I finally was able to try out my new tea thermal! I ordered the Copco tea thermos (http://www.amazon.com/Copco-2510-4600-Tea-Thermal-Stainless/dp/B0028N6OLQ/ref=pd_sbs_k_1) which has a twistable infuser so you can stop steeping without having to dump the leaves. Unfortunately the inside of the mug is plastic, not steel…deceptive, because the outside is stainless steel!
Anyway, I decided to christen the thermal with one of my favorite teas, English Breakfast by Twinings. I heated the water and milk to boiling, put a little under 3 teaspoons of leaf in the infuser, added some Splenda and honey, and let it steep for a few minutes. The first thing I noticed was that the tea is HOT! And it refused to cool down until like an hour later…good if you’re planning on packing your tea for a long trip, but bad if you’re impatient like me :(
I’ve never made English Breakfast outside of the Zarafina, so it might have just been my weird steeping methods, but the tea did not taste very good. It actually tasted a lot like Irish Breakfast tea does…malty with notes of brown sugar and, um, sweet potato. I didn’t taste the delicious caramel-honey flavor English Breakfast with milk and honey usually gets. I don’t know if I added too much leaf, or oversteeped it, or if the temperature was off. I’m increasing the rating a little, just because before today, this tea has never let me down.