elcome to TeaInfusers and TeaBalls (.info & .com), a resource for those interested in accessories used in the brewing of tea with an emphasis on tea infusers, commonly called tea balls or teaballs. Pictures of tea accoutrements along with pertinent facts are presented as starting points of reference for collectors and others. Tea infusers range from works of art to merely functional and from whimsical to mundane, and a broad spectrum of infusers made from sterling silver and other materials will be featured on this site. Whatever the age, shape or material, tea balls are a fun and compact item to collect.
Infusers from several collectors are featured initially and more infusers and other tea items will be added steadily, so we invite you to return frequently. "Submit an Infuser" enables guests to submit pictures and information relating to their tea infusers / tea balls or other categories, with the options of being credited for the submission or only to be identified as a guest. The emphasis at first will be given to infusers that are not already featured in other books or references. Tea infuser drip stands, a nice way to contain the drips after a tea ball has been used, will also be shown. Featured to a lesser extent will be spoon type infusers, tea strainers and tea caddy spoons.
Search and sort categories for infusers will be by Manufacturer, Shape (sometimes a very nebulous and subjective area), Height, Weight, Design Number, and Closure.
Photographing sterling with all of the reflections it picks up is a challenge, but we hope the pictures will at least give viewers a fairly good idea of the actual tea ball. Since the photographs will come from many sources, a helpful way to gauge the size of the infusers will be to sort the tea balls according to height.
The designations Common, Uncommon and Rare will be used as a general guideline for the availability of each infuser. The Estimated Pricing is just that; all it takes is for two collectors or buyers to want the same infuser, and the price can be significantly higher, especially in the world of on-line auctions. However, many very fine sterling infusers can be purchased for under $100.
It is our hope that by contributing to this website, or by others creating more websites featuring tea accoutrements, the resources for collectors and others interested in this field will be enhanced. We hope that you enjoy your visit to TeaInfusers.info.
Notes posted 3/31/09: Try the "Test Your Knowledge" game which has recently been added to the site. The challenge is to see if the manufacturers of each infuser can be identified correctly. Some manufacturers made very similar tea balls, especially when it comes to the spheroid ones, so a best guess is a good guess. The "More from this Manufacturer" button combines all types of tea-related products from the same manufacturer, a feature which has not been available until now. From the home page, the game can be accessed through the link at the bottom of the page, or on the drop down menu.
Notes posted 4/7/09: Things we like: The Made in USA Flambeau Tarnish Inhibitor Art Bin, PO 97, Middlefield, OH 44062, size 14" X 8 1/2" X 1 7/8". This container is the perfect item for storage of all but the very largest tea balls. Holding 25-35 tea balls/infusers, the movable dividers are treated with a tarnish inhibitor additive that discourages tarnish for 5 years. Someone at Flambeau must be listening to the needs of silver collectors and a big thank you to them; available at The Container Store with current pricing $12.99 for each bin.
Notes posted 5/17/09: The importance of finding a silversmith who can successfully repair a damaged infuser is shown in the before and after pictures of Gorham infuser GOR141. The infuser may not be restored to its original glory, but for those who would rather have an example in their collection than pass it by because of an imperfection, silver is a much more forgiving material when it comes to repairs than glass, ceramic, etc. However, no matter how skillfully a repair may be executed, value after a repair may be around 50% of a perfect infuser (especially if the hinge area is involved), so keep that in mind when buying damaged infusers.
Notes posted 6/7/09: No, we do not sell Viiagra or Ciialis (intentional misspellings), we don't know how to make your love life better, we don't send out message headers that say "please respond" or "join our club", etc. Please remember that we have little to no control over spammers who use our website address to send out their spam. You may want to click on our Privacy link for information concerning our policies.
Notes posted 7/6/10: Our sincere thanks to Dr. Seymour Shapiro, President of The Great North Coast Tea Company, for giving us permission to add the information from the S. & D. Shapiro Silver Tea Balls book published in 1998 to this site. That information can be accessed from all of the drop down menus. Also, thank you to the collector who volunteered to do the input.
SPECIAL WEBSITE OFFER: The retail price of Silver Tea Balls is $75.00 per book. By mentioning this website, you will be able to receive 50% off the retail price, making the price $37.50 which includes free media rate mailing to addresses in the lower 48 states. Paypal is accepted, and Dr. Shapiro will autograph your book if requested. Sales: Contact Dr. Seymour Shapiro at email@example.com. Written by the leading expert in the field, it is a must-have for all tea ball collectors.
Notes posted 5/11/11: Briggs Auction will be selling tea related silver from the Mr. & Mrs. Peter Nowell collection on 5/20/11. Several tea infusers from the Nowells collection were included in the Shapiro Silver Tea Balls book. Contact Briggs Auction, Garnet Valley, PA at (610) 485-0412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org