I'm a serious tea junkie and what better time to cozy up to a mug of tea than the winter. I only really drink loose tea. These days my favourite teas are Japanese Green Tea (usually Bancha), Tulsi Tea (Organic India), and Sage Leaf Tea. I do occasionally brew Camomile and Mint. I usually use organic leaves, but if the Green Tea is Japanese I will make exceptions.
I've brewed tea in all sorts of ways. My favourite ways up until recently were to brew it 1) in a bodum, 2) in a Japanese cast tea pot, or 3) brew it in a glass mug with a stainless strainer (the kind you buy at Japanese shops). Forget about tea balls, etc. because loose tea needs to be able to float freely.
Bodum Pavina Double-Wall Thermo Cup. Two of these cups came with a Bodum press we bought and sat in the cupboard for a long time until we discovered that a tea stainer I had fit perfectly. Shortly after that discovery I haven't been able to drink tea in anything else. Your tea just floats in the inner layer of glass. They are light and durable--made of borosilicate glass.
These cups keep the tea hot but they remain just pleasantly warm to the touch. Brewing tea in glass is the superior way, of course, as any serious tea drinker knows. Besides not adding any weird flavours or toxins to the brew, glass allows you to see what you're drinking in contrast to old school mugs. The tea looks incredible in these cups, which adds to the tea "experience".
The other thing you need is a stainless strainer. The one I have is from a Cast Iron Japanese tea pot. You can mail order them online pretty easily if you don't have access to a Japanese shop. Leave a comment and I can help you find one. It should fit perfectly into the cup. I'm using the 12 ounce Bodum cup and the 3 inch strainer fits perfectly.
Please leave a comment and tell me your favourite brewing method or favourite tea.