As a tea-loving traveler on the road, I’m always looking for better ways to take tea with me on the go. The biggest problems with making portable tea is that most teas become bitter as they sit in water and release tannins over time. Ick, no thanks. Teabook has created a tumbler to solve exactly this problem.
There have been a lot of basket-type innovations in portable tumblers, but this one pairs design with a matching line-up of teas made specifically to withstand longer steep times, so you can leave the leaves in as you steep without worrying about it.
The tumbler in hand felt nice – solid glass design and a pleasing look. It was a bit heavy (hey, glass will do that), but I could see tea lovers taking this back and forth to work or school every day. I do worry about the glass breaking, and I’m not sure it would keep your tea hot for more than a few hours. It also wouldn’t work great for herbal teas, or any blends with very small pieces, as they would wash through the sieve that you sip the tea through.
Teabook Green Tea – Green Tip Mao Jian
Green tea in particular is notorious for becoming bitter during long steeps. This green tip Mao Jian from Hunan Province in China had a nice mild and savory flavor.
The dry leaf looked good – twisted and rolled leaf, medium green. The liquor was a pale yellow, the taste slightly vegetal but a bit buttery, like split pea soup. Not bitter or astringent. The savory taste can make your mouth almost water.
Preparation: Water heated to 80˚, steeped for 4 minutes loose in tumbler.
You can buy it from Teabook here.
Teabook Oolong Tea – Oriental Beauty
This tea comes from Ninde, in Fujian Province, China. The liquor was malty with nice, big leaves. It was not as floral as I would have expected from an oriental beauty. The flavour didn’t have that ‘big’ness that I associated with oolongs. It would be a good oolong for black tea lovers who want to try something brighter in flavour.
Preparation: Water heated to 90˚, steeped for 5 minutes loose in tumbler.
Lately, Teabook has also been widening their variety of Pu’erh offerings by partnering with the Denong Tea Company from Yunnan, China. I haven’t tried their new offerings yet, but the lineup looks great and I’ve been curious to try.
All in all, with Christmas coming this would make a great gift for any tea lover. For anyone doing their tea sommelier training, being able to hold the tumbler up to the light and really see the leaves as they steep and unfurl is nice practice, too!