Want to take a nice cup of tea out and about with you but don’t like the taste of tea from a flask? This interesting new product from Adagio Teas might work for you – the glass body and removable infuser means the tea tastes exactly how you want it, and there is no need to decant it into another bottle or thermos cup to take out with you.
ActiviTea is a portable tea infuser. The glass bottle allows you to make loose leaf tea and take it with you out and about. Knowing how much I love my tea, Adagio Teas sent me one to test out.
It certainly makes that morning cuppa on the move more enjoyable. You fill the body of the double walled glass bottle with water from your kettle, add your chosen loose leaf tea to the infuser and close the lid on top, screw the infuser onto the bottle, and turn the whole thing upside down so the tea and water meet and can do their thing for a few minutes. Once your tea is brewed as you like it, upturn the ActiviTea, take off the infuser, separate the lid and put the lid back on the glass body. Now you can take your posh tea with you wherever you go – in the car, to the shops, on a walk, and so on.
I received three sample sized packets of loose leaf tea from the Artisan Black Teas range to help me try out the ActiviTea. The Lapsang Souchong is suitably strong, the Earl Grey perfectly fragrant, and the Pu Erh Hazelberry rather fruity. I love the smell of loose tea, it always has such promise. You don’t get that from a tea bag, although a tea bag is definitely more convenient on lots of occasions. ActiviTea tries to make loose leaf tea more portable, and while this bottle does do that, I think you’d have to be very keen on proper tea to use this regularly.
Let me explain. It’s a great idea. And it works; the infuser allows you to make posh tea properly in a portable bottle, and the double walled bottle keeps the tea drinkable for a couple of hours (I tested it the other day, after two hours it was colder than I would like to drink it). But for me, a really good cup of tea that takes time to prepare should be enjoyed after an adventure rather than during – an opportunity to sit down, put your feet up, and relax. Drinking a super nice cup of Lapsang Souchong when rushing about town running errands seems a bit of a waste of a good cuppa; I much prefer to use it as a reason to sit down and take the load off.
Having used this a few times I also have a few tips for you if you were to get one:
1. When your ActiviTea is upside down and your tea is brewing, don’t be tempted to shake it too much to speed up the process. The holes in the infuser are a teeny bit large in my opinion meaning some of the little bits of tea can make their way through. Leaving the tea to brew on its own will mean you reduce the number of bits you end up with in the main body of the bottle.
2. Don’t try and use this instead of one of those travel cups in the car. You have to take the whole lid off to drink from the bottle, rather than just opening a small bit to sip from, meaning it needs two hands and you risk spillage if moving around. It’s absolutely ideal for transporting your lovely tea with you on your commute, but I wouldn’t recommend drinking from it in a moving vehicle.
3. Have you noticed the mismatch between the instructions and the photograph? Once brewed, if you take the infuser off and just place the lid on the glass bottle, you no longer have that handy wrist strap that makes the ActiviTea useful on the move. Actually the website does say you should take the infuser off, remove the tea leaves, and put the whole thing back on the bottle so they have realised the error here. If the strap was on the bottle itself that would be more useful.
This is a nice little product and I definitely appreciate the innovation – it would make a great present for a loose leaf tea lover who doesn’t like to be restricted to tea bags or temples when out and about. Just realise this is not a replacement for your thick and heavy thermos, but rather is a nice addition to your tea making collection.
Thank you to AdagioTeas for fuelling my love of proper tea by sending me the ActiviTea to try out.