: Finum Brewing Basket, Medium

>The absolute first and most important thing you need to learn about tea is that you need to drink what you like, and avoid what you don't. Green tea isn't for everyone, and as long as you have had a cup you knew was brewed right (go to a tea shop if you can, use distilled water, etc...) if you don't like it, don't drink it! If you love lots of sugar and milk in your tea, go for it (just watch the calories if that is a concern for you). Tea is a very personal beverage and should be consumed the way you like it, not the way you are told to like it.

>That being said, I always suggest trying new teas without any sweetener. Some of the teas do not mix well with sweetener, others have their more subtle and pleasing flavors become more pronounced. Some teas are simply something that, due to the complexity of its flavor, are best enjoyed plain and if you want it sweet you should go for a different tea - not because you can't sweeten what you want, but because you can achieve an optimal cup without paying so as much for the higher end teas (for instance, if you're going to load up on honey, a good sencha will not vary significantly in flavor from gyokuro). But if you like a certain thing - by all means to it! Some people LOVE bitter teas, and I recommend they get a good black tea boil the water and leave it steep for 15-20 minutes. It isn't for everyone, but that's what makes tea so special - it is your cup, drink it how you want!

I plan to try everything straight and by the brewing guidelines they come with adjust from there. Thank you so much for the detailed post!

u/skyswordsman · 5 pointsr/tea

Id say get a sample of a couple of different teas to try out. There are many websites to buy teas from, brownestrabbit having listed some of them. There is also Teavana and Republic of Tea as well.

For equipment, I would get a simple teamaker such as this one from Adagio. Other places carry this style of teamaker, but I dont know their pricing. It is a simple cup with a filter at the bottom, and acts like a gravity press when you place it on top of any cup or mug. Theres a video review of it in the comments of that page.

After that, id say get a e-kettle. A cheap 20$ one from walmart or target will suffice. Nothing too fancy, just something to boil water very quickly.

Since you are just starting out, dont buy into all the clay/yixing/cast iron/bone china/etc teapots. You can think about those later in life. Your focus should be on the taste of tea, not on what it comes in.

There are a couple of different types of teas, and ill make a quick and dirty list for ya here. And always try and go whole leaf/loose leaf if you have the option.

Actual Tea

These contain the actual tea leaves, Camelia Sinesis and Camelia Assamica

  • White Tea: The lightest of the 4. Also the least amount of caffeine. Will often be very light and gentle in flavor, so if you like very gentle teas, white teas are often the go to guy.
  • Green Tea: The superman of teas. Green teas have many health properties which have been scientifically backed and peer reviewed. It is one of the few that actually has studies done on it. Has a bit more caffeine than white, anywhere from 10-15% the content of a similar cup of coffee. The flavor range is so vast that ill let you discover what you like. There are lots of different types of green teas, so go check em out.
  • Oolong Tea: China's favourite. Oolong is a hybrid of sorts between a green and black tea. So therefore some oolong will be very green in presence, others will be very black. Oolong is the kind of tea youll like if you enjoy a more traditional "tea" taste, rather than the fruit/herbal blends you see at the supermarket. Goes great with food, and has a very mild taste.
  • Black Tea: Europe's baby. Try a solid english breakfast from a good company, like Twinnings or PGtips. Then try an earl grey. Now expand from there. Dont add any sugar or milk to begin with, so you can fully experience the flavor without masking it with additives.

    Other Teas

  • Rooibos Teas: Rooibos comes from a South African bush, so it will be very prickly in appearance when loose. Has ZERO caffeine, and contains alot of flavor so its popular to drink at night. You will find it mostly blended with other flavors, so find one you like and test it out.

  • Yerba maté Teas: The Redbull of the tea world. Has a buttload of caffeine, and is very dark so its similar to black teas. Some energy drink companies have started to put this stuff in their energy drinks to add that extra jolt.

  • Herbal Blends: These dont contain any actual tea leaves, and are often just various flora and dried fruits. They are good to mix into one of the base teas with to add a unique flavor.

    A couple of tips:

  • Dont buy into all that health PR marketing spiel. Things like "super-fruit enriched, may help lose weight, etc etc" are lots of bullshit and hype topped on a very small grain of truth. Youre drinking tea for the flavor and any benefits are a nice bonus, not the other way around. If you want something to help with cancer, go get chemo. Ive seen too many people suckered into buying teas because they think it will "do something" for them, such as make them lose weight, cut fat, get significantly healthier, etc etc. Also, if you go to an actual store like Teavana, dont trust what the salespeople tell you, because they are sales people first, and tea assistants second.

  • If you have the chance to go smell lots of different teas, do so. Trust your nose, it will know what you will like more than a salesperson will. A caveat to this is sweetness. The western diet has become so laden with sugar substitutes(lookin at you high fructose corn syrup ಠ_ಠ)
    that it often cannot appreciate something that doesnt come up and punch your tongue in the face. So if you smell a very sweet tea, try to stray away from it.

  • I know its a lot of info, and it can be very easy to get sucked into a tea-elitist type of mentality, similar to wine. Ultimately, tea is about one thing, and that is the taste and your personal enjoyment of it. If you love your tea over steeped and burnt to a crisp, and you know that its not supposed to be that way, then fuck anyone who says youre doing it wrong. That is the catch though, you have to know the "correct" way before going off and doing your own thing, so that youre not missing out on anything.

    TL:DR- Get a cheap teamaker, get some loose leaf green tea, no sugar.

    PS: I like to call drinking earl grey while in my chair "pulling a Jean Luc", in reference to Capt. Picard from Star Trek.

    If you want to know more, feel free to shoot me a message, will be glad to help.
u/LSatyreD · 4 pointsr/tea

> I'm sure you're tired of noobs asking for help here, so thanks again :)

Not at all. I'm happy to see noobs asking, it means the community is growing.

>I'm sure at some point some of you were preparing tea just like me,

Yup, you bet your bottom dollar I was.

>what did you change since then?

  1. Get an electric kettle! This is absolute best possible thing you can do to improve your tea; it doesn't matter how good your tea is if you don't brew it right. I have this one and I love it, make sure whichever one you get is actually accurate:

  2. An infuser works but I would suggest switching to a teapot, preferably gaiwan. You don't need anything fancy. You can get gaiwans smaller than teacups or as big as a stockpot. Gaiwan brewing makes a huge difference in flavor, each cup tastes different.

  3. Quality tea. Some places to start:

    Order in small amounts, it will help keep both the tea and your palate 'fresh'. Plus vendor offerings change with the seasons.

  4. Slow down and enjoy your tea, the process, the aesthetics, the aroma, the texture, etc. Go sit outside, drink your tea, and just listen to the sounds of the world, observe.

    >How do you weigh your tea? One way would be to prepare 1l cans instead of a cup, then I could use a regular kitchen scale and would not have to fiddle with the digital spoon.

    Personally? I don't, I eyeball it. In my itsy bitsy gaiwan I add enough dry tea leaves to cover the bottom.

    For your purposes though I would recommend getting some storage tins and some very small plastic baggies. You can sit down and weigh out a bunch of individual servings and bag them and store them in your tin; when you're craving tea all you have to do is grab one of the baggies, drop it in and you're good to go.

    >I could use a bigger tea infuser where the tea could unfold completely.

    You absolutely positively have to be doing this no matter what. Give the leaves space to breathe, no matter the brewing method.

    > I really want to step it up this year, and get something citrus-y and refreshing for the summer (any recommendations?) that's delicious cold.

    Send a private message to Liquid Proust Teas on Etsy (I linked to him in my other comment), super friendly guy, great prices, even better tea and he can do custom blends for you. He has some really interesting blends, like the Fake Mead which has powdered honey in it. (Paging /u/LiquidProustTeas).
u/saltyteabag · 2 pointsr/tea

The IngenuiTEA is pretty great for a starter infuser. That's what I got when I first began exploring loose tea. Mine has mostly been replaced by actual teapots these days, but I do still use it on occasion to brew a cup to go. Tons of room for your tea to expand, the strainer is nice and fine so you don't get sediment, and it's easy to clean up. I got the 32oz. one because the price difference was negligible, but it depends on if you see yourself sharing with anyone or not. This Hario teapot is what replaced mine, and I absolutely love it, so there's another option for you to think about.

As for kettle, you may just wanna go with something cheap to start out and just use a kitchen thermometer to get it to the right temp (that's what I did for a long time). Temperature control is good, but that one isn't very big. If you decide to get some nice teapots down the road, you may end up having to replace it with something bigger anyway.

Not sure what to tell you about for a cup, it just depends on your needs... how long does it need to stay hot, does it have to completely seal, etc. The ones that come with infusers shouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker. Most infusers are removable and may come in handy some day. This one is on my wish list (I have a different one by the same company that is great but can't vouch for this actual one).

For tea, Adagio is a great place to start, that's what I did. They have lots of little 4-pack samplers that are awesome. Verdant still has their $5 for 5 samples deal which is pretty hard to beat, although some of their stuff may not necessarily be geared towards beginners.

u/TuiLa · 2 pointsr/tea

You should consider getting an electric kettle. This is the one I use at home and the only one I can really recommend from experience. The temperature controls can be a bit fiddly at times, but once you get used to them its super easy to get the temperature you want. This is another popular programmable kettle which I've heard a lot of good things about. You can also surf around on Amazon and read some reviews, there's a large variety of electric kettles around. Another option is to keep boiling your water on the stove then letting it sit and cool and using a meat thermometer to gauge the temperature.

As for brewing, get a gaiwan! One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and there half a million more options out there. This is an awesome simple guide to using a gaiwan. Look up some tutorials on youtube or google for some more detailed info, or search around /r/tea a bit.

Next on the checklist, SAMPLES! Don't order 100 grams of a tea that you've never tried. Here's some basic sampler packs: One, Two, Three, Four. Plenty of other great sites offer samples too, check out /r/tea's List of Retailers on the sidebar.

Hope this helps, and sorry if this was too rambling and in-cohesive, I've had a lot of caffeine.

Also, I want to leave you with this guide. It's an incredibly well done piece. Good luck!

u/MsPrynne · 2 pointsr/tea

Disclaimer: I have received so many canisters of fruit-flavored teas that I'll never ever drink - and I am an adventurous eater, I'll try just about anything once - that it has reeeally turned me against the idea of gifted tea unless you're totally certain the recipient will like it. If you must give someone tea, I'm also very strongly anti-sampler. One very nice tea is usually a better gift than four alright teas.

This is the situation that gift certificates were made for. Someone else suggested Adagio. If it seems too impersonal, combine it with a nice mug or a nice strainer for loose-leaf teas, like this one.

