Just recently I have been experimenting quite a bit with a couple of different portable infusers, which while very popular in other countries are not that easy to find here in Australia. Consequently, we are trying out different portable tea infusers so we can get a good idea of which ones to import and sell. So far we have a couple that are in the running, a selection of glass portable infusers and a very nice metal portable infuser made from brushed stainless steel.
While they appear to have more of a golden glow in this picture, unfortunately that is because of the limitations of the lighting in our kitchen in late afternoon and our camera. Actually the stainless steel sections are grey not golden — but at least this gives you a fairly good idea of what they look like in general.
They are definitely very handy items to have on hand, great because they are very portable, enabling you to brew tea on the run, in the car, while at work, on holiday etc. without having to take an entire tea set with you. They are made so that you can drink out of the bottom section of the infusers if you want to, meaning that you do not even need to take a tea cup or mug with you — this (and your loose leaf tea of course) is really all that you need, providing you have access to hot water. You can even make your tea in advance and because of the nature of the infusers they will keep your tea warm for you for a while.
How To Use A Portable Infuser
They are very simple and easy to use. The infusers unscrew into three separate parts. The top section is the lid. The next section has a metal infuser at the bottom. This is where you place your tea. Finally the larger bottom section is where you pour in your hot water. Once the tea leaves and water are in their respective sections, you screw the infuser back together and then reverse it so the infuser with the tea leaves is sitting on the table. The water pours into this section and very effectively brews your tea. After a few minutes–depending on the type of tea you are making–you can turn it back the other way, unscrew the middle section and sip your tea.
In theory and in principle this generally works very well. There are a few things you need to be aware of when using the infusers but once you have used them a couple of times you should not have any difficulties with them at all.
Pros and Cons of Portable Tea Infusers
Although we have only tested a smattering of portable infusers, we have noted some disadvantages or things to be aware of — although this does seem to be based more on the actual portable infuser rather than portable infusers as a whole.
The portable glass infuser is made from double glass. This makes it very easy to use even when filled with hot water. You do need to remember, however, that although you can hold the glass infuser comfortably the tea on the inside can be very hot.
Another problem we have seen is that sometimes the glass infuser at least can be a tad difficult to get to screw together properly, with the resultant effect being that the hot water pours out onto the table rather than into the bottom section of the infuser when you turn it upside down. Naturally, that would be a bother if it happened on your desk at work, or in your car and it is fairly disagreeable when it happens at home too!
Finally, the glass in particular seems to tighten once the hot water is poured into it and it is a little harder to undo though that is not really a problem as such–it merely requires that a little more effort to open it afterward.
The advantages are many. They are very easy to use. They are extremely portable, enabling you to make tea on the go at any location providing you have access to hot water. They also brew a very nice cup of tea; just as good as those you would brew at home with a regular teapot. The infusers we have are also very nicely made and they look great with artful decorations on the exterior of the infuser.
Cost Of Portable Infusers
Another advantage is that they are relatively inexpensive, though the stainless steel infuser is more expensive than the glass kind. The stainless steel infuser is virtually indestructible and while the glass infuser made with two layers of thick glass is fairly sturdy it would potentially break if dropped on a hard surface.
We are still finalizing pricing for these items although we will offer a selection of different portable infusers, both medium and large sizes which will be priced according to both size and the materials they are made from. They make an interesting gift idea for any tea lover and as such we will be preparing a gift set as well that is artfully presented in a nice case.
I will keep you updated as we finalize our decisions on these infusers. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment on this post or send me a note via my contact page. We’d love to hear what you have to say or any comments you have on these items as it will help us in making our decisions on what you are interested in.