Loose tea steeps best when it has ample room to expand and have the maximum surface area exposed to hot water, making this convenient tea brewing-straining device superior to ball or “in cup” strainers. You just add the desired amount of tea, (two or three teaspoons in the 16 oz. version), and pour in water heated to the correct temperature. Allow 3 minutes of steeping time for green teas, five for black teas, and as long as desired for herbal teas; then place the device on top of your mug and the tea releases in a narrow stream while the leaves are kept in the ingenuiTEA by the built-in strainer. One can re-brew the same leaves again if desired, or simply toss them and rinse the ingenuiTEA with warm water and dish soap (it’s also dishwasher safe).
The ingenuiTEA works marvelously for both green tea (steeping temperature of 180 degrees) and black or herbal teas, which usually require water that has just come to a rolling boil. The plastic tends to insulate fairly well, meaning maximum extraction for those teas that do require exceptionally hot water and/or extended steeping times. A standard teapot and a simple strainer (not the ball type, but the kitchen type with an open top and a handle) could make tea just as well, but the convenience and aesthetics of this device compel me to recommend it. Being able to dispense tea directly into your preferred mug is a selling point; and it’s wonderful to be able to see the leaves expand and “dance.” The strainer is replaceable, and while it does discolor when brewing black tea, a brief soak in hot water and “Oxyclean” will have it looking brand new.