Last week I took some vacation time from work so I could focus on a personal writing project. (And it's tea-related, so you'll hear about it eventually!) All work and no play makes for a very dull girl, though, so I spent one day in Atlanta hitting the mall, an antique shop, and some of the fun boutiques I've been wanting to visit. For lunchtime I decided to go to the Neiman Marcus Café at Lenox Mall because I wanted some of Neiman's famous popovers and strawberry butter. I got there early and had to wait a bit for the café to open, but that was fine because I enjoyed looking at all the glorious teawares that are so far out of my price range it isn't even funny. I fell in love with Versace's exquisite china, including this beautiful Flower Fantasy teacup. While I wasn't prepared to drop $250 on a teacup, I did find a display of new Tea Forté products and brought home a very reasonably-priced ($24) new tea steeping system and 24 individual packets of loose tea!
With so many tea gadgets at my house, I really have to stop and think whether I'm willing to invest in a new one. But I've had a bit of a challenge making loose leaf tea at the office lately, and this Kati system struck me as a possible solution.
While I've tried those ceramic cups with ceramic infusers before, they don't strain the tea very well, and this one's fine mesh basket appealed to me.
Here are neatly lined packets of Tea Forté teas in a nice range of flavors, including Forté Breakfast, Earl Grey, Ginger Lemongrass, Chamomile Citron and Green Mango Peach.
The Green Mango Peach was the first one I tried.
Sure enough, this packet holds just the right amount of loose tea for a 12-ounce cup of tea.
I poured boiling water just to the rim of the cup, and here's what it looked like while steeping. The tea had some kick from the ginger and was just delicious, and the steeping system worked beautifully. I am quite happy to have something so simple and well-designed to use for steeping tea at the office.
And since the strainer can be set on the lid when I remove it for drinking tea, I can even re-steep the leaves! After I bought this set at Neiman Marcus, I visited a large art supply store in Atlanta and was surprised to find the set selling for $27 instead of the the $24 I paid. Then I checked Amazon and it was $29 there, so if you don't live near a Neiman Marcus be sure to shop around if you want this set. Also, I liked the color of my green teacup just fine until I learned it also comes in a grey/blue version (and others). Lovely! If you, too, need *just one more* tea-steeping device, I definitely recommend you try this one!