My Tea Pot from Minos. . . . .My New Best Friend. . . . .

Sometimes having the right tea pot makes all the difference in the world.  I have so many different tea contraptions galore to brew up a cuppa.   I have  graviteas , those cutesy silicone tea infusers, stainless steel infusers, mesh ball infusers, infusers that fold up and travel along with you. . . .and that doesn’t count the 15 to 20 tea pots I have that I’ve acquired over my 10 to 15 year tea journey.

Recently,I was promoted to a different position in my company that has required a lot more hours.  As a result, working from home has become a bit of the norm .  This way I can basically start working as soon as I get up and have the ability to work as long as I need to. To give myself a bit more of a work environment, my hubby and I decided to dedicate one corner of our family room to my new “office area”.   So a quick trip to IKEA yielded an awesome desk set up along with a marvelous chopping board that could double as a tea tray.  I couldn’t be happier with the result.

At about the same time I was working on setting up my new desk, this beauty arrived at my doorstep from Minos.

This tea pot is gorgeous! I’ve had stainless steel tea pots before but not like this one.   Being the perfect size, this tea pot fits effortlessly into my new work environment  and I’m quite in love.

 

This 17oz tea pot with a built infuser is now my favorite piece of teaware.  I can easily brew up a session of whatever tea I am craving at the time to keep me going long into the night.  Being stainless steel, the tea pot does retain heat so the tea is quite hot right at the beginning and I’m not going to lie here, I have burnt myself a few times on the tea pot, but Minos has included three silicone rings that easily sit into the handle- providing a way for tea drinkers not to get burned.  I am just incredibly clumsy and filled the tea pot a bit to full-which caused the tea pot to become a bit unbalanced-which resulted in my knuckle getting in the way.

 

Regardless, this tea pot has stolen my tea loving heart and has actually helped me adult through these long work mornings and evenings I’ve been having.  Sometimes you just need that one piece off teaware to up your tea game and for me, Minos’s tea pot has done just that.  Along with this brilliant tea pot, Minos also offers a matching creamer pitcher and sugar bowl.  Both I’m just in awe over as well, but the tea pot is my favorite piece of the three.

I’ve brewed up oolongs, green teas, black teas, herbals. . . you name it, I’ve used this tea pot and without fail, this tea pot has yielded brilliant after brilliant cuppas to keep me going.  The pour is perfection and I’ve actually found that my tea drinking has actually increased. . .something I didn’t think couldn’t happen.  I’m just in love!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy:  Minos
Description
  • BUILT TO LAST: When building a solid, reliable teapot, stainless steel is the only choice. Made of the durable metal, it can easily handle daily cups of delicious tea without showing any wear and tear for years.
  • STUNNING SURFACE: The hand polished and mirror-like surface will make the stainless steel surface completely swoon-worthy. It’ll look good with any kitchen decor, from retro to modern, and everything in between.
  • SWAPPABLE HANDLES: Each teapot comes equipped with three different silicon handles that can be changed out to suit your mood. (They’re also heat-resistant and keep your hands completely safe while pouring your tea or moving your hot teapot.)
  • DESIGNED WITH YOU IN MIND: Not only does the heavy stainless steel deliver reliability and strength, but the streamlined design adds a touch of timeless sophistication to any countertop.
  • THE RIGHT FIT FOR FAMILIES: When you choose the 500ml teapot, you’re giving your whole family the gift of a great cup of tea. For the two of you, this stainless steel teapot is perfect for steeping and sipping.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

VariaTea takes a look at the Iced Tea Press from DAVIDsTea. . .

When DAVIDsTEA announced the release of their iced tea press, I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, it seemed like a pretty cool take on a french press to easily make iced tea on the go. On the other hand, I have always been told not to squish teas and that is definitely what gets done with this press. Each time new colors are released, I him and haw over whether I want one but could never bring myself to buy one. However, when a friend took me into DAVIDsTEA and told me to pick what I wanted, I went with something I would not buy myself…the iced tea press.

Of course now that I had it, I immediately had to give it a try. The first thing I noticed was how hard it was to remove the inner piece from the outer shell. I took this as a good sign because it meant the seals were tight and thus the press was most likely leak-proof. When it came time to prepare the tea, I used two perfect teaspoons of a fruit tea and poured the hot water up to the specified line on the outer shell, maybe even a little higher. I filled the inner piece with ice, and screwed the lid on top, then I set the inner piece within the outer shell and waited for the tea to finish steeping.

