Popular Teas from TeawareSee All 51 Teas
Popular Teaware from TeawareSee All
Recent Tasting Notes
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:)
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/
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.
I adore this! I got this at the Adagio store on State street in Chicago. I was a tad worried because I found it hard to open. But while making tea, I found it not too hard to open. I got it in a blue color, which I adore.
This is so convenient for me! I love that I am able to stop steeping tea by just pulling up the lever. The lever is very secure and holds the basket in place. This keeps the tea hot for a long time (and thanks to the double layer, the cup is very easy to hold, just hot enough to keep my sensitive hands warm). I steeped my tea in here then drove 20 minutes, ate lunch while this was in my car in the cold Chicago weather (about 1 degree outside), and came back to a pleasantly warm cup of Earl Grey. the mouthpiece it super tight so I don’t see it leaking easily. Plus, It is so pretty to watch the tea steep in this. I steeped a herbal tea in here and the red swirls were so nice to look at!
The only downside to this is that the strainer that holds the tea is a bit small. There isn’t much room for the tea to move around. When I opened it to clean it, the tea leaves completely filled the small basket. They could barely fit. I wouldn’t use tea that expands a lot. That’s okay for me though, because I mainly drink black teas. Also, this isn’t too much of a downside, but I have found one of the only ways to get the basket to drop when there is water in the cup is to open the part where you drink out of. Maybe its too hot in there and the pressure build up doesn’t allow the displacement of the water? I’ve only used boiling water in this, so I don’t know what would happen while steeping at lower temperatures. It isn’t that big of a deal, but a tad inconvenient. That will not stop me from using this.
Overall, I love this and this is most likely the only tea travel mug that I will be using. Such a good idea and works really well. Not many cons to this, and the cons are not even that big of a deal!
Got this in the family Christmas grab bag. It works pretty well! I’ve been sitting with a cup (thin bone china) of hot tea in a cold (67F) room for about 2 hours now and the tea is still hot. Not as hot as when originally brought downstairs of course, but hot enough to call it more than warm. :) Short of a cup cozy plus a lid, this is a good and inexpensive alternative.
Plus, it is sunny!
Hello all, it is time for another Tea Gear Review! excited cheering from the audience yes yes, I know these are exciting because we tea drinkers tend to ogle and hoard gear as much as we do tea. Possibly even much so since the tea gear is what brings us our delicious cups of liquid happiness. Today we are looking at the Shudei Kyusu from Den’s Tea, yes the one that I babble about periodically.
Backstory time! I first ran into the concept of the Kyusu (or Kyuusu) when I was in high school and going through that ‘obsessed with Japan and Anime’ phase (not that I have left that phase, it just has been nerfed a bit) and studying Chado and their tea culture. I was able to find a Tetsubin pretty easily but I never saw a Kyusu outside of books and online. Of course the prices online were intensely high and I am in the mindset of ‘when I buy a new piece of equipment, don’t spend too much money on it because chances are you will break it.’ I wanted a practice piece, and while browsing I found this beauty and its lovely price.
This Kyusu is made from Shudei, or red clay which has a higher level of iron oxide (and reminds me of the clay I would play with growing up in Georgia) which gives it a lovely color. There is a mostly convenient built in metal sieve for filtering out the leaves that try to escape. I say mostly convenient because being built in means it can be a real pain to clean.
I have used it quite a few times since I bought it back in late September and each time has been a treat. The size is optimal for two cups, but since I am the only one in the house that likes Japanese Green tea I usually only fill it up halfway. I like having the option of more servings should the opportunity arise. My favorite aspect of the kyusu is holding it, the handle is the perfect size for my grip and it just feels good pouring the tea.
I have noticed that it is not retaining any tea aromas or flavors (unlike Yixing) but judging by the sheen I am pretty sure this teapot has been given a glaze making it safe to use with multiple teas. Not that I am going to use it for anything other than my various Japanese greens. I am very happy with my Kyusu (it needs a name…I like naming my teapots, suggestions?) and I actually feel I do not need a fancy expensive one for my collection.
