Recent Tasting Notes


I am not sure if I should change my rating for this or not. On the one hand, it broke…not sure why or how but the seal between the two layers broke and I ended up with a tea infuser with no outer wall, and a large plastic mug. Both not so good for hot tea because it no longer keeps my fingers from getting burned.

When this was a functioning travel mug it was great (except for the leaking part) now it is kinda useless as a tea infuser mug. I use it as a large cup to drink my matcha lattes out of and occasional for cold steeping. Luckily I was planning on getting a leak-proof travel mug, maybe it heard me talking about my plans and broke out of shame?

Ah well, it was a good little friend while it lasted.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Kati loose tea system by Teaware
259 tasting notes

I liked my first Kati system thing….whatever it is….so much that I decided to buy another. See, the first one was supposed to live at work, but I liked it too much so I ended up carrying it back and forth every day. Anyway, I ordered the “poppy fields” one this time (the one with the red and orange flowers). I thought the background was going to be purple, but it was brown. A tiny bit of a bummer, but nbd. Unfortunately, it also arrived with a chip in the rim. I was extremely (pleasantly) surprised when I called customer service and they sent another one to me right away, no questions asked. I didn’t even have to send the damaged one back. Huge props to Tea Forte for that!


That is great customer service! I have looked at some of their mugs, but looked at Davids Perfect Mugs too.. not sure what I want next. The poppy fields one was one that I had my eye on, red is a favorite color of mine :)


I didn’t realize the background was brown. Don’t they have one with a white background? Oh, maybe that was cherry blossoms.

Terri HarpLady

I’ve been admiring Kati cups for awhile. They are so beautiful, & it’s awesome to hear that they have excellent customer service!


I’ve been looking at this as well, but I worry the little infuser basket is too small. It seems small in the pictures I’ve seen, anyway. How’s the actual size?


Yep, Suziqzer, the cherry blossoms one has a white background.

Cheri, the inner diameter of the basket is about 7cm or 2.75in and the depth at the center point (it’s rounded) is about 3.5cm or 1.38in. The measurements are approximate but should give you an idea of how big it is. If you’re worried that the infuser wouldn’t reach deep enough into the mug, there’s an inner rim aprroximately 1cm down from the top of the mug where the infuser basket sits.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Libre Tea Travel Glass by Teaware
182 tasting notes

Love this! I have the 9 oz and 14 oz sizes. These glasses are so beautiful! I’m really happy with mine. These can be used as shown in the company video to make tea two ways, but I have a couple other suggestions.

First: I use this to brew tea at work. I like letting the leaves float around in the glass, then pouring the tea into a mug. I get the lovely floating leaf aesthetic, but without the leaves sitting in water for too long. It’s easy to re-steep this way, too.

Second (and best): Cold Brew. Some teas are amazing if you put the leaves in your libre glass with cool water, then put in the fridge overnight. In the AM, you have a lovely cold tea with low bitterness. Note – This does take a little experimentation. I find most black and white teas to be good like this, but sometimes greens taste odd. Also, sometimes you need to use a little extra tea. The cold brew method produces a mild tea and I just drink it through the strainer with the leaves in the glass. Yummy and pretty!

Libre tea customer service is great. My smaller glass was getting condensation inside the hologram. I emailed and a replacement was promptly sent. All is well now!!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Timolino (12 oz) by Teaware
580 tasting notes

Okay, so I’m doing this thing where I cut tea out of my diet on weekends because I feel like I drink waaaay too much and too much of one thing is actually bad for you, even if said thing is healthy!

Ahh well. I found myself on steepster and remembered that I never reviewed this.
I wanted to review it the second I got it, but I felt like I needed my time with my timolino first to actally give it a decent rating.

