Fact: Tea is the most popular manufactured drink in the world in terms of consumption, equaling all other manufactured drinks in the world – including coffee, soft drinks, and booze combined. So, since apparently everyone and their dog are making mugs of green, black or chamomile, what better way to distinguish yourself from the pack but with an awesome tea infuser.
Tea infusers became wildly popular towards the latter part of the 19th century / early 20th century. With the advent of the industrial revolution, they were mass produced to the point of becoming a common household item alongside the sterling silver tea set.
Thomas Sullivan, a renowned tea merchant almost inadvertently killed the infuser altogether in 1910, after shipping tea in small silk muslin bags to his clients. The tea was supposed to be removed from the bags, but customers found it easier to dunk this pouch into the boiling water. The result was a no-mess cup of tea and consequent ushering in of the “tea bag” era, which contributed significantly in the decline of the infusers necessity.
Fortunately, with the popularity of loose leaf Oriental teas and their introduction into Western markets, people are once again turning to the infuser for their steeping needs and after looking at this gallery, these probably wouldn’t be your Great-Grandmother’s cup of tea.