If you have that person on your list that you want that special unique item for and they just happen to be a tea drinker (of any kind!), I highly recommend thinking about sending them a gift from Tea Box Express.
Tea Box Express offers amazing curated boxes that feature teas, tea accessories, tea trinkets and different snacks to go along with the tea. Basically, each month you receive an instant tea party. I just love this box. Yes, it is a bit pricey when you first look at it, but the value of what you are getting is typically double if not more each month. This month alone, the box featured a tea accessory that I’ve had my eye on for some time and that tea accessory typically sells for $18 without shipping or taxes. This box is definitely a wonderful value and one that is quite memorable to boot!
November’s box had so many amazing treats! A gorgeous leaf shaped shortbread cookie, a Tea Bling, two different kinds of tea from Nunshen, a chocolate treat, and these awesome flavored agave pouches-pumpkin flavored and caramel from Pura. I was quite pleased and couldn’t wait to dig in.
Let’s start with the My Tea Bling. This is the accessory that I’ve had my eye on for some time. My Tea Bling is a clip that you use when you are drinking any kind of bagged tea to give your tea a bit of pizzazz-there is a lovely disc full of sparkles at the end of the clip. I use this all the time when I’m at work and am so happy to have one. I’ve received a lot of compliments on my this sparkling accessory. I just use those tea filters you can pick up pretty much anywhere, make my own tea bags, ad attach this as a nice weight to keep everything where it needs to be. (Mug Cozy featured below is from Nandy’s Nook)
An oolong and chai tea were the offerings for the tea part of the box. They came from Nunshen, a company I hadn’t heard of before but one I’m now actively checking out. The tea was a bagged tea (which worked perfectly with my new Tea Bling) and we were sent a few oolong tea bags and chai. I wasn’t crazy originally with the idea of a bagged chai tea but after having the tea, I’m addicted.
The chai bagged tea packs all of those lovely chai flavors without the spices being overwhelming to the point where you have to add milk or sugar. The tea was pleasantly balanced and was a great tea for the afternoon when I needed that pick me up to keep going.
The oolong offered was also quite delicious and one that I found myself searching my bag for to see if I had anymore. Smooth and subtle with those familiar oolong roasted tones. . .another great afternoon treat. I think I favored this tea more than the chai but that’s just because I’m partial to oolong. Plus this oolong tasted delicious with both the cookie and the chocolate candy treat.
Flavored agave (from Pura.mx) is something I never had really thought about checking out but after enjoying the caramel and pumpkin flavored pouches included. . .I need to have a constant supply of this on hand. Both the Pumpking and Caramel were amazing in tea lattes and added that special kick that typically you can only get in coffee houses.
So many wonderful treats, trinkets, and goodies all packed into this box. Any tea drinker or enthusiast would love this box. Really great gift idea for anybody on your list. My family loves enjoying all of the treats together and we always have a family tea party with the box. (Pics of the cookie and chocolate treat-don’t they just look delicious!)
I really can’t wait to see what we receive in the next box!
Here’s the scoop!
Where to Buy: Tea Box Express
Tea Box Express is a monthly box for tea lovers. Every month features a new whole leaf tea and unique accessories.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Where To Buy: Libre Tea
Products > Libre glass’n poly Original
Each Libre glass ’n poly Original has a health-conscious glass interior for fresh taste and a durable polycarbonate exterior for ‘on the go’ durability. The stainless steel tea filter is surrounded by BPA free polypropylene as is the lid interior. Can be used 2 ways to brew and travel with loose leaf tea.
Learn more about this tea ware here.
I have mixed feelings about my Libre Tea Glass n Poly Original.
There is a slight learning curve to using it. Unfortunately I chose to use it the first time when I was on the go. Of course that is why I bought the item – for on the go. Regardless the result was me spending the first portion of my day with quite a large wet spot in the center of my lap. Yup – I was not too pleased with that. I will explain the incident in a bit.
To begin, there is one strong point about this tea glass that I want to point out. I have no idea why it is not highlighted more on their site, perhaps it is and I have not found it, but it is one of the most breathtaking parts about this item so if I were selling them I would have it very easy to find on the site. The part I am talking about is the lid! Look at the beauty here!
So a concern or dislike I have about this glass is that you have to let a lot of the steam dissipate before putting the lid on. Which means water that may not be hot enough to brew your favorite dark teas. Now to be fair this is information they very well pointed out on their site both in text and in the video, but even in having read it and seen it I’m still a little miffed about it. The reason you have to let the steam evaporate some is so that the seal does not leak when you turn it upside down to steep. If you don’t let enough steam out it can compromise the seal – thus potential leakage. I have found that while it still brews most of my black teas and pu’er quite well sometimes they are on the weaker side. Therefore I would not recommend using your most beloved dark teas in the Libre.