If she's not an adventurous person, that's okay and you're not going to turn her into one by buying her teas she might not want to try as a gift. If you really want to pick something instead of getting a gift certificate, remember that it's supposed to be a gift and not a chore, so get her stuff that you know she'll like. If you really really really want to get her a tea instead of a gift certificate, instead of getting her a sampler of new and different stuff, get her one or two things that she already enjoys, but a higher quality product than she'd ordinarily buy for herself. The one tea gift I've received that I actually drank all of was from somebody who knew that I loved jasmine green tea, so he got me...jasmine green tea. It was awesome.

If you know that she likes black tea and fruit-flavored teas, I bet she would appreciate a really nice earl grey, for instance, or maybe an oolong tea.

u/dokushin · 3 pointsr/tea

I'm fairly serious about my tea (although still a lightweight around these parts) and drink pretty much exclusively iced black tea.

Short answer: Harney & Sons Malachi McCormick ("Decent Tea") if you're looking for just a better version of what you're drinking; a good Irish Breakfast tea if you're wanting to really start exploring. (H&S also does about the best Irish Breakfast I've managed to find.)

Long answer: Icing tea does a couple of things. It kills aromatics and kind of damps down the entire flavor profile. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just means that you want to emphasize different flavors to make sure you have a nice cup of tea. This means what you don't want is a low-body aromatic tea; what you do want is something with a lot of body and a strong characteristic taste -- black breakfast teas and similar blends will do you no wrong, here. Irish Breakfast tea is a (very) full-bodied tea with strong assam notes that takes very well to being iced; if that's a new one to you it's going to come out as a bit of an experience, so go slow and give it a chance to grow on you. Most put milk and possibly a little sugar in it; I drink it black, but it's definitely an acquired taste. The "Decent Tea" blend at H&S

(Note that all tea if cooled too quickly -- like icing immediately after brewing -- will have solids precipitate out, turning the tea opaque. This doesn't affect flavor at all; some consider it unsightly, but I actually have kind of come to enjoy the grey-brown of a good Irish Breakfast or the more orange tint of a Scottish Breakfast. Don't let the appearance put you off. Cheaper teas frequently don't turn opaque as there are insufficient solids; sometimes they will merely turn 'cloudy'.)

Normal rule of thumb is one teaspoon of leaf per 'cup' -- for iced you want it a little stronger, so i'll fill an 18oz glass with ice and do two solid teaspoons (maybe just a bit more), ending up with something like 16oz of chilled tea, which should be about right.

Note that details of brewing will make a big difference too -- it's not nearly so sensitive as coffee, but details still matter. For black tea, you want to get water to a boil and on the leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Use filtered water for brewing and (ideally) for the ice -- this makes a big difference, as the dissolved minerals in tap water not only affect the taste but reduce the solubility of the tea. Put the leaves in something decent -- try to avoid using a tiny cheap tea ball or something. I use this basket for brewing in a 12oz wide-mouth mason jar, which I then pour directly over ice in a solo cup (or thermos or w/e for travel).

If any of that is daunting, though, jump in with what you have and you'll easily be able to improve on what you've been drinking thus far. Twinings has a decent irish breakfast blend in tea bags at most supermarkets that makes an okay cup if you're curious about the blend.

Let me know if you have any questions; I'm a huge iced tea fan and could likely talk about it indefinitely.

u/mating_toe_nail · 5 pointsr/tea

Since you think your taste buds are out of whack, I'd say try a bunch of sampler sets. Some tea is scary expensive but it doesn't have to be! Online vendors will provide the best value for your $$$ but if you have a good teashop near you with friendly staff you may be able to show you some cool stuff. The samples given at teavana tend to be tea with a bunch of other shit added to it you won't get a good idea of what actual tastes like unless you get lucky and find a person who's really into it.

Many vendors have tasting sets. I have a soft-spot for upton because they've been around for so long. Their low/mid tier teas are good. Their "premium" teas aren't so premium IMHO. However I quite liked this sampler. It is a bit expensive. Honestly I think other people will provide better recommendations.

Also for brewing tea, a good thing to start with a simple brew basket like this. Put leaves in, dunk in water.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/tea

Do you have a problem consuming caffeine at night? Personally, my favorite and most relaxing form of tea is using a gaiwan with some oolongs, jade pearls, and some raw pu-ers. It's decently easy to get that kind of set up, especially if you allocate beer money to tea stuff.

For beginning...! has this tea maker giftset that comes with a choice of a five flavor sample pack. If you're doing night time tea, I'd get the herbal set and perhaps get some caffeine free tea samples. For day/morning... definitely black or green.

And after you get that, Verdant Tea has a Five Teas for Five Dollars sample you can get. I honestly like Verdant Tea a lot, but they're generally more pricey (you get what you pay for!). So this is a really good deal.

If you really want to get into it, then you can get something like a variable temperature kettle for things like white teas, green teas, etc. Not all teas are made to have boiling hot water poured on them! You can do that, or use a thermometer in your kettle to get your water to the right temperature.

And then you'll need your handy mug or fancy tea cup. Just whatever you like to use. I personally have a clear mug I like to use generally and a fancy tea cup in the mornings. It's very personable and you can customize your set to however you feel like. That's what's great about tea!

u/jesusapproves · 7 pointsr/tea

What are you looking for and what does he like? You can get a standard infuser like this one that I use.

Or you could get him a "reverse french press". The reverse french press is one of the best and easiest ways to brew. It lets the leaves float in the water, but allows easy extraction of the water into a mug (it is much harder with a regular french press because pressing down the leaves can cause them to expel a lot of bitter flavor into the water).

Generally speaking, avoid anything that will smash the leaves, or will not let them float easily. If he generally uses a big teapot, make sure to get something for that. If he typically uses just a mug, the two things I listed will work great. I even use my regular infuser in my large tea pitcher/pot.

But, if you give me a price range and a general idea of what you would like him to have, what he already has or what kind of things he likes, I can definitely help you out. I love tea myself, and would hope that my wife would ask someone knowledgeable when she goes to buy something for me.

OH! And if you're looking to get the best bang for your buck, avoid teavanna. They're not bad they're just overpriced.

u/Trumanandthemachine · 8 pointsr/tea

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Hamilton Beach 1.7 L. I've had it for a just about a year and a half, it has a standard 1 year warranty if any malfunction happens (no questions asked), its a bigger kettle (1.7 L is on the larger but not crazy huge end of electric kettles). I did quite a but of research and because I like mine programmable and also not crazy expensive (I didn't exactly think controlled temperature water was worth 200$ on some I saw while researching mine). I bought mine for either 40$ or 45$ with Amazon Prime (so free two day shipping, and it stays at this price, not from a third party), and it does have a really nice, although h not necessary for myself, guide on the side of the kettle telling you in small subtle print what temperature for what tea (or coffee) drink is needed. It only does preprogrammed temperatures (the temperatures for white, black, green, Oolong and coffee) and it does tell you the exact temperature at every moment, as it's boiling or sitting at room temperature. So there is a bit of control manually if absolutely necessary. But I find complete temperature control is unnecessary when it comes to tea brewing. The preprogrammed temperatures do tea well.

Edit: here's a link to Amazon where it's sold by Hamilton Beach at a 10$ discount for 3
$39. (Just a note, I never got a feeling that it was cheap even though it's definitely in the lower end. Hamilton Beach makes great small kitchen appliances and this steel kettle has been amazing. Plus their customer service has always been really easy going).

u/dptt · 7 pointsr/tea

I think its largely going to depend on what you want out of the kettle.

Any kettle with temp control would be ideal. You want to look at your price vs. use and see if one with a digital exact temp will be preferable to one with predetermined settings.

Gooseneck kettles are lovely and provide a very steady and controlled pour so finding one that allows this is beneficial but often costs a lot more.

I am currently using this one:

It has a hold feature so my water stays at temp for 2 hours which is great as I tend to start water, get distracted, and then remember I wanted to make tea! Plus it's good for longer sessions with tea that needs steeped many times and I can have water at the perfect temperature instead of steadily cooling.

However this is the kettle I actually wanted:

I think there might be a better version of this now or an alternative that is better since I have been happy with my less fancy version and cant afford the nicer one I haven't looked into it!

Good luck!

u/jtskywalker · 2 pointsr/tea

First of all, if you're concerned about getting all of the flavor out of tea, you need to be brewing loose leaf, not bagged. Bagged teas are fine sometimes, but they have a fraction of the flavor of a good loose leaf tea. All you need to brew loose tea is hot water and a strainer to get the leaves out of the water. I use a brewing basket from Finum. you can buy it on Amazon, and Upton Tea sells it for a few dollars cheaper, but they charge shipping, so if you're not getting tea too, it's about the same. A lot of other tea shops also sell infusers, so you can probably add one to your order and get it all at once!

If you're shopping from Adagio, as /u/saltyteabag recommended, I suggest their Spiced Apple Chai, if you like apple cider type flavors. Brew that up and add some milk and a touch of honey and that's one of the most delicious drinks there is.

For regular tea (no flavors), I usually prefer Oolongs. Adagio has a good selection of those as well.

For a cold, what I like is some gunpowder green tea with peppermint and honey.

I just throw a spoon of tea and a spoon of peppermint leaves in a cup, drizzle with honey, and add hot water. Most of the leaves will sink to the bottom, and those that don't aren't bad to drink. That's one of my favorite ways to drink tea and relax. It's called "grandpa style" and it's mentioned in the FAQ in the sidebar (which I definitely recommend reading). It's easy and there's not a lot to mess up.

I get my peppermint leaves from Mountain Rose Herbs, as it's cheaper than buying it from some tea places, but Adagio has peppermint tea, and that would work fine.

The gunpowder green tea I used to get from Twinnings, but my local grocery store stopped carrying it. I got my last batch from Upton Tea, but Adagio also has gunpowder green tea.

u/poopoopuerh · 2 pointsr/tea

In my experience, flavored tea almost always smells better than it tastes unless you load it with sugar. On the other hand, high quality straight tea almost always tastes better than it smells. I've never heard this from anyone else, so it might just be me.

My first foray into the world of tea involved a microwave and a Bigelow variety pack. I can still remember how disgusting the green tea was. A microwave can get the job done, but I'd strongly recommend getting an electric kettle and a cheap thermometer (unless you get a variable temperature kettle). After a while, you'll get a feel for it and won't need the thermometer, but it's really helpful in the beginning to eliminate any doubt.

There are so many different ways to brew tea, and a lot of it comes down to personal preference. There's really no "best" method. The most important things are that the leaves have lots of room to expand, that the water isn't too hot, and that you don't leave the tea in for too long. Based on your post, I'd recommend this for now.

