Teavana Green Embossed Lotus Infuser Mug

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My secret Santa gave me this infuser mug from Teavana along with a couple of teas that will be reviewed soon. I've actually had a similar type of cup before but gave it away to a friend. Not only is this one a good deal prettier but it includes the all important saucer. I like to use it to hold the infuser after steeping since it really prevents me from spilling tea everywhere. I'm way too clumsy to perch it on the lid as pictured. The holes in the infuser are a little big but it worked very well for larger leaved teas like Ooooh Darjeeling from Adagio (also a review coming soon).

The porcelain was the elusive perfect thickness that keeps the tea hot but allows it to cool enough so as to be comfortable for drinking. Oddly enough the feature that I enjoyed the most was the handle. It has the most ingenious design. There is a bend in it that makes a perfect knuckle rest while also keeping your skin away from the hot teacup. I would definitely recommend it to any tea drinker, just keep your leaf size in mind. Something like rooibos (or most herbal tisanes for that matter) would fall right through the strainer. Now to fight the urge to buy it in more colors...

You can find out more about this infuser mug here.

Steep & Go

My schedule is really busy so I'm always looking for ways to make tea on the go. When I saw this little doodad I knew that I had to have it. The Steep & Go is basically a modified water bottle cap that strains out tea leaves, making cold brewing a breeze. I actually had to pick up an Evian bottle to use this because the only bottles that I had were ones with short eco-friendly caps. I'm happy to report that it works like a charm. No accidental tea leaves in my teeth and now I can make cold brewed tea anywhere I want.

The instructions said that the tea would be ready in 10 minutes. I prefer my tea much stronger so I will usually leave it steeping on the counter for about an hour. It's fairly easy to clean and I use it almost daily. I've had a lot of fun experimenting with cold steeping different types of teas now that I have such an easy way to strain them. Although it is made out of plastic, I am very happy that it is BPA free. The Steep & Go comes in four bright colors and is dishwasher friendly.

I purchased my Steep & Go from iHeart Teas.

iHeartTeas Yixing Tumbler

I love my yixing teapots but they aren't exactly something that I can take on the road with me. When I saw this tumbler I just had to have it. It is coated in Teflon and then lined with yixing clay. I started the process of seasoning it by filling it with boiling water and allowing it too cool to room temperature. Then I poured a generous amount of oolong leaves in the tumbler and filled it with boiling water again, this time letting it sit overnight. I selected the Nantou Si Ji Chun from In Pursuit of Tea since I had quite a bit of that tea on hand. I dumped out the leaves and the tea the next day, rinsed it and then it was ready to go.

The included strainer made it fairly easy to remove the leaves. It was a little hot to the touch and hard to pick up once the leaves had unfurled but I have a high heat tolerance so that wasn't a huge deal. While not leak proof, I would feel fine wedging this into my purse so that it was in an upright position. It retained heat fairly well but the lip cooled off enough that I was able to safely drink out of it even when the tea is pretty steamy. I cannot wait to see how the patina will develop and change over time. It is a process that I rarely get to see happen inside of my own teapots but this travel mug's shape will make it easy to see.

You can find out more about this tumbler here.

Tavalon 3 & 5 Minute Sand Timer

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One of the new toys that I picked up at the New York Coffee and Tea Festival was this nifty tea timer from Tavalon. They had loaned us one for our pre-festival tweetup and I knew that I just had to have it. I loved the simple, clean design. It features two hourglasses, one that runs out after 3 minutes and one that runs out after 5 minutes. Those are generally the most common steep times for tea so this will definitely come in handy. I've timed it and it is actually pretty accurate. It's become a bit of a conversation piece in my house as several people have mistaken the hourglasses for salt and pepper shakers. It's perfect for when I'm not using a digital tea maker.

Yama Glass Cold Drip Coffee and Tea Maker

My very thoughtful boyfriend bought me a Yama Glass Cold Drip Coffee and Tea Maker for Christmas. I've been wanting one ever since I saw one of these beauties in the Harney & Son's shop in SoHo. It's basically a really slow way to cold brew iced tea. I like it because cold brewed iced tea has next to no astringency. Not only does it make great tea but it's also a conversation piece because everyone thinks it is a bong or some sort of moonshine contraption. After some experimenting I've discovered that it works great for green and oolong teas, not so much for black or white. I've been using it quite often even though it's winter. I can definitely see us being BFF's once the summer heat returns.

I was incredibly nervous about this but here is my first dorky and awkward video blog (took me long enough, huh?).