For the 60 years or so before the invention of the tea bag at the turn of the 20th century, loose tea was often brewed in perforated metal containers. These were produced in many appealing shapes, and some are used by tea lovers to this day.
Tea balls make fine drawer sachets and bath infusers. Aluminum ones, mass produced since the 1920s, can be found in flea markets at low prices ($2 to $8 each). Sterling-silver pieces cost more but make lovely gifts when they are filled with scented ingredients.