The Super Popular OXO Tool That (Finally) Made Me a Loose-Leaf-Tea Convert

published Jan 11, 2023
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Someone drinking tea.
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez Hart; Nails: Mamie Onishi

I drank a lot of tea as a kid, mostly during the cold, North Jersey winters. However, it was always just the low-quality English breakfast tea that we’d buy in the 100-count tea bag batches from Costco or another bulk store. I thought it was OK — I definitely hadn’t had anything better at the time — and for years, that was pretty much the extent of my foray into the world of tea. Years later, I went off to college in downtown New York City, where I worked a short, two-week gig at a specialty store in Manhattan during a summer, and got to try my first cup of delicious, loose-leaf chai made by one of the women who worked the counter. After my first sip, I was hooked, but my stint at the shop ended, and I went back to slamming burnt coffee, pre-packaged cold brew, and energy drinks, as a college kid is wont to do. Thankfully, though, I recently picked up some loose leaf tea at a nearby Christmas market, and I’m back on the good stuff. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any way to brew the tea, and was rigging a piece of cheesecloth as a makeshift bag to avoid drinking leaves and stems. (Pro Tip: Don’t do that.) After a few unsuccessful tries with that method, I picked up a super-popular tool from one of my favorite cookware companies that’s proved invaluable in my entrance into the tea game: the OXO Brew Tea Infuser Basket

The OXO Brew Tea Infuser Basket is designed to be an easy way to optimize your loose-leaf tea’s flavor, and the holes on the sides of the stainless-steel basket keep fine particles in your cup, and not in your mouth. It fits perfectly in every mug I’ve used it with, thanks to its extra-wide wings, which also serve as handles that never get too hot, thanks to their length. My favorite part, though, is that the heat-retaining lid also serves as a drip tray, meaning you don’t end up with drips all over your coffee table when you remove the basket. It also has a silicone ring on the bottom, so you won’t burn whatever you’re setting it on. Plus, since you can get several extractions from one serving of loose-leaf tea, the basket is right there if you want another cup. 

Credit: Ian Burke

With a 4.8-star average rating from over 5,400 reviews on Amazon, it’s clear this is a universally loved tool for tea drinkers around the globe. “The holes in the basket are smaller than other infusers I’ve looked at, which is great because it prevents too many particles from coming through,” one reviewer writes. “It’s [also] easy to clean. I typically let my leaves dry and then dump them out, but I have also just tapped the infuser along the trash bin and had no problems.” 

So, if you’ve been wanting to get into loose-leaf tea, but don’t want to shell out for an expensive tea pot, there’s no better choice than the easy-to-use, affordable Brew Tea Infuser Basket from OXO