It sounds like your water temperature and steep time are alright, so the problem is likely the water or the tea. I'd experiment with bottled spring water. If it still tastes bad, the problem is the tea itself. I'd recommend getting a bunch of samples from a place like Adagio or Upton. Make sure to get black and oolong in addition to green, because no matter how well you brew plain green tea, it's still going to taste like grass (but without the feet), and maybe that's just not your thing. If you'd like some advice on which samples to get, just send me a message and I'd be happy to help.

u/KefkaticFanatic · 1 pointr/tea

I bought the standard Hamilton Beach kettle with no gauge or anything about a year and a half ago,and that has been working without issue since then. I later bought the same brand but with temperature control and it has worked well for the about 6 months I've had it, but I find that it will generally overheat the water by about 5-10 degrees F (when set to below boiling obviously).

Right now I'm eyeing the Bonavita gooseneck kettle with temperature control as an upgrade, but if you want something cheap I would definitely say the basic Hamilton Beach is a good choice. Costco generally has it for I think cheaper than Amazon, so if you have access there I would take a look.

On a sidenote, I've been told it's better to start using a plain straight to boil kettle so you can get a better intuition for how you actually brew your tea, but I honestly just forget about my water too easily when I'm doing other things and making tea so the temperature control is good for me! Remember, you can always get a thermometer inexpensively, which is good to have around the kitchen anyway :D

u/atleast3olives · 2 pointsr/tea

*I'm not an expert but this is my personal experience!*

If you have teas that like to open up at all, getting stuffed into a tiny bag can prevent them from opening and steeping out all it's goodness! When I was first getting into tea I always made jasmine pearls loose in a teapot and it tasted amazing. Then I tried ordering one of those tiny novelty steepers to use at work and my tea tasted like nothing.. because the jasmine pearls had no space to open up!! and something like oolong? there's just no way it will be able to open up to its full potential in a tiny bag or steeper. It sounds to me like when the tea actually had room to open up and steep more in the bigger bag, it was getting over steeped at 5 minutes. When the tea was cramped in the smaller bag and wasn't steeping to it's full potential, you had to steep it longer to achieve a similar taste. It might be interesting to experiment steeping in a large basket or steeping free in the cup grandpa style to see if you get a similar effect!!

One caveat; I haven't had this problem with teas/tisanes like rooibos or certain black teas that already come in small fragments. If the tea itself doesn't expand a lot, the small steeper should be okay!

u/Veraxis · 1 pointr/tea

As a general rule of thumb, the recommended preparation for most black teas is 1-1.5tsp or 2-3 grams of loose tea per 200mL or 6-8 fl oz of water (most standard-size mugs are around 8-10 oz depending on how much you fill them), and steeped for 3-5 minutes depending on your desired strength with water temperature anywhere from 190-212F/90-100C.

For me personally, I generally do about 1.5tsp or 2.5g of loose tea in a strainer like this, either directly in the mug or in a teapot. I steep with water around 200F/93C for around 4 minutes, or maybe only 3 minutes for a broken-leaf or CTC grade, then I pull the strainer out of the water. I find that full-boiling water makes the tea a little more bitter than I like, but feel free to play around with your brewing parameters and see what you like best.

Halmari Estate Assam is my favorite. I hope you enjoy!

u/jixie007 · 2 pointsr/tea

For a teaware splurge, I'd suggest a Zojirushi instant hot water heater. I've yet to see anyone unhappy with that purchase.

A good water filter, if you need one.

As for teapots, cups, etc: there's the practical answer and the fanciful answer.

The practical answer is: if you're new, you don't know what teas you'll enjoy, much less how you'd like to prepare them. A good, solid bet would be a basic mug infuser like this or [this] (, or a gaiwan, or a simple medium-size ceramic teapot. From there, you can figure out if you prefer a certain variety, then get the best type of gear to maximize the brew for that variety.

The fanciful answer is: really, you can brew any tea in any set up. So, if you really love the look of a Japanese kyusu, you can still use it to brew a strong western breakfast blend. Go for it.

I did see a good suggestion here, that a lot of people who like yixing teapots really just like the aesthetic of them (guilty as charged!), in which case you can find ceramic pots that can work for any style of brewing for any type of tea. You can find these at vendors like:, Dazzle Deer, Taiwan Tea Crafts.

u/xcravicle · 1 pointr/tea

Welcome to loose-leaf tea, I hope you find it as amazing as I do!

It looks like that’s a blend of Indian black teas. If so, I can’t recommend these mesh strainers enough! I brew all of my Indian teas in them. They’re super easy to use and they fit directly into most mugs. Great for brewing one cup at a time. They also allow more room for the leaves to expand than most mesh strainers, which I’ve found to make a big difference. Plus they come in all different colors so you can collect them all :)

u/jclim00 · 2 pointsr/tea

Do you live in a major metropolitan area? A tea shop where you can ask for advice is a great place to visit, and usually you'll be able to sample a wide variety of teas on the spot. Check out the FAQ on the sidebar for some light reading or a site like Teaclass for a little heavier reading.

A supermarket isn't a bad place to start out, though there's usually more choices in something like a whole foods or trader joe's. An asian grocery store usually will have better quality chinese/japanese tea, both in loose leaf and in teabags, and specialized tea shops are the best places to go.

If you're set on online shopping, a site like Upton Tea or Adagio where you can order a wide variety of samples so you can find out what your tastes gravitate to is the best route to go.

In terms of tea preparation, start out simple. If you have a mug, great! All you need is a way to steep your tea. If you choose teabags, that's it. If you want to go for loose leaf, you need an infuser basket or a tea ball. You want a way to boil water, either a stove top kettle or an electric kettle, and a way to measure the water temp like a meat thermometer. Different teas have different steep times and water temperatures to use so your brew doesn't come out bitter from oversteeping or burning it with water too hot. That's it to start off with!

u/LiquidProustTeas · 1 pointr/tea

I'll drop some stuff anyways: because it keeps my water hot for a solid 12 hours and it holds enough that I can travel multiple places and still have liquid to make a cup in

You're on a budget, so why not just look at what works: I figure you want to save money and heating water is a simple thing, there's all kinds of things out there... but I was in college just last year so I know how convenient it is to have everything come in a box from Amazon: I've never used one of these before, but 25 perfect reviews should say something... maybe? It's only $40 right now which is pretty low:

Over time you'll realize how many different things can be introduced into the art of making one awesome cup after another, but for now it is best to focus on what you like and dislike and then go from there :)

u/UrbanDryad · 2 pointsr/tea

Here is what I use, and I love it. This strainer actually lets the loose leaf tea expand, unlike little tea balls. It's also easy to clean. I get a pot because I like to brew 2-3 cups at once. I pour one in an insulated mug so it's drinkable by the time I finish the first. This set also comes as a brew-in-cup system for singles.

1:Water temp. Either get an electric kettle like this that you can set to heat to a certain temperature, or bring to a boil and let cool to the right temperature. For greens that is always BELOW boiling. 170-190 degrees F, and it can vary by the type of tea.
2: Preheat your brewing vessel, be it cup or pot, by swirling some of the water inside and dumping that out. Starting with a preheated pot keeps the water temp. stable during brewing. You want a lid for the same reason.
3: Add loose tea leaves to the infuser.
4: Pour in your water.
5: Let steep. For green tea that is going to usually be 2-3 minutes, but it can vary by strain. Overbrewing green tea makes it bitter.
6: Remove the infuser. A good quality loose leaf tea can be brewed 2, and sometimes three, times! Let it cool between brewings, and you want to use it the same day.

7: Pour and enjoy! I like to brew in one cup/pot and drink from another. Pouring into a cold cup drops the temp of a green tea to almost drinkable right away.

I tend to order online and in bulk. I like to buy 8-16 oz of loose leaf at a time. I've enjoyed Republic of Tea, though they can be expensive and some of the flavors are a big miss. Their Vanilla Almond is to DIE for! Right now Rishi Tea is my favorite. They do greens very, very well. I recommend the Green Flight sampler pack to get started. The name is a play on taking a vacation across regions of the world by sampling greens from each.

I just ordered some Numi jasmine green tea, but I haven't gotten it yet. I'll update you when I do.

u/B_Fee · 1 pointr/tea

Having recently transitioned from bagged to loose tea, I enjoy it. Their Irish Breakfast is great, and their English Breakfast is also very good. The Earl Grey is pretty good, albeit a bit finicky. I've found the spiciness of the bergamot (both aroma and taste) is at its best if steeped for 3.5 minutes using about 1 and 1/3 tsp per 8 oz., which is not how Twinings suggests making it. Their Lady Grey is fantastic.

Also, you may want to invest in a very fine mesh infuser, if you haven't already. British distributors tend to have very small leaves, apparently to maximize the caffeine content of the steeped tea, which does result in some tea dust. I've gotten great use out of this one, which comes in a couple sizes and colors:

u/Redcat1991 · 6 pointsr/tea

If you are looking at teas from unusual origins, say the country of Georgia, try

if you are looking mainly at Chinese teas, Yunnan sourcing and teavivre are good places to start.

you can get some wonderful Taiwanese teas at Beautiful Taiwan Tea, and they have a very reasonable threshold for free shipping. You can also go to Yunnan sourcing's Taiwanese sister site

If you want to go down the rabbit hole that is Puerh, try out white2tea (they also have some gorgeously yummy black teas and oolongs) as well as the aforementioned Yunnan sourcing.

yunomi is a decent place to go to for Japanese teas, but since it is a marketplace type website, you would have to do some hunting (and Japanese teas are not my speciality, so I will leave much of that to other users.)

for flavored teas- there's really a plethora of places to get those, but the one that I have found with the best tasting flavored teas of the bunch is New Mexico tea company. This is just personal opinion, some people like Adagio better (and I do love Adagio's chestnut tea as well as a few others, so don't take that as a strike against Adagio).

I would stay away from most mall-type stores like Teavana because a lot of their teas are more cheap filler ingredients and less tea, just to cover up the low quality of their teas.

On the subject of tools, seeing as you are a coffee guy, might I suggest a hario teapot? A gaiwan would be the next step in going towards the gong fu style of tea. A very basic 100ml gaiwan would cost you less than 5 bucks + shipping. (shipping is expensive from here, so I would suggest getting more than one item).

For very basic tea drinking there are always in mug basket infusers.

Or you could always go grandpa style, where you just toss your leaves in a mug and refil the water whenever it gets low.

u/amarokstar · 3 pointsr/tea

There is a whole world of gadgets you can get to make tea in! Our FAQ is really helpful here If you are just stepping into loose tea an infuser mug like this is a good place to start. They're not super expensive and they make tea just for you and if you decide you are done with tea forever you have a nice mug. This is a good one too.

