In the weeks leading up to Halloween, things that are creepy and crawly catch my eye a little more frequently than they do the rest of the year. Fred’s Tea Bones tea infuser isn’t an item that needs to be relegated to your box of Halloween decorations 11 months out of the year, but it certainly is perfect for adding some frightening flair to your favorite tea this time of year. The infuser is made of molded food-safe silicone and has two main parts, a skull and crossbones. The crossbones act as an anchor for the skull, which pops open to give you a perfect cavity to stash your tea, and the two parts are connected by a thin chain. It’s a great looking infuser that is ideal for use with spicy seasonal teas – especially if you have clear glasses in which to steep your tea so you can enjoy the spooky effect.
Do you take your tea with lemon? Lemon juice is a great way to perk up a mug of otherwise boring tea, giving it not only a little extra flavor, but adding a sinus-clearing citrus aroma to the cup that is idea for cool fall and winter evenings. Typically, the lemon is served as a simple wedge that can be squeezed over your cup. This is a bit messy when you’re serving tea to guests and a bit wasteful when you’re making tea for yourself, as you have a good portion of lemon leftover that might dry up or otherwise be forgotten. One stylish way to add a splash of lemon juice is to use this lovely Lemon Squeezer, instead. The gadget is made of stainless steel and it includes a base and a pointed spout. The spout, which has a serrated edge that will loosen the juice from the lemon, slides neatly in to your citrus without requiring a knife or making a mess. Once your lemon is spouted, you can rest it on the stand until you are ready to serve. Then, simply angle the spout over your mug and give the fruit a little squeeze, and the juice will run neatly into your tea. This also might come in handy for adding just a splash of citrus to your cocktails, for those times when tea isn’t quite enough.
The best part about the spout is that, since the skin of the fruit is largely intact, it won’t dry out sitting on your counter and you’ll be able to come back for another squeeze the next day. For longer storage, keep your lemon in the fridge.
There was a time when I had a single sugar bowl as part of my coffee service, but so many people take various artificial sweeteners in their coffee and tea these days that my sugar alternative bowl is bigger than my sugar bowl! I still stick with regular sugar when I want to sweeten up my drinks and I suspect that having an unusual sugar service just might convince friends who are used to those pink, yellow and blue packets to switch back to sugar. This Hourglass Sugar Dispenser just might be the thing I need to convince them. The plastic dispenser is 8 inches tall and it looks just like those old timers you used to use for your board games as a kid – only it is filled with sugar instead of with sand. The openings on each side allow you to pour sugar easily into your drink no matter which way the “sands” are spinning, and it’s fun to play with (because we all know that it is fun to play with your food at any age!) while you’re enjoying your drinks.
Just as there are a variety of coffee mugs with french presses built into them, there are also many mugs that allow you to brew your favorite loose-leaf tea while on the to. The Tea to Go Travel Cup is just one of the many options out there. The travel mug is made of thick glass and has an unusual two-sided design that is intended to give tea-lovers a better drinking experience. You use the mug by filling the end compartment with the loose-leaf or bagged tea of your choice, then simply pour in hot water and shake the cup a bit to ensure that all your tea is moistened and starting to brew. The two ends of the cup are separated by a strainer that keeps loose leaves away from the drinking end, though water/tea can flow freely so every sip you take is well-infused but also completely free of tea leaves, spices or any other ingredients from your drink. In addition to tea, you can use this mug for a variety of infusions – cucumber and citrus for refreshing water, berries for a sweeter drink – in addition to hot tea. Since it is made of glass, you’ll never have any off flavors in your drink, either.