Monday, April 23, 2018

Equipment Review: The Wall Tea Infuser (Boreal Wildcraft)

The Wall Tea Infuser from Boreal Wildcraft has had a lot of positive feedback over the years and I finally had the opportunity to try it out.


The Wall is made from lab-grade borosilicate.  Though it feels lightweight and delicate, it stands up to a fair amount of rough use.  If you're still worried or have my history of marble countertop vs. glassware disasters, keeping a cork coaster handy should alleviate any lingering breakage fears.

Medium-to-large leaf teas and tisanes that aren't susceptible to over-brewing are ideal candidates for The Wall.  It sits in that happy middle ground between the enjoyment of drinking tea grandpa style (in an open cup or bowl without an infuser) and being able to do so without having to use your mouth as a strainer.  

The Wall comes in 310ml and 440ml sizes and is available in right-handed or left-handed styles.  I have the 310ml model which holds 10 ounces of liquid when filled to the bottom of the built-in infuser.  Smaller tea leaves tend to escape around the edges of the filter when it's tipped for drinking, which can be prevented by leaving approximately 1/2" of room.  The larger the leaf, the safer it is to be generous with the water. 


For this review, I started off with Sun Moon Lake, a Taiwanese black tea with moderately large leaves that stands up well to over-steeping.  The water was just below the infuser and none of the leaves slipped over the filter while drinking.  

There's a certain satisfaction in watching the leaves unfurl and the color develop through the clear glass of The Wall.


During the warmer months, I like to cold brew single servings of tea overnight in the refrigerator.  The Wall works beautifully for this purpose and, since cold brewed teas don't develop tannins, results are almost always delicious.  My cold-brewed Ceylon black tea from Kenilworth Estate was sweet and refreshing.  The only issue was with the small tea leaves escaping over the sides of the filter because I didn't leave room below the filter.


Consisting solely of large buds, Baihao Yinzhen and Junshan Yinzhen (the final tea for this review) are ideal for The Wall.  The leaves won't over-steep and watching the leaves dance up and down can be mesmerizing.


The Wall is fuss-free, versatile, and aesthetically pleasing.  It's a welcome addition to my teaware collection and worth considering for your own collection.

Pros:
  • Keep re-brewing tea (tea for days!)
  • Lightweight and easy to hold
  • Few-to-no leaves sneaking through the filter
  • Easy clean up
  • Cold or hot brew
  • Clear view of the leaves unfurling and the liquor color developing

Cons:
  • Feels fragile (though it isn't). Nerves easily soothed with a coaster.
  • Not ideal for teas and tisanes that can be oversteeped, have small leaves and stems, or were steamed during processing.

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