Well, actually, you can drink tea in any cup or glass if you want, but the best thing is to enjoy this infusion as the canons dictate. And for that, if you don’t have a good tea set at home, the best thing to do is to use one of these teacups with a filter and lid.
They are also known as teacups with teapot, although this denomination is not entirely correct because what they have inside is a simple infuser that is usually made of stainless steel. If you want to buy them separately, we talk about them in our guide to stainless steel tea filters.
You may have already seen them in a shop and wondered what exactly these cute little tea filter cups are or how to use them. Or maybe you didn’t even know they existed. Well, that’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide that we’re sure will answer many of your questions.
What exactly is a filter tea cup for?
You may be asking yourself at this point. What is the biggest advantage of a teacup with a filter or infuser? Well, we’ll explain it to you in a very graphic way:
If you use ready-made tea bags, you can still brew them by putting them in a normal cup and leaving the string on the outside, as has always been done. You’d think you wouldn’t need a “new gadget” for this, would you? So far, so good.
But, what if you want to make your tea with herbs (in bulk) and not with a teabag? Then the traditional cup is no longer useful. You need to make the tea beforehand or use an infuser. And that’s where filter teacups really come in handy: you have it all in one.
What’s in a filter tea cup?
Filter teacups are characterised by the fact that they combine three different components in one piece: the cup or drinking vessel, the infuser and the lid. In other words, you don’t need any additional gadgets (apart from the ingredients, of course) to enjoy your tea and brew it.
So once you put all the components together, you are left with something like this:
In other words: you brew the tea and drink it in the same cup.
As we have said before, the advantages of this system are innumerable, beyond what you gain in convenience and speed (you will notice it especially if you make a tea or infusion daily). Moreover, these teacups with a lid and filter can also be used to brew any type of infusion, not just tea.
How do you use a teacup with filter and lid?
If you are used to making your own tea at home, you won’t need many explanations because you will be able to identify each element immediately. However, if it’s your first time, it won’t hurt to take a look at this instructional video on how to use teacups with filters and lids:
The best tea cup with a filter (and lid)
There are teacups with lids and filters of all kinds, sizes, colours and designs, to suit all tastes. And you can find them not only on Amazon but also in any bazaar or traditional decoration and homeware shop.
Why did we choose this model over the rest? Because, in our opinion, it has it all: low price, a ceramic mug, stainless steel infuser, large size (400 ml), several colours to choose from.
Japanese tea cups
We are not going to discover at this point that the tea ceremony in Japan and China has a very different component of ritual and rootedness than the one we know in the West. It should therefore come as no surprise that Japanese teacups look quite different from the teacups we are used to using elsewhere.
In fact, rather than cups, they are more like glasses or small tall bowls (there are no handles to hold them), which in many cases are even made of wood. In fact, if you ever go shopping for wooden teacups or come across them in a shop, the chances are that they belong to a Japanese set.
Here is a summary of some Japanese ceramic teacups, along with some wooden ones as well:
Turkish tea cups
Turkish teacups have a couple of very characteristic features that, even if you don’t know them, make you distinguish them at first sight: first, they are made of glass. Secondly, they usually have the classic Arabic design, handmade, even ornate, and sometimes with gold or silver ornaments.
It is much easier to find Turkish teacups on Amazon than in physical shops, so if you like this style, here are some options:
(If you have a Turkish coffee machine at home, these mugs will be a great match for you!)
English tea cups
These are classic teacups, usually made of white porcelain and with a strong retro style. English teacups are dominated by floral motifs and delicate lines (thin handles and rims, etc.).
English-style teacups are very recognisable and quite tough: they fit in perfectly with any style of decoration.
The concept of a vintage teacup is very subjective, but generally speaking, we can all discern immediately whether a teacup looks modern or antique.
When we talk about vintage items, we don’t necessarily have to go for antique teacups: there are many current items that are purposely made with “old-fashioned” designs and materials. A clear example of vintage teacups can be the porcelain ones, the Arabic ones or the classic English teacups we talked about in previous sections.
Porcelain tea cups
Porcelain is one of the most common materials used in the manufacture of teacups—possibly the most common, second only to ceramic. As with porcelain coffee pots, porcelain teacups are a symbol of distinction and good taste.
When buying porcelain teacups, we tend to associate them with a classic style. Still, the market is very wide, and it is possible to find teacups with an innovative and attractive design, even if they are still made of porcelain.
Glass tea cups
For domestic use, they are not so common, but glass teacups also have their share of the market. If we are talking about complete sets, the glass ones are usually limited to high-quality editions and first-class designs, delicate and focused on occasional use (not daily) due to the delicate cleaning. Don’t even think of putting them in the dishwasher!
By contrast, glass teacups with a filter are much more common as they allow you to see the brewing process taking place inside.
Original tea cups
Tea has always had a certain mystical and ancient component. Still, just as we have seen in other sections several examples of very classic teacups (such as the English or porcelain ones), there is also room for original, fresh, modern, innovative teacups; the only limit is the imagination of the designer!
In this gallery, we leave you some examples to buy original teacups, but if you look hard enough.