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Looking for loose leaf, portable tea cup.

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  • 25dob Mar 21, 2007 02:26 PM
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I want a loose leaf, green tea brewing cup. One that keeps the leaves from entering your mouth when you drink. I already have a plastic one but it imparts a plasticy flavor and that's not acceptable. The one I have now has this mesh basket that keeps the tea seperated from your lips as you drink. It also comes with a screw top that allows the tea to brew without loosing any flavor or spilling while driving. I was thinking a double walled stainless one may be great as it won't shatter. Holding about 8-10 oz of water. This is something that comes in handy when you are mobile....like when you have to run around in the car...or are at a customers account and want a good cup of loose leaf green tea. I don't like tea bags and instead carry some of my favorite loose leaf green teas in small plastic bottles....that way I can have a great cup of tea any where.

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  1. You may wish to check out the cups made for Yerba Mate. There are a few online outlets---I have done business with www.yerbamate.com out of Georgia with great results. They recently came up with a sipping straw that has a strainer at the bottom. Works great. Other options available, including stainless.

    3 Replies
    1. re: diobahn

      Thanks, I looked at them and the gourds don't have a secure top...the tea may spill as I am driving. I do like the sipping straws...neat idea, they may be an option...but I would still need a secure non-breakable container that doesn't add any off flavors. Thanks,Gerry

      1. re: 25dob

        <I do like the sipping straws...neat idea, they may be an option...but I would still need a secure non-breakable container that doesn't add any off flavors. Thanks,Gerry>>>\

        Did you see the stainless travel mugs?

        1. re: diobahn

          Dioban....no,didn't see any stainless mugs. I only saw the plastic/glass thermos's they have. Let me know if you can find it on their site...may have discontinued it?

    2. Not really what you're asking for, but have you thought of using a wire mesh tea ball in whatever thermos you already own? Seems like a good way to spend $2-3 instead of buying a new special cup. Or you can buy empty tea bags (a lot of coffee shops sell them, or you can put loose tea in a small coffee filter and tie it up) and fill them with your favorite loose leaf tea to use on the go.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Pei

        in many asian markets, especially japanese ones, they sell tea empty tea bags as well, pretty inexpensive. I think I bought some at the Marukai 98 stores.

        1. re: justagthing

          I don't like the idea of tea bags...they may impart a very minor flavor..just want the leaves to shine through. ...also tea bags confine the leaves so they may not impart all their flavor to the tea?

        2. re: Pei

          Pei...Thanks but he tea ball still keeps all the leaves compacted...I like to let em run free, as this may allow more surface area of the leaves to get to all the water.

        3. starbucks has exactly what you're looking for. it's about 14 oz, and they're having their annual merchendise sale through 2 april. can't find it on the website, so you'll have to go to a store -- should be less than $20. i've had mine a couple of years, and love it.

          5 Replies
          1. re: wonderwoman

            Wonderwoman....Sounds like what I may be looking for....I'll check it out today...and let you know....thanks!

            1. re: wonderwoman

              Yes, I have 2 or 3 that I purchased 4-5 years ago - works just like a portable french press.

              1. re: wonderwoman

                I went online and found another one that everyone raves about. It's the tea traveler by Nissan. Holds 11 oz....comes with two tops,one with a basket for tea and one for coffee....plus a lid that seals both. Also found a 14oz one by JOEmo but didn't like their 360 degree top and it was too tall and thin. I stopped by two Starbucks but they didn't carry the one you mentioned.

                1. re: wonderwoman

                  This is a follow up....after going to Starbucks and looking at their tea brew cups, I believe they are made by Bodum, I didn't like their feel and the feedback on another site didn't give them a good reputation. I did end up buying the Nissan 11oz. Traveler,which is actually made by thermos. It's built like a tank and is a quality product as evidenced by it's overall craftsmanship. Actually for me it keeps the tea too hot....it insulates sooo well. It has two tops for drinking, one for tea with a filter basket and another for coffee. Plus a third top that seals either the tea or coffee top. So far it's great....after a good washing it has not contributed any plastic or any other taste to my teas. It seals in the aroma as it brews and is the perfect non-breakable, portable, no "off flavors", tea brew cup.

