I was talking tea with a co-worker the other day and we discussed the different ways that tea can be brewed. It dawned on me, as we were talking, that I had the perfect analogy to convey these methods. 

I hereby dub this the Men’s Underwear Guide to Tea Making. Check it:

This is a traditional tea bag.


It is flat and tight and holds the tea (or, in America, “dried twigs and flower petals”) firmly in place not allowing it to truly steep. It is the Tighty Whiteys of tea steeping. 

This is a pyramid tea bag or tea sachet.


It is three dimensional in shape and allows tea a little more freedom during their steep. This, along with infuser balls and wands, are the Boxer Brief of tea steeping. 

Say hello to a tea steeping basket. 


Baskets allow tea to really float loose but can be easily removed when you’re ready to drink. This is the Boxer Shorts of tea steeping. 

Truly daring tea drinkers can forego all of the above and just let their tea float free in their cup. 


They run the risk of consuming the actual tea leaf and they’re okay with that. This is only for the really strong willed. That’s why this method is the proverbial Free Balling of tea steeping. 

It’s crude, yes. But it works, don’cha think?

You don’t need pictures of the underwear (or lack thereof), do you?