Teapots come in a ton of shapes and sizes, I'd pick something that 1. Is not too big (cups of tea should be small not big imo) 2. Won't break easily 3. Is easy to clean.

Give this a read while you're at it.

EDIT: Points 2 and 3 mean stay away from glass pots if you're clumsy like me and is made of a material that won't degrade and absorb like plastic. Good old ceramics are your best bet unless you know what you are looking for in a clay pot.

u/keakealani · 1 pointr/tea

I will have to do so! Thank you so much for your help - I am not super experienced with Chinese teas but hopefully I'll be able to taste whether it's the quality it claims. (But, I'm not picky so I'll probably enjoy it regardless). I'll have to open up the tins and see.

Do you have a recommendation on brewing style? I normally brew Western-style with a stainless steel tea infuser - do you think this method would be good for this type of tea? I don't have access to a gaiwan set or anything like that, although if it's really superior I could be convinced to buy something....

u/DaGoodBoy · 3 pointsr/tea

My ritual includes the following items which make tea at work for me:

  • The electric kettle
  • The personal tea mug
  • The meeting tea pot

    This is the best $60 I ever spent. These are my favorite teas I can recommend:

  • Ahmad Barooti Assam - for the mornings
  • Rooibos - A root tea popular in Africa, also called "bush tea" for the afternoons

    Boil water, steep and drink! I usually load up on the tea and steep for about 5 minutes because I like my tea strong. The Nissan Thermos is the best insulated mug I've ever owned. It has kept my tea hot for about 4 hours with the lid on. Absolutely amazing.
u/BunburyingVeck · 1 pointr/tea

Before you go out and buy a lot of tea, only to find out it's not to your liking, explore your options a bit by trying out sampler packs.
A bunch of good samplers where linked to over here, but that's mostly for straight unblended teas.

I hardly drink flavoured teas myself, so I can't really give you any good recommendations on that, but perhaps someone else will chime in.
Adagio carries a lot of samplers, many of them containing fruity tea blends, so you might want to check that out.

If you don't have anything to steep your loose leaf in, I recommend picking up an infuser basket that allows you to brew directly in your cup/mug. If you end up liking hot tea, you can always invest in teapots and whatnot later. (And so begin the hopeless teaware addiction many of us suffer from!)

This, and this should do well. Avoid smaller infusers such as this, as your leaf needs the room to expand and interact with the water while steeping. A cramped infuser will not allow your leaf to do so, and may lead to an inferior brew.

> I think I will start with some fruity tea, is it acceptable to put honey/sugar into that?

It's your tea, you're free to drink it however you like it best. I do recommend steering away from your usual preferences every now and then to experiment a bit. There's a lot of different flavours to be found in straight tea, and it'd be a shame not to give it a shot. If you like it better with sweetener though, by all means drink it with sweetener.

> I had some tea bags but wasnt a huge fan, not very strong of a taste, would loose leaf tea be better?

You betcha!

u/istoleyourdingo · 2 pointsr/tea

I'm not in the UK, but these are kettles that I've used and have been awesome without having any problems. Both of these kettles are great for any types of tea you might want to brew. I really like the precision pour that you get with the gooseneck kettle, and also it is a favorite kettle if you like to brew coffee too.

BonaVita Variable Temperature Gooseneck


Breville Variable Temperature Kettle

u/lifeislame · 22 pointsr/tea


The Libre Tea Mug has the exact same design as the mug you describe, but has glass on the inside, and plastic on the outside. Here's a video. There's a 10 oz version and a 14 oz version, and a 9.5 oz handled version.

However, I bought one of these and decided it's not the best thing in the universe. There were plenty of good things about it, but it had some flaws:

  1. It won't keep drinks hot for very long, because plastic & glass apparently don't keep things as warm as stainless steel (not sure if this is totally accurate), but you also have to remove the lid every time you drink, and it's all the way open, as opposed to a sippy lid or other designs that have small holes or whatever, and lots of heat escapes. It also means that you get a face full of steam every time you try to drink.

  2. When brewing black tea, you stick the leaves in between the two top lids (see video) and brew upside down. However, when you turn it upside down, the surface tension of the water actually retains the ENTIRE volume of water that was in the lid. Seriously. I don't know what the deal is. This happens even with zero tea leaves. This means that when you remove the two lids to drink (you need to remove both lids simultaneously if it's black tea, since the leaves are between the two lids), there's still lots of boiling hot water in the lid, and if you tap it, or bump it, or angle it, all that water falls out. You really have to tap the lid to dump this excess water before you drink; if you don't, you run the risk of spilling lots of hot water all over yourself. Someday you'll forget, and probably burn yourself.

    Aesthetic problems:

  3. You can hear the plastic creaking against the glass, and it makes it seem cheap. Purely psychological, but it probably could be fixed.

  4. The larger size and the handled mug version have the company's website printed address on the side of the lid. Pretty ugly in my opinion.

  5. The lid has a picture, but it's a physical object (a tiny carving or something) and it actually moves. It's somehow not secured in place, and it moves off center and looks awkward and cheap. Plus, I can see a couple parts of it bent the wrong way.

    I can't really recommend it, but if you've used the Activitea and found it usable, you might be happy with the Libre. The design looks pretty much the same from the photos, as far as I can tell. But I have continued searching for the perfect tea mug.

    Contenders thus far:

  6. JoeMoXL: Entirely stainless steel, with a removable infuser basket, a push-button seal, 360 degree drinking, sipping that doesn't require removing the entire lid and draining heat away, leak proof, etc etc. Good stuff.

  7. Timolino infuser mug: Theoretically similar to the JoeMoXL, but no push-button seal, and the infuser basket has some plastic. Oh well though. Adds a hidden compartment in the very top lid where you can store sugar. Smaller than most travel mugs (12 oz instead of the usual 16), so I think it's more practical to fill up, drink, then fill again and get a 2nd steeping out of the tea, as opposed to 16 oz over the course of the day and then getting home or whatever and not making use of the leaves until the next day maybe. There's also a carabiner version. Note that Timolino makes 2 tea mugs; this one, plus another that is ONLY good for green tea, with the leaves steeping inside the main chamber, with no removable infuser basket.

    I've been shopping around for quite some time. These are the two winners as far as I am concerned, though they skip out on being see-through and hiding the tea in the lid, but I can't see any well-designed options out there with those traits (although this Thermos mug has the infuser in the lid, but I wasn't so excited about it), so I'm giving my seal of approval to these. There are other contenders I think, but these are equal or better compared to anything I can find. I might also just go with a Contigo and brew in a teapot and just deal with the fact that the mug has no internal tea infuser.

    OCD FTW!
u/TrendySpork · 3 pointsr/tea

Adagio has a pretty good teapot/tea sampler to start out with. This:

is what I use. I also recommend buying a programmable electric kettle since different varieties of tea require different water temperatures. I have this:

and it's been amazing. I drink mostly Oolong and green teas, so I wanted something that had temperature control.

The best way to find what your preferences are, and to understand your palate is to try what sounds appealing to you. Adagio is a pretty good place to start. :)

u/SagaDiNoch · 1 pointr/tea

If you want a nice looking Japanese tea set you can find some authentic Japanese tea pots at Den's tea
. The cheap one's use metal strainers rather than ceramic but they would still be good quality. If you have any Chinese tea shops near by you can find some cheap ceramic cups to go with it and probably not go over budget.

Instead of the tea ball look into a cup with a strainer. It is so much easier and it makes much better tea. (and when you do multiple infusions it makes it easier to save the leaves as they are less likely to roll off)I found this on amazon but there are probably cheaper options. Especially just buying a well made strainer that fits a cup you already have.

I use this one. Chan teas is unfortunately closing but that cup and strainer set works great and it is a good price. The strainer is more than $12 on amazon [by it self] ( probably because it is so well made.

u/Su_toL · 2 pointsr/tea

Not quite sure if this is what you meant, but I have this teapot (around the size you mentioned, 450ml is ~15.5oz) which has a removable mesh strainer and it's pretty sweet:

Pretty sure that pot has been recommended here before. Not sure as far as a plain old infuser, but anything you can get that gives more room for the tea leaves to expand would be best!

u/Aim_To_Misbehave · 2 pointsr/tea

You could try out Harney's sachets (they're shaped like a small pyramid, and filled with loose leaf, so it's kind of like drinking loose. Its much better quality than what is put in teabags, and the sachet provides the leaves room to expand). I don't know where you're located, but they're pretty far reaching (I'm in NZ and they're in several stores here... which is definitely saying something), or you could order online;

*Edited to add; if you did want to look at an infuser, I think these are incredibly fantastic and super low hassle;

You just pop them on your mug, scoop in the tea, pour hot water, take out when done. Boom! re-useable metal teabag!

u/poniesridingdragons · 3 pointsr/tea

are you sure it wasn't just a low quality water bottle you tasted from?
I have 3 Klean Kanteens I use for all kinds of things and none of them leave a flavor behind because its just steel and no plastic lining that collects off flavors. Are you sure it wasnt a cheap lining? my first reccomendation would be a insulated klean kanteen. Its by far been my favorite and I've been through a lot of tea mugs.

If you're set on glass though I owned [this] (
) for a while before I moved to metal and it held up well and the coating was nice to protect my hands from hot drinks. I was always careful to prewarm it but I never had it crack when I was lazy a few times. It DID shatter when it went flying out of my backpack side pocket like 10ft onto a concrete hill...but if you're set on glass it would be my choice. I usually make my own teabags from cheesecloth or this stuff to steep on the go.

another cheap option is to get something like this

and buy a mason jar. That way when it shatters, you can just get another jar for very cheap.

edit: Also with the mason jar you can just use something like this
gives you a better quality brew to go and lets you control how long you brew a little easier and better than french press style mugs imo.

u/Dowre · 2 pointsr/tea

They are a bit of a money sink but I would recommend looking at cast-iron teapots and Tetsubins for college. This one looks pretty cost efficent even though the cups will probably kill your hands. They cost more than porcelain but it is a nice relief to know that they won't break. I don't know much about other kettles but I love Adagio's UtiliTEA. I have had it for a good year and it is still running strong.

u/meeme109 · 1 pointr/tea

I might recommend this kettle, mostly just cause it's cheaper than the one you chose. The one you linked to will work well, I'm sure. If you're looking to splurge, this is the kettle I'd like the most, but I'm gonna get this kettle soon.

