4 tea-licious tools for making better tea at home, according to our editors

Because good tea doesn't have to be complicated

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published September 2, 2022 4:40PM (EDT)

Glasses of iced tea with straws and tropical garnishes (Getty Images/Carlina Teteris)
Glasses of iced tea with straws and tropical garnishes (Getty Images/Carlina Teteris)

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Whether it's a soothing glass of sweet tea or a warming cup of chai with a spoonful (or two) of sugar, tea is a simple yet rewarding beverage that is meant to be enjoyed year-round, no matter the season. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Costco's instant boba tea is basically magic

That said, iced tea any way is one of the quintessential drinks of summer. When you need to beat the heat at picnics, barbecues or backyard pool parties, few things are as refreshing as an ice-cold glass. And when you pair iced tea with spirits, you get a low-ABV cocktail that is perfect for day-drinking or capping off a long day outdoors.

Across the pond, the traditions surrounding tea are entirely different. If you want to sip afternoon tea like the royals, you can reserve a table at the Kensington Palace Pavilion, which has a view of the beautiful Sunken Garden that dates back more than 100 years. 

No matter which way you go about it, making tea is an art in and of itself, but it doesn't have to be overly complicated. That's why the Salon Food team is here to recommend a few tried-and-trusted products to help make tea drinking more fun.

From a cute monster-shaped tea infuser to a sealable pitcher with a built-in pour spout, here are 4 tea-licious tools for brewing and sipping better tea at home:

1. Reusable Stainless Steel Straws

I have an inexplicable love for the bendable plastic straws you sometimes get at coffee shops or with soft drinks, but we all know those aren't great for the environment. Late last year, I bought this pack of bent metal straws — which come in black, gold, rose gold and silver — to use in my morning iced coffee and with my afternoon iced teas. — Ashlie Stevens, deputy food editor

12+2 Pcs Reusable Stainless Steel Straws12+2 Pcs Reusable Stainless Steel Straws (Photo courtesy of Amazon)
Non-toxic metal straws. Top rack dishwasher safe.
Made of rust and scratch-proof 18/8 stainless steel. Fits most tumblers. 


2. Baby Nessie Loose Leaf Tea Infuser

I go through so many tea bags, but during the pandemic, I was gifted lots of lovely loose-leaf teas. I didn't want to brew a whole teapot, so I searched for a tea infuser that fit my personality. I settled on this one because it's silicone, easy to wash, comes in three color choices (I settled on purple) and was easy to load the tea in. I also liked the idea of a Nessie sighting in the loch of tea in my mug, its little head peeking out, smiling at me. — Hanh Nguyen, senior culture editor

OTOTO Baby Nessie Loose Leaf Tea InfuserOTOTO Baby Nessie Loose Leaf Tea Infuser (Photo Courtesy of Amazon)
This cute tea infuser spoon brings out the wondrous flavors of loose-leaf teas. 
Unlike a tea press, this infuser is very convenient to use, especially for beginners.

BUY FOR $16.95

3. Rare Tea Cellar's Mallorca Melon Tea

When I had tea at Chicago's London House Hotel, the server specifically recommended the Mallorca Melon Tea. After a few sips, I totally understood why. The blend is tangy and sweet, made with a delicious mix of Spanish cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, hibiscus and Seville orange. While I had it hot that day, I can't wait to put some on ice. — AS

4. Luminarc Sealable Pitcher

I love pitchers like this because they're just as perfect for storing iced tea as they are for serving. They're sturdy but also beautiful. When purchasing a pitcher, look for one with an integrated handle and a built-in pour spout for easy refrigerator-to-table transportation. — AS

Luminarc Quadro 1.7-Liter PitcherLuminarc Quadro 1.7-Liter Pitcher (Photo Courtesy of Amazon)
This pitcher is safe and easy to clean in the dishwasher.
It holds an ample supply of liquid, yet is small enough to conserve needed fridge space.

Starting at $15.35

Salon Food writes about stuff we think you'll like. Salon has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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