So you’re hankering for a good cuppa, but you don’t want just any tea out of a tea bag (so many of them made of “tea dust” as a friend of mine once called it). You want a really good flavored tea – you just want a cup instead of a pot.

Which means facing the dreaded tea filter or infuser – there are dozens and dozens to choose from – literally. Which to use to get the best flavor from your favorite loose-leaf tea?

In making the choice of a go-to filters, there’s a few key factors that decide it for me:

  1. The holes have to actually filter the tea. I mean, how many of the stainless tea steel infusers actually do that? Making them almost non-starters from the get-go.
  2. For me (who still works a typical 10+ hour day), disposable (and biodegradable) is easier and better. Cleaning out infusers or cloth filters is just not on my to-do list.
  3. There must be no possibility of tea leaves sneaking into the cup as it brews. Not to state the obvious, but I don’t want to be spitting out tea leaves as I drink!

As a result, I’ve narrowed down my go-to choice of tea filter to one, with one close runner-up.

Favorite – the drawstring filter. I had tried out these (also in the pictures), but afterward found an unbleached paper version.

Can’t go wrong with paper filters that get good flavor coming through, close up tightly enough at the top that you don’t have to worry about any leaves getting through into the cup as it steeps, and that you can just pick up and throw away afterward.

Close runner-up – the open bag with the holding stick. (Finum has some great tea filter products).

The leaves have plenty of space to breathe as they steep, and it sits easily at the top of the tea cup, high enough so the leaves don’t tend to slip over into the tea. You do have to remember not to throw away the stick, though, the only non-disposable part of the process.

So there you have my two top choices for disposable tea filters. At least until I run across a new favorite!

Final thought on this subject – re my comment about “tea dust” – 20 years, and even 10 years ago, I would have said the tea in all tea bags are filled with “dust”. In the past few years, it seems like tea vendors are starting to get the idea that just because one wants to use a tea bag, doesn’t mean one wants a lesser cup of tea! But that’s a topic for another post….

So what’s your favorite filter?

Lovely mugs from the Sophie Conran for Portmeirion collection, celadon and mulberry colors.
Featured picture is Murchie’s Golden Jubilee tea, Lavender tray from Kew Gardens

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