Taking a Look at Teabook Steeping Glass and Others

Note: I just saw the most sugarcoated review on another blog of this steeping glass and the “tea subscription” package it came with, so I feel compelled to be totally honest here instead.

The package I got:

Teabook Shipment
Teabook Shipment

Package contents: 13 packs (about 1 tsp tea each) of tea (the center compartment had only one pack), 1 steeping glass (9 oz, which is too small for Dian Hong and too big for Dragonwell – the two teas included). Wasteful packaging. Tiny amount of tea. Lots of hype.

About Some Steeping Glasses on the Market

This is what I started out writing and got distracted from by that blog post.

Steeping glasses seem to be big on the market right now, so much so that there are quite a few choices available to you discerning tea drinking humans. As a teapot, I do not see these as a viable steeping vessels, but I’m willing to give them a chance and so am taking a closer look.

We recently went against our policy of not accepting further tea samples by accepting ones from a new vendor called Teabook (curiosity got the better of us). Along with the small tea packets came this steeping glass. Gorgeous, isn’t it? But how practical is it, and how does it compare to others on the market? Well, this little teapot and my Tea Gang and humans wanted to look at all this in a totally unbiased way. So here goes…

Comparison Chart

As Sgt. Friday used to say on that old show from the late 1960s Dragnet, “just the facts, ma’am”, so here they are:

Brand

Price

Fl. Oz.

Materials

Teabook

*

9.5

Stainless steel, tempered glass, plastic, a flexible strap. Virtually the same as the activiTEA below.
activiTEA

$19.00

10

Stainless steel infuser, tough borosilicate glass inside and out, a flexible strap.
LibreTea Glass

$29.00

9-14

glass, poly Tritan, stainless steel
LibreTea Mug

$29.00

10

glass, poly Tritan, stainless steel
Tisano

$18.99

11

Boroscillicate Glass, Stainless Steel Lid and Infuser Filter.
Eight Cranes

$45.95

8

Stainless steel, tempered glass

*Unable to find a price, since their site only gives prices for the monthly subscription scheme.

This is definitely not a complete list. Many more options available. The same tired idea being redone in slightly different versions, except for the Eight Cranes perfect steeper. Most of these glasses have tiny infusers that cramp the tea leaves and tend to result in oversteeped. They are hot so that when you try to remove the infusion part (between the lid and the glass, you scorch your fingers, so many users just leave them on and drink the liquid through them (ugh!). None steep the tea in a way that is ideal for the types of teas the makers say they are meant for. But the Libre Tea is better, in my humble opinion, just because of its simplicity and larger size – I can do a good large steep, remove the infuser and tea leaves, and then sip the tea over the course of an hour or two with it staying warm. However, for doing multiple steeps, Eight Cranes’ Perfect Steeper is a better option, with a smaller glass which is more appropriate for teas like Dragonwell (Longjing).

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Frankly, if you really want this type of thing for steeping your tea, go with the Eight Cranes one. No, I am not being paid to say that. I had never even heard of the item before researching this article. But as you can see from this photo, it is truly perfect (the leaves are kept separate from the steeping part and have plenty of room to expand).

So why bother with the host of sugary reviews that will come out about the Teabook Steeping Glass (which is virtually the same as the activiTEA from Adagio)? Just spring for the Eight Cranes Perfect Steeper (pricey, so be sure you really need something like this) and get your money’s worth. Or for that matter, buy a YETI Rambler, good for hot and cold beverages.

Teavana Recall

A good idea wasn’t quite so good. On May 30, 2013, Teavana issued a recall for these steeping glasses:

Teavana mugs recalled in May, 2013
Teavana mugs recalled in May, 2013

The issues were: “The glass tea tumblers can break or shatter unexpectedly, posing laceration and burn hazards.” The Teabook steeping tumbler is also all glass… hmmmmm… a word of caution here: handle any glass tumbler with care.

Disclaimer: This tea and steeping glass from Teabook were provided by the company named. However, any opinions concerning them and the company are always strictly objective. Information on where to buy is presented as a courtesy only.

© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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