18 Tea Infusers to Make Teatime More Exciting

Cost Plus World Market
Cost Plus World Market

Make steeping tea more fun with these quirky tea infusers.

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1. SOAKING IT UP; $7.49

man-shaped tea infuser
Amazon

That mug of hot water might eventually be a drink for you, but first it’s a hot bath for your new friend, who has special pants filled with tea.

Buy on Amazon.

2. A FLYING TEA BOX; $25.98

There’s no superlaser on this Death Star, just tea.

Buy on Amazon.

3. SPACE STATION; $9.99

astronaut tea infuser
ThinkGeek

This astronaut's mission? Orbit the rim of your mug until you're ready to pull the space station diffuser out.

Buy on ThinkGeek.

4. BE REFINED; $12.99

This pipe works best with Earl Grey.

Buy on Amazon.

5. A RIBBITING OPTION; $10.93

This frog hangs on to the side of your mug with a retractable tongue. When the tea is ready, you can put him back on his lily pad.

Buy on Amazon.

6. ‘TEA’ ALL LIVE IN A YELLOW SUBMARINE; $5.95

It’s just like the movie, only with tea instead of Beatles.

Buy on Amazon.

7. SHARK ATTACK; $6.99

shark tea infuser
Cost Plus World Market

This fearsome shark patrols the bottom of your mug waiting for prey. For extra fun, use red tea to look like the end of a feeding frenzy.

Buy at Cost Plus World Market.

8. PERFECT FOR A RAINY DAY; $12.40

This umbrella’s handle conveniently hooks to the side of your mug.

Buy on Amazon.

9. AN EGGCELLENT INFUSER; $5.75

cracked egg tea infuser
Amazon

Sometimes infusers are called tea eggs, and this one takes the term to a new, literal level.

Buy on Amazon.

10. FOR SQUIRRELY DRINKERS; $8.95

If you’re all right with a rodent dunking its tail into your drink, this is the infuser for you.

Buy on Amazon.

11. HANGING OUT; $12.85

This pug is happy to hang onto your mug and keep you company while you wait for the tea to be ready.

Buy on Amazon.

12. ANOTHER SHARK OPTION; $5.99

If you thought letting that other shark infuser swim around in the deep water of your glass was too scary, this one perches on the edge, too busy chomping on your mug to worry about humans.

Buy on Amazon.

13. RUBBER DUCKIE, YOU’RE THE ONE; $8.95

Let this rubber duckie peacefully float in your cup and make teatime lots of fun.

Buy on Amazon.

14. DIVING DEEP; $8.25

This old-timey deep-sea diver comes with an oxygen tank that you can use to pull it out.

Buy on Amazon.

15. MAKE SWEET TEA; $10

This lollipop won't actually make your tea any sweeter, but you can always add some sugar after.

Buy on Amazon.

16. A SEASONAL FAVORITE; $7.67

When Santa comes, give him some tea to go with the cookies.

Buy on Amazon.

17. FLORAL TEA; $14.99

Liven up any cup of tea with this charming flower. When you’re done, you can pop it right back into its pot.

Buy on Live Infused.

18. KEEP IT TRADITIONAL; $7.97

If you’re nostalgic for the regular kind of tea bag, you can get reusable silicon ones that look almost the same.

Buy on Amazon.

11 Brilliant Gifts for the Coffee (or Tea) Enthusiast in Your Life

iStock
iStock

Most of us can appreciate a decent cup of joe. Then, there are those who obsess over bean sourcing, brew temperatures, and whether their paper filter is unbleached. For these friends and relatives, a gift card to the local franchise drive-thru probably won’t do. Check out 11 thoughtful gifts for the coffee and tea lovers in your life.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Kombucha Jar And Brew Kit

For the uninitiated, Kombucha is a tea fermented with (good) bacteria that’s believed to be a rich source of probiotics and antioxidants. This brew kit allows enthusiasts to mix up their own exclusive 5-liter batch. It’s also dishwasher-safe and comes with a recipe booklet.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $65.

