Handmade in Brooklyn, Bellocq’s utilitarian yet elegant brass strainer is designed to sit on the edge of a mug to prevent tea leaves from falling from pot to cup.
$12, Boston General Store.
MEM Tea Imports
Based in Watertown, with a retail shop in Davis Square, this meticulous importer stocks more than 100 single-origin varieties, including hand-rolled Chinese green tea pearls infused with jasmine.
Starting at $6.90 per oz., MEM Tea Imports.
Lark Fine Foods
Russian Tea Cakes
A cold-weather-only treat from the Essex-based baker Lark Fine Foods, these confectioner’s-sugar-dusted cookies are light, buttery, and pair perfectly with a steaming mug of Earl Grey or English breakfast.
Boston Honey Company
Raw Wildflower Honey
Nectar from goldenrod, buckthorn, and other Massachusetts wildflowers gives this batch of liquid gold a complex, floral taste. The family-run business maintains hives all over the eastern part of the state, with a focus on sustainability.
$12 for a 1 lb. jar, Boston Public Market.
Jeremy Ayers Pottery
MassArt grad Jeremy Ayers crafts his splashy pieces in a Waterbury, Vermont, carriage-house studio where his great-great-grandfather used to work long ago. Bonus: His teapots are microwave- and dishwasher-safe.
$75, Society of Arts and Crafts.
MEM Tea Imports has been supplying restaurants for years, and now it’s getting in on the retail game with a new Davis Square store. Ahead, owner Gilbert Tsang shares his top tea-making tips.
Upgrade Your H20
Forgo the tap in favor of filtered or bottled water, which won’t compromise the flavor of the tea. “You can really taste the difference,” Tsang says.
Each type of tea has a suggested steep time and water temperature. In general, paler teas such as greens and whites require shorter brewing times and cooler temperatures than darker varieties.
Set Your Leaves Free
Brewing in a cup-size mesh basket infuser, rather than a small tea ball, allows the plant pieces to move freely, resulting in a better-tasting cup. “They’ll have the ability to unfurl and release their full flavor,” Tsang explains.
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