For blog and photos (and a few helpful links!) http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2013/11/dens-tea-shudei-kyusu-tea-gear-review.html
This is a good tea “ball”. It is just a tad smaller than an open top steeper, so there is room for the tea to move around. The only complaint would be that it has larger holes on the top of the “ball”, so smaller teas/debris escapes easily. However, this is great for using in my favorite tea pot because if I stand it up like in the picture (it has three little pegs on the bottom so you can stand it up), I am able to fit it in my teapot perfectly. It fits so that the water stops at about the line near the top. It was like it was made for my teapot! (p.s. the teapot I am talking about is the James Sadler Teapots – Tower of London Heritage. This makes clean up way easier on me than just straining the tea.
So, overall: This has its flaws and is a tad overpriced for the product, but it worked in my situation perfectly. I would only use this for smaller/medium tea pots or single cups. I would also avoid small leaf teas with this product.
I Had to drop my rating down, after about 9 months my kettle up and died. The little readout still works but it won’t heat up my water anymore. Maybe I used it too much and it exceeded its lifespan…live fast and yard and die young.
I am so bummed about this, since this is pretty much the cheapest variable kettle on the market (with the ability to set and know the temperature) I am probably just going to get another one since it is all I can afford. And of course this happened when I have a million teas to review on my blog, thanks tea kettle…no really, you were awesome…but why did you have to die?
Lets be honest, I drink a lot of tea and I am also antisocial. What does that have to do with anything, well I live in a house with other people and there are long periods of time where I don’t want to have to go to the kitchen because it almost always means interacting. The kitchen was where my stove was and if I wanted tea I had to submit to being around people. This became even more of a problem when I became a full blown tea blogger since I needed access to the kitchen more.
Luckily I have an awesome mom who got this beauty for me as an early birthday gift so I can have tea in my room. Also she knew my lament at having to use the ‘Chinese water boiling technique’ instead of having temperature control, it was a perfect gift. This kettle does a wonderful job of heating water to the desired temperature, even my most finicky greens come out perfectly. There are no weird tastes from the kettle that taint the water. There is also a function to have it turn on at a specific time so you can wake up to water ready for tea, I have not used this function yet but the idea is pretty awesome.
I have only had it about a month so I cannot really speak to durability, but I do use it multiple times a day, switching between temperatures, and using it at various water levels and it is still going strong.
Complaints? It is loud! I find the roar of the water heating up comforting because it means tea, but it has woken my boyfriend up a few times during my nocturnal tea drinking times. Also the noise terrifies my cats though they are getting used to it! The cord is pretty short, easily fixed with an extension cord.
I seriously love Libre. My first bookkeeping job was with Libre Tea and having seen some of the inner workings only makes me love it more. The owner of the company is one of the reasons I’ve fallen so hard for tea. I’d go up to the office and she’d bring me some loose leaf peppermint tea in one of these beautiful little Libre glasses and it made learning the ins and outs of the job all the more enjoyable.
Now that the rest of my family is catching up with tea, all of them are getting more use out of their Libre glasses. As someone who doesn’t like to oversteep tea even a little bit, I haven’t tried putting the leaves in the bottom of the glass and drinking through the strainer. I prefer just to steep and remove. But this glass is perfect for that. Minimal leakage, very hardy(I’m a dropper, I can’t help myself) and I’ve had no problems with my tea not being warm. I will always recommend this glass and this company!
it’s so pretty, so pretty. I want to love it, I do love it, but it’s got flaws.
Pros: SO PRETTY, especially with a gorgeous loose tea floating in there, i get a lot of people asking about it, it’s really almost a tea fashion accessory.
Love the size, and the fact that the inner is glass.
Mine was defective and the company sent a replacement which is working like a hot damn! This is with me at ALL times so I’m happy to have it without having a matching coloured tea stained shirt! Thank you Libre!
