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I love my cups of tea and was recently bought a selection of loose herbal teas to try. I have some delicious fruit ones that have chunks of dried papaya, rose petals and cherry pieces in! Absolutely fantastic.
I bought the tea ball in order to make the perfect cup of tea, with the least amount of mess.
*Price and availability*
The tea balls come in a variety of sizes. I bought the 2 inch one as this is perfect for 1-2 cups. I paid £2.99 from a tea shop and think I was ripped off. You can pick it up for around £1.50 online.
The tea ball is 2 inches in diameter and has a chain of 5 cm which is perfect for hanging outside the cup. The tea ball is made from 18/8 stainless steel which is not as strong as 18/10 stainless steel. This is noticeable because the mesh is quite pliable and I doubt how long it will last.
To use the ball, it is really easy and all you have to do is fill up one half of the ball, tamp it down and then carefully close the other side. The fastener locks in tight which prevents any loose tea escaping into your cup.
The infuser allows the water to fully penetrate all leaves in the tea ball and allows the water to move round so that the infusion happens quickly while the water is still hot.
After use you need to be careful as the tea ball will be hot. I let it cool and then pour the remainder of leaves in the tea ball in the bin and rinse it out for next time.
I like the tea ball and think that it is a really easy to use. It is really tight fitting and prevents anything escaping. I stick mine in the dish washer without any problems but I am always careful not to let anything fall on the tea ball as this could damage it and it will not fit as tightly.
You can even use the tea ball in cooking and use it with herbs and spices.
I paid over the odds for mine but if you can get one for around £1.50 , you have yourself a bargain and you will enjoy making delicious cups of tea.
We drink a lot of tea in our house, and we use not just teabags of all descriptions, but also we are lovers of loose tea, as we find that delivers a much nicer and tastier cup of tea as the leaves are allowed to move around inside the pot and eminate their lovely strong flavours.
Until about a year ago, we used a teapot and a strainer - that is until we discovered the lovely teaball from Whittards of Chelsea and it cost us just £5 whioch we both think is a bargain. There are much cheaper versions of this around now and I have seen one for as little as £1.50 but I must say we are very pleased with ours at it appears to be very durable and robust as it gets used a lot.
It looks quite attractive and is simply a silver little ball which clips together and then unclips for you to put in the loose tea of your choice. It has a little hinge at the back which allows you to open and close the ball with ease. You then dip the ball into your cup of hot water and wait for the flavours to infuse into the water. Basically, you can have your tea as strong or as weak as you prefer it and it acts much like a teabag does, only we think this is much more sophisticated.
It does make a very tasty cup of tea and it also has the advantage that it saves you having to use both a teapot and a strainer, thus saving on the washing up!
It is very easy to keep clean. We do not put ours in the dishwasher but we simply rinse it under hot soapy water and leave on the drainer for it to dry by itself.
It is durable and long lasting and nice to leave out on the kitchen worktop and not something you feel you have to hide away in your kitchen drawer.
This review is also published on Ciao under name of sorehead.
This product is an undated version of an older model but produced by a different company, the older model was a lot less sturdy and didn't close compactly enough because the hinge you have to use to close it, is either not strong enough to keep the 2 mini sieves together or it was just badly manufactured (rushed).
Whereas the newer/latest model of the ''Tea Ball' which is the one in the display picture is so much better and more secure in every way you can think of, the two mini sieves are connected together by a hinge at the back, and you can open and close the ball using the little clip at the front of the ball, also another feature this has is that leading from the back of the ball there is a chain with a clip on the end, that will clip onto any cup or mug, so you can leave your fresh tea or herbs to brew in your water.
When you believe that the Tea Ball has being in long enough, you simply just leaver the ball out using the chain, but do this slowly because if you do it quickly you risk the chance of the clip coming undone under the pressure of the water and all you herbs or whatever you have filled your Tea Ball with fall out into water (which defeats the whole objective of the Tea Ball, to provide a smooth none bitty lovely cuppa,)
I purchased my Tea Ball on the internet (Amazon) for £1.49 which was pretty cheap to say delivery was free, there are a lot of specialist shops were you can buy your herbs, or your fresh tea but the prices normally vary from £3 up to £5.50 which is a lot, I get my mum's herbs and fresh tea from Bradford Market, i suppose in all markets there will be at least one specialist tea stall, and tea from that stall costs as little as £1.50 a lot cheaper but tastes just as good.
