The best mug, steeper, and more for brewing the perfect cup of tea

Kick your stale Lipton bags to the curb and upgrade your tea game with these simple accessories.

A perfect cup of tea can transform your entire day. But, those stale old tea bags rotting away in your cabinet probably won’t do the trick. Luckily, brewing an excellent cup is simple if you’re willing to put in a little prep work. We have selected some excellent accessories, as well as some choice leaves that will have you eager to chuck your old bags in the trash. You don’t need to buy everything on the list, but each piece plays its own role in creating a brew that smells as good as it tastes.

LeafLife Bamboo Tumbler

An internal fine-mesh strainer lets you brew up to 17 ounces of your favorite blend from loose leaves or bags. The double walls will keep it hot for 12 hours or cold for 24. LeafLife

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Cuisinart PerfecTemp

This precision kettle will quickly bring nearly 2 quarts of water to the ideal temperature—between 160 and 200 degrees for most leaves—and then maintain it for up to 30 minutes. Cuisinart

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Young Mountain Darjeeling

These ethically sourced leaves take more time to release their flavor than others. The lengthy steep period creates a beverage with gentle notes of toasted rice and butternut squash. Young Mountain

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Fellow Atmos vacuum canister

Store your supply carefully. Twisting the lid on this 0.75-quart vessel activates a pump that sucks out excess oxygen, thus preserving flavor. A button breaks the seal. Fellow

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Ember Mug2

An internal heating coil in this battery-powered gadget keeps your favorite concoction at a pleasant level of warmth for up to 1.5 hours. An app stores your preset temps. Ember

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Tealeaves chamomile blossoms

These pyramid-shaped bags contain full flowers rather than the bits and pieces often found in other brands. That adds an apple-like hint to your relaxing liquid refreshment. Tealeaves

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OXO infuser basket

Carefully etched holes in this stainless steel chamber let water through while keeping debris out of your beverage. Remove the silicone-lined lid to use as a handy drip tray. Oxo

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Willow & Everett pot

This 40-ounce glass container provides a perfect view of your brew as it seeps from the internal stainless steel strainer. Once it’s done, an included cozy keeps drinks warm. Willow and Eve

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Tea Forté citrus mint

Every ingredient in this refreshing blend is listed in its name: peppermint leaves and lemon peel. Because of its bright flavor, it’s delicious consumed either iced or hot. Tea Forté

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Stan Horaczek
Stan Horaczek

is the senior gear editor at Popular Science and Popular Photography. His past bylines include Rolling Stone, Engadget, Men's Journal, GQ, and just about any other publication that has ever written about gadgets. For a short time, he even wrote the gadget page for Every Day With Rachel Ray magazine. He collects vintage cameras, eats pizza, and hopes you won't go looking at his Tweets even though the link is down there.