When I began to press the tea, I got a lot of push back. It just wouldn’t stay down. That was probably my fault since I didn’t have the lid opened so there was no where for the air to escape providing space for the tea to replace it. When I removed the lid, it slid with ease but only filled about 3/4 of the way. The rest of the tea remained in the outer shell, moving up the sides and spilling out where the two pieces connect whenever the tumbler is tilted. Needless to say, this didn’t go very well for me on my first try.

Nonetheless, there are still perks. I do think this is an easy way to make iced tea and I don’t have any gravity steepers left in the sink and needing to be cleaned. I also like the fine mesh used to press the tea as it filters out anything and everything. Another positive is that it gives leaf plenty of space to expand. Though that is not necessarily a relevant factor when it comes to fruit teas, it is an important part of brewing proper tea leaves.

Finally, I think if I had the lid open as intended and didn’t pump the tea before getting a proper press, the ratio of hot water and ice would be more balanced, making for the full 16 ounces of iced tea.

Some things I could see being a downfall with this press, other than the leaking I have already experienced is oversteeping as the tea is not fully removed from the hot water. This isn’t really “on-the-go” as you wouldn’t want to carry around the components while they are separated.

Also, you could not really cold brew in this as there is no lid for the outer shell where the tea steeps. Lastly, I worry about the longevity of the seals as they are silicone and I fear they may wear with time.

Ultimately, I can see this being a fun new contraption. I probably need more practice in light of my fail but I think I am up to the challenge. Granted, I won’t be tossing this into my purse and letting it roll around anytime soon but it is definitely an alternative method to using all my gravity steepers for iced teas.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Teaware
Where to Buy: DAVIDsTea
Description

What if we told you there was an all-in-one gadget to steep, ice AND sip your tea, at home or on the go? Meet the mug that’ll change how we make iced tea forever. Made of BPA-free, durable Tritan™, it makes iced tea prep quick, easy – and ridiculously fun. Just add your tea and hot water, and scoop your ice into the inner compartment. When you’re ready to sip, press it together to instantly ice your tea. No fuss, no muss. Plus its super-fine mesh stops the infusion, so even the most delicate tea won’t be oversteeped. Now that’s refreshing.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas #VeganMoFo2016

A few years ago I received this lovely teapot as a gift from my parents and I haven’t seen too many of them since I received it but recently I was online and saw it on a site and thought I would review it today.  It’s the Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas.  Eventho this Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas is not currently in stock I felt it was certainly worth a mention!

Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas is a decorated teapot for one (or two) and has the Irish look and feel to it.  It’s painted in cream and green and has Celtic knots wrapping around the teapot.  It’s a 3-piece teapot and says “A good laugh and a cup of tea are the two best cures” on it.  You can see where the small top part comes off and the bottom half as well.

I think this Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas is darling.  I have only used it a few times because I use it more for display than USE but that might have to change in the coming months.  I’m also using this as my Vegan Mofo post today where the prompt is “Something Rare” as we are to use something we don’t usually use in cooking – well – instead of that – I figured I would feature this teapot since I don’t usually use it but still admire it!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Teaware
Where to Buy: FineLine Teas
Description: A beautifully decorated tea for one, this Irish tea for one set is painted in cream and green and boasts lovely Celtic knot work. View product description below for more information.

A beautifully decorated tea for one, this Irish tea for one set is painted in cream and green and boasts lovely Celtic knot work. A three piece set, this tea for one features the saying “A good laugh and a cup of tea are the two best cures”. Packaged ready for gift giving, this tea for one is sure to delight.

Stoneware. Dimensions: Teapot – 7 1/2″ x 6″ and holds 22oz; Cup – 2 1/4″ and holds 10oz. Dishwasher and microwave safe.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Asobu Ice Tea Infuser Glass Water Bottle To-Go

botTea Ware:

Where to Buy: Amazon

Tea Description:

  • 14-Ounce Iced Tea Infuser Glass Water Bottle
  • Made of heat resistant, insulated glass
  • Removable top and bottom lids for easy use with loose tea leaf
  • A great Tea thermos and mug
  • Dishwasher safe 100% BPA free

 

Taster’s Review:

Sometimes we get so excited about the tea we drink that we don’t chat about the amazing pieces of tea ware that are out there.  Recently I picked up a few and some of them have really impressed me.  As a tea enthusiasts who has to constantly re-organize her kitchen and desk at work because of all the tea ware she gets, I always love hearing what others pick up that help me brew up my favorite beverage.  This particular bottle is one of those pieces.