This product is hard to buy, but be patient i was and i found the product online because i could not find the product in any shop and i probably tried every shop you could think of, they didn't even have this product in cooking shops, so it must just be a product you can purchase online.
If you like tea, and love fresh flavored tea then you will love this handy little gadget because this is the quickest and easiest way to make your favorite, flavored cupppa's.
You are invited to a tea ball!
My mother and I are quite snobby when it comes to tea and when we get together we only drink tea made with tea leaves. Generally I just have PG tips but I love it when I get to have some proper tea. I first came across a tea ball when I went to an afternoon tea at a posh London restaurant.
A tea ball looks just like a tea strainer but it is actually a tea diffuser and eliminates the need for both a tea pot and a tea strainer but still lets you have a nice cup of tea made with proper tea leaves. The ball is a small silver ball with holes all around it, much like a strainer. It unhooks and allows you to fill it up with tea leaves and then it hooks back together. The ball is on the end of a chain which allows you to dip the ball into the tea cup.
It's very easy to use, like I've said above you fill it with the required amount of tea leaves, for a stronger cup you obviously put in more. Then once you have boiled your water and added it to your tea cup you dip the ball in and out of the boiling water until you required the desired strength of tea.
What I like about it is that it allows you to have a different flavour tea than the person you are sharing tea with without having to make two different pots of tea. For example my mum likes Earl Grey and although I do I do not always feel like it so she can make her tea with Earl Grey leaves and then I just rinse it out and make my tea with regular flavoured leaves.
I think it works so well because I assume it's much like the pyramid tea bag principle, the more room the tea leaves have to move around the bterr the quality of the cup of tea.
I picked mine up from a unique cooking shop for about £5 and is a great way of making a proper cup of tea.
Now, in this house, we're all quite partial to a cuppa. The best drink of the day is when you get up, pop on the kettle and sit there drinking the brew with your eyes half open, waiting for the caffeine to take effect. No, even better than that is when someone brings you a cuppa in bed. Bliss.
When we have visitors we make a proper brew using a teapot, but as there's usually only my partner and I taking the regular tea, one teabag for each of us and one for the pot how you are supposed to make it, is a bit uneconomical, so we just make it in our mug.
My daughter, being terribly fussy will only drink green tea, any flavour as long as it's green. Gunpowder, nettle, peppermint, and lotus flower - we have them all, and while most of these come in teabag form too, depending on where she's purchased her latest acquisition from, depends whether it's loose leafed or not. She usually buys loose tea from Whittards. (I told you she was fussy).
Loose leaf tea and the infuser
When making this loose leaf tea, rather than dirty the teapot and also a strainer just for one cup, we make use of this little ingenious device - a Tea Ball Infuser. What it is essentially, is a re-usable tea bag.
This device consists of two wire mesh cups, rather like mini sieves, with a diameter of just less than two inches. These are fastened at one side with a hinge, to hold it together, and a clasp at the opposing side, to open, fill, and seal in the contents. A stainless steel chain, with a hook on the end, suspends the infuser in the hot water in your cup or mug, and sits there steeping until the tea reaches your required strength.
Being stainless steel, this hasn't tarnished in any way at all, and she's had a good few years use out of it. With heavy use the tannin in the tea may dull it a little, but a quick run through the dishwasher once in a while will sort that out.
It still performs like it did on day one. It does however, look a little worse for wear, as the mesh gets a little dented from all the other items in my utensil drawer. A gentle press from the inside, with your thumb, will push it back into shape again, more or less. It still works anyway.
I bought this for my daughter from the Whittards website, http://www.whittard.co.uk as there is no local store nearby. You may be able to find this in Wilkinsons, or any other store with a home ware department, or even eBay. They aren't too expensive at roughly around £4, and what you will receive will give you years and years of use.
Having bought my daughter mugs with the infusers built in, and lots of other tea making gadgets, she still uses this at least every day, and multiple times a day at that.
The Tea Infuser Ball is most highly recommended from this household for price, value, and overall sheer convenience. This makes a smashing cup of tea, just how you like it. :o)
Many thanks for reading my review, and I hope it was of some use to you.
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