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Chinese Tea Thermos

February 03, 2007

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Colleen’s post on Teavana’s nifty tea-making gadget reminded me that I had been meaning to find a tea thermos for work. A little bit of random net surfing happened to bring me to Yellow Mountain Imports, an online retailer specializing in Asian games such as Go and Mahjong. Chinese Tea ThermosTheir small Tea Shop focuses mostly on Yixing teapots, but they also had a really cute chinese tea thermos. I had intended to buy something a bit more utilitarian, but this little guy was just so pretty that I couldn’t resist it — especially at the very modest price of $10.00.

I wasn’t really expecting all that much from this purchase, but I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised to discover how handy it is. The two part top consists of a cap that keeps the thermos sealed for brewing or transporting, and a middle layer with a built-in metal strainer. You drop some tea in, add water, screw on the strainer and the cap, and let your tea brew. Once it’s ready, you screw off the cap and drink the tea right through the strainer. The double-walled plastic body keeps the tea hot but the thermos cool to the touch.

The cap of the thermos has a hologram image of a bonsai pine tree — which is kind of silly, but also charming.Chinese Tea Thermos hologram

I enjoy green tea, but I tend to be very erratic in my consumption of it. I brought the tea thermos to work, along with a bag of nice gunpowder tea, and now find myself drinking green tea all day long. I fill the thermos with a single teaspoon of tea, and then brew it several times during the day. The tea doesn’t get bitter if I drink it quickly enough, and the tea leaves hold up well to multiple brewings. I really like gunpowder, but I’m also finding that this works quite well with low caffeine green teas like hojicha and genmaicha. It’s a good (and low cost) way of keeping my tea consumption up and my caffeine consumption down.

I tend to get called away from my desk frequently at work, and that often means abandoning a nice, freshly-brewed cup of tea. Now when I need to run off to fix something, I just grab my tea thermos and take it with me. No more returning to sad, cold cups of forlorn tea …

[Sadly, it looks like Yellow Mountain Imports is all out of this tea thermos. It’s available from Strand Tea in two different sizes, but it’s also more expensive ($15.95 for the 8 oz. version I purchased, $19.95 for the larger 12 oz.).]

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