Welcome 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. Some are antiques and some are designed by artisans more recently. Whatever the age, shape or material, tea balls are a fun and compact item to collect.
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 infusers on handles, spout strainers, tea strainers and tea caddy spoons.
"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.
Search and sort categories for infusers will be by Manufacturer, Shape (sometimes a very nebulous and subjective area), Height, Weight, Design Number, and Closure. The search and sort functions are probably the most powerful features of this data based website.
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. Post Pandemic note added in 2020: Prices for infusers have been falling in recent years, but with the advent of Covid-19, it is understandable why prices have fallen even further. Hopefully the lower prices will attract some new collectors so we don’t have to see these small art pieces melted down for silver content.
It is my 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. Enjoy your visit to TeaInfusers.com/TeaInfusers.Info/Teaballs.com/ Teaballs.info.
Note posted 7/3/20: Check out the fourteen new catalogs entered in the Resource Section this past month. Of special note is the Year Book for 1908 issued by Daniel Low and Company, Salem, MA. Image 9 shows the William B. Kerr infuser KWB103 in the catalog's Christmas section, and identifies the applied decoration as mistletoe.
Note posted 6/7/20: In 2002 a very young and clever programmer named Michael Mason put a lot of hard work into developing the TeaInfusers.com website. It served well for 18 years and a big thank you to him. In order for the Website to be easier to use across many platforms such as phones, tablets and desktops, an updated site was needed. Rich of Exquisite Loop LLC, did just that and translated the best features of the old site into this new one. He also came up with great new features and the new site went “live” on this date. Thank you Rich!
Note posted 7/8/15: Grateful for all good things
Note posted 5/24/13: Thank you to former classmates in NW Colorado and Baylor who have made contact through this website - great to hear from you!
Note 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 email@example.com
Note 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 the Browse drop down menu. Also, thank you to the collector who volunteered to do the input.
The Silver Tea Balls: book by Dottie and Seymour Shapiro is no longer available through this website. We appreciate Dr. Shapiro's work in our field
Note 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.
Note 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.
Note 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, still roughly the same price in 2020.
Note posted 3/31/09: Try the "Test Your Knowledge" quiz. The challenge is to see if the manufacturers of each infuser can be identified correctly and there are four choices given for each answer. 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 2009. Access the quiz from the Home Page.