The pros:
- Super compact
- Super gorgeous
- The seal is great! I haven’t had it leak yet (except once when I took the rubber bit out of the top and shook it and made a mess on my desk…)
- The compartment under the lid is great! I’m on the go/hurring to get to class a lot so sometimes I don’t have enough time to brew and add milk/sugar/lemon/whatever the heck I want to make the tea taste good to my taste. So if tea needs lemon, I just take a lemon slice and stick it under my lid! I haven’t tried sneaking milk under the lid, but it does look like a decent seal so I’ll probably try that next time :)
- It keeps my tea HOT. I was on my way to San Diego (about 2 hours away and it was freezing cold outside) and I legit didn’t have time to make tea. I boiled water and poured it into my timolino before hopping into the car. I fell asleep on the road, woke up in SD and brewed my tea and actually burned my tongue. Finished half the cup, went to the event, 2 hours later it was still hot! Not hot enough to burn my tongue, but hot enough to fog my glasses. So yes, very impressed with this wee little thing!

The cons:
- It’s a pain to wash. Handwash only and my hands don’t reach the bottom of it so I have to stick a wooden spoon into it and swish it around
- There’s a lot of parts to it. The actual thermos bit, the basket, the thing with the sip hole stuff, the lid and the cover of the compartment. Luckily I haven’t lost any parts of it yet :)
- The sip holes are nice, but they’re a bit big? I rarely brew with my basket anymore. I usually just brew 12oz of tea beforehand and pour that into my timolino. If I were to brew loose leaf, I’d use one of my disposable tea filters. If I did use the basket, I would have a sachet with me because that would make life easier instead of trying to dig the sachet out of freakin hot water with bare hands.
- THE TEA STAINS UGH. But that’s one thing you can’t escape! But that’s how you know the timolino is being loved :)

All in all, the pros most definitely outweigh the cons. I would definitely recommend this to anyone on the go, and especially to college students like me who need tea in class. And you sit at the front of the classroom, brew your tea during lecture, and have the professor stare at you and you can feel your classmates eyes just staring at you from behind. Oh it’s great :)


This stuff is AMAZING at getting rid of tea stains – no scrubbing just add some to your travel mug fill with hot water and leave it for a bit….


Oh gosh THANK YOU!
I have so many things that have tons of stains. From strainers to mugs to everything in between. Definitely going to toss that into my next Mandala order. Thank you tons!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Ut oh, an update to my earlier raving:

The plastic inside parts of the tops absorb scents/flavors and so far I’m having a hard time getting the last out. I’d hope/assumed they were made of plastic that was as limited as possible in this, but it was actually quite easy. I have made two fruited/scented teas in it and each time I had to scrub and soak the lids to get the neutrality back.

The first one wasn’t an intensely flavored tea so a day of scrub and soak practice got it back to normal.

This second one is the admittedly one with a very strong cinnamon component. They’ve been soaked and scrubbed a few times today and are currently soaking again.

100% neutrality isn’t necessary in such things, but these were both strong enough that I’d be smelling them while sipping something else out of the bottle so I need/ed to get them out or at least gone to just a trace.

Will update on success.

Otherwise, though, still an awesome product that I highly recommend. Just be more careful than I in using flavored and scented teas in it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I’ve had other smaller versions of this type of cup was curious but wary due to the negative points of the ones I owned. After handling and speaking with the vendor at the Coffee & Tea Festival NYC I went ahead and got the 14oz.

It is sturdy, holds heat really well, doesn’t leak, and the brew space between the two lids is quite good for a travel container. I’ve used it a good number of times already this week and am very, very pleased. It is awesome.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I like this tea thing. It is well-made and it is pretty. It drains the tea and the lid never falls off the tea thing.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Hario Chacha Glass Teapot by Teaware
11 tasting notes

I have a 400 ml pot so that is the size I am reviewing. I love my pot. The glass is sturdy , pours well anbd the big infuser basket naerly fills the pot so there is lots of room even for big leafy teas.
The lid, if one pours slowly, stays in place.
The only con I can think of is. the there isnt an easy way to remove the basket when your tea is ready. It gets hot to the touch and does. not have a handle. Tweezers or tea tongs make that a non-issue.
Reasonably priced, well made.
My only real complaint is that I should have bought a smaller size. The smallest size is 300 ml.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Timolino 16 oz. Ingeni by Teaware
517 tasting notes

