Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tea Strainers, Form, and Function

At C2E2, my husband and son both bought a couple of Star Wars "goodie boxes" with T-shirts, lanyards, mugs, Bobbleheads, and other swag. My husband also bought a collection of Star Wars vs. WWII prints (WWII pictures with Star Wars images Photoshopped into them), and my son expanded his Lego minifigure collection. What did I get? I did buy a few Star Wars T-shirts and other trinkets, but I was mostly interested in tea infusers.

I decided a couple of months ago that I wanted to get some whimsical tea strainers instead of the plain metal mesh ones I already had. It seemed like a relatively inexpensive way to put a little more fun into my daily life, and since the three of us each drink different types of tea, we needed some more strainers anyway. There was a tea vendor at C2E2, so it was a good time to pick some unusual tea strainers and a couple of tea samples. See below for the tea strainer pictures:

 I actually had the Yellow Submarine strainer (a must-have for any Beatles fan) before C2E2, since I bought it online. The rest of the tea strainers came from C2E2. There's a frog and a sloth that hang from the edge of the cup, a dagger that rests in the cup, and (my favorite) a water lily that floats and has a submerged basket for tea leaves. The water lily also comes with a stand.

I haven't tried all of these strainers yet, but I have to admit some of them don't work quite as well as I thought they would. Certain types of tea are rolled into gunpowder pellets or pearls, and these teas require a lot of space to open while steeping. The submarine, dagger, and possibly the frog are a bit narrow for those teas, but they seem OK for long, thin tea leaves. The basket for the water lily does have enough room for pearled tea, but the flower tends to drip water when I remove it. The sloth seems to work pretty well for both .

Between the fancy strainers and the ordinary ones I already had, I now have plenty of tea strainers, so I don't plan on getting any more for a while. I don't really have much else to add to this blog post, other than noting that sometimes what appears to be an interesting design doesn't always function as you might expect it to. Do you have any personal examples of form not suiting function? If so, feel free to share them in the comments.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's designers creating things without actually trying them out before selling.
Did you nickname the sloth Flash? (Zootopia joke, in case you haven't seen it.)

Sandra Almazan said...

I haven't thought of naming the sloth yet, Alex, but that's a good idea. We did see the sloths in the DMV during the trailer for Zootopia, but we haven't seen the movie yet. I'm not sure how interested my son is in it.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Hello Sandra. I saw you on Alex's blog and decided to come join :)

Question: Would the strainers work with coffee as well?

Sandra Almazan said...

Thanks for stopping by, Optimistic!

I haven't had coffee since college, so I'm not as familiar with it as I am with tea. I think coffee grounds are finer than tea, so they might leak out of the strainer and into your mug. You could try it with a really fine mesh, though, or line a wire strainer with paper. Hope this helps!

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