What is the difference?
Tea strainers, are found at tea parties and tea rooms, are usually made of silver, and are used where and when tea is served in the British tradition - loose in the pot. Strainers with Drip Bowls are designed to rest on, or be held above, the tea cup to catch errant tea leaves from the teapot. Place the strainer on a resting bowl when not in use and to catch drips.
A Tea Infuser comes in different shapes and forms. Some Teapots with Infusers are fitted with a basket to contain the tea leaves and allow for easy removal when the right brewing time is achieved. d allow for easy removal when the right brewing time is achieved.
Mesh tea balls and spoon-style infusers use to be popular when using loose leaf tea. Today they can be bought in many unique and fun shapes. However, they do not usually allow the tea leaves to adequately expand and release their full flavor.
Tea Filters are made of paper or silk, in which the tea leaves are placed and given free room to expand. They vary in size, anywhere from one cup to a commercial size filter. Tea filters have made the joy of drinking loose leaf tea easy in preparation and also in clean-up, as they are disposable (not to mention biodegradable.)
Caddy Spoons and Mote skimmers are seldom used now but served their purpose in the 18 th century. The Caddy Spoon was made to fit in the tea caddy which is the reason for its short handles and was used to transport the tea from the caddy to the teapot.
A mote is a “small particle or dust” and the mote spoon skims the tea leaves or “dust” that might have escaped into your cup. And like the Caddy Spoon, it was also used to transport tea from caddy to pot. If the spout on the teapot became clogged, you used the pointed end of your handy mote spoon to open the passageway.
How to pour tea using a strainer:
Hold a tea strainer above the cup or if it has “handles”, let it rest right on the cup. Pour the liquid from the pot, complete with tea leaves. The strainer will catch the leaves. Then place the strainer on its companion resting bowl. If you are pouring for a guest, do not let the strainer rest on the cup. The tea cup is then handed directly to the guest.
These accessories are both beautiful and functional, which is why it makes collecting them so enjoyable.
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