This works fine. You can pop out the bottom strainer to clean it if needed and get any stuck leaves loose, which was touted to me as a selling point. I think the filter in my Ingenuitea popped out as well, but I never knew that until it fell off of the counter and the handle shattered off! The filter popped out at that time as well, but went right back in. Wasn’t a problem for me that it didn’t come out, I don’t really worry much about tea stains and leaves never got stuck along the sides or under the filter. The Timolino does get leaves caught at the sides of the strainer from time to time, which doesn’t please me terribly but I can live with it. :) You can also put this whole thing in the microwave, unlike the metal mesh strainer in the Ingenuitea, but I use a kettle for my water, not the microwave, so again, not a big selling point for me over any other gravity infuser. I do think I prefer the metal mesh from the Ingenuitea – it just seemed sturdier. :)

So, I went to a local tea place where I bought my Ingenuitea hoping to replace it. All she had were these Timolinos. I figured it would cost about the same as the Ingenuitea and holy cow was I wrong. I should have just walked away – I could have replaced from Adagio online and cost less even with shipping. This is also about half the price on Amazon that I paid for it locally. But I hate to have someone ring something up and then change my mind, so I paid for taking the path of least resistance and not looking at the tag before putting it on the counter. Ah, well. Supporting the local economy counts for something. And I didn’t have to go back to filter basket in the cup for my tea until a replacement arrived. So hooray for local instant gratification. :)

UPDATE: Lowering rating because this leaks if you leave liquid in it for more than a couple of hours. I normally don’t, but I had just a little bit that wouldn’t fit in the cup a couple of times in the past weeks and each time, when I went back to pick it up, empty it, etc., it had leaked all over the counter. If you are just worried about drips, the coaster with the little lip on it that comes with the Timolino takes care of them but don’t let more than a couple of tablespoons sit in this for long or things will get… wet. I now have some paperwork that looks like authentically aged parchment…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I received this teapot for Christmas and have used it many times since. Though I was apprehensive about using this teapot (due to the negative review on Teapigs website) I can happily say I’ve not had any problems with this. I can steep a litre (35oz) of tea for a good long session, or steep enough to fill my flask for iced tea.

The steeping egg can fit up to roughly 15g of black or blended tea (without much room to expand) and for my taste it’s a nice strength. A little on the light side for some teas so not suitable for everything but for your generic blends and the odd Oolong or unflavoured black it’s great. Plus once it’s steeped for however long needed I can just pull the egg steeper up and remove it from the water, making sure I don’t oversteep. Oversteeping is a problem with my Adagio PersonaliTEA pot so at least now I have something more suitable.

I would recommend this teapot, especially for flavoured tea blends, it’s a welcomed edition to my tea family.


I now need a flask for tea, just so I can mess with people.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Well, the lid is definitely picking up smells from flavored teas. My plan is to deodorize it and continue to use it only for unflavored teas. I will buy an infuser made of a non-porous material (still looking to find the right one) for when I brew flavored teas in the future. I still love this teapot, though!


You might consider buying separate tetsubin for the preparation of different genres of tea… I only prepare straight teas in mine and use glass carafes for flavored blends.,,

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Timolino (12 oz) by Teaware
17 tasting notes

The best thing I’ve ever bought from DAVIDsTEA that wasn’t tea!
It is a little pricy, but for how long it keeps your tea hot during the day is worth the price tag. I can put this sucker in my purse and not worry about having it spill all over my Kindle and wallet.
I burned my tongue something fierce the first time (Chocolate Rocket I thought you loved me!), but was shocked to find that 4-5 hours later, it was still pretty hot.