The pour is actually very important in making good tea, and most people don't realize that. Gooseneck kettles have a great, easily controllable pour. You might not notice it for a while, so that's why the first kettle is good for beginners.

u/Rashkh · 1 pointr/tea

I use a BonaVita 1L variable temp. gooseneck but that's a bit out of your price range. If you're only brewing tea then this one will work just fine. If you do pour over coffee then you may want to save up a bit more and get the gooseneck.

I absolutely love mine. Well built, easy to use, and very well reviewed.

u/jcbahr · 2 pointsr/tea

So all you really need is a brew basket and a cup (and the brew basket is optional if you're willing to drink around the leaves). Also you'll need some tea.

I imagine you have a mug. As for a brew basket, something like [this] ( should be good. Just put leaves in a basket and add hot (usually not boiling) water.

When I started out, I bought a bunch of tea and samples from It's good to find what kinds of tea you like (there is black, green, white, oolong, puerh, yellow, but tons of subvarieties). It's been a while since I've purchased from adagio, so I'm not sure how they are now.

I like buying from verdant tea now. It's pricey and has a smaller selection, but it's delicious.

Best of luck!

u/Rainbow_Bones · 3 pointsr/tea

If you're looking for loose leaf, this is a pretty good little sample pack to try a couple different kinds. If you're really new though, (coming from Keurigs and Starbucks and such) I'd probably recommend starting off with some less expensive/complex bagged tea first.

Assuming you're in the U.S., Twinings is likely to be the best you'll find in an average grocery store. P.G. Tips are pretty good as well, though as far as bagged tea goes I prefer the selection of Twinings. You can try all the different basic kinds this way and refine your tastes from there. Get a kettle, electric for convenience or stove-top if you like the whistle. Then just put a tea bag in your favorite mug and add hot water. There are also individual tea steepers so that when you have loose tea you don't have to make a whole pot at once.

If you go electric and have spare cash, you can spring for one that measures water temperature. That will make it much easier to make sure that you brew each kind of tea at the optimal temperature. Here is a quick guide on what temperature is best for each basic kind of tea. If you get into more complex teas from there, the supplier will usually have more specific directions.

Lastly, make your tea the way you like it. Don't be discouraged by people who say black is the only way to appreciate tea, if you like it better when it's half cream then more power to you. Milk, cream, sugar, honey, and lemon are all popular additions, feel free to mix and match and add and subtract until you find what's right for you, and then let your tastes evolve from there. (Many darker teas may taste a little bitter at first, but with milk and sugar become quite a treat).

u/parawing742 · 1 pointr/tea

Disclaimer: I literally just switched from bags to loose leaf tea drinking today after hours and hours of research.

I bought a Bonavita Electric Kettle ( and chose it for it's precise tempature control and the ability to dual-purpose it for coffee pour-overs as well.

For infusion, I purchased an in-cup stainless steel one ( mostly because it has good reviews and Amazon Now had it in stock for 2-hour delivery. There is some well-reviewed plastic infusers as well, but I like the visual of stainless steel in my new ritual.

The process is super easy. I fill up the kettle with water and punch in the temp (160 degrees in my case for Harney Japanese Sencha). Once it's hot I put the infuser in my mug and add a heaping spoonful of loose leaf. Then I pour-over the leaves and set my phone timer for a couple minutes. In no time, the tea is ready and I remove the infuser and dump the contents into composting.

The resulting tea is perfect. Easily twice as good as the experience as using the tea bags (I've been drinking Harney Japanese Sencha in bags for 2 years).

u/ilynh · 3 pointsr/tea
  1. Get/make a tea cozy. It's basically a teapot blanket, but it keeps the pot warm for your second or third cup.

  2. Cast iron/clay are best if you're going to drink the same type of tea (Green/Black) over and over again, as they're seasoned like a skillet. If you change your tea up, get a get a glass pot or a porcelain pot. If i were buying a glass teapot today I'd get this Hario

  3. The real key is to warm your teacup while you steep the tea . Most tea only require 3-5 minutes so the pot shouldn't have time to cool too much, especially if the lid is on.

  4. I'm a little more fond of the tea basket in a cup and making new hot water for every cup, but I have easy access to hot water, I'm not sure how your dorm situation is.
u/shutupbatface · 1 pointr/tea

My boyfriend bought this for me:

I love loose leaf but I'm always running around. I didn't think I would benefit from a cast iron kettle or anything because I couldn't see myself devoting the time for it. So this has a programmable timer and a bunch of other really cool features. Every cup tastes amazing and it's super easy to take care of.

u/laguano · 2 pointsr/tea

You could have refrained from buying the cast iron pot. You can make stellar tea with a way cheaper pot. I don't know their return policy, but if you can return it, I would highly recommend that. Look into Gaiwans; Shoot, I use a pyrex measuring cup sometimes to brew tea and just strain through a dollar store tea strainer. I would save the money that you spent on a cast iron pot and put it towards a water boiler that can heat to different temperatures. My favorite it the Bonavita variable temperature kettle.

If you are new to tea, I would recommend getting the smallest weight available of all the teas you buy. I think in Teavana, that is 2oz. This helps you by allowing you to buy more teas to sample different varieties, you can always go back for more if you really love it. Lastly, buying the smallest amount of tea ensures you will finish it faster, which means your tea doesn't have a chance to go stale.

u/anonymousalex · 2 pointsr/tea

It's more wasteful than other methods, but I like using t-sacs if I won't be near a sink. You can make a few up with your favorite tea, and put them in a small tin or baggie and slip it in your bag. Use like you would other teabags. I've had good results with resteeping the bags if it's a tea I would resteep using other methods. I just make sure to use it pretty shortly after the first cup.

u/RenaissanceGentleman · 6 pointsr/tea

The Story of Tea is, from my readings, one of the most thorough and well-researched books on the subject. While it places a heavy emphasis on history and cultivation, it delves deep into specific growing regions, the teas they produce, and the tea cultures of those regions. My only gripe is that they didn't mention samovars in their brief section on Russian tea culture, but a) it's forgivable, and b) now you know.

For similar breadth but (slightly) less thoroughness, Tea is an excellent choice. In fact, this is the book that I would recommend to anyone starting their tea journey. Of course, you can always read both. ;)

Happy reading!

u/unique-eggbeater · 6 pointsr/tea

In terms of equipment, to brew western-style, you can buy reusable strainers to brew the tea. You put a teaspoon or so of leaf into the strainer, steep as normal, and set the strainer aside when you're ready to drink. I have this one and I really like it. It's good to get a big strainer so that the tea leaves can unfurl - good tea expands a lot when you steep it.

Quality is up to your personal taste, imo. In my experience, higher-quality tea tends to be smoother, lacks the off-flavors (bitter, acrid) that are found in some cheaper tea, doesn't lose all of its flavor on the first steep (you can usually steep high-quality tea multiple times before it runs out of flavor), and is more complex than cheaper tea. Imo it just smells and tastes better all around. It's like saying "How can I tell when I'm eating good quality pizza/drinking good wine?" You can tell cause you enjoy it more

u/tardy4datardis · 7 pointsr/tea

Its not a good plan to invest that much $ without knowing if you honestly like tea or not. To begin just get a simple infuser this one works , hopefully you already have a mug. Just boil or microwave water to start before you are sure you really love tea. You could always get a cheaper kettle but the most basic way to start is just infuser+mug+tea . Grab yourself a few sample from adagio or harney. I like harney to start since their samples are 2$ each. Grab some from as many of the major tea groups as possible. Find what you like. Good luck.

TL:DR Spend more money on tea, less money on accoutrements

u/PresMarkle · 2 pointsr/tea

I have the Bonavita 1.7 Liter that is mentioned below, and I wholeheartedly support it. I understand that the gooseneck design is pretty, but it is just not worth the price jump in my opinion. I've never had a problem controlling my pour and it has done everything I wanted when I was searching for an electric kettle. It's a wonderful bargain in my opinion! If you have any other questions, I'd be glad to help you!
Edit: It's also worth mentioning that the gooseneck is 1000 watts, while this one is 1500 watts. Not sure if that matters to you or not!

u/altaholica · 2 pointsr/tea

I have a FORLIFE Crurve teapot, makes three cups of tea and is great.

An electric kettle would be a fantastic part of a gift set. This one appears to be one of the best. Good luck.

u/dreamsindarkness · 0 pointsr/tea

Just going to toss this out there, the sweetened Starbucks tea will be much different to a plain Japanese green tea or matcha. My husband can drink the Starbucks/other shops version but complains that my tea tastes like bitter vegetables and grass.

You might have better luck with mild Chinese green teas or, as was suggested, a Jasmine green tea since it is a sweet Chinese tea. It can be iced. Some of the greener oolongs are mild and sweetish, too. A milk oolong and oolongs in general are good for anyone that doesn't have much tea experience. (They can be easier to brew)

If she doesn't have tea ware or much experience with loose leaf (if you get her loose leaf) then you might look at a Finnum brewing basket. I know with my mother in law that she claims to really like tea but doesn't have much experience, interest, or patience for anything beyond bagged teas. Not everyone wants more then 1-2 step teas.

u/minimuminim · 3 pointsr/tea

Steeping = leaving your tea leaves in hot water so you can get the flavour (and the caffeine) out of them. Different teas do best with different temperature and times. For green tea, you want around 165°F for 1 minute, or check the instructions your tea comes with. Adjust to your liking.

You can use teabags or "loose leaf", which is when the tea leaves come as they are. Both are easy to use and loose leaf can be cheaper, especially if you know where to look or order online. If you do decide to use loose leaf, you will need some kind of basket strainer or other infuser, to hold the leaf while it steeps so that you don't get bits of tea leaf in your cup. My personal favourite is this Finum Brewing Basket.

You don't need to use a teapot. I just brew and drink my tea out of a mug. The teapot I have is only used if I'm sharing tea with someone else.

For brands, check out the User's Choice list from the wiki. I started off buying from Adagio and Upton. Nowadays, I buy from Adagio, Verdant Tea, O-Cha, and Yunnan Sourcing, but all the shops in that list are good ones. As for supermarket brands... I don't really like any of them, because I don't like flavoured tea, and those non-flavoured teas tend to have been on the shelf long enough that they're a little stale. (Also I have a huge backlog >_>)

Some green teas worth trying out:

  • Chinese Dragonwell a.k.a. Longjing
  • Chinese Jasmine Green Tea
  • Japanese Sencha
  • Japanese Genmaicha (this is green tea with toasted rice added, great when it's cold out)

    Hope this helps.
u/DoubtingLight · 2 pointsr/tea

Hi, welcome!

There's a lot of different approaches to brewing tea, just one of which is the familiar teapot method. A really popular glass one is One really good reason for white/glass teaware is that they allow you to easily evaluate the color of your tea, which is helpful in appreciating it better and learning how to brew your tea.

