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In an office in Singapore, the temperature is usually very cool (and way below that of outside air); I’m not that sensitive to the cold and my friends in Europe can attest to that as some complained it was too cold in my home in winter. However I’m quite sensitive to strong temperature differences between places.
This sitting in a cold draft feeling explains why I drink more tea here than I used to, because sometimes I really need the hot cup to keep my fingers from getting blue and to warm my insides – environmental nonsense in a country where a very cool outside temperature stand around 27°C (around 80°F). Drinking tea also helped me compensate for my drastic cut in my daily espresso consumption (from 5 to 6 a day to 1)
At the office, the coffee is excellent, but the available teas are really average tea-bags, that I’ve all tried and drank once but either knew I had to avoid at all cost forever or could drink but did not feel like having again.
I decided then that life was too short to waste on drinking brewed dust, bitter and sometimes even vile-tasting brews which left me almost queasy after one cup.
I wanted something convenient, easy to clean, not fragile, as I can be a bit of a klutz and knew I would have to carry my cup back and forth between the kitchen and my desk. This last criteria definitely ruled out the Bodum Tea for one set, which I was already afraid to break when putting down on the store’s table, and for which the salesguy told me it was great because you could still use the filter (plastic mesh) with another cup, when the double-glass cup got broken by the clumsy customer.

After a while, I came across this set, which was on sale, and available in a nice fuchsia color.
I liked the design, the glass looked sturdy, easy to handle, without any risks thanks to the silicon wide ring. I also liked that the filter was a very fine mesh, through which rooibos could not go through. What I found a bit disappointing was the glass capacity (bigger than the Bodum though), especially as there was a larger glass with the same design available but without the strainer and cover.
It’s very convenient to use, rather easy to rinse, without having to use a sponge or brush to take the tea / rooibos leaves outside of the strainer. I usually manage not to have tea dripping on my desk when taking the filter out of the cup or back into it; the strainer handle fits really well, never gets hot. The filter is really stable once set onto the cover dish. The large silicon ring around the glass allows for a very comfortable walk with the glass full, the grip not feeling slippery at all even with clammy hands, unlike when holding a normal glass.
The glass and strainer get stained by tea (which I do not mind but some others might). However my main concern is that the plastic mesh is already quite crinkled, as if it could not completely stand boiling hot water temperature. I have trouble to believe this filter can be as long-lasting as a stainless steel one. I had not directly compared it with the Bodum, but both had seemed very similar.
As it is, I’m very happy with this set whose advantages are obvious everyday to my clumsy self.
Had I found before the Forlife strainer, I probably would have bought two of these, one for home, one for the office instead of this set.
Time will tell which one of the two (stainless steel vs. plastic mesh) strainers is the more long-lasting one…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Barbara

And do you have a preferance by now for the steel or mesh strainer?

LaFleurBleue

The plastic is still in very good shape, though honey-colored. Not more crinkles than at first.
I like its lightness and the bright color which makes it quite fun for the office.
My only complaint would be that I have the feeling the plastic retains some flavors of the teaas when I pour hot water on top of it before putting new tea leaves, the water soon become slighty orange.
At the same time, I never wash it with detergent, just throw the leaves away, and a quick rinse. Rooibos I often drink late afternoon and I also leave it dry in the mesh as it gets easier to empty on the following morning.

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Barbara

And do you have a preferance by now for the steel or mesh strainer?

LaFleurBleue

The plastic is still in very good shape, though honey-colored. Not more crinkles than at first.
I like its lightness and the bright color which makes it quite fun for the office.
My only complaint would be that I have the feeling the plastic retains some flavors of the teaas when I pour hot water on top of it before putting new tea leaves, the water soon become slighty orange.
At the same time, I never wash it with detergent, just throw the leaves away, and a quick rinse. Rooibos I often drink late afternoon and I also leave it dry in the mesh as it gets easier to empty on the following morning.

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Bio

I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.

Location

Singapore

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