Best thing I bring in with me when I’m headed in on a 8.5 hour morning shift at work.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Steep & Go by Teaware
1 tasting notes

I bought the steep & go before Christmas and am finally trying it out. But for the life of me I can’t get it screwed on. I bought a bottle of Dasani (16.9 oz) to try this out and every way I’ve tried I can’t get it threaded. Is there some magic trick to it?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


This broad work well when picking Pu’ Er tea cake.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I’m pretty sure I messed up adding this. Most other teaware items have a different format, but I couldn’t find a place where anyone explained how to do this…

Anyhow, this is the best teapot I’ve owned. It’s the perfect size for two people to have two cups of tea each or four people to have one cup each. I love glass teapots in general. I think they’re beautiful and I enjoy seeing the color of the tea. But what really makes this teapot stand out is that there is so much space in the infuser for the leaf to expand. The infuser compared to the overall volume of the teapot is huge, and it’s also very easy to clean. The teapot itself is also easy to clean because it doesn’t have a traditional spout. The only thing I worry about are the rubbery components absorbing smells from flavored tea, but so far so good. Also, it comes it many colors, but I opted for a more neutral black.

25 OZ / 739 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Timolino (12 oz) by Teaware
641 tasting notes

I am so stoked to finally own one of these after a trip to the USA and Canada over the holidays. I was so hyped for one of these that my sister gave it to me for Christmas before I could get one myself.
I love the spare tea pocket in the lid. Tea stays hot for freakin’ hours in this thing. The only con for me is that there’s nowhere to rest the infuser if you have to bail it out so you don’t oversteep—though my solution to this is to take the whole lid off and leave it upside-down, which also helps to cool the tea down a little (I burned my mouth a few dang times before learning my lesson).

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Kati loose tea system by Teaware
1 tasting notes

I bought this cup for work and love it so much that I had to buy another one for at home!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Timolino (12 oz) by Teaware
1805 tasting notes

So, 8/10 times I’m extremely happy with my timolino(s) – both of which are 12 oz.

I find most things travel really well in it, and in my black timolino the heat is retained exceptionally well. However, for whatever reason my white timolino (which is the newer of the two) holds in the heat noticeably less and I can’t figure out why. The seal isn’t broken and the lid screws on the exact same. I’ve typically been able to make it work for me, though – I just make whichever tea I want to drink first in that timolino.

Ideally, I’d like for the brew basket to be a bit larger but it works for what I use it for and I’m normally pretty happy with it. I just sometimes have issues with, say, oolongs which can’t expand as well. Also, the first one I bought (the black one) came with a broken brew basket which would sink to the bottom and cause things to be steeped for an ungodly long time – but the DAVIDsTEA store I got it from provided me with a new brew basket, no questions asked and I haven’t had issues with it coming unattached during brewing since.

The only other thing I would maybe complain about is the fact that sometimes they pick up the scent/flavour of previously brewed teas (I had lots of issues with Currant Affair) even if very thoroughly cleaned in between use. Not really a huge deal, though.

Overall a satisfied customer – enough so I bought a second, right! ;)

carol who

I have a Teavana tumbler that looks just like your Timolino but in a different color. I have to say this tumbler keeps it very hot. I’ve found that I can’t put water hotter than 185 degrees in it if I want to drink it anytime soon. I always takes some with me for after my walk (3 miles daily) at the rec center. It sits out in the freezing cold in the winter (-16 last week) and it was still too hot to drink. I don’t use the filter basket too often but have never had any problems with it. Besides working well, it looks very nice.


I would love one of these but i just can’t justify the price when the contigo’s i have are more than half the price and hold the temp forever…

Roswell Strange

When I say doesn’t hold temp. as well – I should elaborate. The black one (the ‘better’ of the two) will keep water at boiling, practically undrinkable, temperatures for anywhere between five and nine hours. The white only holds that same level of heat for three to six, or so, hours. So – they do hold pretty well. When I was working, I took a cold bottle of tea to drink first during my shift, and then a hot to drink later in the day after it had cooled significantly.


Contingos are available at Costco, right? I forgot to check last time I was there. Either way, I think Timolinos are worth the price. I’ve had mine for nearly a year and it’s like new.

carol who

I had received my Teavana tumbler as a gift in one of their gift package. So mine was really cheap!


I love mine. I just wish it were easier to clean right at the bottom. I think I’m just staining it. If it were a yixing that’d be ok…


Cavo – denture thingies lol
swedish chef – yeah 2 for 20$ @ costco :) and i don’t have to take the lid off to drink


Hot damn, that’s a steal. Does it have a good lip thingy, not too thick and all that jazz?

