I have a ridiculous obsession with tea infusers! Seriously. I am not kidding. The other day I had to tear myself away from picking up 3 tea infusers, 2 of which I already owned! You would think that someone this obsessed with tea infusers must drink tea daily or twice a day? Oh no! I drink tea 3 times a week, if that much. I know I have a problem. I also know that I do not want any help with my problem.
Last summer whilst in the United States, I was in one of those fancy kitchen stores, staring, touching and caressing – you guessed it – tea infusers. Just to the side of me, facing the opposite direction was a group of young ladies. One of them in the group reached out to pick up something. Someone in the group asked, “Why do you need another one of those?” The young lady in question was holding a rolling pin. She looked up at her friend that asked the question and said, “Sometimes, ‘why’ is not important.” I smiled and whispered to myself as I looked down at the tea infuser in my hand, “Yeah, sometimes why is really not important.” I took my tea infuser and headed to the cashier.
I buy tea infusers because I like to use loose tea leaves. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good cup of strong tea from a tea bag but I do enjoy the flexibility of measuring my own tea and making it just like I like it – strong and black or strong and green with sugar and milk. My obsession with tea infusers is matched with my buying tealeaves. I have been good so far for the year though, I have not bought any for the year because I have to use out the stocks I have. That is not to say that I have not been tempted!
Getting back to the question of, ‘Why do you need another one of those?’ I’ve been asked that question about cutting boards, kitchen timers and knives. The truth is that I can justify the want for each but not necessarily the need for each. The same is true for the tea infusers. There is something different about each of the infusers that appeals to me at the time when I am ready to have a cup of tea. Let me explain.
I’ve given each their own name, so don’t hope to go into a store and ask for them by the names below (laugh).
The Spoon Rest Infuser – I like this infuser because it comes with it own spoon rest! This way, when I remove the infuser from my teacup or mug, I don’t have to worry about resting it and having it stain the table or leave a wet mark on the surface. The excess can drip right into the spoon rest! Come on, admit it, that is pretty cool don’t you think?
The Stylish Infuser – This infuser is just so fashionable while being sensible. I like that the top part of the cone shape allows for easy scooping up of the tealeaves and that it lies across the cup as my tea steeps.
The Playful Infuser – More than its function, I like this infuser because I can play with it by squeezing it open and shut. Don’t shake your head; I did say it was an obsession. All fun aside, I like that I can just drop this infuser into the cup and not worry about it spilling stuff. I can even use the infuser to stir the tea once the sugar and milk have been added.
The Teacup Friendly Infuser – This one is perfect when I am actually using a teacup. I often use mugs for my tea, but because a teacup is shallow when I use a teacup, this infuser sits perfectly in the teacup with its chain secured at the handle.
The Covered Infuser – I bought this just because I liked the design and look and feel of the cup. I can cover my tea as it steeps, lift the infuser out and rest it on the cover. Brilliant.
The Cast Iron Infuser – More than anything else, I bought this because it is cast iron. It is small, holds the perfect amount of tea that satisfies me and I can leave the infuser in the teapot making the tea even stronger.
The Coffee Press disguised as an Infuser – I bought the French Press, not to make coffee but to make tea. There are times when I want to have more than a cup of tea and the French Press makes this possible, perfectly, with the tea leaves.
You see? I need all of these infusers; each has its own role. What’s your kitchen tool or gadget obsession? While you think about that, let me share this with you.
Last Wednesday, I spent a wonderful afternoon in the company of seven delightful women. We had all met for tea at the home of our hostess. There were no beeps, no ring tones in ear shot, and no cell phones in sight; no computers, no sound of fingers tap dancing on keyboards. All you could hear was the sound of beautiful voices: laughter and talk. The sound of teacups gently touching the saucers as they came back to rest, the slight ‘clink’ as the spoons were lightly placed next to the teacups. There were conversations taking place – some between two people, others between three people, and sometimes we all joined in together. The birds’ chirping provided the background music to the gathering. A light breeze passed by every now and then in fleeting greeting. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! Thank you ladies!