Teaware

Recent Tasting Notes

61

General Review:
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.

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70

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?

K S

Sorry about the kettle and the timing. Makes me nervous. Mine is about the same age and I also have an abundance of teas to review on the blog with more on the way. I would love to have a tiny Kamjove kettle but they are pricey and require an adapter to run in the US. So yeah, I probably would just buy this one again as well.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I hope yours lives a long and healthy life! One of my friends read my lamentation and bought me a replacement, so that is awesome. I am wondering if the problem with mine (and others I have read about on Amazon) is water getting into the heating element. I know when I am filling mine I just plop it in the sink and fill it up, so this time around I am going to use the old kettle as a pitcher and try to never have the working one leave its base except when pouring.

I really want the gooseneck one from Bonavita, it is so pretty, but ouch is it pricey! The Kamjove kettle is beautiful too, such an elegant design.

Cheri

I have this kettle and it has been a good friend for about the same time as well. Sorry to hear yours died.

Anlina

I’ve been trying to find a variable temp kettle that’s both affordable and durable, but it seems like you have to choose one or the other :( I was tempted by the Oster one but then review after review says that it dies after just a few months.

I think I’m probably going to suck it up and invest in the Bonavita. The gooseneck one is very pretty but it just looks fragile to me, so I’ll probably go with the Bonavita with the more typical spout.

Cheri

Anlina, that’s the one I have at work. (I have the Hamilton Beach one at home.) It works quite well. I haven’t had it long enough to speak on longevity, but I have my fingers crossed.

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70

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.

Janefan

I bought this a couple months ago and love it. I have less time to make tea, so just the few minutes this saves versus using a kettle on the stove is worth it! Love the preset temps & “keep warm” hour, haven’t tried custom settings or the programmed timer yet.

Tea Sipper

“Specific time” reminds me of Michael Scott from The Office burnt his foot on the George Forman grill he sets up the night before. :D

Cavocorax

Hmmm. I see Walmart Canada has it for $30 and I’m really tempted, but I’m not sure about the noise. I like nocturnal tea times too…

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100
reviewed Libre Tea Travel Glass by Teaware
20 tasting notes

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!

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92

Love this thing, wish the inside was glass but other than that it’s pretty damn perfect! Had one that was flawed, teh basket popped open every time you’d flip it up, but this would be my fourth and that was the only one that is flawed. I keep buying them as gifts!

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64

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.
UPDATE!
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.

Lala

I have one of these and love it. Although I mostly use mine for cold shaken matcha. If you are going to flip it upside down to brew, I found that you have to let the water cool a bit first. ie, pour the boiling water in and wait about 1-2 minutes before you put the lid on and turn it upside down.

Whiskey Buzz

ooh thanks! I will keep that in mind!!

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100

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.

Nxtdoor

Lol. Awesome story

Cavocorax

Lol. I’m surprised she kept pushing. When I was in retail I would have just done the, Ok, well let me know if you have any questions!" and backed off a lot sooner.

Anna

Retail is really hard work, and from what I’ve heard, Teavana policy is very harsh on employees, so no disrespect to those who have to deal with that every day. I just wish management would realize what a worthless approach it it to customer satisfaction. Either you hassle people to death for a few quick sales, or you build a devoted, satisfied customer base that will stay around for years to come.

Of course, in this case, it would help if the teas were better…

yyz

I’ve never really got the pushy sales approach either. When I worked at ‘The Body Shop’ ( the cosmetic company, not the other one ( inside joke for those who’ve lived in Guelph)), they showed us the standard pushy sales training video. I found it quite appalling and amusing as this type of behaviour is usually the type of behaviour that would make me leave at once. Apparently this was based on some kind of study they did at some point that showed that customers wanted hyper vigilant and in your face sales people( really????). It was hilarious and not really applicable to the population that shopped at the Guelph store at that time. Many of them chose to shop at the body shop for it’s ethics, came in to discuss politics ( another supposed no-no in sales), and were most likely to purchase something if you simply engaged them in conversation. Ironically our store was regularly among the highest earning in it’s class. I like the approach I experienced in India the best, impractical here but oh well, 30 min of conversation over tea before the product even comes out!

Cavocorax

Strange! You would think the Body Shop would be all about taking politics when they’re all eco-friendly this, and stop-poverty-that.

And I still haven’t bought any Teavana teas. I’ve gone in and looked around, but was intimidated by the staff, and didn’t like how far away the teas were from me. It doesn’t sound as though I’m missing much though – not with all those quality tea stores online!

Anna

Hahaha, yeah – getting back to Sweden is always a bit of a slap in the face. Like, what, you’re not going to offer me any kind of help or wish me a nice day and there’s only one person to assist 500 customers? Okay. And then getting back to Italy and actually getting thrown out of the store for not picking a pair of shoes to try on quickly enough… or my favourite, being refused to buy something (fairly costly) on display, because it’s too much of a hassle taking it down.

yyz

Cavo, the body shop does tend to encourage people to talk about politics. I’m just thinking about the customer service / sales jobs I’ve had. But, I’ve worked at both a corporate store and a franchise store and we were given much more freedom in the franchise store.