When you say Japanese style, do you mean the Kyusu teapot, or do you mean teaware with Japanese designs on them?

u/Frisbeehead · 3 pointsr/tea

I have the Bonavita variable temp gooseneck kettle and I absolutely love it. The gooseneck is much better than the stubby spouts for gongfu. Easier to control the pour. Plus 1L is the perfect size, so that I'm not continuously boiling the same water.

By the way, there have been quite a few threads in the past with the same discussion, you could probably find some good info by searching for "electric kettle" or something like that ;)

u/Chevron · 1 pointr/tea

I use this in my teapot, or the medium one in an individual mug. Works perfectly and solves almost every one of your problems. Taking it out is easy because the top is plastic and the lid acts as a drip tray. This is the most important part for me because it solves the prepared tea storage issue with only one vessel. Also, I've found that the tea does have plenty of room to expand, though I'm sure it has a little bit more freedom in the press.

u/blooper98 · 2 pointsr/tea

Ignoring aesthetics,

A cast iron teapot can be great, especially with a tea candle to keep it warm.

The most important thing is to use a basket style infuser.

I would recommend a 330mL French Press (for making single cups) because they have a wire filter built in, are cheap and easily available.

I've also enjoyed using this basket style infuser because it makes single cups, the lid keeps the heat in, and the lid doubles as a drip catcher if I plan on doing multiple steeps of the same tea.

My S.O. and I are a big fan of her Bredemeijer vacuum insulated 1.2L tea pot, which keeps tea for two hot for a couple hours. On that note, having a vacuum insulated mug is great for tea on the go, or for keeping tea warm while you pour into smaller, traditional cups.

u/cata_tonic · 1 pointr/tea

I have 3, two 24 oz and a 45 oz. I love them. The infuser on the 45 oz is too small, so I use a large Finum basket instead.

I like the 24 ounce for teas that can be brewed in volume- blacks and herbals, mainly. I use smaller glass pots for teas that can be resteeped, like oolong. The Forlife pots look great, are easy to pour from, have nice brewing baskets (on the 24 oz), they're durable, and the gasket on the lid keeps it in place both with and without the basket.

u/theNsmith · 2 pointsr/tea

There are a lot of very long comments here. To summarize:

It's good that you bought some loose leaf.

First, though, depending on the size of your tee ei, you should probably look into an upgrade, even for western-style brewing (lots of people love Finum:

Second, keep trying new tea. Green teas are great, but there are many great prolongs, blacks, whites, puerh, and herbal tisanes.

Third, consider trying gongfu style (Chinese-style) brewing. For many of us, it was a revelation. In terms of convenience, o often don't have time for gongfu brewing, but it is a special treat when I do.

u/shredsofmetal · 1 pointr/tea

I have a Contigo Autoseal Tumbler and absolutely love it. It's super easy to clean and keeps my tea hot for a few hours (yes, hot).

As for a kettle, get him a variable temperature kettle so that he can adjust the temperature based on his tea preference. I have this Cuisinart kettle. I've had it for 4 years and still works great.

u/Anagoth9 · 1 pointr/tea

If you want something simple to make tea for one, I would suggest something like this. I don't like the in-mug infusers. I usually end up having to look around for something awkward to get it out of the cup like a fork or chopsticks otherwise I end up burning my fingers. Tea pots are nice but I find them to be more ceremonial than I feel like dealing with when I just want something quick.

As far as temp goes, usually for green tea you're good to go once small bubbles start forming in the pot/kettle. You don't need to worry about having a thermometer nearby or anything like that.

And the corn pops green tea you're describing sounds like Genmaicha.

u/irritable_sophist · 1 pointr/tea

> How do the infusers work with the dunking?

Just pour the hot water over it and let it sit (OK, sometimes I will dunk mine once or twice if some leaves didn't get wet, or there's a lot of foamy scum floating on top). When it's done, pull the infuser out and let it drip back into the mug/pot/whatever until it pretty much stops dripping.

> It says you can have multiple infusions so do you...

Not all tea is really suited to that. Sometimes 1 infusion pretty much gets all the good stuff out. Ususally it's tea in big pieces or whole leaves that is good for this. As you say, just set the used leaf aside in the infuser and use it again with fresh hot water.

> which infusers would you recommend

Ones that are basked-shaped, with fine mesh, and big enough to let the leaf unfold/unroll/expand. Something like this.

u/turtles_are_weird · 11 pointsr/tea

Hi! If you want to get into tea, I would reccomend starting by watching Alton Brow's episode on tea here. It's a good background on everything involving tea and tea brewing.

If you have a Peet's Coffee near you, you can go and order mugs of tea (brewed with loose leaf). They will give you free hot water refills so you can drink as much as you can handle. You can find a tea you like without having to commit to a huge container.

I prepare my tea in the morning in a tea pot (I have this one, but I don't like it because it's hard to clean) and pour it into a travel mug.

They make travel mugs that are similar to a frech press (here) where you put the leaves and hot water in and just push down a stopper to stop brewing. I'm really picky about the lids on my travel mugs, so I don't own one.

For resusable tea bags, the most popular style is a [tea ball] ( (although the one I linked is a little too small to allow the tea to fully unfold). They are cheap and fairly easy to clean, but you have to be careful where you store them so they don't get bent up.

They also make tea bags for loose leaf tea. These would be easy to pop into your travel mug. You can also find bags made of muslin that can be washed out, but I don't know where you would do that.

u/abir_valg2718 · 2 pointsr/tea

Hario 700ml teapot is excellent and pretty cheap as well. The basket is huge, which is a significant advantage, imo. The lack of spout makes it more compact and it's top is very wide, so it's super easy to clean when it stains.

u/yourfriendstag · 1 pointr/tea

A bottom-dispensing teapot like this one is a super easy way to do gongfu. You can look it up on youtube or something to see exactly how it works.

It doesn't have the same romance as traditional teaware, and you can't build up a patina like with yixing clay or other unglazed ceramics, but it is super convenient. Sticking a coffee filter in the bottom makes cleanup even easier.

u/Jadis4742 · 5 pointsr/tea

Do you have a teapot already?

Nut and Spice sampler

Orchard Black Teas sampler

I'm sure everyone thinks I'm a shill for Adagio at this point, but I swear I'm not! I'm just very happy with their teas.

EDIT: oh, you like herbals!

Tazo Passion (teabags, but sooo good)

Blood Orange

Herbal Tea sampler

u/RedMage928 · 1 pointr/tea

What do you think about ingeuinitea?

Am I getting sucked into some gimmick or is it actually convenient?

I would go for the white tea but it's kind of expensive for a beginner, so Alishan Milk Oolong it is.

The reason I'm getting into tea is because it seems like it's a healthy alternative to straight water, but the taste puts me off atm so a fruity, creamy flavor would be nice

This Alishan Milk Oolong brand seem good to you?

Random question: Do you believe drinking tea before sleeping is bad? I've heard it has caffeine but idk if it's tea-specific or what else, the green tea I have doesn't seem to bother me

Lastly, any specific method of measuring water temperature you recommend? Should I just buy a thermostat and wait for boiling water to cool?

u/NfaNA · 2 pointsr/tea

I can attest that the Cuisinart is an excellent unit and lasts a long time:

I also have experience with the Breville and greatly enjoy it.

I don't think you can go wrong with a traditional Chinese-styled teapot and strainer over a sharing cup. It's simple, cheap to get into, and can well handle many different tea types.

I hope you enjoy exploring tea, it's a wonderful world,

  • Tealos
u/DorkasaurusBBQ · 1 pointr/tea

A little more than $20 but nice is this Hamilton Beach programable one I just got on sale on Amazon for $33. Has different temp settings which is SUPER nice

u/EarnestWilde · 2 pointsr/tea

I know people who have this style of temperature-controlled kettle (controls on handle, a water level window, etc) and recommend it, but a few have complained about the taste of the water in a kettle that boils the water where it is in contact with plastic like this. I don't own or use any of these, so I can't give a personal recommendation one way or another.

I have both the Bonavita and the Hamilton Beach temperature controlled kettles, and both give great results without the plastic window. The Bonivita is more expensive but the gooseneck spout is great for slow controlled pours into small gongfu teaware. The Hamilton Beach is more standard with a quickflow stubby spout, but it controls the temperature well at half the price or less of the Bonivita.

u/shadowdude777 · 1 pointr/tea

If anyone wants a digitally-programmable kettle for cheaper than this, this is the one I have. I love it. I got it at the recommendation of someone else here on /r/tea and it's fantastic.

It's pretty accurate (not as accurate as some $100ish programmable kettles I've seen, but hey, it's a $40 digital kettle), and the time-programming feature might be very confusing, but it's overall a great buy. I love this thing. Very small parts of the inside (such as the silicone gasket for the temp sensor and for the fill bar) are plastic, but overall the inside is almost all metal and doesn't impart a taste to the water. And besides that, silicone is food-safe even at high temperatures.

u/awkwardsoul · 1 pointr/tea

It is tiny, but it'll work. Ideally you want something bigger that'll allow leaf expansion, especially for some of the bigger leaf teas like oolong and some whites/blacks. The holes might be too big for rooibos.

If you like it, upgrade to something like this

u/honest_ade · 1 pointr/tea


I have exactly the thing for you. I got it when I had no where to put my tea bags when I was studying in the library or in a class room. It works great.

The Aladdin Tea Infuser Mug, only $20. It has an basket that you can put a tea bag, tea leaves or even coarse coffee grounds in and then, after a few minutes, you can flip the basket up into the lid of the mug and away from the water!

I've had it for a little over a year, and I think I might replace it sometime soon. The plastic got stained from the tea, so it's not perfectly clear, and the basket is starting to degrade. (Not the netting, but some plastic bit on the wire netting). But it's still working perfectly! It's also 100% leak-proof - every morning, I pour in hot water, close the lid immediately (not waiting for the water to cool), and throw it into my bag with my laptop or textbooks. I've never had a problem.

EDIT: While the libre tea thermos being made out of glass is great (no staining, even if it's a bit heavier), note that you can't infuse the tea by pouring hot water over the leaves. I've done a lot of looking into this, and the Aladdin is really the best bet. You can infuse the tea by flipping down the basket and pouring your water over the basket, underneath the lid. I can take a video/picture if this is hard to explain - or I can show you the degradation of the product over a year of really heavy use (more than once daily).

u/qret · 1 pointr/tea

I treated myself to this after a year or two of wanting a convenient kettle, it's held up perfectly for 5 years of constant use now. I'm a barista by day, tea lover at home, so it was sure worth it. Coffee, just like tea, often benefits from more control of temperature than the standard "off-boiling".

u/Frigorific · 1 pointr/tea

Brewing really isn't complicated at all if you invest in the right equipment. You can get a functional variable temperature kettle for ~$40 on amazon and an easy to use tea pot for ~20.