And I second the denture thingies.


contigo = plastic/rubber type lip thingy. gets a bit warm sometimes, but not terribly so..less so than metal :) they’re leak proof as well


…hence my inability to justify timloino pricing, though i really want one :)


I also have 2 and really enjoy them. They keep tea really hot and don’t leak if sealed properly. I got them both as gifts, so 2 thumbs up!
Good tip on the denture tabs for cleaning, I will have to try that!


Thanks guys. I keep forgetting but I WILL get denture tablets. (I also want to dissolve those to help clean my counter)


cavo – worse case just get some from me..i bought a giant box AND i have the cleaner from mandala… so i’m set


Awesome – thanks Sil!


“I would love one of these but i just can’t justify the price when the contigo’s i have are more than half the price and hold the temp forever…”

Have you thought about writing a review of the Contigo? I for one would be interested in learning more about your experience with it and how it compares to the Timolino or Zojirushi. Thanks!


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

reviewed Matcha Sifter by Teaware
84 tasting notes

woohoo teaware!


And I get to review it, not drink it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I have this mug…if you’re a doctor who fan…it’s awesome!!! Now I know it’s just a picture but any whovian would say otherwise. It’s my daily tea mug…just awesome. Only a couple downfalls, after you hand wash it (not dishwasher safe…oh well) don’t leave it wet, the plastic costing that show the disappearing tardis will bubble and eventually come off. But aside from that, it’s just so cool…now to get my doctor who TARDIS teapot:)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I don’t own this teapot myself, but the folks over at thesweethome.com gave it very high marks in a review of their preferred tea steepers: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-tea-steeper/

Here’s the amazon link:http://www.amazon.com/Hario-Chacha-Glass-Teapot-23oz-700ml/dp/B0007WTBQ0/

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I’ve been meaning to review this as I know some Steepsters are waiting on bated breath to hear what I think—such pressure, har—but I’ve dragged my feet some because it’s a little complicated (at least to me). Let’s see if I can break this down coherently.

Decent capacity (~12oz), probably just right for 2 servings of the kinds of teas it seems most meant for, ie, resteep champs (think East Asian greens and oolongs). May seem a little small if you’re used to running around with 16oz of piping hot Western-y legacy-style or flavored blacks. What I like about this size is it’s sort of a concession between those two poles—it makes sense the more well-known glass version was relatively small (8oz or less IIRC) given it seems intended for those Chinese and Japanese-style teas, but this gives you a litle more room in case you want more options.

The mesh in the filter is rather fine. I don’t know yet if it’s rooibos-fine (I pretty much never go out with anything lacking caffeine, ha), but it’s teaball-fine for sure at least.

Easy to clean. The sleak uniform design of it means there’s no fragile or fiddly bits for gunk to get stuck in. The drinking chamber is narrow as with most tumblers so you wouldn’t be able to fit your hand down to the bottom to handwash, but a bottle brush is an obvious solution, and (I’m skeptical and haven’t done this myself but) Dragon Tea House claimed it’s dishwasher safe when I asked them about it.

It doesn’t seem like it retains heat especially well. This is sort of a plus given that, again, it seems geared towards people who drink more delicate teas like greens and oolongs. And it’s not horrible at retaining heat, just not as good as Western thermoses designed expressly for that purpose. (I put this under cons but for me it isn’t one really; I actually have a problem with most tumblers keeping tea undrinkably hot for too long. YMMV depending on your on-the-go tea-drinking schedule!) Preheating the drinking chamber with hot water would help if this was an issue, of course.

The rim where you drink from is, while not like deadly sharp or anything, a bit unpleasant to drink from given it’s just cold steel and pretty finely edged. It is like drinking out of a tin cup while camping. I understand why it is—the “interchangeable screw top and bottom and removable infusing chamber” design relies on all of the pieces screwing together easily and not breaking down over time, and being leakproof, and in order to do that with soft parts all four components would have to be rimmed in gasket-tight material and would make for a much more complicated design. So it makes sense to me it’s as simple as it is. But if the lip of where you drink being comfy is a big issue, I don’t know what to tell you (IIRC the Copco I tried had similar issues with so-sharp-you-can-cut-yourself steel parts, seems almost inevitable when you decide to focus on a steel body).

