Although I’m very pleased with the performance of our Ikea Riklig teapot, it’s not perfect.
Take the filter insert, for example. It’s a bit on the small size.
For steeping the hoji cha we currently have in that works best with small amounts of leaf and relatively short infusion times this doesn’t really present a problem.
If, however, I want to use it to steep tea Western style I was having to fall back to using paper filter bags. Nothing wrong with them per se, you understand, I just feel as though the leaves never get enough room to circulate freely in the pot.
Then, today, after a bit of misfortune, inspiration struck.
We occasionally enjoy a pot of coffee hereabouts, and have a 1 litre-ish French press. This morning the plunger mechanism decided to die on me. The screw threads holding the mesh filter sub-assembly to the plunger rod stripped, and the whole thing duly fell apart.
Not completely unexpected – it was a supermarket’s own-brand model, and over a year old. I’m astonished it’s lasted as long as it has, to be perfectly honest.
Not a tragedy, either. We used to have a very nice Bodum French press, but that took a dive from a high cupboard onto our kitchen floor, smashing the glass jar but leaving the plunger mechanism intact.
Now, as luck would have it, the Bodum plunger mechanism is a perfect fit into the cheap press’s glass jar. Hurrah!
I was about to bin the cheap press’s plunger mechanism when a thought occurred. The lid of a French press has a kind of a slotted lip to help keep any stray coffee grinds in the jar and out of your cup. If that lid fitted the Ikea Riklig teapot, then, in theory, I could use the teapot without either it’s own filter insert or a paper filter bag. The leaves would have plenty of room to circulate, and the slotted lip on the substitute lid would keep them inside the pot.
I can happily report that the lid did indeed fit the teapot. Not a perfect fit, mind, but near enough to keep the tea’s heat, leaves, and aroma where they belong.
The only other problem to solve was the matter of a handle, the old one having gone West with the plunger mechanism.
A small knob was robbed from an old Moka pot, and fastened into position with a suitable bolt and washer.
This setup allows me to brew up Western style in the Riklig teapot, and then when the tea is ready I simply decant it to a similarly sized pre-warmed pot. The leaves stay in the Riklig for any subsequent rounds.
A nice little hack. Happy days.