Canadian company is a huge pro, as is the holographic lid of gorgeousness. REALLY love the look of it.
Cons: Doesn’t keep tea hot for very long
expensive. I hummed and hawed over this for 2 years before buying it finally, I default to it only if I’m drinking something pretty. I’m shallow.
So I dropped by the Water Tower Place Teavana in Chicago to pick up some teaware. I’ll just be honest – I’ve never tried a Teavana tea that I’ve loved; I find them mostly plain and bland and poorly executed, and it’s vile how much sugar they put in the brewed samples they offer in-store.
Their teaware, though, is a whole other story. I think they carry beautiful tins and nice utensils and I’m all for going to Teavana just for that. I needed some filters, as I wanted to drink loose tea on my flight, and my thermos needed a proper wash before getting used again. Surprisingly, Teavana were about $2 cheaper for the same number of filters than every other store I came across, including grocery stores.
As for the function – they’re filters. Bags that filter tea. In water. They work just fine and predictably manage to do their job. No funny business.
Speaking of funny business, though, corporate culture doesn’t seem to have changed a lot since Teavana were acquired by Starbucks. I was still hounded by one of the salespeople in-shop who insisted that I try the samples.
‘Would you like a sample?’
‘No, but thanks anyway.’
‘Of course you want a sample!’
‘No, not really.’
‘But it’s amazing!’
‘Has sugar been added to the sample?’
‘No, not at all!’
‘Sorry, let me rephrase that – has any kind of sweetener been added to the sample?’
‘Well… yeah, but…’
And so on.
Hilarity ensued, of course, when there were ALL THESE TEAS that I just HAD TO BUY, and I was all, ‘Oh, but I don’t like your teas. I’m here for teaware!’. What do you even say to that? I felt like the most evil customer ever, but I swear I was really very nice and smiley about the whole thing, even as the salesperson got progressively more aggressive and rude.
Then upon checking out, I was told that these filters were ‘Pretty impractical’ (Whoa! Reverse sales technique! Mind blown!), and that the salesperson swore by this new thing.
‘Oh, but I already have your travel thermoses. They’re great.’ (But they could be easier to wash so I didn’t have to buy pretty impractical filters. )
‘This is much better, let me show you!’
And she showed me this: http://www.teavana.com/tea-gift-center/tea-gift-sets/p/tea-voyager-travel-kit which I do like a lot and have considered buying, but after researching it, I knew it wouldn’t meet my standards.
’It’s a full travel kit!’
‘Yeah, I absolutely love that, I looked at it online, and I would have bought it if the holes in the infuser had been smaller.’
‘Oh, but that’s not a problem at all! I have this product myself and that’s not an issue in any way.’
‘Yeah, but if you go read the reviews on the Teavana website, you’ll note that that’s THE MAIN COMPLAINT concerning this product.’
At this point the salesperson just stopped talking directly to me altogether.
I’m all for a hard sale, and with nice execution it can be a fun time for all. But incompetent salespeople who first talk down the product you want to buy (and which is absolutely fine – don’t cry, little filters, you’re quite adequate) all the while trying to push a product that’s obviously flawed without having the first clue about the criticism raised against said flaw..? Meh. Amateur hour.
Bought two; one for work, one for home. Needed a better way of guesstimating the water temp for tea brewing.
Negatives: Cord is too short.
Loud, very loud for an intimate office.
Positives: What a deal. Easy set up. One hour of keeping the water at set temp. No burnt leaves in my teapot.
Overall: Great buy, been using for about a month now daily with no problems in functionality. Now if only it had a muffler.
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.
This infuser is probably the most useful thing in my tea tool arsenal, it beats out all my fancy tea baskets, cups, pots, and spoons…why, you may ask? Because it is extremely versatile!
The double walled plastic allows for the tea to remain hot for quite a while and it keeps your hands from also becoming hot, a huge plus. It is one of the most frustrating things to be out and about and stop at a tea shop for a cup on the go and even when those cups have little jackets I still find them too hot. This mug is insulated! I get to have one of those adorable crocheted jackets for aesthetics for once.
