reviewed Glass Tea Thermos by Mandala Tea
1559 tasting notes

This thermos is a beauty. Great proportions and a sleek visual contour which is amplified by the double wall glass construction. Smooth bamboo lid. Mandala’s pretty logo is well placed toward the bottom, which I appreciate, letting the color and transparency of the brew shine. The teas that produce the greatest visual appeal are my Chinese and Taiwanese teas, specifically green, white, unroasted oolong and lighter, fruitier red teas.

Functionally, it’s well constructed with high quality, moderately thick double walled glass that stays gently warm to the touch, not the typical thin, finger-scorching walls of most Chinese made glassware. It also doesn’t retain so much heat that it overbrews teas, unlike a stainless steel thermos (which also alters the taste of tea). Regardless of the thermos’s perceived sturdiness, it’s still glass so must be handled with care, especially while washing since the glass is so smooth. The neoprene sleeve takes away from the aesthetic but gives the comfort of knowing the thermos is protected when I put it in the side pocket of my backpack or lay it on my passenger seat before heading to work. For filtration, a shallow strainer screws into the basket, or it can be used alone. The two-part strainer allows for different ways to brew and drink your tea. The basket is big enough to hold up to 4 grams of my largest loose-leaf teas like big leaf Yunnan and Taiwanese reds, and can accommodate the unruly expansion of 3 grams of balled oolong with some cramping. I haven’t had any leak issues from the cap unless screwed too tight. Screwing until just closed plus a little nudge lets the steam create a vacuum that prevents leakage. The gasket inside the cap is easy to remove and clean.

Overall, I’m very happy with this beauty. My only issue with it is that I must use a bottle brush to clean the inside.

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Georgia, Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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