As for leakproofness, this one’s tricky. It IS leakproof as long as you’re careful and good about screwing everything just right (making sure the threading is lined up right when you start). However, there’s this thing—and I have a feeling I might need more practice and then it won’t be a problem—where when you unscrew the infusing chamber, residual water the leaves are holding onto leaks onto you, the tumbler, etc. because there’s that moment when you’re unscrewing it and there’s nothing below the infuser basket to catch that water (and obviously you can’t turn it upside down so the top lid catches it, as then all your tea would fall out!). And I don’t mean like the drops when you lift an infuser basket from a mug normally, that you can put your hand under—I’m talking as soon as you start unscrewing the infusing chamber but it’s still connected to the drinking chamber, there’s that vacuum sucking sound and water immediately starts dribbling down the sides of the tumbler. Still figuring that out (maybe if I “burp” it by unscrewing just slightly then pausing to let air in before continuing it’ll help).

I am sorry but I honestly can’t remember right now if it’s uncomfortable to touch while there’s hot water in it (this was an issue with the hourglass flip tumbler). I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an issue—maybe a little uncomfortably warm but nothing that burns or actually hurts—but if I’m remembering wrong I’ll edit this later.

The weight/heft is interesting. I am impressed because it seems like they made sure to strike a balance here, especially with how moving the infuser chamber from top to bottom affects the tumbler’s stability. It’s heavy enough to act a bit as a weight at the bottom while infusing and once you’re ready to drink your tea, but not so heavy that when on top when you have yet to infuse (say, you’ve packed it up with your leaves and water so when you get wherever you’re going you can infuse, or for whatever reason you’ve got the infuser on the top for a while) it’s unstable. I wouldn’t say the thermos is light or heavy overall; it’s in between. It feels a smidge thick in the hand (especially compared to stuff like the hourglass flip tumbler, with its slender “waist” in the center) but it’s slimmer and more comfortable overall than the Copco was, and it fits in standard car cup holders.

You don’t need my review to tell you this, it’s inherent to the design described on the website, but this is the kind of tumbler you need to unscrew a lid to drink from, where it becomes like an open-mouthed cup when unscrewed. There’s no sliding/tabbed sipping holes or anything like that. Some people require that, some people don’t like them (I don’t, as I don’t like slurping hot beverages up into my mouth; I’m the sort who always altogether removes disposable coffee cup lids as soon as I can). So, just noting which category in falls in.

All in all, it is the best tumbler I’ve tried for when you want to infuse on the go and don’t want to deal with disposing of the spent leaves and infuser basket afterward. But it’s not a perfect dream come true home run exactly. And it is more suited, at least I think, to the kind of tea drinker who has a more Eastern approach—likes unflavored greens and oolongs, say, and tends to like gongfu brewing or at least “resteep a lot” type straight teas.

All of that said, I am glad I own it! I don’t know if most Steepsters would think it worth the price tag though. Just a heads up.


Oh wow, that’s an elegant flask. One thing I wish the Timolino had was a sharper lip. That seems so hard to find.


Thank you so much for reviewing this! It still sounds wonderful, and I feel very similarly to you in terms of my preferences (tea not too hot, take the lid off disposable cups immediately, etc.). I think I’d find the edge a bit annoying, and the dripping water might feel like a bit of a dealbreaker, because the heat of the dripping water would probably terrify me a bit. But again, if this were only slightly cheaper (or heck, even if it wasn’t) I might still want it!


yeah, sorry it took me a while to get to it! it would’ve been faster to do if it was completely a hit or completely a miss, but it’s more like, i like it best of all of them so far, with a couple caveats. when/if i figure out the “unscrewing the infusing chamber makes it dribble out” issue i’ll update!

Abby Noelle

Thanks for the good and thorough review!! Goodness, I still want it…lol

Login or sign up to leave a comment.