                  1. re: 25dob

                    I had a Nissan with the tea and coffee attachments plus the screw on top a few years ago when I didn't think about the tea mesh filter in the right direction! Now that you mentioned it, duh, I see the light. At the time, I understood it as a device for making tea right in the thermos, but with the leaves in the filter cup on the upside, just like any regular mesh strainer, and then when it's done steeping, I'd take the tea filter out, put the other attachment in (not realizing it's for coffee and other liquids) and then screw on the lid. Well, for one thing, it did keep the tea TOO hot. My tea don't taste good cooked, so I didn't use it anymore. In fact I think I gave it away. Wow, what an oversight. But also, I didn't want to bother with opening the thermos with both hands, as often on the subway you don't always get a steady or roomy environment. I bought this instead

                    http://picasaweb.google.com/HLingHLin...

                    In order to counter the tea being cooked, I bring my tea leaves with me, and only put them in just minutes before drinking, instead of having it brewed and sitting in there all day. The leaves don't come through when I drink, and it's very easily opened and closed without having to unscrew and screw on the cap.

                    But yes, thanks for solving my puzzle about the other Nissan. Now i see!

                2. Hi, 25dob!
                  I know you have specified loose leaf tea; I, too, MUCH prefer loose leaf over bags. However, there are some bags around today that are superior to what has been previously available. They are made from silk and I have noticed no off-flavors when using them.

                  Some of the brands that I suggest are: Mighty Leaf and two leaves and a bud. Both of these can be purchased in boxes of 15 bags, and I have seen them at Bristol Farms, Gelsons and Cost Plus. Two leaves and a bud has an organic tamayokucha ("extremely green tea" says the box) is quite nice.

                  I really "get" your preference, but this is just a very do-able alternative, perhaps.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: liu

                    If you are in West LA, Surfas in Culver City now carries Mighty Leaf for much cheaper than anywhere else. It's packaged in clear plastic, probably reducing the cost of packaging by a lot. It's under $7 a bag, and I believe there are 15 bags just like in a regular box (which usually costs over $10 at Whole Foods, etc.).

                    1. re: Pei

                      Pei, I have seen it cheaper -- I think at Cost Plus, perhaps...so sorry I can't remember exactly where besides our beloved Surfas as you mentioned -- but I know I have not paid $10/a box of 15. If Cost Plus doesn't carry Mighty Leaf, I know they carry two buds (which, in my opinion, is quite comparable).

                      1. re: liu

                        Thanks! I'll have to remember to look next time.

                  2. Oxo makes a silicon "teaspoon" available in the US through pylones-usa.com

                    it is a smallish bulb with a vented end and a screw on stem. Given your comments about letting the tea leaves have room, I don't think it will work, but you should see it in case your tastes change.

                    I understand having a strong preference. Good luck in your search.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MaspethMaven

                      there r many places to buy teacups
                      www.houdeasianarts.com
                      www.imperialtea.com
                      www.harneytea.com
                      www.shanshuiteas.com

                      1. re: MaspethMaven

                        This reminds me of a Silicon tea spoon I got in Hong Kong back in 2004. I got it out of curiosity. I think it was to be a travel tea spoon. I was suspicious that the silicon would impart undesirable flavor, but first thing I found was that the leaves were cramped. I didn't do much more with it as soon as I was back home with teapots and good water. But here it is just for fun:

                        http://picasaweb.google.com/HLingHLin...

                        http://picasaweb.google.com/HLingHLin...

                      2. Try Teavana. They have great tea and tea lover's products!

                        1. You should check out the T-Buddy by tzu-the. They have a 20oz. and a 25 oz.
                          http://www.tzu-the.com/catalog/index....

                          1. Here's a great travel mug...you just put in your loose leaf tea, add water, screw on the tea strainer & lid. It works great & I've never ended up drinking any of the leaves.. http://www.greeleyroadcafe.com/catego...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: keljel

                              Hi, keljel!

                              I like the travel mug that you have shown on your link, but here is my problem with these types of travel mugs. When the leaves sit in the water, they continue to steep. If I wish to sip for several hours -- and that is one advantage of a travel mug -- then after just a short time my tea is bitter or too strong
                              .
                              Admittedly, some leaves can steep for long periods and do not become bitter; other leaves should be steeped for less than a minute. No matter, the later sips will not be a pleasant as the earlier sips.

                              I much prefer a travel mug that I pour my already brewed tea into; that way, every sip is consistent and there are no leaves in the mug that continue to steep all day.

                              An alternative might be those mugs that have a catch basket on top for the leaves; when the travel container is full of water, the leaves are steeping. After a few sips, the leaves are no longer immersed in the water and the steeping process is completed. At that point, you can toss the leaves from the little basket.