This cold brewing bottle is fantastic.  Easy to use, easy to clean, as far as I’ve experienced-leak proof, and most important of all- the easiest way to cold brew tea that I’ve come across so far. I love cold brew tea but I didn’t have a great way to do it. I came across this bottle and instantly bought it.

 

The bottle itself is super easy to put into action.  This bottle comes in a few pieces, a top lid, a bottom infuser, and a lid for the bottom of the bottom, plus the bottle itself.  All you need to do to create delicious cold brew tea is unscrew the infuser bottom basket, add in your loose leaf tea (more than you would for brewing your typical hot tea), put the infuser into the bottom of the basket with the opening facing out, screw on the lid, flip the bottle over (make sure that bottom lid is screwed on tight), and screw the lid on. Place the bottle in your fridge overnight.  When you wake up, you’ll have fresh cold brew tea.  Simple and easy without having to have several pieces of tea ware to get the desired effect.  What is even better is that the bottle is a nice size and it fits perfectly into the side of my laptop bag or in my purse.  It can also double as a fruit infuser if you are in the mood for more of just a plain fruit flavored water.

Such a great tool and I’m so glad to have it. Cold brewing tea can sometimes draw out hidden flavors in your tea that you couldn’t pick up brewed hot.  It is also a great way to use up any extra tea that is hanging out in your tea stash since you have to use more tea than when you brew hot.

I’ve been using this bottle for cold brew for about 2 weeks now and have found that I have been reaching for the bottle to make iced or cold brew tea more than my tea pots.  Just a fun piece to have!

Midwest Tea Fest 2015: Part 2 – The Haul!

Now on to Part 2 of my ‘review’ of the Midwest Tea Fest! Oh, what goodness lies ahead!

TeaHaul1What kind of tea person would I be if I did not take home a massive haul of tea back with me? I packed very light for the trip, but brought a giant suitcase to hold it all in. When it was all packed tightly away, I just made the cut off size for a checked bag. 49.5lbs of nothing but tea, teaware, and toothpaste!

I know how it looks, there is a lot more teaware than there is tea. I waited too long to snag anything, and a lot of the teas being sold were essentially all gone. But! I fell in love with more teaware than I think is healthy for just one person. It was pretty crowded around all of the booths the majority of the time, it was a madhouse! Just watching the folks at the Queen’s Pantry feverishly weigh and pack all the teas that were flying off the ‘shelves’ was almost nauseating. I overheard the people at Shang Tea how they only prepared for 300 people, and there was easily twice as much in attendance.

TeaHaul2The few teas you see are mostly samples, the Rishi and Harney were in my goodie bag, and I got samples of Pomegranate white and gunpowder mint from Single Origin. I did purchase Single Origin Tea’s Jun Chiyabari, the last one on their table. There is a small round tin of Bingley’s 10yrs Oven Roasted Aged oolong, and I did pick up some of Shang’s Aged White. (Not at the actual festival though, I took the short walk to Crowne Plaza to their brick and mortar store to pick some up, they were not selling them at the fest.)

TeaHaul3I ended up doing something I never do, and that is indulge in any whim I had along the way. I bought three pieces from Pi Ceramics, a sweet goblet cup, a cha hai (sharing pitcher) for gongfu, and a short and stout kuysu! They are great looking pieces and have a good home here with me. I bought another sharing pitcher from Bingley’s, as well as a small glass teapot. The two small white cups are from Shang Tea, as well as the white infused mug, and the Tea Seed Oil. (Fun Fact: Tea Seed Oil has a smoke point of 455F. You could healthily fry with it!)

The two books you see are the darlings of my collection from the fest. The first is Nichole’s own book, Tea Log: Chronicle your journey of Tea which a very useful tool I know I will be filling up very quickly. And the hardcover 30th edition of Tea Lover’s Treasury by James Norwood Pratt was signed by the legend himself. I was overjoyed by the welcoming attitude he and his wife Valerie had towards everyone they talked to.