|"Summary, like any infusion and straining device, the Mary pop-in it has its pros and cons, but I found it to be a fun and quirky little gadget that functions well and offers a new way to prepare tea.
1) This item does work effectively. Not one shred of leaves made it into my cup. I don’t thing this would be as effective on rooibos, but is excellent for regular tea and most herbal concoctions.
2) The use of the Mary Pop-in is a nice alternate for situations where an infusion basket is not ideal. For example, I have a beautiful cast iron teapot that I rarely use because the pot is rather tall, but the infusion basket is on the short side; in order to properly infuse the tea, I have to make a really large pot (which means I end up wasting tea). I was able to use the Mary Pop-in with my cast iron teapot today and because of that I was able to use the amount of leaves and volume of water appropriate for my single-person use.
3) The Mary Pop-in is a low-tech and rather simple way to prepare tea, and for this reason may be ideal for those first experimenting with loose leaf tea. Although I find it rather unwarranted, many people comment that they don’t drink loose leaf tea because of the gadgetry required for proper preparation. With the Mary pop-in, you could essentially drop the leaves in the same teapot/kettle that you boiled water in, making for a less intimidating means of making tea.
1) I found clean-up to be a bit messier than with alternate straining mechanisms, such as a infusion basket. Using an infusion basket means simply lifting the basket out of the tea pot and dumping out the leaves. The Mary Pop-in does require a little bit of effort to remove the leaves inside it, as well as from inside the teapot (which is easier said than done). Of course, this does not require a Herculean effort, but I do think it worth pointing out that other straining devices can be a bit simpler.
2) Because there is no way to remove the leaves, you can only prepare as much tea as will be drunk immediately. If you were to pour yourself a cup of tea from the pot, the leaves would still be steeping, so if you tried for a second cup ten minutes later, chances are that the brew would be over-steeped and bitter.
Summary, like any infusion and straining device, the Mary pop-in it has its pros and cons, but I found it to be a fun and quirky little gadget that functions well and offers a new way to prepare tea. KTeas offers these for $5, which is probably affordable in the average tea-drinker's budget.
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