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Many serious tea drinkers opt for loose leaves over pre-bagged teas. While supermarket bagged teas make brewing easy, those tea packets are often made from the dusty remnants of broken tea leaves and have lost most of their major flavors and oils. Tea leaves also need room to fully expand and develop their flavor, which can’t happen in those small cramped bags. Enter: tea strainers. Here are our favorites.

Most versatile: Finum Reusable Stainless Steel Tea Infusing Mesh Brewing Basket

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The Finum mesh brewing basket may not look like much, but it’s a super-efficient, thoughtful design that works for coffee, tea, and herbs. The stainless-steel micro-mesh container keeps debris—no matter how tiny—out of your drink. The plastic lid keeps your drink warm a little longer, and multitask as your drip-tray when you’re done.

Most durable: House Again Tea Ball Infuser

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The House Again infusers are made out of extra fine mesh that won’t let stray leaves or particles to escape, and food-grade 304 stainless steel that resists rust. A 4.7-inch chain will let it drape over mugs, kettles, and teacups without fuss.

Best design: Baby Nessie Tea Infuser

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A word of warning: these adorable tea infusers are not designed to keep out very fine particles (so no powdered tea or fine grounds). They are, however, designed to delight. You can get a red and green long-creature poking out of your drink, made out of food-grade non-toxic silicone.

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