Another point is in regard to heat retention: When starting with boiling water – which has to be allowed to cool slightly before using the Libre, or using water at 195 degrees or above, the heat retention is decent. I have found my tea remains a least warm for up to a half hour. That is not terrible if you plan to drink your tea right away while on the go, however if you are wanting to sip it through out a span of time this may not be so handy. On the other hand if you are steeping a tea that starts out at a lower temp such as a green tea you don’t have near as long for your tea to remain hot, or even warm.
Sipping your tea: Okay this is where we get into my biggest complaint about the Libre and something that was not pointed out to me via the site or video. When you steep your tea using the infuser in the lid, be sure that when you remove the cap for the first time that you pay close attention! What happened to me is that water got trapped into the upper part of the lid with the leaves, inside the cap, and spilled all over my lap when I was in the car. Lucky for me that the heat retention was not all that great as I did not get burned! Still it was not fun to be headed to a public event with a wet lap and rear end because of course the tea that did not get soaked up by the lap of my pants went right between my legs onto the bottom part of my pants! So just be mindful to unscrew the cap and let the trapped tea escape into the glass rather than onto your lap! For a travel glass though I find this step quite annoying!
More on sipping: Maybe it is me, maybe I really do have a drinking problem, a tea drinking problem that is, but sometimes if I am not being mindful enough, when I take a sip there is a dribble, usually ending up on my shirt. I feel it has to do with the small sipping radius of the opening, and the threads where the lid screws on. The opening radius is small – my entire nose more or less has to go into the glass to get my lips around the opening. That makes it even more difficult to sip while the tea is still hot. No worries though that does not last too terribly long. Also due to the radius it is difficult to get enough of my mouth in the right place for proper sipping. Granted I may have a big mouth but it is something I have noticed. Due to it being a travel glass however I really don’t want the hassle of having to be all that mindful while sipping on the go. Ease of use could be far better.
Another issue I have with the Libre, which is a problem I find with most travel tea infusers, there is really no sipping mechanism that is truly convenient for travel. I’m not looking for a sippie cup and I don’t need a nipple, but it would be nice if there were a travel infuser that had some sort of lift up mechanism to sip out of without having to remove the entire lid. As I said this is not just an issue with Liber Glasses but travel tea glasses and containers as a whole. If you know of one that has this mechanism please let me know I would love to try it out and review it!
Size: Yes it does matter. I got the original size Libre. Its a decent size. Fits my small hand perfectly. If I liked it more, if it retained heat better, I would probably also get a larger size for longer travels as I can sip a tea down in light speed. However I will pass on getting a larger one due to the issues I have with this one.
So the pros of the Libre for me really come down to aesthetics other than it being BPA free, which is excellent. I think the lid is beautiful, stunning. The glass is clear, which I like as I can see my tea, the beauty of the tea, and how much I have left to enjoy. The size is good, fits my hand well. And well, that is about it.
I feel that Libre has a good idea here but I have seen many others identical to it from other vendors, except those did not have the pretty lid and the Libre name on it, so I would not go as far as to say it is a one of a kind item. Still I feel there is much room for improvement but then again this is only my opinion as I know there are others who absolutely adore their Libre Glass n Poly.
For me the downfall is I truly do not ENJOY sipping my tea out of the Libre Glass n Poly and tea should be enjoyable to sip.
Where To Buy: Zen Tea Life
Prior to use, the matcha is often forced through a sieve in order to break up clumps. Comes with a fine wire mesh sieve and a temporary storage container.
Learn more about this tea ware here.
The Matcha Sifter from Zen Tea Life is such a wonderfully functional item to have. Its quite simple in its design but works wonders! Its also very pretty – love the deep crimson color!
The sifter comes with this scoop like tool that helps you push or drag the matcha along the screen to sift it.
Its easy to clean as well which for me is a HUGE plus!
I always dry mine right away as I don’t want it to rust and can’t say if it would or not if left to air dry but really this is an essential item for anyone who drinks a lot of matcha like myself.
The canister is quite large. I have sifted a full 60 grams of matcha and had plenty of room to spare.
You can store your matcha in the canister once sifted, or, if you are like me, and have many matcha to sift, you can put the matcha back into whatever you store it in, or its original container, and sift another matcha.
The tin itself is very thin, its not made to withstand driving over it with a car or anything but it serves its purpose. The screen is very fine for perfectly sifted matcha.
I find it far more convenient than using what I had in the past which was just your basic kitchen strainer. I always made messes when using that and wasted some good matcha!
I am really happy to have this and it is one of the less expensive tea tools I have purchased!