Tea EquipmentWater KettlesAlthough there are many
Although there are many different kinds of kettles to choose from, only a few are really good quality. Most are cheaply made with cute designs. Best features: Tight-fitting lid, handles that won’t get hot, quality material (avoid aluminum) and size. Spouts that whistle can be irritating or very convenient.
In recent years, some great electric “cordless” kettles have appeared on the market. If you’re a traditionalist, buy an old style kettle for the stove, but if you’re more modern and like the convenience, these new electric kettles are the way to go. They’re great in the office too.
We recommend a different teapot for each type of tea. For black teas, a 2-cup or 4-cup porcelain teapot is perfect; for green or oolong teas you should try to find a small teapot, preferably Japanese or Chinese; and for herbal infusions, clear glass teapots show off the beauty of the infusion (although they lose temperature fast). All teas can be brewed perfectly in a mug using a large infuser. Best features: Tight-fitting lid, smooth and polished surface, balanced proportions, and a spout that doesn’t leak.
The common wire mesh infuser, found everywhere, is not very good as it is usually too small to allow the tea leaf to fully expand. We recommend an infuser that fits the whole mug or extends deeply into the teapot. Good infusers include Finum or Bodum. Super fine infusers are needed for herbal infusions (tisanes).
Miscellaneous Tea Accessories
A few other items you may need include a measuring tea spoon (try to always use the same spoon), digital timer (electric beepers are irritating but efficient; sand egg timers are quiet but easy to forget); thermometer (good for green teas which require low temp water); tight- fitting containers, and tea cups (white porcelain is always best, handless cups are nice for Japanese or Chinese teas). Black tea enthusiasts also like a tea cozy to keep their teapot hot.