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Tea is basically self-care in a cup. You may start your morning with a warm cuppa, sip a few cups throughout the day at work, and then wind down for the evening with a relaxing blend to get you ready for sleep.

While tea has been a popular drink of choice for centuries thanks to its holistic benefits, it's only been the past couple of years when things have really changed. More and more companies have been coming out with tea gadgets that promise to change the tea experience forever. The question is: Do we really need them, especially when steeping tea has been so effective for so many years?

We've got the lowdown on whether these innovative tea gadgets, such as a tea press, are actually worth it or if you should just stick to the OG tea preparation method of steeping.

Tea steeping

Any good tea aficionado understands that there is a delicate balance when it comes to steeping tea properly. For instance, steep tea for too little, and you miss out on infusing good flavor and health benefits, but steep for too long, and you risk ending up with a very bitter cup of tea.

Steeping tea is very simple. Just boil hot water, add the tea bags or loose-leaf tea into a tea infuser cup or ball, and then follow the instructions on the tea box for how long you should steep it. You might even want to keep a tea-steeping time chart on your fridge. For example, black tea is usually steeped for two to five minutes, while green tea takes about two to three minutes.

Is a tea press worth the hype?

With tea presses promising to change the way we drink tea, we can’t deny that these claims are intriguing, but with this comes spending money on gadgets that we might not even need. Stylewise, however, a tea press does have a sophisticated look to it.

How it works: Similar to the look and function of a French press used for coffee, a tea press works by adding your tea to the bottom of the cup, adding hot water and letting it steep, and then pushing the press all the way in to stop the infusion. You typically steep the tea for four to seven minutes.

Holistic and flavor benefits

The flavor and holistic benefits for both tea steeping and a tea press are relatively the same. Flavorwise, both preparation methods rely on the length of steeping time as well as what kind of tea was used. As for holistic benefits, both also depend on the type of tea used. In general, teas provide anti-oxidants, boost the immune system, and serve as a flavorful way to get your daily intake of liquids.

The bottom line

Both tea steeping and tea presses will result in a soothing cup of tea. A tea press is simply a more innovative way to prepare tea. A big selling factor might be the cute, compact designs for tea lovers who want to turn their hobby into a passion and the fact that it comes in travel bottles that make it perfect to take on the go.

This is in addition to a few extra benefits such as saving you the trouble of using and cleaning a tea infuser cup or ball. A tea press like this one from DAVIDsTEA also gives you the choice of having iced tea by simply adding ice.

If a straight-up cup of tea with no gimmicks is what you're looking for, though, then a regular tea steeper is best. You can use tea bags or pick up an inexpensive loose-tea infuser or ball. Either way, both of these options will result in you enjoying a nice cuppa tea. It's simply up to you to decide whether the extra money spent on a tea press is worth it or if you'd rather keep things as is.

Let your personal taste and preparation preferences drive your purchase decision as to whether you need a tea press or not. Either way, curl up and enjoy a warm cup!

About the Author

Sarah Kester

Sarah is a writer, editor and cat mom. Lover of wine, rom-coms, and all things self-care, she’s inspired by mindfulness and helping others feel balanced in their lives through meditation, self-love and self-care. After all, what's balance without Saturday morning yoga and green juice and a glass of rosé later that evening? She has written for The Greatest, Elite Daily, YourTango, Vital Proteins, among others. To learn more, you can find her at her website sarahkester.com.