I enjoy drinking all varieties of tea. I usually have black tea with one spoon of sugar. I usually drink green tea and white tea plain. The only exception is Moroccan green tea, which is made by taking green tea and adding a fresh mint leaf and lots of sugar. I consider the presence of milk in tea to be an abomination, but this is probably a result of my upbringing.
My favourite supermarket brand is Twinings. Usually, I buy tea in tea bags, but I discovered that loose leaf tea is far better value for money. The other day at my local Woolworths supermarket, I found a large pack of loose leaf Lady Grey for less than half the price of a much smaller pack of teabags.
The traditional problem with loose leaf is that it is hard to make a single individual cup – people usually make a whole pot, which is messy and requires a lot of paraphernalia.
I have solved this problem for myself with the aid of a split-sphere mesh tea infuser (the top utensil in the image below).
When you want to make a cup, you squeeze the handle, scoop up some loose-leaf tea into the bottom sphere, and then release the handle to close the spheres.
You then put the tea-filled infuser in an empty cup or mug, and pour in some freshly boiled water. You can optionally add sugar, and then stir it using using the handle of the infuser, saving the need for a separate spoon.
Once you’ve brewed the tea to the desired strength, you can remove the infuser from the cup.
To clean the infuser, hold it over a waste container and squeeze the handle. You may need to gently knock the handle against the side of the container. The bulk of the used loose-leaf tea should fall out in a ball-like mass. Rinse the infuser under a tap to remove any remaining tea leaves.
After many uses, tea residue may build up and discolour the mesh. I found that I could return the infuser to mint condition by standing it in a glass of dilute laundry bleach for a few minutes, then rinsing it under a tap.
I purchased my infuser from the local gourmet tea store T2 for just under $4. They can also be purchased from most tea shops and online.