Anna, they actually threw you out?? Not that I could ever buy shoes in Italy ( my feet are way too huge, I’d need to get them made. My shopping experiences in Italy have generally not been that bad, either I’ve ben left alone (I generally prefer this), or pleasantly helpful (I’ve spent time in both larger and smaller places). On the other had I’ve spent time in Florence in both high and low season and it’s like a totally different city and many of the people who I met who live and work there cope with it through a wicked sense of humour thick with sarcasm.

Anna

Oh, neither of those things happened to me (although I’d love to see someone try to throw me out of anywhere at all). I think they were both small, exclusive clothing boutiques, which isn’t exactly where you’ll be finding me in retail Rome.

yyz

:)! Me neither! On the other hand I have to offer kudo’s to my experiences in Italian museums and historic sites, the level of knowledge and enthusiasm I’ve experienced in these case has been amazing. From a volunteer in Urbino, giving me a personalised art history tour of the Palazzo Ducale in a mix of Italian and French, to a guide actually closing ( briefly) the sacred steps in Rome to take us into this exquisite private chapel. I’ve had some amazing experiences.

Bonnie

I’m curious? Shy are you using papers instead of a finum filter or another type of stainless non-disposable filter that allows the tea leaves proper contact with water and isn’t costly/disposable? Filter papers mask the taste of tea. You don’t get the full effect. They are convenient but that’s about all.

Anna

Bonnie, this is what I wrote, “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.”

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91

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.

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34
reviewed zarafina by Teaware
2 tasting notes

Yes, lots of settings to choose, and in the teapot when finished.
Lots of washing up to do afterwards however!

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98

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.

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98

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.

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90

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)

Bottom line:
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.

Rosehips

Ohh, you have tea stations in your living room and your den? I have some serious envy! My tea making is confined to my kitchen. You are living the dream!

Lala

I have this kettle, but the not programmable kind. I have had it for 2 years and so far works really well. I have always had good luck with Hamilton Beach. (All of the negatives are the same for this one too).

K S

Rosehips – My wife isn’t so sure it isn’t a nightmare. It’s all in the interpretation ;)

Lala – The one you have is what I was going to get before I saw this one. Glad to hear you have had a positive experience.

RogersCK

I ordered this from amazon last week and I’m patiently awaiting it’s arrival. Will definitely post an initial review when I receive it :)

K S

Looking forward to reading your review. I am still very happy with it.

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reviewed Kati loose tea system by Teaware
59 tasting notes

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reviewed Steep & Go by Teaware
6770 tasting notes

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!

Bonnie

With the correct bottle mine doesn’t drip. Liking it too and the holes are small enough that it cleans up super easily.

TeaEqualsBliss

I did use the Dasani this last time and drippage was MUCH MUCH Less…next to nil, actually. So that is good. I’m going to tinker with cold brewing times and amounts tho before rating :)

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Glad to hear you are liking this. I’ve actually starting carrying this in my shop as well. :)

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reviewed The Tea Shaker by Teaware
1212 tasting notes

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!

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I got this yesterday as a Mothers Day present from the husband. It was smaller than I had expected and yields only around 3oz of tea once the leaf has unfurled (I did brew a Tieguanyin which is known for its expanding nature). The tea cups are tiny and I figured out very quickly that I would not be drinking out of them as I did not like the feel of them on my lips and the taste they added to the tea (yes I have drank from yixing cups before and that was enjoyable). Brewing yesterday was a bit of trial an error, my fingers got a bit burnt and I had to cut back on leaf and water but I eventually got some pretty good gongfu going last night. I had three sessions this morning before deciding to switch my leaf to the excess I had pulled out to dry last night. I rinsed the gaiwan with warm water but apparently not for long enough as when the water I had brought up to 200 degree hit the side of the gaiwan I heard a horrible pop and watched helplessly as my tea leaked onto the counter. Now I do mostly blame myself for this, but I will not be reordering this or another yixing clay porcalain lined gaiwan. For as striking as they may be, I honestly had a wierd feeling yesterday when I pulled this out of the package that it was frail and brittle, paper thin but not strong like bone china. The husband has graciously offered to order me another gaiwan, I will be selecting more carefully this time and am open to suggestions. I am just grateful that this was only $16 for the set and that the crack did not split the form, so it can sit on top of the tea hutch with its three thimble cups next to my bulky sage green dragon and phoenix yixing pot and cups, yep I’m a sucker for raised dragons. Sigh.

Spoonvonstup

Oh no! You poor thing. Makes me feel bad just thinking about that sound.

TeaBrat

oh no…! So sorry. :(

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100

Best tea tumbler I’ve ever used. The basket has tiny holes instead of being a mesh, so I’m unlikely to break it and only the tiniest bit of tea particles get through. I love that you can flip it to stop the steeping, and you don’t have to take out the basket to drink it. Not so good for use when driving, but fantastic for drinking out and about.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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94

Technically this was made for coffee but it is my tea brewing vessel of choice. I found this at Starbucks. It currently sells for $16.95. The carafe is borosilicate glass. The frame is 30% post consumer plastic. The plunger and filter screen parts are stainless. The 4 cup version holds up to 17oz (503ml). I generally fix a single cup at a time.

