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keychange said

A question for people who use travel mugs with built in infusers

Hello everyone!

Wow, already my second thread on here. I think I’m getting bold!

So I apologize if this has already been discussed elsewhere, although i admit I could have probably searched more thoroughly, but wasn’t exactly sure how. Anyway, I very recently (as in yesterday) purchased a Timolino travel mug from David’s tea, and am very excited to actually use it. But here’s my question. I get that you pour in the water, put the tea leaves in the basket, attach the basket back into the mug, and then put on both the lids—but when my sister made her Genmaicha tea that way this evening, she occasionally got a few tea leaves as she sipped (now, we also tipped the mug upside-down over the sink with both lids on to test the claims of no spilling, so that may have had something to do with it), but in general, I don’t think I’d appreciate having tea leaves come swirling up into my mouth along with the tea. I know the obvious response is to simply remove the basket once your tea has steeped sufficiently (I’d probably do that anyway to avoid over-steeping), but like, if it’s as “on the go” as one might hope, it’s a little inconvenient to be dumping out your tea leaves say, when you’re on the subway or in your car—the way i see it is that you either leave the basket in and deal with tea leaves in your mouth, or just steep at home, remove the basket altogether and head out. Because it’s kind of weird to lift a dripping tea-leafy basket out of your mug on the subway and then look for somewhere to put the dripping basket. Also, I suppose you can’t really do a second steep if you’re really on the go, as you’ve probably dumped the tea leaves in the garbage before you’ve left.
Aaahhh, I’m afraid I’m not making sense, but I hope I have. Can you guys tell me what you typically do?

20 Replies
Gene said

Hello…I have the Thermos brand of ‘on the go’ steeper. I do steep at home and remove the tea strainer before leaving the house. If the leaves are some that I wish to resteep later (tomorrow, perhaps) I’ll pop them into the fridge before heading out.

The problem with the odd tea leaf in the mouth is more a matter of the size of the strainer VS the size of the tea leaf. Some strainers do a better job of holding back tea leaves than others, especially when dealing with very fine tea leaves.

I hope this answers some of your questions

Gene

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Cavocorax said

I just remove the basket, so it’s not that convenient on the go if you’re in a hurry, but the upside is the tea stays hot for hours.

This can also be a drawback.

Don’t forget the secret compartment under the lid! You can put dry or used leaves there!

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keychange said

Thanks for such quick replies!

Gene, the idea of putting the used tea leaves in the fridge for later steeping never even occurred to me-I really am quite new to this, I’m afraid. Do you just store them in a Tupperware container? And, that’s interesting about it perhaps being the strainer that’s allowing the tea leaves to move upwards, although I can’t imagine how they could move any other direction given that aside from the lid of the mug, the leaves aren’t really restrained in any way.

cavocorax, you’re right about the mug’s ability to keep tea warm! I imagine it’d take, like, a month or so for my tea to cool at the rate this mug lets the heat out. I actually had to toss an ice cube into it to be able to even take a sip!

When you guys remove the basket, do you mean that you just dispose of the tea leaves and reinsert the basket? or do you leave the basket behind entirely?

Thanks again.

Gene said

on my Thermos brand unit the strainer can be removed completely and then the ‘sipping lid’ can then be screwed in place.

It is wise to remember that the tea will NOT diminish in temperature as quickly as it will when poured into a cup. I once took a big swig of tea about an hour after steeeping, and it was still not enough to scald my tongue and lips!

As for keeping leaves for resteeping, i simply place the strainer full of tea leaves into a small bowl, and then put the whole thing into the fridge.

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I take a plastic ziploc bag with me, and when I’m done steeping I put the basket in the bag and throw the ziploc in my main bag to deal with later.

For teas that don’t oversteep (lots of rooibos/herbals, a couple oolongs, and most pu’erhs) I throw the leaves in the main part of the mug, then use the basket as a filter rather than an infuser, and that works well too. then I can add water and resteep throught the day as I please :)

thlowe said

I never thought of using the basket as a strainer, that is nothing short of genius.

