February 17, 2011

Spotlight: Libre Tea Travel Thermos

As many a tea drinker knows, steeping and enjoying a proper cup of tea on-the-go is often a challenge.  Keeping the tea hot, without burning your hands, allowing the tea leaves to properly unfurl for a proper steep and also keeping the tea leaves separate to avoid over-steeping and how to deal with the aftermath of wet leaves are among the most desirable aspects needed to make “mobile tea making” happen.

I’ve tried out other travel tea mugs, which I am grateful for their efforts, but indeed there was lots of room for improvement.  Finally the challenges have been net!  The Libre Tea company is now featuring their Glass ‘n Poly Travel thermos line.  My favorite thing about it, besides the sleek design & stylish packaging, is the flexibility it offers its sippers!

The Libre Travel Tea line starts with a long cylindrical glass’n poly chamber.  The glass inside protects the taste of your tea (please don’t make me drink from plastic!), while the polycarbonate exterior allows for durability.  This design works advantageously to keep the tea hot without burning your hands. Also, I love that you can see your tea. I enjoy seeing the color of the liquor and also like knowing how much I have left!

The top divides into 2 separate sections.  The first section has a concave screen, which attaches to the cylinder and also to the outside covering (dig the cool hologram - nice touch guys!).  The outside covering acts as a cap for the device and/or as drip cup, depending on how you steep your tea.  The screw-top design offers spill-proof peace of mind.

Steep Method #1:  Place tea leaves in the bottom of the cylinder.  Add hot water. Screw on screen & top and go.  Enjoy the dance of the leaves which have lots of room to steep. Remove top cap to drink the tea.  The concavity of  the screen holds back the tea, while allowing you to sip comfortably from the mug. 
Downside:  Easy to overstep, seeing as the leaves are sitting in the water the whole time.
Upside: Fast, easy and great for herbal infusions which get stronger, but not bitter. 
Tea used: I tried this with my Jenn Grinels blend.  As she is a touring singer, who loves tea enough to have her own blend, I felt using her blend to test drive this mug was only appropriate.

Steep Method #2:  Place tea leaves in the concave nook of the screen and attach the top cap to it.  Fill the glass ‘n poly chamber with hot water and attach the top & screen combo to it.  Now turn the chamber upside down until tea is properly steeped.  To enjoy, remove the top & screen as one unit and drink directly from the glass ‘n poly (or if you can throw the tea leaves away, reattach the screen and sip comfortably as in Method #1).
Downside: Removing the top & screen can be difficult do to the vacuum that gets created.  In fact, overall the screw-cap feature which makes it possible was something I had to futz with every time.  Also, this method cramps doesn’t give as much room to unfurl for a quality steep, which also affected the usual steeping time.
Upside: No leaves in my tea and the top acts as a drip cup when it’s time to sip my tea.
Tea Used:  Thé de Impressionists from Mariage Freres– a green tea mild spices and purple flowers.

I have been using this travel tea mug everyday.   It easy to use and easy to clean too.  I am so glad that I have one of these and will certainly be gifting this item to some of my tea loving friends!  I'm now ready to take this tea party To Go!

Thank you Libre for setting me free!


Lelia said...

I love your mug...the biggest problem I have with my travel mug is putting it somewhere that the coffee drinkers won't grab it and stick coffee in it.. YUK. I especially like taking it to college football games where only coffee is available to warm me up at half time.

Buy Tea Accessories said...

I really need to get one of these travel mugs to add to my tea accessories. Right now I am using a travel coffee mug so I have to make my tea ahead of time and it usually gets cold. I like the idea of being able to see my tea so I know when it's almost gone. I also love the idea of being able to steep over and over in this mug. I usually like around 3 mugs of tea in the morning alone.