I Can Finally Make the Perfect Cup of Loose Leaf Tea Thanks to This Simple (and Stylish!) Teapot

I Can Finally Make the Perfect Cup of Loose Leaf Tea Thanks to This Simple (and Stylish!) Teapot

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For years, I have been trying to make the perfect cup of loose leaf tea. I’ve gone through silicone and stainless steel tea infusers, only to end up with cups that are too weak or have tiny particles that sneak through the holes. While I use tea bags regularly, there’s something about opening aromatic loose leaf tea and carefully making it yourself that feels even more special. I loved the idea of entering a tea shop and buying a unique blend to bring home and try myself. All of my tea-making woes were finally solved when I came across this small, sleek teapot that not only makes delicious tea but also looks super elegant whenever I’m using it.

Meet the Small Teapot from Firebelly Tea, a stylish stoneware teapot that makes the perfect cup of tea every time. The brand is the latest project from David Segal, the founder of DAVIDsTEA, so you know that you’re in the best hands for all things tea-related (we already love their winter-ready Cold War Tea Sampler, for instance!). The pot comes with just four simple parts, including the teapot, lid, stainless steel filter, and a drip-proof spout. While functionality is obviously an important aspect, style was also highly considered as Firebelly brought in a designer to ensure that the end product that looks beautiful when sitting on your countertop or kitchen table.

As soon as I opened my teapot, I knew it was the perfect time to finally use the giant box of loose leaf teas I’d gotten for Christmas. I started by trying a floral jasmine blend, and I was shocked by how well it turned out. The first tea I’d ever had in a tea shop in London when I lived there years ago was a delicate jasmine, and this cup tasted exactly like it. It had the perfect floral balance and wasn’t too weak like some other loose leaf teas I’d made before. Plus, it’s so easy to use: I typically scoop two teaspoons of loose leaf tea, then pour about 12 ounces of just off-boiling water inside, perfect for two small cups of tea. I also like that that I can keep the teapot on my desk until I’m ready for a refill.

Additionally, both the spout and mesh filter are easily removable and just require a quick wipe. For the teapot, I typically rinse it with a little soap and water. Because it has a wide surface area inside, there aren’t any hard-to-clean nooks, and it isn’t too narrow for my hand. Even if you don’t want to use loose leaf tea, this pot is great for bagged tea as well. Instead of having to get up and make two cups of tea, I like to steep two bags inside and then keep the pot on my desk and refill my cup as needed.

What I truly love most about this teapot is that a simple cup of tea in the afternoon can instantly become an entire occasion thanks to its sleek design and simplicity. At $50, it’s a great gift for yourself or a fellow tea lover to explore so many delicious flavors.

Erin Cavoto

Commerce Writer

Erin writes about all things shopping-related for The Kitchn, including highlighting small cookware brands, testing cool products, or scoping out need-to-know sales. She’s also a regular at the Trader Joe’s cheese section and has a never-ending supply of tea at home.

The One Gadget I Had to Have in My Kitchen After Living in London for a Year

The One Gadget I Had to Have in My Kitchen After Living in London for a Year

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When I moved to London a few years ago for graduate school, I experienced the obvious culture shocks: keeping to the left instead of the right, buying rocket, courgette, and aubergine at the grocery store, and changing the way I spelled (ahem, spelt) several words as part of my writing-intensive program. Of all the modifications I made during the year I lived abroad, there is one that has stuck and truly transformed my everyday life: using an electric kettle.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, why would I buy an electric kettle when I already have a perfectly fine kettle on my stove? I had the exact same thought until I started using one all day long, unlike the kettle I was used to. Purchasing this small appliance has hands-down been the best decision I’ve made for my kitchen, well beyond using it for tea!

My British roommates taught me how to use an electric kettle the right way — which is to say, all the time. While I would turn it on for tea and instant coffee, they would also use it whenever they had to boil water for cooking. For instance, if they were making pasta, they’d boil water in the kettle first, then pour that water into the saucepan for even speedier meal prep. Now that I use this method myself, I can confidently say it is much better (and faster!) than waiting for a pot of water to boil.

These days, especially while working from home, I use my kettle constantly. In the morning, I turn it on to make coffee in my French press. Then, I make a cup of tea in the afternoon and another one before bed. Not only does the water boil so much faster than on the stove, but it’s also easier to maneuver. Instead of dealing with steam and a hot handle and lid, all I need to do is pick up the kettle and pour.

Plus, without the earsplitting noise of a stovetop kettle whistling, you can use it no matter what time of day it is without disturbing anyone. I also love that I can turn it on and forget about it because it has an auto shut-off feature (and no stove burner to worry about). Then when I get back to the kettle, I just flick the switch back on and let the water take a few seconds to boil again before filling my cup.

No matter which style kettle you go for, I can guarantee that once you switch to an electric model, you won’t know how you lived so long without it!