Cavocorax said

Me neither! That’s such a great idea though, because I’ve just tried leaving the tea in the basket, and if it’s roobios or something fine, it just jams the holes you sip through. This sounds like it’d work better.

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WtFGoD said

yea, what they said. if you want tea on the go, you make the tea before you go… if you make the tea while your going, then at the very least you get tea steeped in off-temp water or if you leave the leaves in, then you get overly bitter tea. assuming youre going to refill it somewhere with hot water through the day, i would just bring a few tea bags that you can toss or some kind of water/wetleaf proof container for the basket.(doesnt seem ideal)

TL:DR – Steep before you go, bring Teabags for refills.

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Uniquity said

I steep before I go and remove the basket to leave at home unless it is an herbal that I can steep indefinitely. I can only get the hot water at home anyway so I just wait the three minutes for steeping success! :)

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Serenity said

SUCH a good question and many ways of dealing with this challenge, so I’m learning. This brought back a fond memory of when I’d hurry out the door with my tea travel mug, and I’d end up taking out the basket of tea leaves in my boyfriend’s car. I’d put the basket as carefully as I could in the beverage holder compartment. His car was used and he was tolerant, so although it was a little messy, the upside was that the car was filled with the most delicious fragrance. A warm, steamy cocoon of tea scent in which to be with my boyfriend and sip tea: a nice way to start the day. Reader, I married him.

ifjuly said

Aw, I love this!

Josie Jade said

So cute! And a very tolerant now husband :)

Serenity said

: ) : )

That is sweet! :-)

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I’ve been trying to find something that can steep on the go and stop the steeping without having to dump leaves. I tried the thermos one but the brew basket is so small that the leaves can’t really expand much. I ordered this one from Aliexpress.com:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Glass-tea-cup-travel-mug-tea-leak-proof-cup-sports-bottle-the-thermos-the-thermo-mug/940672397.html

It’s pretty cool, but still not perfect. You push a button and it stops the brewing and locks the leaves, and it’s glass, and it does have a spot to in the lid to hold extra leaf, but I don’t like that the top has to unscrew and there’s not a great place to hold on since it’s glass. Wish it had a flip top or something with the push button brewing on the bottom. That would be the ultimate!

Helen11 said

This is the one I use – the infuser flips up and down with a little lever on the side. Keeps the tea warm for quite awhile and has a flip top drinking lid. Can be a little tough to clean sometimes though. It isn’t perfect but it’s the best option I’ve found so far!
http://www.amazon.com/Aladdin-Tea-12-Ounce-Infuser-Blue/dp/B001Q3L9PA

@helen — oops, I wrote it was a thermos brand but its Aladdin, that’s the one I have. It’s pretty decent, but the brew basket is so small that the leaves can’t expand much. And it’s plastic which I don’t love, but it does the trick.

Helen11 said

Definitely agree with you on the size of the basket. I also don’t like how it gets stained, but it’s what works best for my lifestyle so I’ll keep using it til I find something better.

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keychange said

Wow guys, thanks for all these replies. I keep on learning so much from all of you!
Shaynebear, all hats off to you for your suggestion of leaving the leaves in the main body of the mug—because like you said, you can’t over-steep a lot of them, and that so amazingly solves the problem of the crashing tea leaves!
Haha does anyone else toss in an ice cube to help cool things down a bit because otherwise it’s like putting your tongue against the element on a stove?

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Serenity said

Love these suggestions. Regarding an ice cube, I usually add milk to all my black teas, so that cools things down, but if green tea, yes, an ice cube is perfect. I was at Peets and got a cup of Sencha to go and as I left I could feel the burning heat through the paper (sorry!) cup and sleeve. I thought two things: should have a travel mug with me at all times, and oh, how I yearned for an ice cube. Looked back and the line was so long. So, I kept going and had to wait for that first sip!

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