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Wanted: A Teaspoon That Wrings Out Your Tea Bags

A simple innovation for a teaspoon keeps fingers dry when making tea.

For all its high-class connotations, the ritual of making tea is rather messy. After steeping your tea bag, you’re required to do one of two things: pull the dripping pouch from your cup and drag it to the nearest saucer, losing precious tea, or place the tea bag on your spoon and wrap the string tightly around it to squeeze out every last bit of Earl Grey. Both methods get your hands wet, and one renders your spoon useless. Tèo, a new teaspoon designed by Austrian designer Karin Santorso for Alessi, takes a more dignified approach to tea bag management with a handsome, sculptural solution that takes care of the tea bag for you.

Tèo is essentially a wide spoon, big enough to cradle a tea bag. But the magic happens due to its hollow handle, which allows the tea drinker to draw the tea bag by the string up through the top. The handle narrows slightly, naturally squeezing the tea bag of its moisture, while the steeped tea from the bag runs cleanly down the spoon and back into the tea cup. The tea bag, firmly encased inside the spoon’s flute-like handle, can remain there, out of sight, while the spoon is used to stir in sugar or milk. The design itself was inspired by the shape of a curled leaf.

Yes, there are certainly more complicated tea steepers that keep your tea in little cages or compartments of kettles. But Tèo is much more suited for the way most of us drink tea, and that’s what lends to its brilliance. Who knew such a simple, clever device could radically improve upon a centuries-old tradition? Santorso, who makes up one half of the Vienna firm LUCY.D, recently won accolades for best product design at the New York International Gift Fair.

Tèo is $25 at Alessi. It will be available online in October, or you can preorder it by contacting their Soho store.

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  • Isabel Smith

    this hit the nail on the head for me -- i drink tea all day long and i have learned a ''technique'' of pulling the tea bag out with my spoon, resting the bag in the spoon while holding the tag I wrap the string around the bag and wonder if there is a better way... and when the string breaks and the bag goes flying I mentally send out thought waves: THERE'S GOTTA BE A BETTER WAY... so this one hit the nail on the head for me!

  • Ted

    Good in theory, but having tried it...the string and tag break off before u can get any meaningful amount out of the wet tea bag. Also, the spoon is a tad big, and cleaning the insides of the folded steel is not easy. So, save your $25 and press the bag out with a second spoon.

  • Carol S

    For folks who still make their tea in a teapot, as I do occasionally (how archaic!), this spoon would also enable us to get the teabags out once the tea has reached the desired strength. The last cup in the pot would taste as lovely as the first, instead of like cured leather.

  • Lorena Leung

    Simple and innovative solution that definitely caught my eye. However only thing that stops me from wanting this is the size of the spoon which looks rather large than normal teaspoons I am used to.

  • Marzian Mowji

    This is the most fascinating idea in years... Please make it available in India where we drink a lot of tea.

  • virgored

    And what happens?  Bag string and tag become disconnected from wetness and bag is lodged in "spoon".  

  • Gabriel

    I am designer and I say: this is a god & refined design. Good for you, Karin!

  • Jo

    If only I had thought of this!   Simple, elegant, easy to keep in drawer at work...

    (And I've heard just the opposite from Tyler - squeezing the bag allows in more nutrients.)

  • tom_ter

    Wringing your tea bag is oh-so-British. Proper Irish tea allows for dripping, to avoid that bitter tinge.

  • Espen Brunborg

    What about teabags without string? As much as I love the design, about 95% of the teabags I have in my house are typical UK ones, without string..