Another of this infuser’s HUGE selling points is its adorable flipping basket. There is something really entertaining about flipping the basket down into the hot water, watching it steep, and then flipping the basket back up until needed again. I wish that the basket could drop lower, because the tea sometimes does not reach the bottom unless you vigorously flip the basket a few times to stir it up.
I was warned in advance that this infuser leaks (it says it on the label) so as long as it is kept up right then there is no problem. Sure at times I wish this was a ‘toss in your purse and drink later’ kinda mug, but I worry things would be lost in the process (like the precious basket!!)
I have had this lovely mug for over a year and I have not noticed any staining or weird smells, so I continue to love it. I have microwaved the mug a few times and noticed it performs just as well as when I use stove heated water.
I have a Russell Hobbs kettle with tea pot and warming tray in my living room. It is plastic but works fine. When I recently set up a second station in my den I tried using a one cup drip coffee maker. It worked but it was slow and I don’t like waiting for the water to cool for green and white tea. I started to buy an inexpensive and very basic but mostly stainless kettle when I spotted this at Walmart. I am having a blast with this thing.
First the negatives:
It is 1.7L. I wanted smaller but those don’t exist in the land of super-size.
The lid is plastic as is the small viewing window. Neither of these bothers me as I only heat 12oz or less at a time so the water never hits the window anyway.
The cord is too short. You have to use a heavy duty extension cord if you aren’t on a kitchen counter with an outlet at the kettle.
Now the positives:
I did not pay $200 or even $100. It was only $40.
It heats very quickly and then holds the water temp for 1 hour unless you stop it.
There are five preset temps – it holds the last setting used in memory.
It easily can be custom set between 150F and 212F. (Can be switched to read C)
I haven’t had it long so I can’t speak on the durability. It feels solid. It heats the water just like it is supposed to do. I detected no off odor or taste to the water. The price is very reasonable. Honestly, I don’t know what else I would want from a $40 kettle – except contain no plastic and be only 16 ounces. Since that is not going to happen, this will do nicely.
I received this today and will rate later after I have spent some time with it. The only bottle I had was a Balance MIND Wild-Harvested Flower Essence Spring Water – Bottle…it didn’t fit exactly so water did drip…but not that it’s the products fault as it does come with size/fitted suggestions and this was an odd sized water bottle and design.
I’m almost finished cold brewing something else and this time I AM using a Dasani Water Bottle which was 1 of 3 bottles that was suggested in my information packet!
First impressions follow.
Since this came today, I decided to try it out with some Dragonwell. I heated up water, and poured it in. A bit went through to the other side while I put the lid on. I started shaking it. It feels a bit ridiculous, and at the same time it seems like there is no way this is going to make anything but slightly tea tasting water. But it definitely made me a good cup of tea. It’s not oversteeped, it’s not too light. Granted I should have probably used a tea I’ve had before so I can really check, but not bad.
I just wish I had better English instructions (it has a little card in Chinese in it and that’s it). I’m going to send them an email asking about how much tea should be used per each cup.
I’ve been told 8g is good, the tea should fill the top part when it’s expanded, so it’s basically more like a gaiwan than anything.
Other bits: The strainer will let in small bits but so few strainers avoid that anyway.
The caps get hot while shaking, but the body of the shaker isn’t too bad. Granted, I also have a high tolerance for heat when it comes to the palms of my hands, so I am not the best person to go by on this.
All in all, I can’t wait to travel with this. I’m thinking it just changed my mind about going on a trip, and I will go after all (okay, it was also that there may be a growler of beer just for me up there). Definitely easier to throw in a bag than anything else I have, so we’ll see how it works over the weekend for me! It might limit my tea options (tisanes are totally out of the question with this, I’d think) but it’s so pretty and intriguing and awesome that that is okay!