2. Fellow Stagg Pour Over Kettle

Pour-over coffee aficionados have taken the time to learn the correct brewing methods using a filter and hot water kettle. Fellow makes the process a little more precise with this stainless steel kettle, which has a built-in thermometer (for monitoring ideal water temperature) and an easily-aimed gooseneck spout for spot-on pouring.

Find It Amazon for $79 and also at these other retailers:

3. MistoBox Subscription

MistoBox

Can’t find a quality coffee roaster near you? MistoBox lets users select flavor preferences and then matches them with a high-quality grind that’s shipped directly to their door every month. An extra $15 upgrades the first shipment to a holiday gift box, including a mug, two coffee sample grinds, and a festive package.

Find It at MistoBox for $20 per month.

4. Hay Clip Clip Spoon

Measuring spoons for coffee can be easily misplaced; bags of grounds can fail to seal properly, hastening a loss of flavor. Why not solve two problems with this brass-colored steel spoon that has a spring clip for a handle?

Find It at MoMA for $10.

5. Merlot Infused Coffee

Cover all your bases by gifting your coffee-slash-wine enthusiast this merlot-infused coffee. The Arabica coffee beans have been aged in oak Merlot wine barrels to absorb the taste and scent of the famous wine. It’s alcohol-free, so they’ll remember to thank you.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $20.

6. OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Cold brewing is the hot trend in coffee at the moment, offering lower-acidity results than conventional methods. This OXO brewer makes the process simple and still allows the user to serve up their brew warm or chilled. If you prefer the latter, the device's silicone seal will keep it fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Find It at Amazon for $48 and also at these other retailers:

7. Blooming Tea; $21

Find yourself a clear teapot—not included—and watch as a selection of bud packets “bloom” in hot water while brewing to create drinkable works of art. Jasmine, peach, and chrysanthemum green teas are hand-sewn to the buds to create the effect.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $21.

8. ESPRO French Press P5

Espro promises that the P5 will make some of the smoothest, lowest-grit coffee or loose-leaf tea you’ve ever tasted. The Specialty Coffee Association of America agreed, awarding it the Best New Piece of Consumer Equipment Award for 2016; the thick glass wall ensures better heat retention.

Find It at Amazon for $50.

9. Pure Tea Starter Kit

Single estate teas are presented exclusively from a single supplier, making for better consistency. Silver Needle offers an introductory single estate sampler, along with a glass teapot for premium steeping.

Find It at Silver Needle Co. for $50.

10. Coolgear Bru Cold Brew Coffee System

Not everyone wants or needs to brew up a vat of iced coffee. That’s where Coolgear comes in: Their Bru is a single-serve drip coffee maker that brews cold directly into a portable 14-ounce container. It's the freshest coffee you can get while stuck in traffic.

Find It at Amazon for $23 and also at these other retailers:

11. Toast Living Carafe

For coffee lovers who want to keep it basic, Toast Living’s carafe is wonderfully understated. Just add ground coffee to the filter basket and pour over hot water for a minimalist experience.

Find It at Amazon for $50.

11 Thoughtful Gifts For Curious Kids

Indulge inquisitive minds this year by giving the kids in your life gifts that will reward their curiosity well beyond playtime. These 11 options will keep them entertained, stimulated, and might even help them answer a few of their "why" questions on their own.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. The Great Treehouse Engineering Adventure Science Experiment Kit

This narrative STEM set lets kids build Pepper Mint's treehouse in the rainforest of Borneo so that she can help on a research expedition. Made for ages 8 and up, the various experiments that kids need to learn to help Pepper make the most of her trip. The projects include making a rotating rain shield, wiring LED lanterns for nighttime, and learning how gears and pulleys can help shift heavy things around the treehouse with minimal effort. And if land-based adventures aren't quite their thing, another Pepper Mint set about an underwater voyage will take them out on the open seas.

