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Tea Time

by Tim Yu in Food + Drink on 12 April 2007

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I recently visited Zhejiang Province in China, home to the Dragon Well Tea, which has long been ranked first for Chinese teas in successive appraisals for its mild fragrance, clear brew and nutty, smooth taste. The highest grade harvests of its yellowish-green spears are hard to attain, even in China.

Inspired by this superlative tea-drinking experience, we found some first-rate tea products to help infuse a perfect cup. The following are some of our favorites and good ones to add to your mental Mother's Day list.

Thanks to Adagio, we also have the latest model of the TriniTea (pictured right, description below) to give away to one lucky Cool Hunting reader. We'll chose a winner at random from the entries. To enter, follow the contact link at the bottom of the page, fill out the form and select "TriniTea Giveaway" from the pull-down menu. All entries must be in by Monday, 16 April 2007, 11:59pm EST.

Simplifying morning routines and the preparation of loose tea, TriniTEA is an electric tea maker that works like a coffee maker. Heated water in the upper chamber steeps with tea leaves in the center cylinder and then drips into a pot to keep warm throughout the day. Variable timer and temperature controls lets you adjust the strength of the infusion, ensuring a cup of tea to your liking. Available for $99 from Adagio.

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This Tea Infuser by Tovolo (above left) features an angled base making it easy to use and set down, while also serving as a receptacle for drips—an often overlooked detail. Made of heat resistant polycarbonate with stainless steel accents and basket, it holds enough loose tea to brew a generous strong cup. It comes in red, green and purple and is available for $10 here.

The Teaposy Light My Life Warmer (above right) is an artful way to keep your tea warm. Handmade of heat resistant borosilicate glassware, it contains 20% recycled material. Made to use with other Teaposy products, you simply set the pot on the glass base over the flame of a candle to keep your tea from becoming cold. Purchase it for $16 here.

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A clever German design, this Tea Stick Infuser is a must-have for tea lovers with a minimalist flair. To use, simply pull out the canister, fill with loose tea and swirl in a cup of hot water. Fumble proof and made of stainless steel, it's one of the easiest, quickest and sleekest ways to make a single serving—a great example of elegant design. Made by Floz, it's available for $20 from the MoMA Store.

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The Filio Teapot (above left), by Mono Tabletop, is sleek and modern in design and suspends the tea above the tabletop in its pot. Made of glass, brewing tea in the open stainless steel mesh infuser allows the leaves to unfold for fuller flavor. It holds 20 ounces of liquid and though steep at $116, it's the preferred method of tea afficionados. Get it from Mighty Leaf.

The Treleela Charm (above right) is a crisp, good tea but the real innovation are the pochettes designed so that each acts as an individual infuser. Made to replicate the experience of a traditional brew, the tea bag opens along a seam in the top and wings attach to the brim of the mug allowing the tea more circulation while it brews. All of Treleela's teas come directly from their farms and are 100% organic. Different varieties are available exclusively at Hello Delicious for $10.

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