Honestly I would recommend decent equipment first over a wide variety of teas to begin with.

I would also point you to upton tea which has really cheap samples and offers pretty much the best price for any tea I have found on multiple vendors.

u/redpandaflying93 · 5 pointsr/tea

If I were you I would spend it on a nice kettle like this or some teaware, or just save it for something else

You're not going to find great quality tea on Amazon

If you want a quality tea sampler I would highly recommend What-Cha's Intro to Tea Collection

u/Bill6683 · 3 pointsr/tea

For Loose leaf tea I would suggest that you get an in-cup infuser like the Forlife Tea infuser

I have the Forlife and I love it. It gives tones of space for the tea to expand (which is very important) and it just works great. I think you might like to start with a tea like darjeeling. Darjeeling has a wonderful floral taste and is referred to as the champagne of tea.
While Puerh is a wonderful tea I have found that it is very easy to get inferior Puerh that will leave you with a bad impression. Puerh is also a tea that people either love or hate so it might not be one for beginners. Peet's Puerh is ok but I would stay away from Teavana's Puerh.

Most importantly get out there and try tea. You will find what you like. Don't worries about tasting bad tea. Tea is cheep and you won't lose out by trying new stuff.

u/LittleRoundFox · 6 pointsr/tea

Definitely go loose leaf.

For the tea brewing
This teapot is nice. I also like this style of in-cup infuser - both give the tea a reasonable amount of room to expand.

I would recommend starting with samples - What-Cha do two sample sets - one for a range of blacks, greens and oolongs; and the other just for Taiwan oolongs. They are in the UK and ship quickly. Linky if you're interested

I would probably recommend starting with oolong - iirc roasted have a lower caffeine content, but you'd need to check. Based on what you've said I think there are quite a few oolongs you will enjoy.

Adagio do some flavoured teas which might be worth looking into, too.

My understanding re caffeine in tea is that per-cup it has less than coffee, and one of the other compounds in it (l-theanine?) makes it less buzzy. I've also read - but am not sure how true it is - that if you re-brew with the same leaves each subsequent brew has a bit less caffeine than the previous one.

Beyond that I can't comment on the caffeine content, as caffeine doesn't much affect me (something which I'm incredibly pleased about, as I do have periods of suffering from anxiety and tea helps calm me).

u/mirsasee · 2 pointsr/tea

To echo everyone else, gaiwans are inexpensive and really great to use. I find making tea in mine a lot of fun :D If you would still like to brew western style, I'd recommend getting the Finum Brewing Basket, which is really easy to use and also not expensive ($10). I find that, although I prefer gongfu brewing, it demands more time and more attention, and isn't something I can do while I'm working. So I end up using the brewing basket and my gaiwan about equally.

u/Tell_All · 2 pointsr/tea

>This might work for you:

>The mug is microwave safe, so all you need is it, a way to measure the tea, and the tea itself. It's worked very well for me so far.

u/BouncingYeti made a good suggestion! It's something I'm looking into. Hope this is what you're looking for as well :)

u/enough_cowbell · 1 pointr/tea

I suggest starting with an infuser that can be used to brew right in your cup. This one is my favorite, the large one; not the floating basket. Alternately, or additionally, a small glass teapot is wonderful at first because you can see the color of the brew while you're discovering your preferences. Most loose leaf tea can be brewed for more than one infusion, sometimes many many infusions. An electric kettle is extremely handy, especially if it has variable temperature settings. One that's clear where you can see the size of the bubbles also works for gauging temperature. Ask questions in the forum if you're wondering about anything. Everyone here is keen to help. Enjoy your tea!

u/flynnguy · 1 pointr/tea

Really I'd recommend getting a filter like this one and an electric kettle. They have some cheap ones (like ~$15) that you should be able to use in your dorm room. Just put water in and hit the button, it shuts off when it's done. There are more expensive ones that allow you to set the temperature which is nice for some of the more delicate green and white teas but in a dorm setting, I'd just go for something like this.

As for tea, I highly recommend anything from adagio. They also have some kettles but they are Stainless Steel and more expensive. They are also the makers of the IngenuiTea which you can get from them or elsewhere. My coworker has one and it's nice. I prefer the strainer I originally linked to because I can just store it in my mug and it doesn't take up that much space.

u/flatfoil · 9 pointsr/tea

For those of you interested in an electric kettle, consider this Bonavita kettle. It has restaurant/barista precision when it comes to accurate temperature. Kettles like the one posted here can have a variance of 5% of the set temperature which can mean almost 10 degrees difference if you're aiming for 180, and even more when you're heading to black teas. This kettle here is accurate within 2% of the exact temperature you set it for. Check around at good tea and coffee shops (you'll see baristas shooting for 205F when doing coffee) and using similar devices. Don't risk scolding your precious leaves! Simple brewed beverage enthusiast here.

u/FaceGoesBOOM · 5 pointsr/tea

An electric kettle that tells you the temperature. Even better if it keeps it at your desired temperature for you. If you plan on getting into tea, it's really nice to have.

I first started out with using a normal stove kettle with a thermometer. It was a pain in the ass. A few months later as I got more into tea I got a cheap electric kettle off Amazon and used the thermometer with that. Still a pain in the ass. Used that set up for about a year until I finally upgraded to a kettle that tells me the temp, let's me set the temp I want, and keeps it at that temp for an hour. I can also set the clock on it and have it heat up the water before I wake up so it's ready to go when I want tea in the morning.

My advice: Skip the fiddling around with a thermometer and just get a decent electric kettle right from the get-go. Even if you decide you don't like tea anymore the kettle is still great for anytime you need warm/hot/boiling water for something.

Here is the one I have When I bought mine it was like $40 or $50 I think, it's only like $23 right now. That's a steal. It's a pretty solid electric kettle, especially at that price. I'm sure there's much nicer ones that are even better, but that one has been great for me personally. Haven't had a single problem with it. My only complaint is that I wish the cord was a bit longer.

u/SecureAbroad · 1 pointr/tea

Adagio kettles are pretty nice actually:

They have the functions you'd want (except for holding it at a given temp for long periods of time, like a Zojirushi).

They're also pretty durable, which is the biggest problem I've run into with electric kettles--they tend to not last that long (which is the reason why I just use a microwave and stove kettle at home--the electric kettles I maintain at another house, where I've settled on Adagio after trying different brands over the years).

Zojirushi makes the best ones really, but those tend to heat slowly and hold water at a temp for a long period of time, rather than heat quickly. They're also more expensive. But if you would like to have water at a given temp all day, they might be the better bet.


u/fromplsnerf · 9 pointsr/tea

Hario Chacha Kyusu Maru Tea Pot, 700ml - $15

Teaology Luna Double Wall Borosilicate Tea Cup - $3.95

I'm very much still learning, but I love this cheap little setup and it's been working especially well with my Oolongs and Greens. I picked up a sample of Pu erh Pearls from Adagio (pictured), and it works just fine for that as well if you're okay with western brewing techniques.

u/mellowmonk · 2 pointsr/tea

For brewing, you can't go wrong with a simple in-the-mug infuser.

An electric kettle is great, too. It frees you from stoves and microwaves, so you can brew right at your desk.

Oh, and you may wish to check out Mellow Monk's Green Tea -- green tea from independent artisans in Japan. /selfpromotion

Happy brewing!

u/_eccentricality · 6 pointsr/tea

I've had this Hamilton Beach kettle for a few months now and I love it. It has pre-programmed temperatures, the ability to program your own temperatures, and will hold your temperature for up to an hour (I don't remember if you can set it for longer or not). It has a clock and it has a neat feature where you can set a time that it will turn on and heat your water- so you can have your water ready when you wake up in the morning or ready for you when you get home from work.

u/Everz · 1 pointr/tea

Some like having the tea leaves float, others use an infuser. It's really your preference. I would suggest this. I use it quite a bit when making tea for myself. Word of advice, tea places like Teavana (while having some fantastic tasting stuff) are incredibly expensive/overpriced. There are much smaller shops that sell loose leaf at perfectly reasonable prices. Davids TEA and Adagio are my personal favorite online tea shops.

u/Cynnova · 1 pointr/tea

I've been using [Finum Brewing Baskets] ( for the last decade or so for brewing one cup of tea at a time. The fine mesh is easy to clean if you rinse is out right after steeping. The large one is ideal for most mug sizes. I find the medium-sized basket to be a little too small for mugs larger than 10 oz.

EDIT: If you're looking for a decent and affordable tea pot, [Hario] ( makes some good ones. Despite the glass looking thin, it's actually quite sturdy.

u/cheesezombie · 5 pointsr/tea

We just got a Bonavita and we LOVE it. However it's electric vs kettle, so probably not what you're looking for, but ours is stainless steel and heats up fantastically. Lots of preset temps, holds the warmth for up to an hour, it's fantastic.

u/TheWeekendSessions · 4 pointsr/tea

For western style brewing (little bit of tea to lots of water for a longer time) a brew basket is a good way to go for a single person. The ones from Finum are great, but theres a bunch of different options out there . I have been using a Davids Tea one for the last while and have no complaints about it at all.

If you want to get into brewing with gongfu parameters (lots of tea, little water, quick infusion times) then I'd recommend picking up a cheap gaiwan in the 100ml range to start out and see if you're into it or not. All you really need is a gaiwan and a cup or mug to pour it into. If you want to you can get little tea cups, strainers, and a fairness pitcher, but none of that is actually "needed". I'd start out simple and cheap then re-evaluate if you find it's something you really enjoy. This was my first gaiwan - its nice looking but simple, affordable and well built. Comes with a saucer too which is a plus for me. After a year or so of use I realized a smaller one would be more suited for me and I picked up a 55ml one from Bitterleaf that I love to death. The size really comes down to how you want to drink and you might not know whats best for you until you just buy something and use it for a while.

u/renational · 0 pointsr/tea

rah is of course right to suggest you spend more of your budget on tea, and less on ceremony. however, then you should instead invest in an effective tea brewer/seeper that makes good tea and skip the ceremonial pieces altogether. like a "french press" for coffee, there are various contraptions that may do a better job at making tea than ceremonial pieces. or as rah suggests, simply get any teapot with a large mesh center basket and go from there. I'm not advocating these products, simply giving you more to consider.

u/RebuildMode- · 2 pointsr/tea

Hario. I own this particular size (450 ml), and it's perfect for 1 big cup or 2 smaller cups. The glass will get hot where the tea contacts it, but the handle has never gotten hot on me. It pours really well and is easy to clean too -- always a plus at work.

u/bluestone9 · 2 pointsr/tea

TLDR: Yes, I can tell a huge difference between Darjeeling and Assam, even between different grades of tea from the same garden- but I've been drinking quality tea for 12+ years now, and I especially like good Indian tea.

