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Jan 14th 15 5:44 pm
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You CAN take it with you!

by futurebird » Jan 14th 15 5:44 pm

I drink tea on the go. Tea at work, tea while shopping. I've found that for many simple oolongs and even for some finer ones a steel thermos produces surprisingly amazing results. I have two main brewing methods.

1. I brew the tea using a teapot then decant it into a thermos rather than into the cha hai.

2.I use a thermos with a tea leaf chamber like this one:

(this one has an extra cap on the bottom a feature that lets one stop the brewing even when carrying tea in a backpack on a bicycle.)

I've always thought of the thermos as a "step down" from drinking at home, but now and then I have had some experiences that have made me stop--


--and savor--

It has always been with oolong tea. Mostly of the aged variety.

Often after working at my desk at home I'll feel bad about wasting the leaves from the morning tea when it's time to go to work. I'll brew some more to go with me. The tea stays hot but sits much longer before I drink it. When I do drink it, new aromas and flavors are present. I think letting the tea rest for so long changes it.

In addition, often I have been at the library late and not brought and fresh tea, so I end up steeping something for much longer than normal. The tea thermos makes this possible I let it sit-- these are almost spent flavorless leaves mind you, on their 6th+ infusion (for oolong, puerh is another story) ... and lo-- a new experience!

For this reason I rank my thermos very high among my loved teaware. I also have a "yixing" thermos--


in its early days it did more harm than good, more of a novelty than an effective tea drinking tool... but now it can make cheap over-roasted grocery store oolongs taste much more subtle and lovely. I call it my "sea dyke magic thermos" -- so, it might not be popular but I think they are nice.

The steel doesn't agree with puerh though. For that there are the glass vessels:


My husband uses one like this at work, and works his leaves to death. He seems to enjoy racking up a large number of infusions as much as the tea itself. :shock:

At first I thought the glass would be more pure for my oolong teas. But the steel is better? Why would that be?

Have any of you discovered any great portable teaware lately?

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Jan 14th 15 6:48 pm
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Re: You CAN take it with you!

by miig » Jan 14th 15 6:48 pm

Very interesting!
I'm at an earlier stage because I reserve my high-quality teas mostly for drinking at home, when I got an hour or two just to spend on tea drinking. If I don't have that kind of tea, I go for something that will be spent much faster, like Japanese Greens.

But still, I've been experimenting with a Thermos and found that teas indeed can benefit from sitting in one - I just had a Naka Bamboo Tea from Chawangshop, which, while not being a high-end-tea, is a nice Puer on its own. But if it remains for an hour or two in the Thermos (without the leaves), it can get some more depth and intensity - I was intrigued to see that.

I'm looking forward to experimenting more on this and believe that a glass vessel might be better than metal indeed - and its really the first time I heard about an Yixing Thermos - its funny, but a nice idea. Would love to read some more about your experience with this kind of preparation!

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Jan 14th 15 9:37 pm
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Re: You CAN take it with you!

by Drax » Jan 14th 15 9:37 pm

Schlepping a drink with me wherever I go has never really appealed to me, so I haven't sought many portable solutions.

However, I previously posted about a Kickstarter that was designed to develop a mug that would hold tea (or coffee) at the "perfect temperature" for long periods. It was also designed to accept the drink in boiling state as part of the process (basically it uses a liquid/gel to store energy from the "too hot" liquid to lower it to a drinkable temp, and then it uses the typical vacuum style insulation to hold it at that drinkable temp longer). The Kickstarter is over here, but a quick scan of the comments suggests that it's over a year past completion, and still no product. Whoopsie!

One of the more recent comments suggests a zojirushi travel mug. They look like another potential solution, though more of the typical thermos variety.

Jan 15th 15 4:03 am
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Re: You CAN take it with you!

by Alucard » Jan 15th 15 4:03 am

Since I can't store personal items at work transporting a tea pot everyday is not really feasible so I was looking for a thermos to use as a 'travel tea pot'. I received a Rishi travel mug as a gift and works well for me. I do bring my own mug because the paper cups seem to add a not so good flavor to the tea. ... ravel-mugs