Tea strainers are ideal when serving lovely, big teapots that don’t contain their own infusers. The leaves are allowed to dance around without restriction ready to be captured in an awaiting strainer sitting patiently on a teacup and saucer.
Types of Tea Strainers
Strainers can range from ornate to very simple in design. Most are made from stainless steel but very traditional strainers may be silver plated, which can tarnish. These days that silver plated look is often mimicked with a rhodium plated finish, which looks just as shiny without tarnishing.
Do you want Mesh or Holes for your Tea Strainer?
What tea leaves you use may also dictate what kind of strainer is best for you. This is because strainers are usually either made of mesh or are a solid body with holes. Solid strainers do look nicer but may not necessarily be practical for catching smaller/broken leaf teas. Mesh is obviously finer and will therefore prevent fewer tea particles from landing in your cup. Holes in solid strainers tend to be quite big so these might be a better option for large leaf teas or herbal tisanes, which are less likely to slip through.
Depth of your Tea Strainer
Another feature to consider is the shape of the strainer’s body in terms of depth. While some have a substantial concavity, others can be somewhat shallow, which causes leaves to slosh off the sides into your cup as they’re poured out. More often than not, these shallow strainers also have solid bodies (as opposed to mesh) thus contributing to more spillage as liquid quickly accumulates on the surface area. However, this is usually overcome by just pouring your tea a little slower so the liquid has time to filter through the holes.