The Tea Subscription Box That Keeps Me from Getting Bored with My Morning Brew

The Tea Subscription Box That Keeps Me from Getting Bored with My Morning Brew

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If there’s one thing I can’t live without, it’s tea. Ever since I was a child, nothing has brought me more joy than starting my day with a warm cup in hand. But as much as I enjoy drinking tea, I enjoy discovering new tea brands and flavors even more. From browsing local craft fairs to searching for tea shops every time I’m in a new city, I’m always looking for ways to discover a new favorite blend. Recently, however, I found myself in a bit of a tea rut, resorting to drinking the same brew for months on end. That all ended with a little help from the Atlas Tea Club. Ready to take your taste buds on a world tour? Let’s go.

From the same minds behind the Atlas Coffee Club, the Atlas Tea Club is designed to make it easier for tea lovers to discover incredible teas from all over the world. With blends you won’t find on your supermarket shelf, this service introduces you to unique varieties from a new country each month. With more than 50+ countries producing tea, Atlas Tea Club zig-zags across the equator to explore the world’s best. From Kenya to Nepal to Colombia to Thailand, each month members get to discover tea and culture from a new country, turning their daily tea routine into an adventure.

My first box brought me all the way to Nepal and introduced me to two delicious teas I’ve never had before: Kumari Gold (a full-bodied black tea with notes of caramel, baked fruit, and honey) and White Prakash (a smooth white tea with notes of vanilla, spring blossoms, and muscatel). These teas were delicious and a great change of pace from my usual everyday cup. In fact, I found myself reaching for these blends more and more, making me even more excited for my next box. One of my favorite features of this tea box is that each bag comes with a recommended water temperature and steep time so you can really get achieve the perfect cup. Suffice it to say, my morning routine has gotten a lot more fun.

Each box comes with everything you need for the ultimate cup of tea, including tea from that month’s destination, recyclable tea filters, steeping tips, and even a picturesque postcard that gives you a little insight into that month’s country and culture. The best part? Each subscription is customizable. You can choose between caffeinated or caffeine-free tea, green or black tea varieties, and one or two teas (a one-bag plan will run you $10, while a two-bag plan will run you $14). As someone who comes from a long line of tea drinkers, this is one subscription I won’t be canceling anytime soon. In fact, it just might end up on a couple of doorsteps this holiday season.

Sarah M. Vazquez

Commerce Writer

Sarah writes about all things shopping for Apartment Therapy, helping you find the best deals and the best products for you and your home. A Brooklyn-born Jersey Girl, she loves a good playlist, a good bagel, and her family (but not necessarily in that order).

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This Is Truly One of the Best Gifts I’ve Ever Received and I Use It Multiple Times a Day

This Is Truly One of the Best Gifts I’ve Ever Received and I Use It Multiple Times a Day

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If I had to name one simple, unassuming gift I’ve received that ended up becoming an item that I use every single day, it would undoubtedly be the mug warmer that sits on my desk. While there are tons of mug warmers out there to choose from at all different price points, including the Kitchen editor-favorite, splurge-worthy Ember Mug, this no-frills gadget comes out on top for me. Without realizing it, the Vobaga Mug Warmer quickly became one of the most-used gifts I’ve ever received, as it comes in handy multiple times a day.

As someone whose first coffee in the morning usually stretches into the afternoon, I’m quite familiar with the song and dance of having to reheat the same cup over and over again in the microwave. And as anyone else who also sticks their coffee in the microwave knows, it always tastes a little off after and much more bitter.

Having had a Mr. Coffee mug warmer in the past that I lost after moving, my mom bought me this Vobaga mug warmer instead last year to use while working from home. I hadn’t been impressed by the Mr. Coffee warmer as it didn’t keep my coffee very warm (which I didn’t mind since it was only $10!), so I didn’t expect much from this tool that only cost a bit more. But I have been pleasantly surprised!

While there are mug warmers that cost over $100, this under $25 pick does exactly what I need it to do. I’ve noticed that it works best when you place your hot coffee or tea on it right away, rather than halfway through sipping when it’s already gone lukewarm. I think people expect these gadgets to bring their drinks back to a steaming hot temperature — but many are built to slow down the cooling speed. When I place a hot cup of coffee on it fresh from my French press, I can sip it well into the afternoon and have it still be warm. Later in the day, I usually switch to tea, which means that this tool is on basically all day and has yet to show signs of wear or tear.

The Vobaga warmer has three settings, although I always keep mine at the highest setting. I recall being able to touch the plate of my Mr. Coffee warmer when it was on, but this one certainly heats up much higher (aka: Don’t touch the burner!). I also like that it’s touch-enabled and doesn’t have bulky buttons, which contributes to its overall sleek look. While I have it in black, it also comes in several colors like Sky Blue, White, and Wood Grain that make it look like a much more expensive warmer.

Now, I can leisurely sip all my warm beverages and not have to worry about a trip to the microwave. It’s safe to say that I’m ready for winter, thanks to my favorite desk accessory. And clearly, it makes for a great gift for coffee lovers (or tea and hot chocolate) that they’ll use almost constantly!