Cj... I know of a few tea places to go for a better alternative tea tool. And nothing is coming up on Google for the Breman Haus other then it may have been in Yorkville which was my neighborhood when I lived in the Upper Eastside. And then I don't ever remember hearing of that store.
The neighborhood used to have a great tea and coffee shop called M. Rohrs but they went defunct less then two years ago.
Rockhead? If I go the sock route, washing the sock would depend on what kind of tea I was drinking. Dirty socks would give a more earthier malty flavor to strong Irish breakfast blend tea but would overpower the subtleties in an English breakfast tea.