Why the Bodum Yo-Yo is my favorite tea strainer

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/22/why-the-bodum-yo-yo-is-my-favorite-tea-strainer.html

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How do you prevent nylon tea strainers from acquiring the brownish hues of C sinensis?

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I considered the Bodum Yo-Yo, but I already have more mugs than I really need. I’ve had no problem with tea leaves or even coffee grounds sticking in my Finum medium brewing basket (this one), and it didn’t come with a mug I didn’t want. Stainless steel mesh lives up to it’s name.
After I’m done brewing, I leave the basket upside-down over an empty cup. The spent leaves/grounds mostly just fall off the filter as they dry, then they can go out to the compost. The only time it really even needs a rinse is if I accidentally let wet leaves sit in the bottom of the filter, while it’s sitting in the drip tray. Full wash going from coffee or black tea to green or white seems to be often enough.
Regardless of brand, switching to a brew basket from useless tea balls and finicky French presses was the real game-changer for me.

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$10.57 + $12.64 Shipping ?!?!

Prime has spoiled me…


The only tea basket the world needs is the Finum. Pick your size. Ignore the rest. Finum is the height of refinement. Buy several, hand 'em out to friends. They make great stocking stuffers.

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Tea stains in tea making equipment are a feature, not a bug.


It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Camellia sinensis that thoughts acquire speed, the brewing kit acquire stains, stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. - the Lynchian Mentat Piter De Vries on tea, ≈ year 10190 AG


This is the correct answer. I have three, and I’ve owned them for years. Stainless mesh is the best. If you’re having trouble cleaning it, go to your local homebrew store, and get yourself a tub of PBW. A quick soak in that stuff will take just about anything off of stainless.

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Once every few months I leave tea in my stainless steel strainer for too long and it fills with mold.

When this happens it seems impossible to get the strainer clean.

Here’s the trick:

  1. Put strainer in cup and fill with bleach & water
  2. Let it sit
  3. Every day give the strainer a rise, if there’s still mold, put back into the bleach mixture. After a few days it should look brand-new.
  4. Wash thoroughly to ensure there’s no left-over bleach.

Between Star San commercial cleaner for brewing to off-the-shelf surface sprays people have forgotten the most affordable and effective cleaning solution there is:

  • Bleach with water (especially for moldy surfaces / items)
  • Vinegar with water (great everyday surface cleaner)
  • ISO Alcohol on a cloth (great for electronics like your cell-phone)
  • Dr bronner’s castile soap with water (great replacement for hand-soap)

Seriously people, buy basic cleaning products in bulk, cut with water, save money & reduce plastic waste from smaller bottles of cleaning products. You’ll thank me when the next pandemic hits and you can’t find soap or toilet paper anywhere.

tl;dr I’m sticking with my stainless steel strainer. With a little TLC it should stay clean, and when neglected, bleach will make it look like new again.

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If I want to drink from a mug, I use a small (.5Lish) teapot with a strainer/valve at the bottom that releases tea when set atop my cup: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KIW0T9C

I also have a double-sided travel bottle/infuser approximately like https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Zen-Tea-Stainless-Leakproof/dp/B01MA1WWQN but in plastic instead of the glass/stainless version there.

If I want a lot of tea - making chai, or coldbrew coffee for the day, or with friends - I use a Takeya 2 quart pitcher with its own infuser: https://www.amazon.com/Takeya-Maker-Patented-Technology-Raspberry/dp/B0095ZBK4G . It’s nice b/c the lid screws fully (watertight) closed, so it goes short distances (outside, to my desk) without spill worries.

They all have their uses, pros, and cons. And all are (IMO) superior to any tea-ball or stand-alone strainer that I’ve run into.

I’ve got a similar issue with the nylon mesh bag I use for hops when homebrewing. It’s dyed yellow from the first use with hops, and that makes it easy to tell which bag is for hops and which is for grain.

I’ve used a variety of teapots, tea strainers, and the like. What I use most often is a large coffee press - the two small coffee presses get used for coffee, the big one gets tea. It’s especially useful if I’m making the kinds of pu-erh where you get several infusions from a set of tea leaves.

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