This method doesn’t work well with many herbal teas or finely cut black teas. The screen is fine enough to prevent the leaf particles from passing through and into the mug like it is supposed to, but they do tend to get trapped between the screen and the end plate on the plunger. This makes clean up a lot more work.
I had considered the Finum brewing basket for brewing my tea but thought it might be as messy as using a tea ball at work, dripping on my desk. When my wife started brewing herbals using loose leaf, we decided the basket was worth trying.
We bought this one at Empire Tea Services for a little less than $10. This seems to be the going rate elsewhere as well. It is the medium size basket and fits perfectly in our 12oz mugs. It allows generous room for the water to circulate around the dancing leaf. The lid holds the heat in the cup while steeping. After brewing it serves as a drip tray for the basket. Despite my fears, this is not messy to use. In fact, quite the opposite. Best of all clean up is a snap. The basket is dishwasher safe so you can toss it in when it needs more than just a rinse.
This is a highly effective and useful product.