Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mighty Leaf Tea Top Brew Mug

The lovely people at Mighty Leaf Tea Company continue to amaze me. They keep creating interesting, and tasty, products that support tea culture. Recently, they sent me a brand new product of theirs to review, a Tea Top Brew Mug.

The Tea Top Brew Mug is essentially a traveling tea pot. It's patented Tea Top lid allows you to brew your tea wherever you go, and avoid over-infusing it. Anyone who's tried to brew tea, herbal or otherwise, when traveling to work has run into the problem of “what to do with the tea bag” once it's done brewing. This amazing lid allows you to simply pull up on the tea bag, removing it from the the hot water, and then holding it securely for you in domed recess until you can dispose of it properly. The double-walled stainless steel body keeps the tea quite hot for an incredible amount of time, but still allows for comfortable handling. The rubberized bottom keeps the mug quite stable on any surface.

It's also fits perfectly into the cup holder in my car. Bonus!

I was flattered that Mighty Leaf would send this to me. It came in a lovely box with easy to read directions for it's use and cleaning. They were also kind enough to send me a sample of their chamomile citrus herbal tea. I've never been a huge fan of chamomile tea, but I seriously have to rethink that with this tea. The orange tones against the lightly flowery sweetness of the chamomile is a perfect combination.

The design and concept of this “teapot on the go” is charming and clever. I enjoyed being able to enjoy a hot cup of rooibos tea while on my way to work, and not just at home. It was a nice change from my typical glass of milk, juice, or soda. The lid fits quite securely within the body of the mug, and the spent tea bag really does stay in place once you pull up on the string, pulling the tea bag away from the water.

Unfortunately, the things that make the brew mug so amazing are also what gave me the most trouble. The body acts so well as an insulator that the tea never did cool down enough for me to actually enjoy it during most of my drive to work. This may seem silly, but I travel 90 minutes each way to my day job. Having to wait 80 minutes to drink my herbal tea, without burning my mouth off, wasn't what I'd hoped for.

The irony that I want something designed to keep liquids hot to cool down faster is not lost on me. It really does keep the tea that hot, that long.

The metal body seemed to give my rooibos tea a slight metallic edge. Oddly, I didn't taste that with the citrus chamomile Mighty Leaf sent along with the mug so, I can't be sure it's the mug and not something wrong with the tea I bought. (I have to confess, I bought the rooibos at the grocery store. I need to stick to ordering from Mighty Leaf. Their organic rooibos is far superior to anything other rooibos teas I've tasted, and it's not any more expensive.)

The mug is not dishwasher safe. It's not a big deal to wash something like by hand, although I did have to make sure my kids knew not to put it in the dishwasher. I love the Mighty Leaf logo on the side, but it began to wear off very quickly, even after just a few washings. It's not completely gone, but it's sad to see the cute leaf/steam mascot half worn away.

My last complaint is little trivial, and one of them may be that I've simply missed the point. The spout on the lid seems better suited to pouring the tea into another cup than drinking from. I would completely fine with doing this, if I had a second cup holder in my car, or were simply brewing the tea in my car, or at work, with the intent of pouring the tea into something else to drink from. That may have been the point of this product, but I was really hoping it would work better as a travel mug that it did for me.

If you're looking for a tea pot you can take with you anywhere, this might just be the perfect solution for you. If you're looking for it to double as a travel mug after you brew the tea, it could be better. I haven't tried putting any other liquids in it, but I'm positive it will keep cold things cold and hot things hot, regardless of whether it's used to brew them. I just wanted to be able to enjoy the tea a little sooner.

2 1/2 zucchinis for the mug

3 1/2 zucchinis for the chamomile citrus tea

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