Status quo Crumpled bags of Good Earth from the early ’90s
Upgrade Loose-leaf tea or pyramid-shaped bags
Savory Loose tea’s longer leaves contain more oils, which heighten their flavor and aroma. Store leaves in a protective, airtight, opaque container, and let them steep for several minutes. To brew in a mug or thermos, place the leaves in a stainless-steel top filter like the Liquid Solutions Lucy, ($6, rei.com). The GSI Outdoors H2jO ($10, gsioutdoors.com) does the same with wide-mouth water bottles. For more flexibility, the spoonlike Cup.pour.ri infuser ($5.50, rei.com) can be stirred in any container.
Improved Pyramid-shaped tea bags, like Celestial Seasonings Saphara line ($7, celestialseasonings.com), have more volume for mixing whole leaves and hot water.