To use, the loose leaf is put in the carafe. Water is heated in a separate kettle and poured into the carafe. The lid/plunger assembly is placed on top the carafe with the plunger in the up position. The leaf is free to move about. When the steeping time is done the plunger can be pushed down or left up and the tea poured into the cup without the leaf escaping.

Clean up is as simple as removing the lid, turning the carafe upside down over a compost bowl and wiping with a paper towel. Since it is glass it does not absorb any of the flavor of the tea so a simple rinse is usually sufficient. Honestly, most of the time wiping with the towel gets it clean enough. It is dishwasher safe. Occasionally I dismantle the stainless filter assembly for a more thorough cleaning.

This is excellent especially for green and white teas where holding the heat in is not as important. It has the added advantage of allowing you to observe the dance of the leaf during steeping. To me if you can’t watch the leaf you are missing an important part of the experience.

I also use it for black, puerh, and oolongs. Puerh generally uses such short steep times that heat dissipation is not an issue. For teas that require long steep times of several minutes, you may prefer another method but I personally have never found heat dissipation to be a problem. Rooibos and very fine leaf is better served with a Finum basket.

If you push the plunger down after steeping, it does not actually press the leaf. There is a good half inch of space between the screen and the bottom of the carafe. If you don’t push the plunger down, you will need to put a finger over the lid to keep it from sliding and causing some spilling.

I chose the press over a gravity feed system (like IngenuiTEA) because this was glass, not plastic, and it was cheaper. I also was concerned any device that pours tea out the bottom might eventually leak.

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85

This thing seriously keeps things hot for a long, long time. I’m so impressed!

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85

I got this as a present from someone who knows I love tea! I washed it up and brought it to work today to try out. It doesn’t seem like it holds very much, but I appreciate the mesh tea strainer. I’m drinking some Oolong from Verdant this morning. The tea strainer is easy to use, although I wish I had a place to put it until it’s time to steep again.

I accidentally screwed on the lid wrong and tea dripped out and burned my arm. Make sure you screw it on carefully and look to make sure it’s straight across. If it’s tilted even a little it will leak as you try to drink.

Okay, the arm-burning aside, I like this! It has kept my tea warm for hours. HOURS! This is even with the lid that has openings to drink — not the screw-on one. I think it seemed like it didn’t hold much because it has some serious insulation in there. It really works! Usually my tea is ice cold by this time of the morning. YUM, hot tea! The person that gave this to me was right on the money.

Hesper June

I have about three thermos cups, I believe.
And they rate as follows, for drinking immediately, one for drinking if I am driving somewhere a ways and want to start sipping about a halfhour after I left home, and then the one that I can not touch for hours later, lest I scald my lips, tongue and throat,but if you want hot tea 3-4 hours after you left home, it does the job.

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100
reviewed Disappearing Tardis Mug by Teaware
606 tasting notes

HA. YES.
Because I’m a nerd and I love Doctor Who.
A mug is a mug! This one is very special because… DISAPPEARING TARDIS OKAY.

Shmiracles

want want want! hah

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85
reviewed Aladdin Tea Infuser Mug by Teaware
1 tasting notes

As far as portable infusers go, this is by far the most superior one in my humble opinion. The sole reason for this is not the aesthetic, nor the BPA-free plastic and what have you. It is for the sole reason that the little strainer can, with the switch of a lever, be taken out of the water at will and thus you have nearly full control over the steeping time.

This is key to any tea epicurean, not so? Even the finest Yi-xing clay tumbler has nothing on this piece of plastic for this one reason. None of the portable glass presses that I’ve seen, or any other tea traveler, mug or tumbler has this option. All except this one, will leave the leaves in the water until you empty the tumbler – this is a fatal shortcoming.

All other qualities are touched on in the other review. I’ve had mine for 6 months and have had no problems with it. Water stays very warm, never spilled in my bag etc. I’ve dropped it x times to many though, far too many, and it’s not as pretty as it used to be – but it steeps as well as ever.

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85

The coolest tea travel mug around! Just make sure you screw the caps on tightly! I love using this tea tumbler for cold steeps and iced tea, but it also does well with hot green and white teas.

I got this travel tumbler from http://zentealife.com/

The bad? It advises not to use boiling water in the instructions. You wouldn’t want to use anything more than 200F anyways as the body also gets pretty hot. The filter is also on the small side and is a tight fit if you use whole leaf teas intended to make a full 16oz tumbler of tea.

I still love this tumbler though – no leaks and it looks really cool!

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/t-free-hourglass-travel-tea-tumbler-tea-ware-review/

OMGsrsly

I was hoping you’d review this! I’ve been pondering getting one for summer cold brewing on-the-go. :)

ashmanra

Nice review! His did you get the owl to stay upright in the gaiwan? :)

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

I got lucky on the the size of the owl and the squishyness of her feet, plus she was well behaved.

Cavocorax

Thanks for the review! I was checking that tumbler out but didn’t quite “get” how it works. This helps a ton!

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