Find It at Amazon for $40 and also at these other retailers:

2. TinkerToy Super Building Set

When your preschool-aged cousin has outgrown basic blocks, the next step is building anything with wheels. This giant set of 200 rods, spools, washers, and connectors lets kids engineer cars, buses, bikes … or swords with which to stab you in appreciation. But, even then, imaginative STEM play! The pieces are durable, flexible, and made in a zero-waste green facility in Pennsylvania, so you'll feel less bad when you step on a missing spoke.

Find It at Amazon for $50 and also at these other retailers:

3. Worldwide Buddies Mexico Story Box

This culture-in-a-box set will teach kids all about the customs and traditions that make various countries unique and special. The first Worldwide Buddies kit is full of Mexican treats—it includes a book, bilingual playing cards, a stuffed axolotl toy (the critically endangered underwater Mexican salamander), and various other games and activities that will keep los niños engaged and occupied for weeks. And in January, the Chinese culture package will be debuting, just in time to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Find It at Worldwide Buddies for $39.

4. Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit

When we first learned about this coding wand, we couldn't wait to get it for the little Hermiones and Harrys we know. Kids ages 6 and up can create their own Wizarding World with a few flicks of the wrist while reciting a spell (err, programming the code). It's compatible with Mac, PC, Android, and iOS, so no matter which house they get sorted into, their spells should work flawlessly once they've completed their lessons.

Find It at Amazon for $80 and also at these other retailers:

5. Kidvelope

For adults who want to spend more time bonding with distant kid relatives (and not have to resort to Fortnite or some other video game), try some classic snail mail and silly selfies. Kidvelope is a new activity kit that emphasizes intergenerational communication through mission-based play. Kids and adults will work together, sending messages back and forth through the Kidvelope site and the good ol' USPS to solve puzzles, create secret messages, break codes, and, in this first kit iteration, attempt a rescue mission in outer space. As an older generation might say: Far out!

Find It at Kidvelope for $22.

6. LittleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

They want to be a superhero? Let them build their own gear! Kids 8 and up can design, code, and customize smart-gloves with their own sounds and powers. Voice command? Check! Matrix light design? Obviously. Save the world? One kid at a time.

Find It at Amazon for $84 and also at these other retailers:

7. Nintendo Labo Variety Kit

Created around the concept of "Make, Play, Discover," the Nintendo Labo kits let kids build and customize pre-cut cardboard sheets into items they can then code with the included software for interactive, experimental play. The variety kit comes with cars, a house, a piano, a motorbike, and a fishing rod—so even if your intended recipient doesn't like getting their feet muddy, they can still tell outlandish fish stories with the best of them.

Find It at Amazon for $70 and also at these other retailers:

8. Fishing Boat Model Kit

Speaking of fishing, encourage teens to make model boats the new model cars. This wooden cut-out craft kit from HouhaDesigns would pair nicely with a copy of Moby-Dick. (Just don't let any play-acting destroy the sweet rowboat!)

Find It at Etsy for $15

9. Brio Builder Activity Playset

Let toddlers and preschoolers put their penchant for hitting things to good use by working on their fine-motor skills in the process. Kids can hammer away on these durable nuts, bolts, and wheels as well as practice using a wrench. They'll be ready to help you put together your IKEA purchases in no time!

Find It at Amazon for $70 and also at these other retailers:

10. DIY Fermentation Kit

Kids love helping out in the kitchen, but if they're hanging around too much while you're home-brewing, let them try fermenting something that they can actually sample—like pickles. This kit comes with plenty of recipes for when they're ready to branch out into other condiments (like sauerkraut or kimchi), plus it'll teach them patience. Cukes don't pickle overnight!

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $42.

11. MindWare Pattern Play

Need a quiet-time activity that won't leave crayon marks all over the walls? This rainbow-bright wooden puzzle set comes with 40 distinct pattern cards to master again and again. Kids will be so distracted by the vivid colors and pretty patterns that they won't even realize they're getting a solid introduction to math and geometry concepts like symmetry, congruence, and spatial judgment.

Find It at Amazon for $30 and also at these other retailers:

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