keychange said

Tea in my travel mug never tastes the same-help!

Steepster has never let me down, and I imagine now will be no exception.

So I love my timilino. I love the convenience, the weight of it in my hand, and especially that it keeps my tea warm for me throughout the day.

But I can’t, for the life of me, make the tea in my timolino taste the same as it tastes in a typical mug. This may be due to the fact that the timolino holds 12 oz of liquid, while I typically drink about 8 oz or so out of my cup, so perhaps adding more leaf will help, although I’m always wary of that because my inclination would probably be to over-leaf anyway. Then there’s the issue of the brewing basket, which despite dt’s best intentions, falls short in my opinion. Mainly because it’s just that—rather short, and it also doesn’t have holes in the bottom of the basket so as to really let the tea leaves “reach” all the water. I thought that shaking the timolino vigorously might help a bit, but realized that that might have some consequences as well.
What’s a girl to do? how do you get your travel mug tea to taste as good? Shall I brew and prepare elsewhere and just pour it into the tim tim?
Thanks for your thoughts, folks!
And just in case you were all wondering, my butiki order came in the mail yesterday and I’m preparing for my life to be changed dramatically.

17 Replies
ifjuly said

Wait, so you’re using the same amount of leaf for 8oz as 12oz? That right there’ll definitely change the taste.

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Tealizzy said

Same thing happened to me. I think it’s because it’s aluminum on the inside. People recommended that I pour it out into a little cup to drink it, rather than drinking it straight from the timolino, which kind of defeats the purpose of a tumbler, although that is similar to a thermos. Some teas do better in the timolino. For example, I thought that Butiki’s maple pecan oolong still tasted okay in it.

Cavocorax said

That’s my strategy. Make two timolino’s at a time. Then drink 6oz in a mug so it cools enough while the rest stays hot.

I think part of the problem with mugs is that you can’t smell the tea very well…

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keychange said

Thanks, ifjuly and tealizzy.

Yes ifjuly, I didn’t really put too much more than I did for the 8 oz, so you’re right that that likely made a huge difference. I still have the issue of the basket not “reaching” down far enough, though (or maybe that’s just what I think, when the problem all along was actually the under-leafing)
tealizzy, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s experienced this. And I got myself some of butiki’s maple pecan oolong, so I’m excited to have it in my timolino.

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Josie Jade said

I’ve been making my tea in a separate steeper and then draining it into my Timolino when it’s ready, mainly so it won’t be scalding hot. I’ve actually thought that my tea tastes better in the Timolino than a regular mug, mainly because it hold the temperature so well.

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ifjuly said

You could always do a geeky taste test where you make 2 cups worth of tea like you normally would at home, pour half in the Timolino and half in your at-home cup, and see if they taste different. If they don’t, you know it’s likely a matter of measuring out the leaf differently (and if that doesn’t fix the problem, then yeah it might have to do with the brew basket in the Timolino…but personally I’d check leafing amount first as it’s easier to fix and seems a likely culprit). If they do, you’ll know it’s something inherent to the Timolino like the walls of it being a different material.

Josie Jade brings up a good point too about temperature/heat retention affecting flavor. Some teas do taste better if you let them cool a bit, and my understanding from other Steepsters’ reviews and comments is that the Timolino is crazy good at keeping things super hot forever, which might actually not always be ideal. There is the option as mentioned upthread of pouring it out into something else that’s more open to let your tea cool a little, but I totally get that sort of undermines the whole point of the mug in the first place…

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Angrboda said

I’m not familiar with the brand that you have, but when you use your travel cup, does it have a lid on it? Lids mean no spilling, but they also mean no aroma. Smell is a large part of taste, so if you can’t smell the tea you’re drinking it will affect how you experience it.

I second this one! It makes a huge difference when you can smell the tea. Any tea is lifeless if you cut off that part of it.

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There may be hope, I’m developing a new tea tumbler, Glass with a silicone sleeve among other extremely cool things, such as in glass steeping control without removing the infuser or over-steeping. Also extra air tight tea storage on the bottom.

Heres a pic of the latest prototype:

Dinosara said

Man, I cannot wait for this tumbler.

Yogagrrl said

That is so cool.

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keychange said

Thanks, all of you!
I think I’m going to try making it in another mug and then transferring it over—I’m aware that I’ll be losing a certain amount of heat that way, but given that the timolino is crazy good at retaining heat, that shouldn’t be a problem. It somehow just always seems to taste “thin” if that makes sense.

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WtFGoD said

have experienced this as well, from what i can tell any plastic touching the hot tea will distort the taste(ruin) but i think it’s also the stainless steal that hurts the flavor. not sure why, but im sure youve heard that if you rub things against SS it removes smells… i could see that trait hurting flavors aswell.

TL:DR- Avoid Steel and plastic(imo)

bookwurm70 said

So, we we have to avoid steel and plastic, how do we steep it? every option for loose leaf requires one of the two.

WtFGoD said

well ive seen ceramic filters/baskets…. but many people use plasic/steel for steeping every day so i doubt that strongly affects the taste(givin the short duration) i feel most travel mugs arnt designed well… as just the act of going through the plastic top on mine seriously damages the tea, and even just as a container to pour into a cup later doesnt seem to work that well.

if i was to get new travel container it would certainly be glass or ceramic with no plastic parts, i would steep the tea before leaving the house not really worrying about what the basket/diffuser is made of. but then you run the risk of the container not holding heat well or cracking/imploding(case of vacuumed glass)

TL:DR- Bad Design/materials of Travel mugs+longer contact – dont worry about the infuser??(no experience)

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keychange said

^I hear ya! what are we supposed to use? wood? haha.

In other news, I brewed in an ordinary mug this morning and then transferred it into my timolino. Aside from the fact that it seemed to lose too much heat in the process, it worked wonderfully. I’ll just remedy that by popping the original mug into the microwave before transferring.
Thanks again for all the suggestions, folks. If loose-leaf tea has taught me anything, it’s the art of patience (which I haven’t yet mastered, but such is life LOL).

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