I am a tea drinker as well as a coffee drinker. And I like looseleaf tea. Which means when you brew it you have to strain it unless you want to drink all the little tea leaves. You need some kind of a tea ball if you’re doing just one mug or big cup of tea for yourself. I also think brewing looseleaf tea just taste better than tea out of a tea bag.
My favorite tea strainers and tea balls are the ones that come from Germany. They are vintage or antique, and they are woven like a little baskets, hence the basket weave description.
These tea strainers come in brass and silver. But over time they can get quite dark because no one has cleaned them and also the tannin from the tea stains them.
I use and collect these whimsical tea strainers. Sometimes I even sell some because you can’t keep everything. But cleaning them up sometimes can be a bit of a bother. But the whole idea of using something that is going to sit in my tea cup as it strains, makes me think more holistically and chemical free as far as cleaning the actual strainers. So I use the old baking soda and tinfoil method.
I literally put the strainers in a mixing bowl of hot water lined with tinfoil and loaded up with baking soda. And then I just let everything soak. Sometimes I do it overnight and it’s fine, other times I have to do it over the course of a couple of days and change the water and baking soda out for fresh. And then I wash everything and polish it up with a soft cotton cloth.
It might not get shiny bright as if I used silver polish or brass cleaner, but I think that’s better for my cup of tea and me as far as ingesting chemicals.
Anyway that’s your hot tip, and if you’re wondering what tea company I like to buy a lot of my tea from that is looseleaf, it’s a company called Golden Moon. I discovered them completely by accident a few years ago and their teas are very good. I also like Scottish blended teas but they’re hard to get here.