What are the specific teas in the sample box, what is the vendor, and how long have you been drinking loose-leaf tea?

Palate is like a muscle. I'd fail at telling a Burgundy from a Bordeaux (without some practice), because I don't have much wine experience. But science shows that, to use a term I really dislike, becoming a connoisseur of something (or say learning an instrument) even physically changes specific regions of one's brain.

I'd wager I could distinguish between any decent orthodox single-estate Assam and an equivalent grade Darjeeling, blindfolded, 999 times out of 1,000. I've had many thousands of cups, of hundreds of different examples of these over the years.

The two regions produce quite different product. Assam uses plants that are primarily C sinensis var assamica genetics, and Darjeeling mainly C sinensis var sinensis genetics, although this is an oversimplification. In any case, genetics, terroir (soil and climate), cultivation, and processing cause different regions to produce very different teas, esp to trained senses. The book Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties, by Kevin Gascoyne is a beautiful introduction to the topic.

u/Stormy_AnalHole · 2 pointsr/tea

I use the Cuisinart CPK 17 and I love it. If you're a big coffee drinker with french presses and expensive drip stuff get the Bonavita Gooseneck, but I love my Cuisinart. Would recommend

u/theghostofamylee · 7 pointsr/tea

I don't like tea balls very much because they don't allow the tea to fully expand, which results in a less flavorful tea. I prefer metal strainers because they are easier to clean and produce a more flavorful tea.

This is the one that I use:

Though, if you find a good tea ball, it might be more ideal, simply because you could store it inside your thermos after you're done drinking the tea.

u/ImaginaryFreedom · 1 pointr/tea

For some easy mug infusing, a brewing basket like this is a nice thing to have. Brewing tea this way is about as easy as throwing in a teabag, and you can use any tea you like.

u/KWHOF · 1 pointr/tea

This seems like a very good kettle, but honestly, if you're going to buy a kettle that expensive I'd recommend the Bonavita 1-Liter Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle simply because you can adjust the temperature by the degree, instead of by increments of 10, which is more accurate. Of course you lose the nice looking design and 0.7L of capacity, but it stays warm 30 minutes longer and is more accurate.

u/echoskybound · 5 pointsr/tea

I'm a fan of insulated glass mugs and steel infuser baskets - here's a cheap set on Prime. As far as equipment, you mostly need a kettle. You can either go for a basic stovetop kettle, simple and cheap but no variable temperature - or electric kettles. A good one can run for quite a bit more cash (like mine, not cheap but highly recommended), but are easy and can have variable temperature.

Loose tea isn't cheaper than tea bags, but I'd say it's definitely better and way more diverse.

u/IrregardingGrammar · 2 pointsr/tea

For a variable temp kettle I just got this and it works great. Same brand as top comment but it's variable temp (also comes bigger in a 1.7L)

For infusing: this is neat and not too pricey, not glass but allows you to see the leaves. You can also get one of those neat glass mugs that have the infuser in it that you just lift out, I've got one of them too but not a link.

u/zonq · 1 pointr/tea

Thanks for the reply!

Just checked the FORLIFE infuser, and here in Germany it's ridiculously overpriced. I quickly skimmed and found for example this or this. Would they work? Is there anything that I should pay extra for? The first one seems to have slightly better ratings, but it's made out of plastic (if that makes a difference?).

Thanks again! :)

u/dftba171 · 2 pointsr/tea

I use the Hamilton Beach Variable Temp Electric Kettle It heats up water faster than my stove. I really like it. Its great if youre on a budget, you can get it used, amazon fulfilled, for around 30 dollars (I bought it because of this. If i had the mony for a Zojurshi i would have bought one ;)

u/sewdisney · 3 pointsr/tea

Well I'm obviously slow but here it is. Great deal with Prime.

It's also available at Macy's, which is where mine was sent from as a gift.

u/MisterBowTies · 2 pointsr/tea

If you want simple western style brewing, which of you are in the Americas or uk is the norm these two items will get you set up right. All you need is tea. especially if you want to get into oolongs, which can be very fussy about temperature, you will find a kettle with temp control a dream come true.

Also if you were in the USA look at Harney and sons. They a great first step, offering a wide variety of low cost samples with free shipping.

FORLIFE Curve Tall Tea Mug with Infuser and Lid 15 ounces, Turquoise

Epica 6-Temperature Variable Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle

u/pockified · 1 pointr/tea

How about a reusable teabag or even disposable tea bags? If you happen to live by a Daiso or other kind of dollar store, they sell disposable teabags for about $1.50 for a 100 pack. I think that there are also collapsable tea filters, if you don't mind a non-metal filter.

Otherwise, those are pretty small in terms of infusers (~2.5x4in) that would actually work well with tea. My last suggestion would be using a strainer like this although it's not too different from the second infuser I linked earlier (aside from maybe you could use this to scoop out the leaves). If space is the priority though, I think your teaball is already effective for your needs.

u/PoeCollector · 1 pointr/tea

Starting out, all I'd get is a simple pot with a removable infuser such as this. Something like that will make perfectly great tea. You can always get a fancy tea set later; it's mostly an aesthetic thing.

u/brunelleschi0 · 1 pointr/tea

The Bonavita's are by far the best. Having that kind of control when pouring is awesome. They have a model for 90USD with temperature control. as well as a model for 60USD without.

u/moriarty_was_real · 7 pointsr/tea

If you're willing to pay (what I believe to be) a lot for a variable temperature tea kettle, I can not recommend this tea kettle enough.

I've had mine for...about 6 months now I believe. It still works as perfectly as the day it was bought. It's also gorgeous so there's that too.

On Amazon the price fluctuates but it drops down as low as $79.99 every once in a while. If you don't mind waiting, I'd recommend it to save the $10-$20. Also, don't let that weird "You save 51%" thing fool you, it actually retails for $100 on Cuisinart's website.

u/QD_Mitch · 2 pointsr/tea

I just got this ( as a present and I think it'd be perfect for you. The infuser is built into the lid, so you can remove the leaves when they're done steeping without worrying where to put the infuser, and when your next 15 minute break comes in, just refill with hot water and get another wash of the leaves. It's incredibly easy to clean, just rinse out the infuser at the end of the day. You can heat the water with this pup right here:

u/misskitty5077 · 2 pointsr/tea

I love my Aladdin infuser tumbler. I've had mine a year and I have put it through hell but it still looks like new. A friend has had hers even longer and hers is like new, too.

u/_Soggy_ · 4 pointsr/tea

Honestly something like this would be much better as it it half the cost and basket is bigger which allows more leaf expansion. I have the 300ml version that I like. Also consider a tea basket strainer like one of the following. Also reference the vendor list here for vendors in the EU.

u/TealGloves · 3 pointsr/tea

Not quite preset temperatures, but control of the temperature. $29.99 with Amazon prime! Very easy to pour, well worth it, and I'm someone who switched to this from a Breville One Touch.

u/Murguhlurg · 1 pointr/tea

Thanks for the reply! She isn’t as into tea as myself and for whatever reason prefers bags. I actually have a really nice Basket Infuser from when I first started exploring tea more seriously a few years back, and I still use it occasionally (especially when a tea has a good amount of tea-dust or is particularly small). The mesh is quite fine and leaves next to no sediment, and it really gives a great amount of room for the leaves to expand. I offered it to her before but she didn’t seem that interested. I can’t knock it too much, everyone has their own preference.

u/lofi76 · 3 pointsr/tea

Those are kick ass, really love the beautiful & unique Russian one!
I just found my favorite infuser, works awesome.

u/jarvis400 · 1 pointr/tea

Just a guess, but but Bonavita brand electric kettles are well liked in this sub. Especially the Gooseneck var. temp. is popular.

I'm personally thinking about getting one.

EDIT: I see that heir non-goose neck ("mongoose"?) kettle is now half off on Amazon.

u/junejuly92 · 1 pointr/tea

I'm actually still using my $10 kettle/boiling water tap in my dorm but I have my eye on this one. My friend has it and she loves it.

u/Blackfuego · 2 pointsr/tea

Been using this at work for a couple years, it works perfectly! sometimes the infuser refuses to plop down but its very uncommon. its a great product.

u/betacatenin · 3 pointsr/tea

You should get a basket infuser like one of these:



These are large enough to let the leaves open up so you can the whole flavor. There are other options such as a gravity steeper or infuser thermoses, but these are a good place to start :)

u/ClosetYandere · 1 pointr/tea

So I went over to a neighbor's for tea and she had the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker...and the teas she brewed came out exceptional.

I was wondering if people feel that I should invest in this particular piece, or instead go for the slightly cheaper Breville BKE820XL, which also has tea-specific temperature controls.

Either would be a massive upgrade from what I'm currently using and wonder if I need the timing and flavor profile-specific settings if I use an old-fashioned timer since I'd be baby-sitting the tea.

Thoughts? Thanks everyone! ♥ May your day be filled with the perfect-temperature cup!

u/DefinitelyCaligula · 2 pointsr/tea

I'm not sure where you live, but if you have Wegmans grocery stores they have a really excellent and affordable (like almost Lipton affordable if you pick less expensive teas and double infuse them like I do) loose tea selection. They also have a variety of infusers and disposable tea bags (I would start out with something like this and upgrade to a reusable infuser like this if you decided that you're going to keep buying and making loose leaf tea). If you don't have a Wegmans, Google tea rooms in your area...some of them sell tea as well. If that still doesn't get you results, there are a ton of websites. Adagio is probably one of the more accessible ones for beginners...they sell an oolong called Fujian Rain, which is one of my favorite everyday teas. They also sell their teas in bags if you don't want to do the whole loose tea thing.

There are also reasonable quality bagged tea options...Numi comes to mind, I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting.

Also, don't listen to the snobs that are going to come into this thread to give you shit about ever having had Lipton.

u/TheOolongDrunk · 3 pointsr/tea

A tray is handy but if you just have anything to hold/collect the water it should be fine. I found my exact tray on amazon

Honestly I’d just start with a gaiwan and a cup. If you’re making it for yourself you shouldn’t need a sharing pitcher, and if small bits of tea dust isn’t an issue then you could almost do without the filter.

I think Yunnan Sourcing has $5-$10 porcelain gaiwans that are affordable (being 60 or 100 ml)